Cold Calling...The Truth...Really.

78 replies
I hope this helps someone.

Cold calling is selling. It isn't what you do before selling...it's selling.

And the vast majority of people are terrible at it. Just like the vast majority of people that try acting...or stand up comedy...are terrible at it.

Cold calling has no built in crutch. Are you calling past customers? That isn't cold calling. Are you calling people who gave you their phone number for further information? That isn't cold calling either. In these situations you have a huge crutch that helps you out.

Cold calling on the phone is the process of calling highly resistant people...that are used to hanging up on cold callers...and are busy, and don't want to talk to you.

Sound like fun?

I'm going to give you two truths that you may disagree with. But you would be wrong.

You need a great script written by someone who knows how to sell at high levels.

I know...I know....you don't like scripts... Then you will fail, and blame the cold calling process. All great salespeople use scripts. No, they aren't reading the script into the phone. But they know exactly what tey are going to say, the inflection and tone they will say it in, and know exactly how to answer the few most common questions they will get.

Top phone people use scripts. Why? Because nobody is at the top of their game 24 hours a day. And a script will keep you from saying the 99% of statements that will kill a sale. Believe me, you aren't as fascinating as you think you are. We simply can't be consistently brilliant by winging it.

I've been selling at high levels for 40 years. I always know exactly what I'm going to say before I say it. No, I'm not reading it off a page...it's memorized and internalized....just like actors do...just like stand up comics do.

Here's something else you should know. The vast majority of people that try cold calling..are going to fail. Why? They sound terrible on the phone. Are you engaging? Can you sound completely interested in what the person is saying, even though you have heard it 10,000 times before? That's acting. And you don't get that skill on day one. It takes quite a lot of practice...with a proven script written by a high producing salesperson.....and then you'll probably fail still.

When you call, all you have is;

Your script.
Your personality (or your ability to produce a fake personality)
Your tone, cadence, and ability to be interesting...and interested...or at least be able to fake that convincingly.
Your list, and any relationship you have to that list.

Sure, selling is a "numbers game". But if you are terrible at it, those numbers are soul crushing. And the default position is always "Terrible at it".

Please....please don't come to this forum with a sales script you just made up...and ask us "What am I doing wrong?" It's just too painful for us salespeople to read.

It's like trying to save a man that has been stabbed in the chest, and you are using a plunger...and you are asking us "What am I doing wrong?"....Well, to start with, you have no medical training, a plunger isn't going to help you.

And we say "You need to become a doctor before you treat people" and you say "I don't believe in all that "medical training"...saving lives is a Numbers Game. And I don't feel natural doing rehearsed medical procedures...so I'll just wing it".

Does this mean you cannot make money cold calling prospects that are completely unaware of who you are? No.

But if you start out with no training, ...no script (a professionally written one, not one you cobbled together from forum posts), and no connection to your list, you'll almost certainly fail. By that I mean you'll quit pretty quickly.

If you really want to learn how to cold call, get a job at a company that sells something over the phone. Do it for 6 months. You'll either get good at it...good enough to make it work on your own...or you'll quit.

I assume you are selling SEO services...or some type of online services....you should be marketing online. Practice what you preach.

Because there is no good answer to the question "If you sell online marketing services, why didn't you market to me online?"
#callingthe #cold #cold calling #phone sales #selling #truthreally
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  • Profile picture of the author DURABLEOILCOM
    Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

    I hope this helps someone.

    Cold calling is selling. It isn't what you do before selling...it's selling.

    And the vast majority of people are terrible at it. Just like the vast majority of people that try acting...or stand up comedy...are terrible at it.

    Cold calling has no built in crutch. Are you calling past customers? That isn't cold calling. Are you calling people who gave you their phone number for further information? That isn't cold calling either. In these situations you have a huge crutch that helps you out.

    Cold calling on the phone is the process of calling highly resistant people...that are used to hanging up on cold callers...and are busy, and don't want to talk to you.

    Sound like fun?

    I'm going to give you two truths that you may disagree with. But you would be wrong.

    You need a great script written by someone who knows how to sell at high levels.

    I know...I know....you don't like scripts... Then you will fail, and blame the cold calling process. All great salespeople use scripts. No, they aren't reading the script into the phone. But they know exactly what tey are going to say, the inflection and tone they will say it in, and know exactly how to answer the few most common questions they will get.

    Top phone people use scripts. Why? Because nobody is at the top of their game 24 hours a day. And a script will keep you from saying the 99% of statements that will kill a sale. Believe me, you aren't as fascinating as you think you are. We simply can't be consistently brilliant by winging it.

    I've been selling at high levels for 40 years. I always know exactly what I'm going to say before I say it. No, I'm not reading it off a page...it's memorized and internalized....just like actors do...just like stand up comics do.

    Here's something else you should know. The vast majority of people that try cold calling..are going to fail. Why? They sound terrible on the phone. Are you engaging? Can you sound completely interested in what the person is saying, even though you have heard it 10,000 times before? That's acting. And you don't get that skill on day one. It takes quite a lot of practice...with a proven script written by a high producing salesperson.....and then you'll probably fail still.

    When you call, all you have is;

    Your script.
    Your personality (or your ability to produce a fake personality)
    Your tone, cadence, and ability to be interesting...and interested...or at least be able to fake that convincingly.
    Your list, and any relationship you have to that list.

    Sure, selling is a "numbers game". But if you are terrible at it, those numbers are soul crushing. And the default position is always "Terrible at it".

    Please....please don't come to this forum with a sales script you just made up...and ask us "What am I doing wrong?" It's just too painful for us salespeople to read.

    It's like trying to save a man that has been stabbed in the chest, and you are using a plunger...and you are asking us "What am I doing wrong?"....Well, to start with, you have no medical training, a plunger isn't going to help you.

    And we say "You need to become a doctor before you treat people" and you say "I don't believe in all that "medical training"...saving lives is a Numbers Game. And I don't feel natural doing rehearsed medical procedures...so I'll just wing it".

    Does this mean you cannot make money cold calling prospects that are completely unaware of who you are? No.

    But if you start out with no training, ...no script (a professionally written one, not one you cobbled together from forum posts), and no connection to your list, you'll almost certainly fail. By that I mean you'll quit pretty quickly.

    If you really want to learn how to cold call, get a job at a company that sells something over the phone. Do it for 6 months. You'll either get good at it...good enough to make it work on your own...or you'll quit.

    I assume you are selling SEO services...or some type of online services....you should be marketing online. Practice what you preach.

    Because there is no good answer to the question "If you sell online marketing services, why didn't you market to me online?"
    I agree that a great script makes you serious money, but where can you have a professional custom sales script written?
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  • Profile picture of the author CaptGage
    I say, whatever works. If you have to outsource the writing of a sales script, such as Fiverr, give it a shot. It could make a difference.
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  • Profile picture of the author tagiscom
    Yes, l have dealt with a few of those Claude, they don't take no, for an answer and usually ask, "why" then l hang up!



    About as bad as saying, "are we there yet".

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  • Profile picture of the author helisell
    Great post Claude.

    I write pro sales scripts for a living and I've spotted the flaw in your post ;0)

    It is very likely that no one here could afford to have a pro script written.

    You will not find a pro script writer on Fiverr so don't bother.

    I think it IS possible that someone could come up with a passable script if they studied hard enough.

    But there is no question that the very best scripts are written by people who have gone out and cold called for themselves and have built up enough experience to at least know where to start and how to adapt a script as they learn more about the target audience.

    I've been working with a relatively new venture for the last 5 months developing a method and script for cold calling to smallish businesses.

    It's Saturday A.M. here and I'm exhausted.......cos I've been cold calling all week...in front of the new telemarketers and happily showing them how to do it.....and letting them hear some of the rejection, and letting them hear my gentle dulcet tones as I maneuver my way through the minefield that is cold calling.

    I've been teaching this type of work for 25 years.......and I'm good at it......and to develop a good script takes months of testing, tweaking....and yes...failing on occasion.

    Jason Kanigan has very generously posted some great material right here on the forum that will give people a massive advantage....just search his posts.

    Anyone who undertakes to grow a business by cold calling I take my hat off to you.

    It can be done and in some ways it is an extremely good way [if not the best way] to build a business
    because so few get good at it.

    Like you Claude, this is a methodology that I live and breathe.....but for anyone with no experience I would say.....don't undertake it lightly.
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by helisell View Post

      You will not find a pro script writer on Fiverr so don't bother.

