Should I Prospect Myself Or Hire Someone To Prospect For Me? Referrals Or Cold Calls

25 replies
If you have been in sales more than a week, the idea has popped into your brain that you could hire someone to make prospecting calls for you...while you simply make the sales.

I'm going to suggest that you call the leads or referrals yourself, no matter how much you think you could sell if you just didn't have to prospect.

Yes, I have hired telemarketers to call my leads for me. They called high quality referrals and they called completely cold leads...and everything in between. Sure, they set appointments. But they will never set as many appointments as you would, if you made the prospecting calls yourself. But that isn't why you want to make the calls yourself. Here are three reasons you should make the prospecting calls yourself, no matter how tempted you are to hire a telemarketer...

1) If you are the one that made the prospecting call, the people are far more likely to be there when you show up..or are far more likely to show up at your office. Why? Because they were talking to you. And if they are talking to an appointment setter, they don't feel a personal connection to you at all, and feel no obligation to you.

2) If you made the call yourself, you absolutely know what they said and what you said. It's almost impossible for the prospect to say "They told me on the phone that there wasn't going to be a sales presentation They were just going to drop off some literature" or "The person I talked to said that this wasn't about insurance" or "Nobody told me that my wife had to be here with me". And if you went on an appointment that was set by someone else, you can't be sure what was said...on either side. Even if you give the appointment setter a script. And..the appointment setter wants to set appointments with everyone. That's usually how they are paid. And some prospects are simply not qualified...or they say something that lets you know that they are a terrible prospect, while the hired sales appointment setter wouldn't pick up on the fact that they are someone you wouldn't want to see. You'll know exactly what was said to them, and exactly what they said to you...if you are the one setting the appointment.

3) This is the most important reason to make your own sales calls, when setting a sales appointment....You are establishing a relationship with the customer over the phone. They hear your voice, they picture who you are...they feel like they know you a little bit even before you show up. And....You can get a feel for them when you set the appointment. Are they brusk? Are they engaging? Even with just a three minute conversation when setting the appointment, some rapport has been established. And now, they are far more likely to be there when you show up, sales resistance will be lower when you show up (or when they show up).

Even if you have GPS in your car, ask for directions. Why? It is more time spent with them..it deepens rapport. As long as you aren't talking about what you are selling, the more engaged they are, the better. The reason you don't want to talk about your offer (besides a quick benefit statement) is that they will feel that they have enough information to say "Well, I think I can save you some time. I don't think I'd be interested in buying". But a couple minutes of them talking about the vacation they just took, or the weather...all helps in rapport.

I sure hope that this helps someone.
#calls #cold #cold calling #hire #hire telemarketer #prospect #referrals #sales prospecting
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  • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
    To add something that I experienced. Years ago, I was creating a referral program to sell vacuum cleaners in people's homes. I only asked for referrals from people who bought. At one time I had about three hundred referrals that were expecting me to call on them.

    I was simply getting referrals faster than I could see them. And about 80% of theses referrals were buying from me. So...I had a problem...a great problem, but I needed some help. Some of these referrals were months old. I just couldn't see enough people in a day.

    So, I hired a young girl to call all my referrals. These were people who already agreed to see me, and they were referred by someone who bought from me. You couldn't get a better lead. I gave her a great script (literally the one I was using), and we spent a day practicing what she was going to say, and her responses to any normal questions.

    The good news is that the week after I hired this girl....I had ten sales. Not a record, but a damn fine week. That was over $5,000 in commissions for that week, and it was in 1980 or 1981. I spent all day running appointments, and she spent 4 hours a day at my office on the phone.

    Here's the bad news. By the end of the week, my phone person talked to every single name on all my referral lists. I was so busy that week, I hadn't kept up with how many people she was talking to each day....

    About 70% of the people that had already agreed to see me...were now saying they weren't interested. Why would they say such a thing? Because my phone girl changed the script (My teeth grit at the very thought) and she was asking people "Are you interested in buying a vacuum cleaner?".

