How To Figure Out the # of Dials You Need to Make

56 replies
It was suggested that I break this post out into its own thread. So here goes. Read and apply this, or remain an inconsistent phone prospector.

You need to be able to back into your # of dials necessary to hit your revenue target.

Yeah, your list quality might be poor and that will affect your dials to conversations ratio. No question. However, if you don't track dials you'll never find that out, other than a sense that it's taking a lot of dials to get to talk to someone.

If your list is lousy, don't you want to know that ASAP so you can change your source?!

Also, you track these numbers on a daily, weekly, monthly and all time basis (easy to do by spreadsheet). You'll improve in your skill as well as your phone # sources, so over time these ratios will improve. But you have to start somewhere.

To manage we must measure.

That phrase was beat into my head over two intensive years of Operations Management training. That's how you continuously improve on your situation.

So how do we back into our # of dials needed to get to our revenue target?

Let's say we have a 6 month revenue target of $50,000. I know that would be excellent for newbies. You design websites, and decide $1,000 is the average price you're comfortable at.

So right away we know we have to sell 50 of these things in the 6 months to hit our target.

You just started making prospecting calls, so you know your ratios aren't going to be great yet. Since you don't have actual data at this point, you use a tough ratio of 20 dials to get one conversation, and another tough one of 20 conversations to get one sale. You might be better than this, and at that point you can adjust your numbers, but for now this is an OK place to start.

So to get one sale, we predict that 20 dials x 20 conversations = 400 dials to get one sale. Seems a little high, but our newbies aren't so great on the phone yet. And we'd rather overestimate than under, at this point.

400 dials for 1 sale = 400 x 50 = 20,000 dials over the 6 months! Whew!

6 months = 6 x 4 weeks x 5 days = 120 working days to make those dials.

20,000 / 120 = 167 dials per day to hit the target. Worst case.

Gulp.

But now you know. 20 dials a day ain't gonna do it. 50 dials a day won't get you there.


Say after 2 months you've developed some skill. The real figures you're experiencing are 15 dials to get a conversation, and 12 conversations to get an order. 15 x 12 = 180 dials to make a sale now, those are your real numbers, and so you need to make a total of 180 x 50 = 9,000 dials in the 6 months to make your money target. That's 9,000 / 120 working days = 75 dials a day.

Whew.


Now you start adding in other prospecting methods into your plan: referrals, talks, webinars, seminars, joint ventures, etc. Each of these will have its own conversion ratio (eg. the right kind of referral will close 50%+ of the time, meaning if you get 2 in a month you have a great chance of closing 1...and that removes the need for 400 dials for our brand spanking newbie, doesn't it?). These really add up. 6 months into your business, and you should have leads and sales coming from other sources, so that prospecting calls, while remaining as a source, isn't so heavily relied upon as your revenue generator.

Make sense? This is the kind of thing that separates amateurs from professionals who want consistent, measurable results.
#dials #figure #make
  • Profile picture of the author Scott Stevens
    Just a brilliant post. This is the kind of stuff I come to WF for.

    Just what I needed right now, as I'm starting down this path.

    I've just added these metrics into my own spreadsheet.

    Thanks for sharing, Jason. I've been reading all your bests threads here, and I'm adding your advice into my script, too.
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  • Profile picture of the author WillR
    Ha, that's enough to make anyone run from cold-calling.

    That's a LOT of calls -- even for the experienced.

    But that's why you have outsourcers.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
      Originally Posted by WillR View Post

      Ha, that's enough to make anyone run from cold-calling.

      That's a LOT of calls -- even for the experienced.

      But that's why you have outsourcers.
      Not really. 75 dials is not a lot. That's achievable in about 2 hours, 4 if you're slow about it (and whadya know, I recommend 2 hours, twice a day to grow your business). And if you use an autodialer, which I don't, you can make them even more quickly.

      Wouldn't you rather know where you are and what you really have to do to meet your goals? Or is wishing and hoping, without a roadmap, better?

      Folks who think this is a lot basically have no skill on the phone and that's why it's scary. I'll bet making a designer cake like the Cake Boss guys is just as scary. It would take you a long time to make the cake and you'd probably screw up a few times. But once you get some skill, you simply make the cake.

      The better you get, the lower your total dials is. I did this exercise for a partnership I got into recently, and it was scary to me how low the total was. I had to make (wait for it) 16 dials a day to hit my 3-month money target. Made me check my numbers twice to make sure. I couldn't believe it. All I had to do is set aside about an hour and a half a day for these calls, because I have great conversations with people with surprising frequency. And that is easy.

      If you are a business owner, you need to learn how to sell.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jeff Schuman
    When I first moved to Denver in 1982 I took a job doing appointment setting for a storm window company. In an 8 hour shift we were expected to make 250-300 calls, set 12 appointments, have 6 hold up, get 3 presentations from those 3, and 1 would sell.

    167 dials is a lot of dials, but every kind of sales is a numbers game. If that is what it takes it comes down to setting your income goals, figuring out how many calls it will take, and doing the work.

    It certainly takes away our excuses if we do not hit our goal.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
      Originally Posted by Jeff Schuman View Post

      When I first moved to Denver in 1982 I took a job doing appointment setting for a storm window company. In an 8 hour shift we were expected to make 250-300 calls, set 12 appointments, have 6 hold up, get 3 presentations from those 3, and 1 would sell.