      I think it IS possible that someone could come up with a passable script if they studied hard enough.
      Agreed. But "studied hard enough" is going to mean something different from what readers think it means. Reading 10 posts on a forum isn't going to scratch the surface.

      One possible answer is to simply find someone with a successful script...and steal the script. Not patch 5 scripts together...but just use the script as is.

      Or buy a ready made tested script from someone who sells what you sell. It seems that just about every sales niche has their superstars. If they use a script (or memorized language) you could simply buy the script...or they may just give it to you.

      I think if someone simply kept trying new language when selling over the phone...and kept records of what worked...a usable script would eventually emerge. But most people wouldn't survive the process.

      The one advantage of developing your own script over a long period of time, is that you'll figure out why something works and something else doesn't.

      And simply buying or borrowing a script, even though it gives you what you need....doesn't teach you anything.


      Fiverr.....

      Added later; I wanted to say again that cold calling is personality driven. Sure you need a proven script...but if you talk in a monotone...or sound like you are disinterested in the prospect....or aren't really driven to make the appointment/sale..you won't.

      For phone selling where you know the customers (like customer service) or where your company has a great reputation in your business..(and the prospect is aware of it), personality is less important.

      I get calls from Godaddy that are professional and helpful (yes they are sales calls), and personality is less important. But a real cold call? A huge benefit claim, timing in speech, real sales language, and a practiced delivery.....with a proven script and a good list.....and you can make it work well enough.
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  • Profile picture of the author max5ty
    Agree with you about the script...

    I can't recall anyone saying they loved a movie but it would have been better if the actors hadn't used a script. They have a script and make it sound natural...

    same principle.

    Thanks for taking the time to post.
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    Banned
    Cold calling?

    Ok, lets see you sell a tractor to an old lady living in a city.

    ...and, GO!
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by yukon View Post

      Cold calling?

      Ok, lets see you sell a tractor to an old lady living in a city.

      ...and, GO!
      No sane person would try to do that.

      Maybe I should have said this at the beginning...this thread is directed at sane people.

      No cold caller would call old ladies in a city trying to sell a tractor. Although, now that I think about it...I've seen prospecting/advertising mistakes almost as bad.
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      • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
        Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

        No sane person would try to do that.

        Maybe I should have said this at the beginning...this thread is directed at sane people.

        No cold caller would call old ladies in a city trying to sell a tractor. Although, now that I think about it...I've seen prospecting/advertising mistakes almost as bad.
        I would...but then again, I'm insane!

        Here goes.

        "Mrs Buckly, It's Ewen here.

        Is this a bad time to speak?
        [No]

        You know that John Deere tractor your dad had on the farm,
        the one he would take the most pride in?
        [Let her bring back memories and verbalize them]

        You may recall your dad sold it to Jack Daniels down at Sunshine Road.

        Well like your dad he lovingly cared for it as best he could while working the corn fields.

        As it came to the end of it's working life,
        he kept it in his barn out of the weather.

        The Sockburn Farm Restoration Society is
        restoring tractors like your dad's to keep their history alive.

        As you may know, a group of us who want to keep the memories alive
        have bought a piece a land on Maybeck Hill
        to build a museum, fitting for those grand farm workhorses.

        Some of the members of the Society who have contributed to the cause
        are Sam and Betty Cranshaw, Doug and Deliah Mosely,
        Cameron and Judy Pollard, Ben and Carissa Knowles,
        Sandy Franklin, Scott and Tammy Brinkshaw.
        [LET HER ASK ABOUT THEM]

        They contributed by covering the
        restoration costs of their original tractors.

        In return, we have the history of the farm and tractor displayed.

        Would it be out of order for you to contribute to the restoration
        of your dad's most beloved John Deere?
        [Silence]

        -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

        There ya go.

        Best,
        Ewen
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        • Profile picture of the author savidge4
          Originally Posted by ewenmack View Post

          [Silence]
          More like < drop the mic > Well played sir, well played.
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        • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
          Originally Posted by ewenmack View Post

          I would...but then again, I'm insane!

          Here goes.

          "Mrs Buckly, It's Ewen here.

          Is this a bad time to speak?
          [No]

          You know that John Deere tractor your dad had on the farm,
          the one he would take the most pride in?
          [Let her bring back memories and verbalize them]

          You may recall your dad sold it to Jack Daniels down at Sunshine Road.

          Well like your dad he lovingly cared for it as best he could while working the corn fields.

          As it came to the end of it's working life,
          he kept it in his barn out of the weather.

          The Sockburn Farm Restoration Society is
          restoring tractors like your dad's to keep their history alive.

          As you may know, a group of us who want to keep the memories alive
          have bought a piece a land on Maybeck Hill
          to build a museum, fitting for those grand farm workhorses.

          Some of the members of the Society who have contributed to the cause
          are Sam and Betty Cranshaw, Doug and Deliah Mosely,
          Cameron and Judy Pollard, Ben and Carissa Knowles,
          Sandy Franklin, Scott and Tammy Brinkshaw.
          [LET HER ASK ABOUT THEM]

          They contributed by covering the
          restoration costs of their original tractors.

          In return, we have the history of the farm and tractor displayed.

          Would it be out of order for you to contribute to the restoration
          of your dad's most beloved John Deere?
          [Silence]

          -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

          There ya go.

          Best,
          Ewen
          Ewen; I want to have your baby. Bravo, you smart little marketer you.
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          • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
            Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

            Ewen; I want to have your baby..
            Oh, Claudette sweetie, you say that to all the handsome boys!

            Best,
            Ewen
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      • Profile picture of the author Oziboomer
        Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

        No cold caller would call old ladies in a city trying to sell a tractor. Although, now that I think about it...I've seen prospecting/advertising mistakes almost as bad.
        They would if the city had a beach where you needed a tractor to launch your boat and the majority of residents were ex-farmers who enjoyed fishing.

        I know such a place.

        It's not uncommon to see lots of tractors at Turkey Beach - in front yards, parked on the street and in abundance at the boat ramp. These tractors don't belong to the farm; they belong to the sea and are busy ferrying boats to the water.
        https://www.queensland.com/en-au/des...n/turkey-beach

        I fish there often.

        A perfect example of a target market for tractors to old ladies or old men.

        Best regards,

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

    All great salespeople use scripts. No, they aren't reading the script into the phone. But they know exactly what tey are going to say, the inflection and tone they will say it in, and know exactly how to answer the few most common questions they will get.
    I think this is important.

    People seem to think that there's one magic script that's the road to riches.
    There isn't.
    We're all individuals and parroting a script - even a well researched and written script - isn't going to "work" by itself.
    Your own unique personality is your USP. And putting a little of that into any script will impact your results more than just about anything else.

    Personally, I don't think you can fake interest. Even the best con men get caught eventually...
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by animal44 View Post


      Personally, I don't think you can fake interest. Even the best con men get caught eventually...
      You mean get caught being polite? Being engaging? Heaven forbid we were actually nice to someone.
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    • Profile picture of the author helisell
      Originally Posted by animal44 View Post

      I think this is important.

      ............

      Personally, I don't think you can fake interest. Even the best con men get caught eventually...
      Exactly. Faking interest doesn't work.

      However, genuine interest in the potential customer's situation (I mean REAL interest)
      is what makes selling so easy. A real person showing a real interest is very hard to resist from the customer perspective.

      I don't recruit anyone until I've personality profiled them and done an in depth interview to find out if they can be totally genuine. We never employ fakers....fakers don't prosper.

      Being interested in people is the absolute best qualification....and is what makes cold calling easy when it's done right.
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  • Profile picture of the author seotprosperity
    Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

    I hope this helps someone.

    Cold calling is selling. It isn't what you do before selling...it's selling.

    And the vast majority of people are terrible at it. Just like the vast majority of people that try acting...or stand up comedy...are terrible at it.

    Cold calling has no built in crutch. Are you calling past customers? That isn't cold calling. Are you calling people who gave you their phone number for further information? That isn't cold calling either. In these situations you have a huge crutch that helps you out.

    Cold calling on the phone is the process of calling highly resistant people...that are used to hanging up on cold callers...and are busy, and don't want to talk to you.

    Sound like fun?

    I'm going to give you two truths that you may disagree with. But you would be wrong.

    You need a great script written by someone who knows how to sell at high levels.