    Even people that knew I was selling a vacuum cleaner...knew the cost..agreed to see me (to help the person who referred them) wasn't going to say "Yes, I'm interested in buying this unseen expensive vacuum cleaner that I have never heard of".

    So...at the end of my great week....I had no more referrals...no more appointments. It had taken me a good year to build up that momentum...having way too many people to see......gone in seven days.
    Stupid, stupid, stupid Claude.

    What I should have done was simply asked for more qualified referrals, reducing the number I was getting on each sale. That would have increased my sales per week, without burning through my referral lists.

    A life lesson I hope never to repeat. Call your own referrals. Half the sale is made before you ever see the prospect, if you are the one calling them.

    You never let someone else make appointments for you for the same reason you don't hire someone to ask people out on a date with you. Please learn from my mistakes.
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    • Profile picture of the author Ron Lafuddy
      Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

      So, I hired a young girl to call all my referrals. These were people who already agreed to see me, and they were referred by someone who bought from me. You couldn't get a better lead. I gave her a great script (literally the one I was using), and we spent a day practicing what she was going to say, and her responses to any normal questions.

      The good news is that the week after I hired this girl....I had ten sales. Not a record, but a damn fine week. That was over $5,000 in commissions for that week, and it was in 1980 or 1981. I spent all day running appointments, and she spent 4 hours a day at my office on the phone.

      Here's the bad news. By the end of the week, my phone person talked to every single name on all my referral lists. I was so busy that week, I hadn't kept up with how many people she was talking to each day....
      The first thought that comes to mind is the women should have been fired immediately.

      Here's some things you already know, but are good to think about.

      Keeping close tabs on how she was burning through the referrals and addressing it early in the process, would have paid you tens of thousands of dollars.

      Income which could not have be made, in any other way.

      These referrals were your easiest sales. Your easiest money.

      The loss to you and your business was not recoverable.

      1. You lost thousands of dollars in referral sales, from the initial list.

      2. You lost thousands of dollars in additional referral sales, that would have come from that referral list.

      In hindsight, paying the telemarketer $5,000 to just go away, would have been an excellent solution

      Ron
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      • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
        Originally Posted by Ron Lafuddy View Post

        The first thought that comes to mind is the women should have been fired immediately.
        Of course.

        But I was gone all day on appointments while she was calling. At night, I'd go back and see all the appointments for the next few days, and I assumed everything was going according to plan.

        I found out about her "Are you interested?" comment on that Saturday because I had to stop by the office to pick up more vacuums....When I overheard what she was saying.....

        I quietly (while gritting my teeth) asked if that is what she normally said....and then I looked at the number of referrals left...and I asked her why she changed the script. She said it didn't feel natural to her.

        She was like just about all normal people who aren't experts at selling, She had no idea that she was doing anything wrong, and was amazed that I was red in the face.

        To her, asking "Are you interested in a new vacuum cleaner" was the most innocent thing in the world to ask.

        When I tried to explain to her about how difficult it was to amass these referrals...and how she actually talked most of these BUYERS out of an appointment...she looked at me like I was an idiot.

        She was shocked when I let her go.

        Another example of Claude's incredible stupidity....

        I hired a girl to make cold calls for me once that was calling in the evening, while I was out in the field. I paid her by the scheduled appointment. She was alone in my office.

        She was making dozens of appointments for the next week. I asked her why none of the appointments were for that week, and she said that the people just wanted to see the vacuum cleaner the next week. Weird, I thought.

        By the end of the first week he had set about a hundred appointments for the next few weeks. She asked if I could pay her in cash as she was going on vacation. Sure, "Claude the unsuspecting" was happy to pay her at the end of the week in cash.

        Monday morning, I called to confirm the first appointment that she set. They had no idea who I was. Neither did the second or third person I called. Are you beginning to see a pattern?