      167 dials is a lot of dials, but every kind of sales is a numbers game. If that is what it takes it comes down to setting your income goals, figuring out how many calls it will take, and doing the work.

      It certainly takes away our excuses if we do not hit our goal.
      Hence the "Gulp" for that number.

      But.

      If we don't figure out this number and adjust it as we go along according to our results...as you say, you won't understand why you didn't make enough money.

      If you make 10 dials a day, you can think you're doing something but by doing this exercise it's clearly not enough. So obliviously you'd say, "Cold calling didn't work for me" when you didn't hit the target with 10 dials a day. Knowing this number makes everything quite clear.
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  • Profile picture of the author Lesley Huntley
    Hey Jason

    Thank you so much for all the pure gold you post here, I really appreciate everything you contribute to the community and all your amazing videos.

    One question, when you say a 'lousy list,' how do you know it's lousy? Do you mean it's best to have a list compiled that is most likely to have the problems that you are able to solve? Would you suggest not just going through the Yellow Pages?

    Thanks so much for any advice!
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    • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
      Originally Posted by Lesley Huntley View Post

      Hey Jason

      Thank you so much for all the pure gold you post here, I really appreciate everything you contribute to the community and all your amazing videos.

      One question, when you say a 'lousy list,' how do you know it's lousy? Do you mean it's best to have a list compiled that is most likely to have the problems that you are able to solve? Would you suggest not just going through the Yellow Pages?

      Thanks so much for any advice!
      Thanks, Lesley. A lousy list is one which you can't get any traction with. Disconnected numbers, wrong numbers, businesses that don't fit your profile.

      I highly recommend only calling one niche at a time. You call bakers, that's who you call. Don't sprinkle in some accountants and and a few mechanics. The more you stick with a niche, the more you'll know about their specific problems. Then, when you speak, they'll know you know all about their business. This creates instant trust.

      So if your list keeps you stuttering, or makes you hop around from niche to niche, it's not helping you. A clean list is niched down and has correct numbers. You hardly notice it is there as you dial.

      I guess you could use the yellow pages. I never have, but if your target is businesses that advertise in the YP and you're trying to get them interested in another type of advertising it could be a good idea. Not niched down enough for me. List scrubbing is really important to me, because when I'm dialing I want to be dialing, not fighting my list. It's discouraging to run into several disconnected or wrong #s in a row...we don't need that kind of distraction when calling.
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      • Profile picture of the author D.A.
        Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post

        Thanks, Lesley. A lousy list is one which you can't get any traction with. Disconnected numbers, wrong numbers, businesses that don't fit your profile.

        I highly recommend only calling one niche at a time. You call bakers, that's who you call. Don't sprinkle in some accountants and and a few mechanics. The more you stick with a niche, the more you'll know about their specific problems. Then, when you speak, they'll know you know all about their business. This creates instant trust.

        So if your list keeps you stuttering, or makes you hop around from niche to niche, it's not helping you. A clean list is niched down and has correct numbers. You hardly notice it is there as you dial.

        I guess you could use the yellow pages. I never have, but if your target is businesses that advertise in the YP and you're trying to get them interested in another type of advertising it could be a good idea. Not niched down enough for me. List scrubbing is really important to me, because when I'm dialing I want to be dialing, not fighting my list. It's discouraging to run into several disconnected or wrong #s in a row...we don't need that kind of distraction when calling.
        Here you mention getting niched down scrubbed lists. That is what I'm refering to.

        Thanks.

        art
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        • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
          Originally Posted by D.A. View Post

          Here you mention getting niched down scrubbed lists. That is what I'm refering to.

          Thanks.

          art
          Yeah...

          Listbuilding is a pain in the butt and one of the most annoying parts of the business.

          BUT it must be done, and it must be done right.

          The best lists you can make are those you assemble yourself. Yup, they will take time...and you'd better make them during No-Pay Time. After you start making money you can make some videos about how to do it your way, and outsource the work.

          You can use scraping programs, sure. However, a human being is still going to have to critically look at each listing, for best results.

          The more work you put in on the front end, the easier the results on the back are going to be achieved.

          If you're concerned about the time it takes to do this, consider: most people do nothing.

          NOTHING.

          They sit there farting around on facebook, reading posts and the whole week goes by and they have nothing to show for it.

          So you have to spend a couple nights cracking away on your list.

          So what?

          Do you want the results or not?

          The time is definitely going to pass. It's going to be Christmas before you know it. From my point of view, it was just February. Spring and summer went by in about two months of subjective time. You can put in the work and have something, or the time can flash by and you can have nothing, guaranteed.
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          • Profile picture of the author D.A.
            Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post

            Yeah...

            Listbuilding is a pain in the butt and one of the most annoying parts of the business.

            BUT it must be done, and it must be done right.

            The best lists you can make are those you assemble yourself. Yup, they will take time...and you'd better make them during No-Pay Time. After you start making money you can make some videos about how to do it your way, and outsource the work.

            You can use scraping programs, sure. However, a human being is still going to have to critically look at each listing, for best results.

            The more work you put in on the front end, the easier the results on the back are going to be achieved.

            If you're concerned about the time it takes to do this, consider: most people do nothing.

            NOTHING.

            They sit there farting around on facebook, reading posts and the whole week goes by and they have nothing to show for it.