    I know...I know....you don't like scripts... Then you will fail, and blame the cold calling process. All great salespeople use scripts. No, they aren't reading the script into the phone. But they know exactly what tey are going to say, the inflection and tone they will say it in, and know exactly how to answer the few most common questions they will get.

    Top phone people use scripts. Why? Because nobody is at the top of their game 24 hours a day. And a script will keep you from saying the 99% of statements that will kill a sale. Believe me, you aren't as fascinating as you think you are. We simply can't be consistently brilliant by winging it.

    I've been selling at high levels for 40 years. I always know exactly what I'm going to say before I say it. No, I'm not reading it off a page...it's memorized and internalized....just like actors do...just like stand up comics do.

    Here's something else you should know. The vast majority of people that try cold calling..are going to fail. Why? They sound terrible on the phone. Are you engaging? Can you sound completely interested in what the person is saying, even though you have heard it 10,000 times before? That's acting. And you don't get that skill on day one. It takes quite a lot of practice...with a proven script written by a high producing salesperson.....and then you'll probably fail still.

    When you call, all you have is;

    Your script.
    Your personality (or your ability to produce a fake personality)
    Your tone, cadence, and ability to be interesting...and interested...or at least be able to fake that convincingly.
    Your list, and any relationship you have to that list.

    Sure, selling is a "numbers game". But if you are terrible at it, those numbers are soul crushing. And the default position is always "Terrible at it".

    Please....please don't come to this forum with a sales script you just made up...and ask us "What am I doing wrong?" It's just too painful for us salespeople to read.

    It's like trying to save a man that has been stabbed in the chest, and you are using a plunger...and you are asking us "What am I doing wrong?"....Well, to start with, you have no medical training, a plunger isn't going to help you.

    And we say "You need to become a doctor before you treat people" and you say "I don't believe in all that "medical training"...saving lives is a Numbers Game. And I don't feel natural doing rehearsed medical procedures...so I'll just wing it".

    Does this mean you cannot make money cold calling prospects that are completely unaware of who you are? No.

    But if you start out with no training, ...no script (a professionally written one, not one you cobbled together from forum posts), and no connection to your list, you'll almost certainly fail. By that I mean you'll quit pretty quickly.

    If you really want to learn how to cold call, get a job at a company that sells something over the phone. Do it for 6 months. You'll either get good at it...good enough to make it work on your own...or you'll quit.

    I assume you are selling SEO services...or some type of online services....you should be marketing online. Practice what you preach.

    Because there is no good answer to the question "If you sell online marketing services, why didn't you market to me online?"
    So, just asking, do you do stand-up comedy?

    Excellent points in this post. Cold calling is not for everyone however and just as anything in marketing or business there is a point of saturation. Every extra person who calls your prospective customer is going to harden your prospective customer's response...must like the hard skin.

    I think in any sense cold calling is not personally for me because we prefer to focus on delivering the value and letting our work speak for itself than to focus on the psychological aspect.

    I am sure it takes a keen mind to know precisely what to say and expecting how your listener will respond; it also takes a keen awareness to respond rightly. It's too much pressure and annoyance in a 5 minutes phone call in my opinion; there are better ways to generate leads or sales.

    Just my opinion but I think cold calling isn't something someone should invest their time into learning but rather focus on meeting people in the real world face to face if anything. (it's on the way out, no one has time to spend 5 minutes talking to every caller. You're fighting too hard for their attention and it's only going to get harder with more cold callers.)
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by seotprosperity View Post

      I think in any sense cold calling is not personally for me because we prefer to focus on delivering the value and letting our work speak for itself than to focus on the psychological aspect.
      This has nothing to do with cold calling. Cold calling is simply calling people to find out if they are a prospect for your service/product. You deliver value after they become a customer. and delivering value is assumed. Cold calling doesn't mean you don't deliver value.

      Originally Posted by seotprosperity View Post

      I am sure it takes a keen mind to know precisely what to say and expecting how your listener will respond; it also takes a keen awareness to respond rightly. It's too much pressure and annoyance in a 5 minutes phone call in my opinion; there are better ways to generate leads or sales.
      It takes a keen mind (and marketing/sales experience) to write a producing cold calling script. The purpose of the script is to do a lot of the work, for those whose mind isn't super keen all through the day. I agree, there are better ways.

      Originally Posted by seotprosperity View Post

      Just my opinion but I think cold calling isn't something someone should invest their time into learning but rather focus on meeting people in the real world face to face if anything. (it's on the way out, no one has time to spend 5 minutes talking to every caller. You're fighting too hard for their attention and it's only going to get harder with more cold callers.)
      I keep hearing from people who don't cold call...that cold calling is on the way out. Maybe.

      Nobody has 5 minutes to talk to every caller, in the same way no business makes money by buying every single "profit producing" product salespeople show them.

      Fortunately, the vast majority of cold callers are terrible at it..and from me they get the dial tone. But then I keep hearing from people who have cold calling organizations, and they are doing quite well.

      And they all...without exception...use scripts.

      I have a client that sells life insurance, and he cold calls to make appointments, for a follow up sales call (in person). And I know a guy that owns an insurance agency that simply sells over the phone with cold calls.

      Both make plenty of money. I know my personal preference, but both models are quite profitable.
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    • Profile picture of the author helisell
      [SIZE="5"][SIZE="7"]
      Originally Posted by seotprosperity View Post


      ........... Cold calling is not for everyone however and just as anything in marketing or business there is a point of saturation. Every extra person who calls your prospective customer is going to harden your prospective customer's response...must like the hard skin.........
      I completely agree with what you say here.....however......

      It's the fact that cold calling is done so badly, that makes it actually easier for
      people who know how to do it well

      If you can't figure out how the poor performance of your competitors makes your life easier it's because they lower the potential customer's expectation of what will happen on a cold call. The lower their expectation....the easier it gets.

      I love hearing from clients who say...'It's getting really difficult because they've had so many calls from our industry ...blah blah...'

      That is music to my ears.....(and the sound of a cash register in my imagination)

      Claude is right...and I'm paraphrasing.

      Cold calling is hard (check)

      Cold calling takes huge amounts of skill (check)

      Cold calling needs a script (check)

      Solve those problems however.....and there is a good living to be made.
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      • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
        Originally Posted by helisell View Post

        [SIZE="5"][SIZE="7"]

        I completely agree with what you say here.....however......

        It's the fact that cold calling is done so badly, that makes it actually easier for
        people who know how to do it well

        If you can't figure out how the poor performance of your competitors makes your life easier it's because they lower the potential customer's expectation of what will happen on a cold call. The lower their expectation....the easier it gets.

        I love hearing from clients who say...'It's getting really difficult because they've had so many calls from our industry ...blah blah...'

        That is music to my ears.....(and the sound of a cash register in my imagination)
        .
        Yes.

        In fact, the 20 or so cold calls I get every day are completely forgotten, in the very rare event that a polished cold caller gets me on the phone.

        I'm not joking. The shock of listening to someone competent grabs my attention.

        And when I was selling in people homes, I would ask if they ever had an in home presentation by a salesperson (the product didn't matter). I wanted them to say "Yes"...because it's easier to sell when they had a bad experience...or bought before from a bad salesperson...than if I was the first one they ever talked to.

        This is very counter-intuitive, and most reps have no idea what we're talking about.
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        • Profile picture of the author OptedIn
          Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

          Yes. In fact, the 20 or so cold calls I get every day are completely forgotten, in the very rare event that a polished cold caller gets me on the phone.
          A few points, if I may.

          As someone who spent most of their business career in telemarketing, cold calling and paid only on commission, I can't disagree with any of your comments.

          When I landed at the last company I worked for, before going freelance, they would fire you if they caught you deviating from the script, one iota. No warnings, no second chances. You were warned the day they handed you the script.

          This was for two reasons. First, they spent years honing that script to perfection and if you followed it to the letter and had a pulse, you would more than likely do well. If you brought other traits to the game - energy, inquisitiveness, self-confidence, that "acting ability" you so rightly mentioned and some drive, you'd probably excel.

          The second reason was so that your bad habits wouldn't be spread around the room, especially to impressionable new hires. When they learned why someone was let go, it left an impression.

          It is a numbers game. The more times you dial the phone the more money you are bound to make. Staring at your phone in its cradle was another reason for being shown the door.

          This is my favorite subject on the planet and have never not understand what a life changing opportunity it was for me. We're all born to do something, they say, and this was mine.