        And then it hit me. All the appointments for the next few weeks were in alphabetical order. She had just gone through the phone book and written names and addresses in the appointment book. And she was now gone with the money.

        Oh well, I thought I only paid her $500.....Not that big a deal.................

        ............................Until my phone bill came. $2,000 in collect calls from her boyfriend in a different state. The whole time she was supposed to be calling my prospects, she was chatting with her boyfriend.....at $1.75 a minute (If I remember).

        But these are two examples of telemarketers that called when I was out in the field. When I was the distributor and had reps working for me, the telemarketers kept to the script and made real appointments.

        But even then, if I had my own referrals, I called them myself. And the reps called their own referrals too.

        Originally Posted by Ron Lafuddy View Post

        Keeping close tabs on how she was burning through the referrals and addressing it early in the process, would have paid you tens of thousands of dollars.

        Income which could not have be made, in any other way.

        These referrals were your easiest sales. Your easiest money.

        The loss to you and your business was not recoverable.

        1. You lost thousands of dollars in referral sales, from the initial list.

        2. You lost thousands of dollars in additional referral sales, that would have come from that referral list.

        In hindsight, paying the telemarketer $5,000 to just go away, would have been an excellent solution

        Ron
        All of that is true. Those referrals would have paid me a low six figure income that year, if that's all I ran. The good news is that it only took me a month or so to be back seeing only referrals from buyers. And my list grew from there. The second time is always easier.
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  • Profile picture of the author helisell
    I saw the post heading...... Should I Prospect Myself Or Hire Someone To Prospect For Me? Referrals Or Cold Calls

    and without looking who had posted, opened up immediately to reply with.....Argh don't get someone else to do it they'll make a hash of it.

    Then I saw it was you and hoped you'd have the same view.....and of course you did so.....just keep up the great work.
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    • Profile picture of the author Alex Cohen
      Originally Posted by helisell View Post

      I saw the post heading...... Should I Prospect Myself Or Hire Someone To Prospect For Me? Referrals Or Cold Calls

      and without looking who had posted, opened up immediately to reply with.....Argh don't get someone else to do it they'll make a hash of it.

      Then I saw it was you and hoped you'd have the same view.....and of course you did so.....just keep up the great work.
      Yeah, the post heading is misleading.

      Alex
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  • Profile picture of the author toydistrict
    Reminds me of the old saying:

    "If you want something done properly, do it yourself..."

    Years back I was team leader of a sales unit. What really annoyed me was people killing sales by not following scripts

    I guess in the moment some just got carried away, or looked for shortcuts, or just presumed people will buy automatically.
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  • Profile picture of the author myob
    Prospecting yourself is an ineffective use of time, in my not so humble opinion. A good mix I have found is for less experienced telemarketers whose only job is to get qualified buyers on the phone from our in-house generated leads, customer lists, and referrals.

    These "openers" then turn the call over to my seasoned team of commissioned account reps (or "closers") to clinch the deal or appointment. The openers are paid a base hourly wage plus incentives such as scaling bonuses for the number of sales made each day.

    Ongoing sales training, including role playing for improving conversions along with an emphasis on clear objectives, can minimize or even eliminate the time needed for prospecting myself.

    And delegating this task strategically with solid training need not damage relationships with your customers or referrals. For example, I'll have my team of openers call assigned daily lists with established customers, "Mr Green asked me to give you a personal call ...

    When the call approaches the appropriate level for a sale, the call is then turned over to an experienced sales rep at my "desk" who explains that I'm not in right now, but that I prearranged a "special" offer, or would like to set up an appointment. Reps already have set price ranges to work with, and my availability for appointments are posted.

    Like a well-oiled machine, this system cranks out routine sales with minimum intervention on my part, allowing me to focus on tightly scheduled appointments and higher end sales.
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris Brindamour
    Claude,

    Not sure what business you are in. But I would start by making the calls yourself until you get something that works. Then and only then, train someone else to do what works for you. Tell them not to change anything and leave it exactly the way you taught them.