            So you have to spend a couple nights cracking away on your list.

            So what?

            Do you want the results or not?

            The time is definitely going to pass. It's going to be Christmas before you know it. From my point of view, it was just February. Spring and summer went by in about two months of subjective time. You can put in the work and have something, or the time can flash by and you can have nothing, guaranteed.
            This is an add-on to my business, where I'm taking on two commission based salesman who approached me for jobs.

            Unless you have a specific source to get a list of phone numbers to make calls quicker for them, I have to ask, have you had better success with manta or linkedin information?

            Thanks
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            • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
              Originally Posted by D.A. View Post

              This is an add-on to my business, where I'm taking on two commission based salesman who approached me for jobs.

              Unless you have a specific source to get a list of phone numbers to make calls quicker for them, I have to ask, have you had better success with manta or linkedin information?

              Thanks
              Why don't you have them create their own lists?

              If a salesperson doesn't know how to qualify...that's not a good sign.

              I explained above. The best lists take time to develop and are put together based on your individual criteria. You either have to invest the time to do this, or you take your chances with scraping and do a lot of qualifying on the phone. Your choice.

              This is work. I am not going to be able to give you a "magic bullet" solution. Like most other things you want in life, if it was easy, everyone would do it. But no, they're looking for the easy way out...instead of just spending the 4 hours putting the list together through some creative google searches and using their eyes and minds. You know how much time on the phone you save when you invest the few hours up front??
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  • Profile picture of the author Lesley Huntley
    Thanks so much Jason. Excellent idea to stick with one market for as long as you can.

    So would this be how you clean your lists? Do you just start calling in one specific market, and when you are through it, you have a clean list?

    How do you first start, do you purchase the lists, or do you compile them? The only problem is purchasing targeted business lists in New Zealand is it's very expensive. Would you suggest having outsourcers gather them, or do you get them some other way?

    I was calling for a while there, and doing quite well. But I let my 'Lizard brain' take over, and it's been weeks now since I have made a call. I've spent all weekend reading your posts and watching your videos, I pulled out a script outline you wrote I got when I purchased a JD product, wrote yet another script based on your advice and I'm ready to start calling again. I really want to do it right this time.

    Thanks again for all your help!
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    • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
      Originally Posted by Lesley Huntley View Post

      Thanks so much Jason. Excellent idea to stick with one market for as long as you can.

      So would this be how you clean your lists? Do you just start calling in one specific market, and when you are through it, you have a clean list?

      How do you first start, do you purchase the lists, or do you compile them? The only problem is purchasing targeted business lists in New Zealand is it's very expensive. Would you suggest having outsourcers gather them, or do you get them some other way?

      I was calling for a while there, and doing quite well. But I let my 'Lizard brain' take over, and it's been weeks now since I have made a call. I've spent all weekend reading your posts and watching your videos, I pulled out a script outline you wrote I got when I purchased a JD product, wrote yet another script based on your advice and I'm ready to start calling again. I really want to do it right this time.

      Thanks again for all your help!
      List quality is important to me, so I have done most of the work myself--during No Pay Time! These days I have an outsourcer to get the basic niche list together, and then I go over it. I make videos showing how I want the lists put together and they follow that. Then I check the work.

      The list is scrubbed before calling. It's tedious but worth it when you call.
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      • Profile picture of the author kenmichaels
        Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post

        List quality is important to me, so I have done most of the work myself--during No Pay Time! These days I have an outsourcer I get the basic niche list together, and then I go over it. I make videos showing how I want the lists put together and they follow that. Then I check the work.

        The list is scrubbed before calling. It's tedious but worth it when you call.



        PM me when you have a minute.
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        • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
          Originally Posted by kenmichaels View Post

          Eh, there was a typo...I frequently revise as I type and sometimes there are casualties. These days listbuilding isn't my highest function, it's stupid for me to spend my time generating a list, so I have an outsourcer make the basic list according to my instructions. Then I check the work (I get them to do say 50 to start and check those).
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          • Profile picture of the author iAmNameLess
            Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post

            Eh, there was a typo...I frequently revise as I type and sometimes there are casualties. These days listbuilding isn't my highest function, it's stupid for me to spend my time generating a list, so I have an outsourcer make the basic list according to my instructions. Then I check the work (I get them to do say 50 to start and check those).
            No.... He wants you to PM you because he can make your life a million times easier. See, there is this program called Mobile Renegade, where you can get thousands of leads in a matter of minutes in the same industry.

            Anywho... I never broke things down like this, but I have a person doing sales for me at the office and he is kind of struggling. He makes the calls, but sales aren't happening like they should. Mostly because I'm an awful teacher and trainer and just now made an adjustment in the approach. I'm going to have him keep track of this for the next couple weeks.
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            • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
              Originally Posted by iAmNameLess View Post

              No.... He wants you to PM you because he can make your life a million times easier. See, there is this program called Mobile Renegade, where you can get thousands of leads in a matter of minutes in the same industry.

              Anywho... I never broke things down like this, but I have a person doing sales for me at the office and he is kind of struggling. He makes the calls, but sales aren't happening like they should. Mostly because I'm an awful teacher and trainer and just now made an adjustment in the approach. I'm going to have him keep track of this for the next couple weeks.
              Hi iAm, been awhile. Yeah, I know, I talked to Ken. My outsourcer costs $3/hr so it's not exactly breaking my bank. But I'm always happy to check out a different process.