          I thank you for this post Claude. It got my blood racing just thinking about the good old days, tinged with a dash of melancholy that so many things have become 'part of my past.' I learned the pitch I used, in 1984. I can recite it anytime, anywhere at the drop of a hat. Having taught it to many hundreds of fledgling telemarketers, many of whom went on to become rock stars, that I hear from to this day.

          Thanks for the memories and for clearly combatting many of the misconceptions around a very interesting and potentially lucrative profession that many people like to deride and ridicule. If they new what was involved in being successful at it, that have much more respect.

          Cheers.
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          • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
            Originally Posted by OptedIn View Post

            I thank you for this post Claude. It got my blood racing just thinking about the good old days, tinged with a dash of melancholy that so many things have become 'part of my past.' I learned the pitch I used, in 1984. I can recite it anytime, anywhere at the drop of a hat. Having taught it to many hundreds of fledgling telemarketers, many of whom went on to become rock stars, that I hear from to this day.
            Thank you.

            One habit I have is collecting phenomenal sales presentations. If a speaker sells from the stage, and gets a great response, I buy a recording of the pitch. If I see a great sales presentation (even if it's directed toward me), I take notes afterward.

            And I have recorded two phone presentations selling SEO. Both are robo calls that are well written. And I have recorded and written out one complete phone presentation, that is the best I've ever heard. That presentation was yours. A perfect diamond.

            And..truth be told, a few threads here in the past several years have given us some of the best phone sales training I've read anywhere, and I copy and print out those threads and keep them in binders.

            Yeah, at 63 all this sales and marketing information I've gathered and studied is becoming a thing of the past. My skills are even starting to fade, from lack of use.

            One thing though for all the "Scripts are a waste of time" guys.

            A proven script saves the new salesman from himself. One principle I know is true is that it's important to know ten times more than you ever say, when selling, consulting, teaching. This deep well of talent and knowledge gives what you say..the questions you ask...authenticity...gravitas.

            Most salespeople never achieve this. But a sales script...proven in the field...honed and improved over time....is the only substitute for this deep well of knowledge....until the rep learns more than the script can teach.

            When I was training salespeople....and if a rep's closing rate fell dramatically for a month or more.....I would go with them on an appointment. Invariably, the problem would be that they either changed the script enough to defeat it's purpose....or they would forget a chunk of it, and just didn't know.
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            • Profile picture of the author OptedIn
              Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

              Thank you.
              No - thank you. lol

              Just one thing to add. No - two, actually. You should never let a salesperson think that he/she has learned enough, 'extra,' or developed his other ancillary talents to where they think it's now OK to deviate from the script. If his new presentation is THAT good, promote him to sales or training manager and give his script to everyone in the department.

              Two - if you're getting 20 cold calls per day, you need to work hard at getting your phone number removed from the walls of men's room stalls. I say this because I know that there are no women scribbling your name, unless it's with the message, "Do Not Call."

              Oh, and as far as your skills starting to fade, that ship already sailed and this is no place to interject your 'personal' problems.

              Thank for your kind words. Coming from you, on this topic, they mean a great deal.

              Cheers.
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              • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
                Originally Posted by OptedIn View Post

                No - thank you. lol

                Just one thing to add. No - two, actually. You should never let a salesperson think that he/she has learned enough, 'extra,' or developed his other ancillary talents to where they think it's now OK to deviate from the script..
                When I had reps I told them that the could change the script anytime they wanted as long as they ran it past me first. Many times it was simply that they had more comfortable language that said the same thing, and I'd let them change it.

                But more often, they would want to change it to something far less effective, and I'd explain why the specific phrasing was needed.

                Your script is one of those that shouldn't be changed under any circumstance. Every word and phrase had a purpose. But with my presentation, sometimes a specific language was needed, and sometimes they could make a change with no impact on sales.

                Of course they had no idea which change really mattered...so usually, they changed whatever they wanted without telling me...and their sales would start to suffer.

                Unless someone has years of in field sales experience and studies what works and what doesn't. They really can't tell the difference between a difference in style...and a mistake that costs money.
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                • Profile picture of the author OptedIn
                  Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

                  When I had reps I told them that the could change the script anytime they wanted as long as they ran it past me first. Many times it was simply that they had more comfortable language that said the same thing, and I'd let them change it.
                  Of course, being in the field is vastly different as you are able to pick-up cues such as body language and immediately ascertain that a shift in approach or using a different phrase might be more appropriate in any given situation.

                  Cheers.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jonathan 2.0
    Although I don't think it "qualifies" as a "Cold Calling" ... Recently I had a phone call from my Internet Provider and at first he was nice and accommodating ...

    However as the conversation went on he started to get a bit "pushy" ... (So I decide to give him a chance ... ) And now I'm paying much less for my Internet with more data allowance.
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    • Profile picture of the author OptedIn
      Originally Posted by Jonathan 2.0 View Post

      Although I don't think it "qualifies" as a "Cold Calling" ...
      It's doesn't. You're a customer, already.

      Recently I had a phone call from my Internet Provider and at first he was nice and accommodating ...
      What was the premise for the call. I doubt he just wanted to know how you were doing.

      However as the conversation went on he started to get a bit "pushy" ...
      Pushy, how? If it was a sales call, pushy could just mean forceful. I'd hire that guy. lol

      (So I decide to give him a chance ... )
      I really don't understand what that means. A chance at what?

      And now I'm paying much less for my Internet with more data allowance.
      You can call your cable company and get a reduction in your charges, simply by asking, at least once a year. Same with your credit cards. If you've been a good customer with no late payments, you can ask for and generally receive an interest rate deduction. If they say no, get insulted and tell them you want to cancel the card. That usually works. lol

      If you wait for these people to call you, forget it. They all have loyalty programs and retention departments. It's amazing what you can get if you just ask nicely.

      Pick-up the phone.
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      • Profile picture of the author Jonathan 2.0
        Thanks Optedin. The point was that selling over the phone (cold calling etc.) can be profitble.
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        • Profile picture of the author OptedIn
          Originally Posted by Jonathan 2.0 View Post

          Thanks Optedin. The point was that selling over the phone (cold calling etc.) can be profitble.
          Yes, that's why they've been doing it, almost since the day phones were common in most households. :-)
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          • Profile picture of the author Jonathan 2.0
            Originally Posted by OptedIn View Post

            Yes, that's why they've been doing it, almost since the day phones were common in most households. :-)
            Sorry -- I meant it can be profitable with the right advice, education, and guidance ... Which Claude pretty much provided.
            : )
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            • Profile picture of the author OptedIn
              Originally Posted by Jonathan 2.0 View Post

              Sorry -- I meant it can be profitable with the right advice, education, and guidance ... Which Claude pretty much provided.
              : )
              Yes. I know. Providing training, guidance, motivation, and confidence-building techniques was what I did for 15 years, producing many hundreds of very successful cold callers. :-)

              Cheers.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jonathan 2.0
    Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

    When you call, all you have is;
    Your script.
    Your personality (or your ability to produce a fake personality)
    Your tone, cadence, and ability to be interesting...and interested...or at least be able to fake that convincingly.
    Your list, and any relationship you have to that list.
    I'm very much a "Newbie" in Sales ... However those two sentences don't quite fit with me. Going back to my phone call example ― if you use those methods to convert more People (=Giving them more "value") then maybe it's not such a bad thing.

    2C
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post


      When you call, all you have is;

      Your script.
      Your personality (or your ability to produce a fake personality)
      Your tone, cadence, and ability to be interesting...and interested...or at least be able to fake that convincingly.
      Your list, and any relationship you have to that list.


      Originally Posted by Jonathan 2.0 View Post

      I'm very much a "Newbie" in Sales ... However those two sentences don't quite fit with me. Going back to my phone call example ― if you use those methods to convert more People (=Giving them more "value") then maybe it's not such a bad thing.

      2C
      I want to address that.

      A certain kind of person would read that and think I'm suggesting that you lie to customers. Not at all.

      I am suggesting that you be engaging, interested in them, and personable.

      Frankly, many of us aren't that way naturally. But sounding disinterested and speaking in a monotone will kill any chance of a sale. I speak from experience, watching hundreds of salespeople make the exact same presentation.

      So, if you aren't a naturally engaging person, acting more engaged is better than sounding disinterested.

      And...we all do this to one degree or another. And we do it most of the time. It's called being polite. Any skilled conversationalist does this. So does any skilled salesperson.