    Chris
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by Chris Brindamour View Post

      Claude,

      Not sure what business you are in. But I would start by making the calls yourself until you get something that works. Then and only then, train someone else to do what works for you. Tell them not to change anything and leave it exactly the way you taught them.

      Chris
      Chris:
      I sold vacuum cleaners in people's homes for three decades (now mostly running a retail store and speaking to groups of salespeople.)

      I did as you suggest, but wasn't there to supervise. It was disastrous. For a year or so I had ten reps in my office and a phone person. I didn't sell at all, just train and close over the phone if needed. But I had to keep continuous watch on what the reps and phone person did and said. They had no idea why it was working, so their "changes in style" were always mistakes.

      To be truthful, even with ten reps....after I paid the overhead, salaries...and commissions....I usually found I made more money by simply making calls myself and making the sales myself. So the last ten or 15 years, that's what I did.

      A wise man once said "If you can train someone to sell as well as you do, you should manage salespeople. If you can't train someone to sell as well as you do, you should just sell".

      And I'm a salesman to my very core.
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      • Profile picture of the author tryinhere
        Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

        "If you can train someone to sell as well as you do, you should manage salespeople
        These days most sales managers "can we call them that" are snotty nosed kids who can not sell a winning ticket in a lottery even if there was one player.

        They seem to run on puffed out chests and a fancy title and one hand on their knob, which is followed by unrealistic verbal rubbish and expectations and more so, the so called sales people "can we call them that" sit there like new born kittens drinking warm milk on a cold day, purring back and rubbing their arse in the managers face for approval.

        There is a world of shockers out there today.
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  • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
    I should mention that my thread applies to the way I sold, and sell. Even when I was cold calling.

    But if I was selling something by cold calling, and it required 100 calls to make an appointment, I wouldn't do it myself. An if I were selling something over the phone, I may not make the calls myself, because the rapport established from being there in person (especially with referrals) would be less consequential.

    My numbers were;

    Completely cold calls, one appointment for every 6 contacts. And half of them were then presentations. So...one presentation for every 12 cold calls over the phone. These were by far the worst leads, and after a few years I stopped doing it.

    Knocking on doors, one presentation for every 5 or 6 doors knocked on where they opened the door and I talked to an adult. This is something that is incredibly hard to teach,and most people can't ever do it well.This is personality driven more than process driven.

    Leads coming in from mailers offering a gift for a presentation...50% of the people who called in..set an appointment, and about half of those who set an appointment resulted in a presentation. And 40% of those presentations ended up as net sales (after credit turn downs and cancellations)(sentence edited for clarity)

    But referrals from buyers?

    80% of the referrals given (that we qualified when we got them) would see a presentation. 80% of those people bought.

    My results knocking on doors was atypical, but the other numbers were pretty close, for my reps.

    So....we really didn't have to talk to many people to get a qualified appointment. My thoughts on this would be different if we were spending hours on the hone a day to get an appointment. I was spending a couple hours a week, tops, on the phone. And when I was running all referrals and seeing past customers (My last 10 years or so), I was on the phone an hour a week.

    When I had a dozen reps running appointments, they each spent about half an hour a week on the phone..and our phone person worked 4 hours a day.

    This is how I ran my business, but.....it was a small group and I had my eye on it all. If I had 30 reps and 5 phone people, I doubt I would prospect the same way.

    My post was mostly directed to the individual business owner that is prospecting and selling for themselves.
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    • Profile picture of the author myob
      Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

      My numbers were;

      Completely cold calls, one appointment for every 6 contacts. And half of them were then presentations. So...one presentation for every 12 cold calls over the phone. These were by far the worst leads, and after a few years I stopped doing it.

      Knocking on doors, one presentation for every 5 or 6 doors knocked on where they opened the door and I talked to an adult.
      You the man!