              Originally Posted by PanteraIM View Post

              Call centres don't sit their agents down and tell them how many dials they need to make that day, they don't write their dials or contacts on a big whiteboard for everyone to see.
              Pantera, I agreed with some of the stuff in your post, ie. mindset, but this is a chicken or egg thing. It's about accountability. I believe if you don't know this number--how many dials you need to make--you won't take it seriously and put in the time necessary to reach your revenue target.

              And this bit I broke out here...gotta disagree. I work with many, many brick-and-mortar businesses that do just that. And if they aren't when I begin working with them, I make them start doing it. I gave away something I charge for in the original post. Individual salespeople need to know their numbers (dials, conversations, sales) so that they can track and improve their performance.

              If you've got one gal who is at 10 dials per convo, 6 convos per close...

              And another guy who is at 20 dials per convo, 20 convos per close...

              who are you going to spend time with?

              The answer is both, but on different things. The gal I'm going to work on technique with. The guy I'm going to work on mindset with. The lady is doing fine. The guy is almost assuredly having problems believing he can make the sale. The numbers show me as a trainer where to start.
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              • Profile picture of the author rundmc56
                If you've got one gal who is at 10 dials per convo, 6 convos per close...

                And another guy who is at 20 dials per convo, 20 convos per close...

                who are you going to spend time with?


                Jason, many salespeople focus on presentation to close numbers rather than conversation to close numbers. Of course, there is a difference between conversation and presentation. You can have many conversations with prospects (during the qualifying phase) that never lead to a presentation. But I kinda like the idea of a conversation focus because in professional prospecting that seems to be where the major skill lies. When just looking at numbers do you have a preference on where prospecting focus should be?
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                • Profile picture of the author Aaron Doud
                  Originally Posted by rundmc56 View Post

                  If you've got one gal who is at 10 dials per convo, 6 convos per close...

                  And another guy who is at 20 dials per convo, 20 convos per close...

                  who are you going to spend time with?

                  Jason, many salespeople focus on presentation to close numbers rather than conversation to close numbers. Of course, there is a difference between conversation and presentation. You can have many conversations with prospects (during the qualifying phase) that never lead to a presentation. But I kinda like the idea of a conversation focus because in professional prospecting that seems to be where the major skill lies. When just looking at numbers do you have a preference on where prospecting focus should be?
                  Personally I would track
                  Dials
                  Answers
                  Conversations
                  Presentations
                  Sales

                  200 Dials
                  150 Answers
                  100 Conversations
                  50 presentations
                  2 Sales

                  That way you can track what to work on. For example let's say you close 1 in 5 who hear your presentation and present to 1 out of 50. Should you call more or should you learn to get more presentations? Getting presentations to 1 in 25 will double your sales. By breaking it down more you can really figure out how to work on each step and getting each better will lead to more and more sales.

                  Also you can ask yourself if you are skipping steps or not giving 100% on all calls. When you see that skipping steps and half assing it leads to less sales you will always be doing 100% of the steps on 100% of the calls and giving every call 100% so you are doing the full 300%.

                  In the F&I office there is a statement that I got that from. Present 100% of products 100% correctly to 100% of customers 100% of the time for the 400%. Not sure if I remembered that word track right.
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                  • Profile picture of the author rundmc56
                    [QUOTE=Aaron Doud;8025572]Personally I would track
                    That way you can track what to work on. For example let's say you close 1 in 5 who hear your presentation and present to 1 out of 50. Should you call more or should you learn to get more presentations?


                    That makes a lot sense. By tracking conversations and presentations we can learn by doing. These numbers are about learning what's working and what's not and conversation and presentation ratios are both important to know. Information we just can't get out of a prospecting book! Thank You.
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    • Profile picture of the author PanteraIM
      Originally Posted by Lesley Huntley View Post

      Thanks so much Jason. Excellent idea to stick with one market for as long as you can.

      So would this be how you clean your lists? Do you just start calling in one specific market, and when you are through it, you have a clean list?

      How do you first start, do you purchase the lists, or do you compile them? The only problem is purchasing targeted business lists in New Zealand is it's very expensive. Would you suggest having outsourcers gather them, or do you get them some other way?

      I was calling for a while there, and doing quite well. But I let my 'Lizard brain' take over, and it's been weeks now since I have made a call. I've spent all weekend reading your posts and watching your videos, I pulled out a script outline you wrote I got when I purchased a JD product, wrote yet another script based on your advice and I'm ready to start calling again. I really want to do it right this time.

      Thanks again for all your help!
      Hey Lesley, I'm from NZ as well

      I bought a database from customlists.net

      Payload is a 30mb CSV file with some 30k numbers in there, but it's segmented by industry, location, size, every useful piece of data is included.

      They also scrub their data yearly so it's not often you get disconnected numbers or incorrect information.

      The only thing you don't get is the business owner's name, but that's not a problem if you can do your prospecting calls correctly.

      The price is about $400 if I remember right, very affordable.

      I agree with what jason has said about knowing your numbers, that's important, but you'll be far more effective if you focus on business generation than business activity.

      Your activities are at the bottom of your hierarchy of strategical importance, at the top there's goals (money), objectives (sales), strategies (cold calling), plans and activities. (calls)

      The activities are the GIVEN operational tasks you MUST do day by day in order to be in business.