      As a personal example, I'm a very transactional person. Truly, I'm not naturally engaging or personable. I almost never really enjoy personal conversations. To me, selling is a skill and a way to make money. But I never really enjoyed the personal contact.

      I learned long ago, that I have to act as though I'm more interested in what they are saying than I am.

      I don't do this by lying..or conning people. I don't cheat anyone or misrepresent anything. I just talk very slightly louder than normal, and very slightly faster than normal...and use slightly exaggerated voice inflection and timing.

      That simulates a greater degree of interest, energy, enthusiasm....when I'm not really feeling it naturally.
      I've been doing this so long, that it's automatic, and only my wife and son can tell. It's a subtle difference.

      Again, everyone does this (or some version of it) when selling, or in conversation. I just had to do it consciously.

      And I should say this, I would never hire a person that has to fake their interest or enthusiasm. There are too many people that are engaging naturally, and you can just hire them.

      You can be very interested in serving the customer's best interests (which I always am), without particularly enjoying the actual conversation. My doctor is highly competent, and he's engaging. Does he really think my latest medical concern is fascinating? I have no idea. I only care that he is listening, and giving me the best advice he can. And that's what I do too.
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      • Profile picture of the author Jonathan 2.0
        OK. Thanks for the explanation Cluade. (I think it was either the way you explained it or how I interpreted it.) From what I know of you, you're a top Guy.

        P.S.
        If I understand your advice, then another way of saying it would be to "Act as if ..." (Just a thought.)
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        • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
          Originally Posted by Jonathan 2.0 View Post

          If I understand your advice, then another way of saying it would be to "Act as if ..." (Just a thought.)
          Yes, if you need to. But only because "enhanced" engagement and slightly exaggerated interest is better than a genuinely expressed disinterest. At least when selling.

          This is different from faked expertise, or faked integrity. Never pretend you know something if you don't. Never try to sell something that you know isn't in the customer's best interest.

          This example may help....

          We were having my wife's brothers and sisters (and their spouses) over for a holiday dinner (I forget which one). My brother in law mentioned that he had seen a video of mine on Youtube. (he's in sales of medical equipment).
          And he asked me why I sounded differently on the video than when I talk to him...more humor...more enthusiasm...in other words, was I faking?

          I said something like "When you talk to surgeons (his customers), talk to your children, talk to the police, talk to friends at parties, when you're in church....do you sound exactly the same? Do you use the same language?"

          And he thought about it a second and said " No, of course not".

          And I said "And yet every one of those versions of you is really you. Well, it's the same with me. On stage, I'm a slightly exaggerated version of myself.....because I'm trying to hold everyone's attention. When I'm talking to a customer, I'm a slightly more concerned version of myself. When I'm with you, I'm a more relaxed version of myself. Everyone does that to one degree or another. I'm just aware that I'm doing it..when most people do it without thinking".
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          • Profile picture of the author Jonathan 2.0
            Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

            This is different from faked expertise, or faked integrity. Never pretend you know something if you don't. Never try to sell something that you know isn't in the customer's best interest.".
            Nice. : ) I love that. Something I learned from Eben Pagan is the concept of "Consultative Selling." (Which as you probably know is interviewing a Prospect to see if they are a good match/fit with what you're selling. And if not recommending something else.)

            Great example, by the way. Like I said I'm very much a Newbie so I appreciate your advice.

            Jonathan
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            • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
              Originally Posted by Jonathan 2.0 View Post

              Nice. : ) I love that. Something I learned from Eben Pagan is the concept of "Consultative Selling." (Which as you probably know is interviewing a Prospect to see if they are a good match/fit with what you're selling. And if not recommending something else.)

              Great example, by the way. Like I said I'm very much a Newbie so I appreciate your advice.

              Jonathan
              Jonathan;

              Consultative selling is a whole approach where you position yourself as an expert adviser, and make recommendations that the prospect will almost certainly follow.

              Maybe the biggest part of that is genuinely being an expert in your field (never fake expertise)...and truly try to find out the very best advice you can give your customer.

              In most cases that will be to buy something that you sell...but not always. Always give the best advice you can, and count the money later.

              If you are genuinely looking out for your customer's best interests, it will come out in your language, tone of voice, body language, facial expression, posture....and more.

              You cannot fake your core values. Thousands of micro expressions will give it away. . I know earlier I was talking about exaggerating personality traits.... you can act more interested than you are...you can act more engaging than you really are.....but you cannot fake your intentions
              .
              And in my experience, a top flight salesperson will always end up taking on the "consultative selling" model. You just naturally fall into giving advice rather than pitching.

              Even when cold calling, if your depth of knowledge in your field is great and you really want to be the best in selling, people will just naturally think of you in an advisory role.

              Even in my retail store, I remember 30 years ago...a customer was buying several vacuum cleaners for their business...and the woman asked me "What do you recommend we do?"...and in that instant everything changed for me. I no longer was pitching...I was advising. Now I felt responsible for what I recommended. Doing the best thing for her became more important...in that instant...than doing the best thing for myself. It became my core value.

              Years later, I even told her about the experience.
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              • Profile picture of the author Jonathan 2.0
                Interesting: Thanks Claude. Yeah I agree ... Even with "Sales Calling" the intention gets communicated.

                : )
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  • Profile picture of the author helisell
    This has been a great thread and I believe Claude's First statement 'I hope this helps someone' will indeed be the case.

    There have been all sorts of scenarios described here and I thought it would be useful to summarise.

    1. In a 'one call close' scenario the purpose of the call is to see if the person called is a possible/potential customer for whatever is being offered.

    Finding this out involves asking one or more questions and means you'll have to have an approach that doesn't get the phone slammed down in the first 5 seconds. This part of the call demands a very very high level of skill and experience.

    2. Having established that we are talking to a potential customer, we now need to ease into a slightly deeper qualification. It's probably best at this stage to get their permission to continue. The best way to make that happen is to establish that you may have a useful/profitable/convenient...etc etc....solution to a problem that is sufficiently painful that your prospect is willing to look at possible solution[s]

    3. A great qualification process will remove all barriers, i.e. price/value....simplicity, understanding etc etc so that when we move forward to completing the sale we should hit little or no resistance.

    4. Once you've explained your solution [and assuming you've covered everything that might make them hesitate] it would seem logical to ask them whether they'd like to go ahead.

    The reason for summarising is that new people get awfully confused about what stage they are at and find it hard to ask for help from more experienced people......because they are not really sure what the problem is.

    For example I get asked all the time...how can I 'close more deals'....they think they have a closing problem. When I dig a bit deeper I see that they actually have a 'qualification' problem...or they have an 'initial' conversation problem.

    As Claude said initially 'I hope this helps someone'
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by helisell View Post

      For example I get asked all the time...how can I 'close more deals'....they think they have a closing problem. When I dig a bit deeper I see that they actually have a 'qualification' problem...or they have an 'initial' conversation problem.
      I've found the same here. I think it's because newer salespeople aren't aware that they have lost the sale until at the very end...when they are trying to close.

      But you are absolutely right, the vast majority of problems involve prospect selection and qualifying.

      In fact, when giving a sales training to a different sales organization...they had a simple offer, a one call close...and their office was averaging a 15% closing rate.

      After asking the owner several questions, I told the group something along these lines..

      "Based on what you have shown me, I can give you some opinion of how to dramatically increase your sales.

      About 6% of the homeowners in your area are real prospects for your offer. Meaning they are highly likely to buy from you, if presented well. Your problem is that you are showing your product to about 30% of the homeowners. Meaning you are offering a free gift for a presentation, and a third of the people are allowing you to show them your product.

      But most of these people are absolutely not going to buy from you...no matter what your price is, or how well you demonstrate...because they have no need for what you sell, and they have proven to not buy what you sell when offered in the past.

      So you are spending about 80% of your time in front of unqualified prospects. Meaning, you have no chance of selling them. Let's write out some ways we can know who not to call on...let's come up with some questions to find out if the are likely..or very unlikely to buy from you. OK?"

      And the owner's idiot manager said "Selling is a numbers game". He said that because he saw me as a threat to him.

      I said, "Yes. It's a numbers game, and right now those numbers are killing you. And the number you should be concentrating on is the 6% that are highly likely to buy at any given moment, not the 80% that will never buy".

      And I explained several ways they could qualify the prospects (before the appointment and at the start of the presentation), to far more than double their sales per day.