      In twenty years, I was never able to hit numbers like that with my best warm and prequalified leads!
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      • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
        Originally Posted by myob View Post

        You the man!

        In twenty years, I was never able to hit numbers like that with my best warm and prequalified leads!
        Well, these were for appointments, not sales.
        We actually called people that were listed in the phone book (remember them?) We just offered a free gift (a case of soda, a free turkey, a cutlery set, etc) if they agreed to take a look at our product. We didn't tell them it was a vacuum cleaner. We just qualified them to make sure at least one spouse worked full time...and that they would both be there for the presentation.

        We made the appointment for that night or the next night...never later.
        About half the time they were either not there when we got there or they changed their minds...or they were really unqualified. But about half the time they resulted in a presentation. My personal ratio on these appointments was about 40% would buy. With new reps? Maybe 15-20% would buy.

        The reason I stopped using this method was that for an inexperienced rep, the prospect would often claim that they were just supposed to get the gift, or they "won" the gift, or that the caller didn't say they both had to be there to get the gift. It could really wear a new guy down. The only good news was that it was cheap to get these appointments (about one presentation for an hour of telemarketing).

        And...I hate to say this...but a new rep could burn up $200 in lead and gift costs in a couple of days. These ratios were really pretty standard in our industry. I wasn't doing anything exceptional here.

        I replaced it with a program where I hired people to go down streets and knock on doors. They offered a free case of Coke or Pepsi if the person called in in the next ten minutes.

        I paid these guys a daily $2 for every person that called in, no matter what happened on the call. I had a few kids (and one homeless guy ) that were making between $100 and $200 a day in cash, in the early 1990s. Out of ten that called in, maybe a third would set an appointment, and we would end up with 1.5 presentations that night.

        Here is what made these cold appointments attractive...
        They were close to each other. We always overbooked. My reps had to present to anyone willing (after we delivered their gift) They had no idea how to determine the likelihood of a sale. So they had to pitch everyone that qualified.

        Me? I'd have three leads like this an evening, and would decide if I wanted to do the presentation. I always gave them the gift, but often I would just leave for the next appointment...because it would just be a block away.

        The problem was that these were still cold leads. They didn't know anything about us (except that we sold something). They absolutely didn't think they were going to buy anything. There was no rapport built up, no trust. So, my reps ended up (with my help closing over the phone) selling maybe 20% and I would sell about 40%. If a rep wanted to, I would let them register people for the case of soda too, and pay them in cash at the end of the day. That way, they know they were going to make at least $50-75 that day.

        I trained the reps really well on how to get referrals, but if you only sell 20% of your appointments, you don't get many referrals (we only got referrals from buyers), and our referral system took 15 minutes or so with the customer. Reps have a hard time seeing the reason for referrals. They just wanted to run these "Pepsi" appointment, and sell whoever would buy.

        But personally, I got referrals, got the customer to call the referrals... to get permission for me to call, and the customer told the referral a whole lot about me and the product...including the cost. Those appointments were gold.

        And so 80% of these people would see me, and 80% of those people bought. These appointments were worth 8 cold appointments, as far as profit earned per appointment.

        But the referral process was highly scripted. It was complex and a lot could go wrong, if a new rep attempted it. So....they ran some referrals (never mine). Whoever got the referral could run that referral. I didn't pass these out. I eventually got one sales manager and a couple of reps to get good at it.

        Anyway, your business is interesting to me, could you talk a little more about the process?

        Originally Posted by tryinhere View Post

        These days most sales managers "can we call them that" are snotty nosed kids who can not sell a winning ticket in a lottery even if there was one player.
        My experience as well. Most offices I was in had the guy that was the worst in the field, train their reps.