      If you focus on 'making calls', you'll do just that and often not much more. You'll be focused on hitting the numbers but your unconscious isn't on board yet to convert these interactions into sales. That takes time and conditioning which is a topic for a whole 'nother post.

      Call centres don't sit their agents down and tell them how many dials they need to make that day, they don't write their dials or contacts on a big whiteboard for everyone to see.

      They record sales, they focus on revenue.

      This is the metric you gotta burn into your mind, focus at the top of the pyramid.

      Sure knowing your numbers is important, but exactly what are you doing all day if you can't even do that? If you aren't on the phone or face to face with a customer and you are in sales, you are not working.

      If you can stick at this past the 1000-2000 call mark and follow a verbatim script you'll literally never have to worry about money again.

      You just need to get over those initial humps of resistance until you believe in your own worth enough as a salesperson, that's really all it is. Your beliefs determine your reality.

      Struggling and persisting in the advance of near constant adversary and failure will make you more self-confident and self-reliant than anything on earth. This is perhaps why so few good cold callers exist because people GIVE UP, it's not a matter of talent or skill, some people just hold on that little bit longer to see how it all ends and they become successful.

      Sales is a game you play against yourself and what you want to believe about your own personal worth and ability than anything else.
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      • Profile picture of the author Lesley Huntley
        Originally Posted by PanteraIM View Post

        I bought a database from customlists.net

        Payload is a 30mb CSV file with some 30k numbers in there, but it's segmented by industry, location, size, every useful piece of data is included.

        They also scrub their data yearly so it's not often you get disconnected numbers or incorrect information.

        The only thing you don't get is the business owner's name, but that's not a problem if you can do your prospecting calls correctly.

        The price is about $400 if I remember right, very affordable.
        Thanks so much for the tip. I will check that out. The business list doesn't seem to be available at the moment, but I will email them and enquire.

        Originally Posted by PanteraIM View Post

        You just need to get over those initial humps of resistance until you believe in your own worth enough as a salesperson, that's really all it is. Your beliefs determine your reality.

        Struggling and persisting in the advance of near constant adversary and failure will make you more self-confident and self-reliant than anything on earth. This is perhaps why so few good cold callers exist because people GIVE UP, it's not a matter of talent or skill, some people just hold on that little bit longer to see how it all ends and they become successful.

        Sales is a game you play against yourself and what you want to believe about your own personal worth and ability than anything else.
        This is exactly what I struggle with on a daily basis. I know the systems I have developed do work and work well. This has given me a lot to think about and reflect on. Thank you.

        Jason when you talk about tonality, could you explain a bit more what you mean by this? Do you suggest keeping your tone more flat throughout?
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        • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
          Originally Posted by Lesley Huntley View Post

          Jason when you talk about tonality, could you explain a bit more what you mean by this? Do you suggest keeping your tone more flat throughout?
          Tone is a funny thing in sales calls. Too professional and you can come across as "slick." Too shaky and nervous, and you lose your credibility. Too full of false enthusiasm and prospects will run away.

          Some people can do well while sounding really professional. I go for the 'tired executive' approach.

          For newbies, there are usually two issues:

          First, the newbie is very nervous. There goes credibility--the insinuation seems to be that if you can't make calls comfortably, you must not be able to do what you do well. Not fair, but there it is.

          Second, the newbie "gulps and gushes" in excitement when they actually get a prospect on the phone. They become totally focused on pushing over this prospect and making the sale--and becoming emotionally hurt when it doesn't happen. The prospect, on the other hand, gets scared of the slurping come-on, and ends the call quickly in fear.

          To counter these issues, remember that what you offer is a professional, valuable product or service. It's worth talking about calmly. Second, don't be excited that you're talking to a live person. You should about every 4-6 dials. Now how many of those pickups can you turn into good conversations? A lot more if you're calm and confident than if you're nervous and gushy excited.
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          • Profile picture of the author Cashflowlife
            First let me say fantastic thread overall, thanks Jason and all.

            Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post

            Tone is a funny thing in sales calls. Too professional and you can come across as "slick." Too shaky and nervous, and you lose your credibility. Too full of false enthusiasm and prospects will run away.

            Some people can do well while sounding really professional. I go for the 'tired executive' approach.

            For newbies, there are usually two issues:

            First, the newbie is very nervous. There goes credibility--the insinuation seems to be that if you can't make calls comfortably, you must not be able to do what you do well. Not fair, but there it is.

            Second, the newbie "gulps and gushes" in excitement when they actually get a prospect on the phone. They become totally focused on pushing over this prospect and making the sale--and becoming emotionally hurt when it doesn't happen. The prospect, on the other hand, gets scared of the slurping come-on, and ends the call quickly in fear.

            To counter these issues, remember that what you offer is a professional, valuable product or service. It's worth talking about calmly. Second, don't be excited that you're talking to a live person. You should about every 4-6 dials. Now how many of those pickups can you turn into good conversations? A lot more if you're calm and confident than if you're nervous and gushy excited.
            I could not agree more on tone making such a massive difference. I also find, at least for me, that Mood affects that tone greatly. On days I am in a cruddy mood for one thing or another it might take me 150 calls to sell 1 lead gen/rental client, when on a normal day it's more like 70-80 calls per lease . Keep in mind these are just scraped localized YP.com numbers, so there are a lot of bad #'s & very few conversations per 100, maybe 10% or so.