      And they did what I found fascinating. The manager asked the sales reps (maybe 15 of them) if they wanted to make the changes, or stick with him...he almost said it exactly like that....

      And the owner of this sales group folded in front of the manager....because after I left, she knew that the manager and reps wouldn't do any of it anyway.

      I told her...in even tone...in front of her manager...that it would be in her interest to fire the lot of them, and start over...because the tail was wagging the dog.

      They paid me my agreed fee and I left.
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      • Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

        I've found the same here. I think it's because newer salespeople aren't aware that they have lost the sale until at the very end...when they are trying to close.

        But you are absolutely right, the vast majority of problems involve prospect selection and qualifying.

        In fact, when giving a sales training to a different sales organization...they had a simple offer, a one call close...and their office was averaging a 15% closing rate.

        After asking the owner several questions, I told the group something along these lines..

        "Based on what you have shown me, I can give you some opinion of how to dramatically increase your sales.

        About 6% of the homeowners in your area are real prospects for your offer. Meaning they are highly likely to buy from you, if presented well. Your problem is that you are showing your product to about 30% of the homeowners. Meaning you are offering a free gift for a presentation, and a third of the people are allowing you to show them your product.

        But most of these people are absolutely not going to buy from you...no matter what your price is, or how well you demonstrate...because they have no need for what you sell, and they have proven to not buy what you sell when offered in the past.

        So you are spending about 80% of your time in front of unqualified prospects. Meaning, you have no chance of selling them. Let's write out some ways we can know who not to call on...let's come up with some questions to find out if the are likely..or very unlikely to buy from you. OK?"

        And the owner's idiot manager said "Selling is a numbers game". He said that because he saw me as a threat to him.

        I said, "Yes. It's a numbers game, and right now those numbers are killing you. And the number you should be concentrating on is the 6% that are highly likely to buy at any given moment, not the 80% that will never buy".

        And I explained several ways they could qualify the prospects (before the appointment and at the start of the presentation), to far more than double their sales per day.

        And they did what I found fascinating. The manager asked the sales reps (maybe 15 of them) if they wanted to make the changes, or stick with him...he almost said it exactly like that....

        And the owner of this sales group folded in front of the manager....because after I left, she knew that the manager and reps wouldn't do any of it anyway.

        I told her...in even tone...in front of her manager...that it would be in her interest to fire the lot of them, and start over...because the tail was wagging the dog.

        They paid me my agreed fee and I left.
        I worked for an alternative invesmtnet fund and they too simply tried to call call everyone and hope for a couple of sales or "diamonds in the rough" as they would call it.

        I tried to convince them to pre qualify leads would be a much better way of spending time and effort and increase sales....they wouldn't have it.

        I was there 3 months...they closed about 4 sales out in that time...it was pathetic. i quit (but the training was good and the office/people were fun)

        They went out of business a few months later, surprise, surprise...
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    • Profile picture of the author animal44
      Originally Posted by helisell View Post

      ...solution to a problem that is sufficiently painful that your prospect is willing to look at possible solution[s]
      Hmmm... don't you think that in the internet age, that something sufficiently painful will get them searching out a solution, rather than waiting for some self interested salesman to call up and sell them something...?
      Someone who calls you is self qualifying, at least to the extent that they've shown some interest...
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      • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
        Originally Posted by animal44 View Post

        Hmmm... don't you think that in the internet age, that something sufficiently painful will get them searching out a solution, rather than waiting for some self interested salesman to call up and sell them something...?
        If nobody minds, I'll take a crack at this.


        Of course, every company and every salesperson should have an internet presence and a sort of funnel to get some of the "we are looking to buy this now" business.

        Let's pretend that in a list of prospects, there are 100 right now actively doing research online, and are shopping to buy what you sell. There are also probably 500-1,000 that aren't quite at the "let's go online to buy" stage, but are sufficiently interested already to talk to someone that calls out of the blue. When you are cold calling..if you are good at it, and are willing to plow through the mud to get to the gold...you'll eventually find both the 100 ready buyers and the 1,000 interested prospects.

        Whether it pays to go through the effort is another story.
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      • Originally Posted by animal44 View Post

        Hmmm... don't you think that in the internet age, that something sufficiently painful will get them searching out a solution, rather than waiting for some self interested salesman to call up and sell them something...?
        Someone who calls you is self qualifying, at least to the extent that they've shown some interest...
        I used to think that too..i mean it's all there

        But when i used to call H.N.W. investors and talk about business/products/services/trends etc it was amazing how little they knew. I would always think "man how do you ever make so much money if you know so little..?"

        99% of people know just enough to get by in their industry. Do not equate wealth with intelligence.
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  • Profile picture of the author helisell
    Thanks for the story and the chuckle Claude.

    Whenever I've done similar training [which was about 15 years of my sales career....selling such training] I've said to the person paying my fee.....I know I'm expensive and that is to make sure the pain of paying me is greater than the pain of NOT implementing what I'll prescribe.

    People don't like change....of any type....ever....he he he
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by helisell View Post

      Thanks for the story and the chuckle Claude.

      Whenever I've done similar training [which was about 15 years of my sales career....selling such training] I've said to the person paying my fee.....I know I'm expensive and that is to make sure the pain of paying me is greater than the pain of NOT implementing what I'll prescribe.

      People don't like change....of any type....ever....he he he
      I had a vacuum cleaner distributor ask me to help him make more money. He was making a 30% profit on every sale. A local finance company was charging him 15% of the sale to finance his sales. I told him I could add 50% to his profit per sale, by simply setting him up with a finance company that didn't charge a fee. He refused, because it was "a cost of doing business".

      He was also paying about 20% more per vacuum cleaner, because he was buying them COD, through a wholesaler. I told him he could save the $200 by buying direct and paying with a credit card. Nope. He felt loyal to his wholesaler, who was simply marking up the machines by $200...without any service rendered at all.

      Humans.
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  • i'd like to see you try and get a $500,000+ investment off a one time cold call.....
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by offmarketinvestor View Post

      i'd like to see you try and get a $500,000+ investment off a one time cold call.....

      I think I could do it if;
      My company was well known and respected in the industry.
      I had a brilliant reason for them investing.
      They were already in the market for whatever it was that my investment involved.

      So, I probably would need foreknowledge about this company, the CEO, and a very valid reason to think they would invest with me. So not a true random cold call.


      But just cold call complete strangers that have never heard of me or my company? Who have no knowledge of my particular investment, an I have no knowledge about them?

      I bet I could call for years and never get a sale.

      On the other hand, a personal visit? If I had a list of people with the resources? I think I could close in one call if I had a month to find the right guy.

      I've never made a $500,000 sale in one call. But I've made several sales of tens of thousands of dollars in one call. You just need the right product and the right prospect....and skill.

      I wonder how many $500,000 homes have been sold with just a phone call and several photos of the home. The same with luxury cars.



      Originally Posted by offmarketinvestor View Post

      I worked for an alternative invesmtnet fund and they too simply tried to call call everyone and hope for a couple of sales or "diamonds in the rough" as they would call it.

      I tried to convince them to pre qualify leads would be a much better way of spending time and effort and increase sales....they wouldn't have it.

      I was there 3 months...they closed about 4 sales out in that time...it was pathetic. i quit (but the training was good and the office/people were fun)

      They went out of business a few months later, surprise, surprise...
      If the sale is for multiple sales to one client, and they are each substantial....a sales funnel to "get them in the loop" would qualify them and prepare them for a call.

      Most investment firms I'm aware of make multiple calls to the same person before they actually start a pitch to close a sale.

      Even Jordan Belfort trained his guys to make multiple calls, and not a true one call close.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jessica Ambos
    This is a quite a good read. No flowery words, just plain stab-in-the chest, straight to the point kind of post. I like that you're bringing up the things that people don't mention about what happens when sales people call their prospective clients. I haven't tried selling over the phone but I experienced being on the receiver side all the time. Truth be told, I haven't encountered anyone who held my attention for more than a minute. I generally just tell them that I don't need their services and hang up the phone. I don't like being "pushed" to buy something. I purchase things when I need or want them on my own terms and not have someone try to tell me to buy this or buy that because this will happen or that will happen.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jonathan 2.0
      Originally Posted by Jessica Ambos View Post

      I don't like being "pushed" to buy something. I purchase things when I need or want them on my own terms and not have someone try to tell me to buy this or buy that because this will happen or that will happen.
      Good for you Jessica. I'm the same. : ) I get annoyed with "pushy" Salespeople too.
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by Jessica Ambos View Post

      . I don't like being "pushed" to buy something. I purchase things when I need or want them on my own terms and not have someone try to tell me to buy this or buy that because this will happen or that will happen.
      Jessica...