        I never let anyone train reps in my office but me. Frankly, the training had to be extraordinary to compensate for their newbie mistakes. But I was always a small office. If I had 50 reps working for me, all this would be delegated...except for my suicide.
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        • Profile picture of the author myob
          Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

          Anyway, your business is interesting to me, could you talk a little more about the process?
          It's ALL about sales. I sell industrial, medical, and office/warehouse equipment and supplies from manufacturers' reps and affiliate networks to small to medium-sized companies throughout the US. Recently I began also selling high end business training seminars such as Grant Cardone's live events and video products as an affiliate.

          Leads come almost exclusively from my articles syndicated in online/offline trade publications which are targeted for small business owners and lower management (influencers to decision makers and upper level executives).

          Initial sales from my articles are for Clickbank or Amazon products. These leads are distributed to telemarketing "openers" who call the buyer and say that I asked them personally to call to first make sure the product(s) meet all of their expectations. Then the telemarketer explores for any additional interest in the article topic and for any "unmet product needs" which we can provide, and finally conditionally probe for referrals depending on the level of customer satisfaction.

          If the customer had an acceptably positive first experience, he/she is either transferred or assigned for followup to an account rep who specializes in that niche or vertical market. For subsequent high end product sales, my seasoned reps will also often make personal visits to clinch the deals.

          That's how the process is designed to work, and generally works quite well. The main weakness is of course the quality of the initial affiliate products, which I manage by diffusing excessive vendor hype, and even the product "reviews" are nullified by emphasizing plain money-back guarantees for example as offered directly by Clickbank and Amazon.

          The effect essentially is we are projecting a branded image of guaranteed satisfaction from the onset, which is completely separate from any particular vendor and carries over into incrementally higher levels of trust through higher price points and building solid transactional, business, and personal relationships. Every salesperson in my company is infused with these values, and are expected and authorized to act as such in my behalf.
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      • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
        Originally Posted by myob View Post

        You the man!

        In twenty years, I was never able to hit numbers like that with my best warm and prequalified leads!
        Now that I know a little about your business, the differences in numbers becomes clear.
        Our calls for prospecting (cold calling) was to offer a free gift. We would usually have them answer a few questions, and then say that they qualified for a free gift for viewing a short presentation.

        In no way was this buying from us. To them, we were just delivering a free gift, and stepping in for a few minutes to show them a "New environmental product we are test marketing in the area".

        Your process was built on trust, mine was built on greed and getting something for nothing.

        When I just canvased door to door, It was a simple survey I was conducting. Most of the questions were really qualification questions, including "what kind of vacuum cleaner do you use?".

        If their answers were ones I liked, I'd offer a gift if they agreed (right then) to a short presentation. Usually they agreed to it. But I was already there for ten minutes...and some rapport was built.

        Your selling is a multi step funnel built on trust and an ongoing relationship...mine was a lot more based on them getting "something for nothing" or more accurately "something for their time".

        So, it isn't a matter of skill, but a difference in process.

        Your business is much more a real business.

        A relative once told me "You have a great business". And I said "Well, it's a business in the same way professional wrestling is a sport".

        I was asked in an interview once "What made you decide to sell vacuum cleaners?"
        And I said "I saw a demonstration in my own home and I found out I was attracted to shiny objects."

        They said "Who do you sell to?"
        I said "Other people who are attracted to shiny objects".

        My business always seemed surreal to me.
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        • Profile picture of the author Ron Lafuddy
          Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

          A relative once told me "You have a great business". And I said "Well, it's a business in the same way professional wrestling is a sport".

          I was asked in an interview once "What made you decide to sell vacuum cleaners?"
          And I said "I saw a demonstration in my own home and I found out I was attracted to shiny objects."

          They said "Who do you sell to?"
          I said "Other people who are attracted to shiny objects".

          My business always seemed surreal to me.
          Claude, you're cracking me up, today. Thanks for the humor.
          This is a damn fine thread, with some real insights into running an offline business and how to do referral marketing. Hopefully, it will be "pinned" where people can easily find and learn from it.