            It amazes me how drastic a difference though when mood is off a bit, so much that I now just do something else on days I am grouchy, then call 300 numbers on days I am 'feeling it'. This change has not only made me more money but Much happier.

            Aaron, I also appreciate that breakdown for tracking, my existing tracking sheet was not as broken down as yours, I think I will do that. Especially with the outsourced telemarketing I added this year. I can tell you this, she was doing 'ok' but felt bummed about it, until I pointed out to her it was just a numbers game and that she was selling 1 per 130 calls, which is not bad for a non-sales person. Problem was she was only calling maybe 25 a day part time, but after learning of the 1 per 130 or so, she made a point to call at least that many every day or two and her sales & motivation went up accordingly. I can't wait to dig deeper and start finding where to improve her and myself more, along with how this will help with future outsourcing.

            Thanks again.
            -Chris
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            • Profile picture of the author Joe Stewart
              Originally Posted by Cashflowlife View Post

              I could not agree more on tone making such a massive difference. I also find, at least for me, that Mood affects that tone greatly. On days I am in a cruddy mood for one thing or another it might take me 150 calls to sell 1 lead gen/rental client, when on a normal day it's more like 70-80 calls per lease.

              It amazes me how drastic a difference though when mood is off a bit, so much that I now just do something else on days I am grouchy, then call 300 numbers on days I am 'feeling it'. This change has not only made me more money but Much happier.

              Thanks again.
              -Chris

              Hi Chris,

              I know exactly what you're talking about. There've been some days (especially back when I used to party all the time - lol) when I'd sit at my desk and my mindset would be a mess. I'd wonder to myself "how am I possibly going to do this today"? But once I get through those first few calls I can usually build momentum and make a good day of it.

              I've found that if I use the "I don't feel like this today" excuse too much I can easily blow an entire week.

              That being said, if I'm really feeling off my game I don't like to call my existing customers. They're much more valuable to me than cold calls and I can pretty much rely on them for a certain amount of income each every month.

              I've always found it best to at least get on the phone and hammer it for a couple hours. It's amazing how much getting a sale or two under your belt can change your mindset. :-)

              My old boss used to say that "activity breeds activity". I've found that to be very true over the years. I've had days where I've gotten beat up, not made any sales and after awhile just called it a day. Next thing I know the phone starts ringing off the hook! No joke! It's happened more than once.

              Another thing that's very important for me is maintaining a regular schedule. I do my best to get to bed on time on work nights.

              I've found that when I treat it like a business I do well. When I don't, I don't.

              My two bits.

              Joe
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              • Profile picture of the author Scott Stevens
                Originally Posted by Joe Stewart View Post

                Another thing that's very important for me is maintaining a regular schedule. I do my best to get to bed on time on work nights.

                I've found that when I treat it like a business I do well. When I don't, I don't.
                Joe
                Yes, I feel this is really key, too.

                Having a set schedule and sticking to it. I always find a great satisfaction when I'm sticking to my daily/schedule schedule (which propels me forward), and utter disgust when I stray off my schedule, go to bed late, waste time, miss activities (even non-work ones), etc.
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          • Profile picture of the author PaulintheSticks
            Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post

            Second, don't be excited that you're talking to a live person. You should about every 4-6 dials.
            Great post as always Jason.

            You're referring to dm's right? Are you referring to mom and pop businesses? Because I'm not getting anywhere that many conversations.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mwind076
    I told you to put this in it's own thread! The way you broke it down in easy to understand terms is absolutely the best info I've ever seen on here. Well done.
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  • Profile picture of the author Aaron Doud
    Great thread.

    Joe Verde talks about this kind of tracking but for the car world a lot in his books. You have to track your numbers or you will never get better.

    And I love how you put out realistic numbers like this. It will point out to people that as you said 20 or 50 calls is not going to cut it for the vast majority. And for those who it would they know better than to stop because if you can get 1 in 20 to buy why wouldn't you call 200 a day and make 10 sales a day? The real sales pros don't talk to less people as they get better. In fact many find ways to talk to more.

    The best car salesman I know personally (not a friend but a friend of a friend) works 6 bells a week most of the year. Most of his sales are referrals and be backs so he isn't there all day to get ups. No he is there all day so he can sell enough to make $400k/yr. While that is a bit extreme it shows how someone can be obsessed with sales.

    In sales you should always do the most productive thing you can with your time. If you are selling on the phone that means you need to be making calls. If you can get be backs and referrals you need to be dialing those customers as well as new prospects.

    Sadly on this forum we see too many people that think work (not always hard if you are smart about it) is a bad word. They wonder what will be the easiest way to make $10 Million or how they can outsource everything. For the most part life doesn't work that way. You have to bring value to the table if you want to get paid. Threads like this address the elephant in the room at times which is you have to sell.

    If you can't sell you can learn. There are people, books, and threads on here and elsewhere that can help train you. But until you accept that truth that you (or someone you hire) has to sell you will never move your business forward.

    The first step is to accept that you have to do it. The second step is to figure out how to do it. The third step is to "Just Do It". The rest works itself out along the way. On the first day you might be 0 for 200 but if you keep doing, training, and tracking soon you may just be 1 for 20 or even better.