      Everyone is like that. Nobody likes being interrupted by strangers calling on the phone. That's pretty universal.

      Here is why cold calling works..

      If you call a list of people that could possibly be interested in your offer ...for example, small business owners that advertise..ad you sell advertising......or they sell veterinary services, and you own a dog...

      A very small number of these people are currently thinking about buying what the caller is selling. That number may be less than 1 in 1,000....it may be as high as 2%....

      Then there is a much greater number that are open to the idea of buying what you sell. For example, you sell life insurance, and they were talking about getting more life insurance to a friend a week ago...

      And there is even a small number of people that simply cannot say no to a salesperson, and will practically buy anything if presented.

      And depending on the skill level of the phone salesperson, and the quality of the qualifications on the list, the telemarketer will sell enough to make a living usually...and the great salespeople will make a small fortune.

      And some...most ...telemarketers are so terrible at it that they can't even sell the people ready to buy.

      But all cold calls are an interruption. None are wanted. And all unsolicited direct mail is junk mail. But it's still profitable, or the company would stop doing it. The same with cold calling on the phone.

      Have I ever bought from a cold caller? Sure, a few times. The fact that the cold caller actually asked an intelligent question was so shocking, my defenses were down.

      Originally Posted by Jonathan 2.0 View Post

      Good for you Jessica. I'm the same. : ) I get annoyed with "pushy" Salespeople too.
      Jonathan; So you and Jessica are the two people who get annoyed by pushy salespeople..

      I knew that eventually we could track you down.
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      • Profile picture of the author OptedIn
        Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

        Jonathan; So you and Jessica are the two people who get annoyed by pushy salespeople..

        I knew that eventually we could track you down.
        Personally, I listen completely to every, single telesales call I get. Then, when the pitch is over I will offer the caller tips to being more successful on their next call.

        Hey, I'm retired and have lots of time on my hands and see no reason why I should stop being a 'giver.'
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        • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
          Originally Posted by OptedIn View Post

          Personally, I listen completely to every, single telesales call I get. Then, when the pitch is over I will offer the caller tips to being more successful on their next call.

          Hey, I'm retired and have lots of time on my hands and see no reason why I should stop being a 'giver.'
          If I were going to start up selling over the phone, I'd record every phone pitch and give objections to see how they handle them.

          Just like I used to find high producing salespeople and go with them on appointments, and they would go with me....very instructive both ways.

          Maybe 20 years ago, I had a phone call from a guy selling a list of state agencies that would place your classified ads in every weekly newspaper in a state for a serious discount. He wanted $300. I told him I'd give him $100 and he accepted But then I told him I'd give an extra $100 if he included a complete telephone script they used to sell this information.

          I remember reading it after I got it, and was amazed at how bad the script actually was, even though I bought. I remember the way he prospected was simply calling every number of an advertiser in any of these weekly newspapers (most of them were free). It was the quality of the list that made it profitable. The perfect offer for that list.

          I remember thinking that I would have paid the $300 if he would have just stuck to that price. And the information was worth it.
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      • Profile picture of the author animal44
        Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

        Jonathan; So you and Jessica are the two people who get annoyed by pushy salespeople..
        And the other 7 billion on the planet...
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      • Profile picture of the author Jonathan 2.0
        Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

        Jonathan; So you and Jessica are the two people who get annoyed by pushy salespeople..

        I knew that eventually we could track you down.
        (Lol.) Good point.
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    • Profile picture of the author tagiscom
      Originally Posted by OptedIn View Post

      Personally, I listen completely to every, single telesales call I get. Then, when the pitch is over I will offer the caller tips to being more successful on their next call.

      Hey, I'm retired and have lots of time on my hands and see no reason why I should stop being a 'giver.'
      Yes Frank you give so much it hurts.

      Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

      Maybe 20 years ago, I had a phone call from a guy selling a list of state agencies that would place your classified ads in every weekly newspaper in a state for a serious discount. He wanted $300. I told him I'd give him $100 and he accepted But then I told him I'd give an extra $100 if he included a complete telephone script they used to sell this information.
      Salespeople in shopping centres are also pretty clever, still frickin annoying thought.

      I recently walked past a group, (to this day l have no idea what they were pushing) and the same young girl, kept asking me, "Hello, can l offer you" or something along those lines, l always shacked my head and kept walking.

      But last time, before they vanished, (closed up the pop up stall) she, said, "do you make it a habit of being rude, and not answering".

      Almost worked though, lol!

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      • Profile picture of the author helisell
        Originally Posted by tagiscom View Post

        Yes Frank you give so much it hurts.



        Salespeople in shopping centres are also pretty clever, still frickin annoying thought.

        I recently walked past a group, (to this day l have no idea what they were pushing) and the same young girl, kept asking me, "Hello, can l offer you" or something along those lines, l always shacked my head and kept walking.

        But last time, before they vanished, (closed up the pop up stall) she, said, "do you make it a habit of being rude, and not answering".

        Almost worked though, lol!

        And my [in hindsight] witty retort 'and do you make a habit
        of saying the same, ineffective words repetitively
        to the exact same person.......and keep expecting
        a different result....?'

        and as a second afterthought
        'my script is fine.......yours may need a change here
        and there'

        So many potential customers....so many proven words
        to approach them.....and you are saying this.....?'
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        • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
          Originally Posted by helisell View Post

          So many potential customers....so many proven words
          to approach them.....and you are saying this.....?'
          You are amazing.

          Yeah, I had a similar experience in a mall. There was a booth where you were registering for a free car. As I was walking past, the lady said "Would you like to sign up for a drawing?" I said "No thank you" and she said "It's free!"

          My poor wife watched as I sighed...and said to the lady "Nobody wants to sign up for anything. But lots of people want a free car.. Why not say "Sign up to win a free car!"?"

          She looked at me like I was from Mars and said "I told you the drawing was free".

          I said "My mistake"...and I walked way.
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          • Profile picture of the author helisell
            Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

            You are amazing.

            Yeah, I had a similar experience in a mall. There was a booth where you were registering for a free car. As I was walking past, the lady said "Would you like to sign up for a drawing?" I said "No thank you" and she said "It's free!"

            My poor wife watched as I sighed...and said to the lady "Nobody wants to sign up for anything. But lots of people want a free car.. Why not say "Sign up to win a free car!"?"

            She looked at me like I was from Mars and said "I told you the drawing was free".

            I said "My mistake"...and I walked way.
            Ha ha ha.....

            I was once in Turkey and a leaflet distributor said...'please visit our nightclub...you'll get some free food and a free drink'. I said politely 'no thanks' to which he replied 'why not'

            Dy'a know I couldn't think of a single reason 'why not'.....so I took the leaflet, went to the club, had some free food and a drink and had the time of my life..........

            So simple.....so obvious.....
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            • Profile picture of the author tagiscom
              Originally Posted by helisell View Post

              Ha ha ha.....

              I was once in Turkey and a leaflet distributor said...'please visit our nightclub...you'll get some free food and a free drink'. I said politely 'no thanks' to which he replied 'why not'

              Dy'a know I couldn't think of a single reason 'why not'.....so I took the leaflet, went to the club, had some free food and a drink and had the time of my life..........

              So simple.....so obvious.....
              And, (there has to be an and....).

              They gave you a small coke, and the rest of the night constantly asked you to buy an Flaming Elmo?

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              • Profile picture of the author helisell
                Originally Posted by tagiscom View Post

                And, (there has to be an and....).

                They gave you a small coke, and the rest of the night constantly asked you to buy an Flaming Elmo?

                Of course.........but they're dead cheap in Turkey !

                The point of course is....the guy had a set routine (script)
                for how to handle people who said no.......and it worked really well.
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                • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
                  Originally Posted by helisell View Post

                  Of course.........but they're dead cheap in Turkey !

                  The point of course is....the guy had a set routine (script)
                  for how to handle people who said no.......and it worked really well.
                  It's times like that I may have tried to get the guy to honestly tell me how many people said "OK" after he said "Why not?"