          Ron
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        • Profile picture of the author myob
          Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

          Your selling is a multi step funnel built on trust and an ongoing relationship...mine was a lot more based on them getting "something for nothing" or more accurately "something for their time".

          So, it isn't a matter of skill, but a difference in process.
          Hey, it's sales. The "gift" I use initially is articles for editors to provide value to their subscribers in exchange for access to targeted eyeballs to read my offer. The editors get quality content for free, and I get to place short ads at the end of my articles.

          But my reps may also do outside cold calls. For example, when they have to go out of town to close a large deal and it flops, they don't get paid. So they hit up businesses with similar verticals in the area to make sales at least to cover their travel and hotel expenses.

          Generally it's against policy of most companies for buyers to accept gifts in B2B sales. So what we do is use a powerful tool - the EDO (Executive Door Opener).

          Here's how it works. The rep buys a bouquet of flowers, box of chocolates, or other gift, and walks into a targeted company. As he approaches the receptionist, he announces "I have a delivery, and just need a signature".

          Almost always, the receptionist is confused and calls the manager. When the manager comes out, the rep has just about 30 seconds to present an enticing offer and set up a presentation appointment (usually either the same day or next day).

          After the encounter (whether an appointment was made or not), the rep will thank the receptionist, and say the "delivery" was for her, with no intimation at all that it was indeed actually a gift. From then on, there will never be a problem for the rep to get to the manager for repeat sales calls.

          The upshot here is that it is much easier and faster to develop relationships door to door than online. However, the leverage of an effective multi step online funnel system can also be quite formidable. My company uses every online/offline communication tool and channel available, as needed.
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  • Profile picture of the author jlwilliams
    This is pure gold.

    I have a confession here. I have screwed the proverbial pooch by going off script myself. It's tough for a newbie to stay on script when just a little tweak here and there would make it feel more natural." We live and we learn, or we get out of sales.
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  • Profile picture of the author mrskl
    Give it a try to do both, so you can both earn
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  • Profile picture of the author ezjob
    Like the old saying goes, "You get what you pay for".

    If you pay for excellent help you should get excellent results.
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by ezjob View Post

      Like the old saying goes, "You get what you pay for".

      If you pay for excellent help you should get excellent results.
      My experience is that if you train your help to be excellent, you get excellent results.....or at least tolerable results.


      "You get what you pay for"?

      In sales, the salesperson gets what they earn. Performance always comes before advancement in pay.
      My phone people got raises fast if they were any good. And they were let go fast, if they weren't.
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  • Profile picture of the author NateYoung
    That is awesome advice for sales newbies.
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  • Profile picture of the author animal44
    I'll take a contrary view...

    If you have no sales experience, then you have a choice.

    Spend the time learning
    or
    Hire/partner with someone to do the sales side and make sales from day one.

    If you've got a warehouse full of vacuum cleaners and no sales experience, do you think you'll make more money from day one, partnering up with a Claude, than going it alone...?

    Examples:
    A jeweller who's pretty good at selling within his store, but hasn't got the imagination to access other markets. We helped him increase his profits dramatically by accessing markets he'd never thought of - without affecting his existing in store sales. He fired us, but then came back when his co directors - his wife and sister - beat him up (figuratively speaking). They could see the value in the partnership and now he's been educated .

    A pharmacist who prefers counting out pills to marketing. We increased her profit 10 fold by accessing markets she'd never thought of in a million years and by making her existing marketing more effective... and she's happy to continue the relationship. She gets to sit out back counting her pills while we bring in the majority of her profits. The partnership helps her make more money while having a (slightly) easier life.

    I have other examples...

    The point is, that these are businesses who were already successful in their own right, however by partnering up with us, they were taken to new heights...

    A new business can have overnight success by partnering up with people who have the experience and can do the things you can't or don't want to do.