    Jason just told you that you have to do it and how to get started doing it. So are you ready to "Just Do It"?
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    • Originally Posted by Aaron Doud View Post

      Sadly on this forum we see too many people that think work (not always hard if you are smart about it) is a bad word. They wonder what will be the easiest way to make $10 Million or how they can outsource everything. For the most part life doesn't work that way. You have to bring value to the table if you want to get paid. Threads like this address the elephant in the room at times which is you have to sell.
      Yeah, it seems like many people lost the appetite for hard work somewhere. It should be the other way around. People should be pumped that if they make enough calls, they will makes sales. How cool is that? It's a law of nature, like gravity and Democrats raising taxes.
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  • Profile picture of the author iAmNameLess
    Jason,

    I have a guy working here in the office doing sales, he's been here about 3 months now. He's below average, but makes the calls. Until I saw this I didn't know what the problem was, he was focusing on dials because thats what I do (but I know how to get a conversation started lol). Today I had him start tracking conversations that lasted longer than 3.5-4 minutes and out of 208 calls, only had 2.

    So, I'm wondering, would you also track conversations of follow up calls?

    Overall, he is below average. BUT.. that is no excuse, now that I have been able to identify the real problem (which should have been obvious) I can work on getting him to be average and possibly above.

    Since starting my office and going through a bunch of people like crazy, I have found out that some of the people that are really good at cold calling, are very bad with inbound calls. Weird, huh?
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    • Profile picture of the author kenmichaels
      Originally Posted by iAmNameLess View Post

      Jason,

      I have a guy working here in the office doing sales, he's been here about 3 months now. He's below average, but makes the calls. Until I saw this I didn't know what the problem was, he was focusing on dials because thats what I do (but I know how to get a conversation started lol). Today I had him start tracking conversations that lasted longer than 3.5-4 minutes and out of 208 calls, only had 2.

      So, I'm wondering, would you also track conversations of follow up calls?

      Overall, he is below average. BUT.. that is no excuse, now that I have been able to identify the real problem (which should have been obvious) I can work on getting him to be average and possibly above.

      Since starting my office and going through a bunch of people like crazy, I have found out that some of the people that are really good at cold calling, are very bad with inbound calls. Weird, huh?
      That's not weird. Its par for the course.

      Its two different mind sets, and requires additional training
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    • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
      Originally Posted by iAmNameLess View Post

      Jason,

      I have a guy working here in the office doing sales, he's been here about 3 months now. He's below average, but makes the calls. Until I saw this I didn't know what the problem was, he was focusing on dials because thats what I do (but I know how to get a conversation started lol). Today I had him start tracking conversations that lasted longer than 3.5-4 minutes and out of 208 calls, only had 2.

      So, I'm wondering, would you also track conversations of follow up calls?

      Overall, he is below average. BUT.. that is no excuse, now that I have been able to identify the real problem (which should have been obvious) I can work on getting him to be average and possibly above.

      Since starting my office and going through a bunch of people like crazy, I have found out that some of the people that are really good at cold calling, are very bad with inbound calls. Weird, huh?
      Looks like something's wrong with how he's beginning the conversations.

      A dial is a dial. A follow-up conversation is a dial and conversation. Tick, tick.

      How's he starting his calls? It could be words, it could be tonality. If you have a couple recordings to email me, I'd be happy to have a listen.

      As far as talking about presentations (@rundmc, Aaron)...that's a different approach from what I teach. I don't do that. In traditional selling, the presentation goes early. You end up presenting to a lot of unqualified prospects. I don't do that and don't teach others to do that. In my approach, the presentation is the hardest thing to get and goes at the very end. It's the final step, the thing to tip them over the edge after all the setup work has been done.
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      • Profile picture of the author Scott Stevens
        How would do you define a 'conversation'? Is it an un-interrupted opener?
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  • Profile picture of the author jctennis123
    What kind of business lists do you call? Any business in the phonebook?
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  • Profile picture of the author Lesley Huntley
    This is brilliant.

    Thank you Jason, this gives me much more of an insight than I could have ever considered on my own.

    Thanks again.
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  • Profile picture of the author WillR
    The lesson to be learnt here is the same with any type of sales.

    Do it enough and you will win.

    Cold calling, emailing, direct mail.... whatever.

    It's all the same. It's not rocket science. The more people you get your message infront of the more people you will sell. Marketing 101.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kayster13
    Great post, thanks for your insights.
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  • Profile picture of the author payoman
    What do you think about running out of prospects Jason?

    I admit, I really focus mostly on home improvement niches (plumbers, electricians etc) because it's so easy to get hold of the owner (gatekeepers make me really mad, what right do they have deflecting calls from a potentially interested owner-_-).

    Most home improvement niche owners list mobile phone numbers because they are always on the road. But yeah, my town is less than 200k and I do appointments mostly, should I just branch out to other niches? Or just bite the bullet and go for phone sales to other cities?

    I know the numbers need to be high when dialling and its just getting harder to find local prospects in my niches I spose...
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    • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
      Originally Posted by payoman View Post

      What do you think about running out of prospects Jason?

      I admit, I really focus mostly on home improvement niches (plumbers, electricians etc) because it's so easy to get hold of the owner (gatekeepers make me really mad, what right do they have deflecting calls from a potentially interested owner-_-).

      Most home improvement niche owners list mobile phone numbers because they are always on the road. But yeah, my town is less than 200k and I do appointments mostly, should I just branch out to other niches? Or just bite the bullet and go for phone sales to other cities?