                  I once paid a hooker $50 in Las Vegas if I could just ask her questions about how her business worked. I thought we were going to talk like two business people...but she was just a scared young woman...and wasn't very informative.

                  I guy came to my office (maybe 25 years ago) and left 5 or 6 reference books and a few sets of VHS tapes (Sports bloopers, I think). He said he would come back in a week to take orders.

                  I told him I could save him the trip and just buy a few books right then, if you would just answer a few questions about his business...like ..
                  "What's your average order when you return?"
                  "How many books get stolen before you return, where you don't get paid?"
                  "Have you tried just selling the books/tapes on one call?"
                  "Which thing sells the most?"
                  "How does your compensation program work?"

                  One thing that amazed me was the markup on sets of videos and the books. he told me the Dictionary I bought (it must weigh 15 pounds) cost him $4, and he sold it for $20.
                  The markup on the tapes was even more.

                  I toyed with the idea of doing it myself.
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                  • Profile picture of the author helisell
                    Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

                    It's times like that I may have tried to get the guy to honestly tell me how many people said "OK" after he said "Why not?"......
                    And I think you may have guessed Claude, that I did have that exact
                    conversation with him.

                    The thing is, the Turks have a very childlike and fun approach
                    to life and he told me.....and I believe him....that it worked pretty
                    much all the time.

                    They tend not to do too much qualifying but....and it's a big but.....

                    They are great at 2 things.

                    1. Making people feel obligated (where did they learn that secret)

                    2. Being genuinely and earnestly enthusiastic and passionate about what they're selling.

                    I had a house in Turkey for a while and learned a lot about how they do things over there
                    and picked up a few great lessons in selling in the process.
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    • Profile picture of the author tagiscom
      Originally Posted by helisell View Post

      And my [in hindsight] witty retort 'and do you make a habit
      of saying the same, ineffective words repetitively
      to the exact same person.......and keep expecting
      a different result....?'

      and as a second afterthought
      'my script is fine.......yours may need a change here
      and there'

      So many potential customers....so many proven words
      to approach them.....and you are saying this.....?'
      This doesn't have anything to do with your si,....never mind.

      And to answer your question, no, shaking my head and walking fast is effective 99% of the time.



      Originally Posted by jessegilbert View Post

      yeah. I have done online marketing and cold call marketing for a sales leads generation company. The script is key. It is soul crushing though. I was above average at it and couldn't stay with the work. I mean it involves a lot of countering objections which requires a branching path logic and it feels very robotic following a script and repeating the same thing call after call. I think there is a way to do it without a script if you are familiar enough with the product. I think the key is find a truly excellent product that you are happy to sell, it might make the conversation a lot easier. If it can almost be like talking shop with someone and you are knowledgeable enough about the field and it is a great product then I think it might be easier.
      Yes, l had someone like that on the phone, that overcame every objection l could come up with, (he was pushing insurance of some kind, which l had zero interest and funds for at the time). I was also in a hurry to go out, so politely hang up, when he was giving me his speech.

      He was very good, and could have sold icecubes to Eskimo's, but if l don't want it and cannot afford it and l am in a hurry, then nothing can overcome hanging up!

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  • Profile picture of the author jessegilbert
    yeah. I have done online marketing and cold call marketing for a sales leads generation company. The script is key. It is soul crushing though. I was above average at it and couldn't stay with the work. I mean it involves a lot of countering objections which requires a branching path logic and it feels very robotic following a script and repeating the same thing call after call. I think there is a way to do it without a script if you are familiar enough with the product. I think the key is find a truly excellent product that you are happy to sell, it might make the conversation a lot easier. If it can almost be like talking shop with someone and you are knowledgeable enough about the field and it is a great product then I think it might be easier.
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  • Profile picture of the author simonmc
    I like what you teach about cold calling Claude. Back in the day I used to make 200 cold calls a day selling £20,000 plus IT systems to merchants. You need a thick skin for that kind of slog believe me but the pure rush of getting an appointment made all the slog worth every single call.

    Keep motivating Claude you are one of my favourite reads on here.

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

      I like what you teach about cold calling Claude. Back in the day I used to make 200 cold calls a day selling £20,000 plus IT systems to merchants. You need a thick skin for that kind of slog believe me but the pure rush of getting an appointment made all the slog worth every single call.
      Simon;

      First, Thank you for the compliment. My experience was a little different. My cold calls were mostly in person. And very quickly I became unfazed by rejection...but equally unfazed by getting an appointment or getting a sale. It all became a stream of activity, and the emotional highs and lows went away.

      One thing I should mention (Maybe I have before) is speed in cold calling. If you are calling one person after another, not putting the phone down (yes, I'm that old) between calls...you don't have time to get emotionally involved in each call...and each rejection becomes meaningless.

      It's when you make a call...and wait a few minutes before you make the next one...that you start thinking about each rejection...and calling becomes a real chore.

      When I cold called over the phone for appointments (we gave a free gift), I knew that one in six people I talked to would make an appointment. I just needed to get the calls done as quickly as possible.
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      • Profile picture of the author OptedIn
        Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

        It's when you make a call...and wait a few minutes before you make the next one...that you start thinking about each rejection...and calling becomes a real chore.
        That's why a successful caller never puts the phone back in the cradle, once they lift it up.
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        • Profile picture of the author savidge4
          Originally Posted by OptedIn View Post

          That's why a successful caller never puts the phone back in the cradle, once they lift it up.
          I wonder what the percentage of people reading this REALLY know what a " cradle " is?

          Now you plug a phone in.. not that thats even the same thing... or going back a bit further you would place it on its base... not that that is even the same thing... and going way back, you would place the phone on a " cradle "
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          • Profile picture of the author OptedIn
            Originally Posted by savidge4 View Post

            I wonder what the percentage of people reading this REALLY know what a " cradle " is?

            Now you plug a phone in.. not that thats even the same thing... or going back a bit further you would place it on its base... not that that is even the same thing... and going way back, you would place the phone on a " cradle "
            Just because my first phone had a crank, is no reason to make fun of me. :-)

            I'm the guy who told Alexander Graham Bell that there was no market for such a contraption.
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  • Profile picture of the author ryanbiddulph
    I see FOJ Claude; Fear Of Rejection. Cold calling introduces one to this visceral fear intimately, which is why most fail at CC and why I advise folks take the path of lesser resistance. But if you kill it CC wise you conquer a fear I am still working on, goodness knows. And I have made serious strides in this area.
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    • Originally Posted by ryanbiddulph View Post

      I see FOJ Claude; Fear Of Rejection. Cold calling introduces one to this visceral fear intimately, which is why most fail at CC and why I advise folks take the path of lesser resistance. But if you kill it CC wise you conquer a fear I am still working on, goodness knows. And I have made serious strides in this area.
      It's such a B*S* way to get new clients.......Yes it works. is it efficient? No way

      Is it enjoyable....?

      Is it the best way?

      What does it do to your brand? Think it enhances it?

      Almost all scams cold call....so you get lumped in with them.

      But some of you go on and on about how great it is.

      I know some companies that do not advertise. No marketing in the traditional sense. They get people to chase them....something cold callers know nothing about.
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      • Profile picture of the author OptedIn
        Originally Posted by offmarketinvestor View Post

        But some of you go on and on about how great it is.
        Like possibly those that have created a wonderful lifestyle from the success we can attribute to it, and those we have trained to do the same for themselves? Guilty as charged.

        You really shouldn't comment on something you obviously know so little about.
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        • Profile picture of the author animal44
          Originally Posted by OptedIn View Post

          Like possibly those that have created a wonderful lifestyle from the success we can attribute to it, and those we have trained to do the same for themselves? Guilty as charged.
          Yep, wonderful lifestyle as described by one of the other "expert" cold callers...

          Originally Posted by savidge4 View Post

          There are 24 hours in a day 2 hours for yourself, 8 hours for sleep. 8 hours for completing work and 6 hours dedicated to getting work.
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          • Profile picture of the author OptedIn
            Originally Posted by animal44 View Post

            Yep, wonderful lifestyle as described by one of the other "expert" cold callers...
            I can't speak to anyone else's successes or failures. If they have failed at cold-calling, they need to reevaluate their training and methods.

            If it were easy, no one would fail at it, like most things in life.
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  • So what about:

    People are getting sick to death of cold calls.....people don't just get yours..they get many others through the day. it's saturated.

    Isn't illegal to cold call now?

    Why not have clients chase you instead of you chasing them?????
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