    And the same applies with this. Even if you have good sales experience, having two Claudes selling your vacuum cleaners is better - and more scalable - than having just one...
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    People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day.
    What I do for a living

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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by animal44 View Post

      I'll take a contrary view...

      If you have no sales experience, then you have a choice.

      Spend the time learning
      or
      Hire/partner with someone to do the sales side and make sales from day one.

      If you've got a warehouse full of vacuum cleaners and no sales experience, do you think you'll make more money from day one, partnering up with a Claude, than going it alone...?

      Examples:
      A jeweller who's pretty good at selling within his store, but hasn't got the imagination to access other markets. We helped him increase his profits dramatically by accessing markets he'd never thought of - without affecting his existing in store sales. He fired us, but then came back when his co directors - his wife and sister - beat him up (figuratively speaking). They could see the value in the partnership and now he's been educated .

      A pharmacist who prefers counting out pills to marketing. We increased her profit 10 fold by accessing markets she'd never thought of in a million years and by making her existing marketing more effective... and she's happy to continue the relationship. She gets to sit out back counting her pills while we bring in the majority of her profits. The partnership helps her make more money while having a (slightly) easier life.

      I have other examples...

      The point is, that these are businesses who were already successful in their own right, however by partnering up with us, they were taken to new heights...

      A new business can have overnight success by partnering up with people who have the experience and can do the things you can't or don't want to do.

      And the same applies with this. Even if you have good sales experience, having two Claudes selling your vacuum cleaners is better - and more scalable - than having just one...
      Although a little outside the scope of the thread, I agree with you. In fact....if you are interested in maximizing sales (let's say of vacuum cleaners)

      Want steady easy business selling vacuum cleaners to ready buyers? Go to the busiest carpet showroom in your city, and rent a small space from them. Now you have to do zero marketing (unless you want to. It would still pay you), an just talk to the people there to buy carpet. A person that has just spent $5,000-$10,000 on a home full of high end carpet will certainly spend another $500-$1,000 to make it last twice as long. This is the only idea here that I haven't done myself., but I know dealers that have, quite successfully. Of course, this idea...like all the others...are easily adapted to any kind of product/service.

      If you want a record month, you JV with someone who has customers that are highly likely to buy from you..and you send them direct mail making the sale right them, or at least getting an appointment.

      If you want the most sales in a day, you host a seminar on cleaning/carpet care/allergies....and after a short introduction, you demonstrate the vacuum cleaner (or any product) to the entire audience at once, and write up te sales right then. (Something I have done before, and seen it done.

      Want record sales in a week? Rent a small booth at a mall or home show and bring in couples (that walk by) to see a presentation of your vacuum and write them up there (and deliver it there). I've done that with vacuums and air purifiers, and had record weeks. You do it around a holiday, when there is plenty of traffic, or during a car show or home show. I wasted a decade or so having a booth at fairs. trade shows, and malls ...just to gather leads. What an incredible waste of time.

      One day I was visiting another city...walked into a mall..and watched a guy sell 17 high end vacuum cleaners, from a small booth in the middle of the isle..in about 2 hours. I almost cried when I realized I had been doing it wrong, and there was a better way.

      Want to sell more vacuum cleaners that any retailer in the world? Go to Globalsources.com and find a great vacuum cleaner made in China and import them...selling them to vacuum cleaner retailers across the country by reps or online.
      I did that with air purifiers (split with another retailer) and made a small fortune selling them in ads. Bought for $65 and sold them for $399......while the same product was being bought wholesale for $225 and retailed for $499. Which I did myself before buying them direct from China.

      Want to sell even more vacuum cleaners? Design one and get quotes for Mfg in China, and import them and sell them to vacuum cleaner wholesalers.

      See? lots of ways to make money with the same product.
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      • Profile picture of the author animal44
        My point was more that if you don't have the skills, you can partner with someone who does have the necessary skills.
        Or even if you don't want to do the task(s).
        Therefore there is a case for hiring someone...
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        People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day.
        What I do for a living

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