      I know the numbers need to be high when dialling and its just getting harder to find local prospects in my niches I spose...
      Grow your market...and start calling your lists again from the beginning. Surely it has been several months since you last contacted them. Their circumstances may have changed. Some of them may need your services now.

      Also, what have you been doing about referrals?
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  • Profile picture of the author its
    Hi. Firstly great post but there is one big concern which I have.

    Lets say I need to call 5000 to 20,000 calls per year. How am I going to find these kind of numbers? I'm from the UK and so far my method of finding businesses to call comes down to the yellow pages and physically knowing where the stores are and looking them up myself. Add to this perhaps a local advertiser newspaper. What other ways can I find good numbers to call?

    Cheers.
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  • Profile picture of the author D.A.
    Yes, where do you getted scrubbed numbers from? Dialing 400 numbers in the same niche in the same town you live in sounds not quite real for most cities in the U.S.

    And that's a goal too, right? set up meetings, that you can go to physically?
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    • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
      Originally Posted by its View Post

      Hi. Firstly great post but there is one big concern which I have.

      Lets say I need to call 5000 to 20,000 calls per year. How am I going to find these kind of numbers? I'm from the UK and so far my method of finding businesses to call comes down to the yellow pages and physically knowing where the stores are and looking them up myself. Add to this perhaps a local advertiser newspaper. What other ways can I find good numbers to call?

      Cheers.
      Originally Posted by D.A. View Post

      Yes, where do you getted scrubbed numbers from? Dialing 400 numbers in the same niche in the same town you live in sounds not quite real for most cities in the U.S.

      Well guys, here's a hint: you're not likely to get ahold of the prospect with one dial. You're probably going to have to dial several times.

      Understand the definition of a 'dial': you pick up the phone and dial a number.

      The result of that dial can be a) you get a conversation, or b) you don't get a conversation.

      How you close (over the phone or by in-person appointment) is up to you and that is another thing which should help you get the picture. It probably isn't going to be "one dial one sale."

      Also, see post#36 in this thread.
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      • Profile picture of the author its
        I'm still lost as to how I can generate a list of 5-20k numbers. It's all well and good saying phone 50-100 people a day but give it a couple weeks and you could have gotten through your entire list.



        Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post

        Well guys, here's a hint: you're not likely to get ahold of the prospect with one dial. You're probably going to have to dial several times.

        Understand the definition of a 'dial': you pick up the phone and dial a number.

        The result of that dial can be a) you get a conversation, or b) you don't get a conversation.

        How you close (over the phone or by in-person appointment) is up to you and that is another thing which should help you get the picture. It probably isn't going to be "one dial one sale."

        Also, see post#36 in this thread.
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  • Profile picture of the author Norbi
    I didn't read the comments here, but Jason you hit it on the head. All too often, especially in the corporate world, people hear "I made X calls a day and I am successful." And what ends up happening is everyone is required to do the same. I seen it first hand in a sales organization of 100 people. The top 10 sales people were picked to join a conference, they were asked for their numbers (calls per day, in person visits, and emails). The leaders then came back and stated "The new numbers every rep must hit are the best of every rep combined"

    Yet, they forget the two crucial numbers in that formula. The first is the closing ratio, and the second is the percentage of getting through. I have worked with many sales people. Some were more forceful and brute closing, some were almost straight up consultants. Most recently, I had two sales people working for me who were polar opposites. They closed the same amount of deals, week in & week out. However, their numbers to get those results were completely different.

    One of the reps did only about 15 (in-person) calls a day. They could get through to the Decision Maker quite easily, and the closing ratio was quite high. On the flip side, the other one struggled to get through to the DM and closing ratio was so-so. That person needed to make about 35 calls a day.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
      Originally Posted by Norbi View Post

      I didn't read the comments here, but Jason you hit it on the head. All too often, especially in the corporate world, people hear "I made X calls a day and I am successful." And what ends up happening is everyone is required to do the same. I seen it first hand in a sales organization of 100 people. The top 10 sales people were picked to join a conference, they were asked for their numbers (calls per day, in person visits, and emails). The leaders then came back and stated "The new numbers every rep must hit are the best of every rep combined"

      Yet, they forget the two crucial numbers in that formula. The first is the closing ratio, and the second is the percentage of getting through. I have worked with many sales people. Some were more forceful and brute closing, some were almost straight up consultants. Most recently, I had two sales people working for me who were polar opposites. They closed the same amount of deals, week in & week out. However, their numbers to get those results were completely different.

      One of the reps did only about 15 (in-person) calls a day. They could get through to the Decision Maker quite easily, and the closing ratio was quite high. On the flip side, the other one struggled to get through to the DM and closing ratio was so-so. That person needed to make about 35 calls a day.
      Lessons:

      Your numbers are not their numbers.

      You probably need to make more dials than you thought.

      Calling gets a lot easier when you have some skill.
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  • Profile picture of the author its
    I feel like you missed my point. Never mind.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
      Originally Posted by its View Post

      I feel like you missed my point. Never mind.
      You don't NEED a list of 5000 to start with.

      You NEED as many prospects as you can call in a week or even a day. Maybe 50 - 200. Then you get more together as you go. You start getting referrals. You join new groups. You don't have a system, I can tell. I'm not saying this to be mean.
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      • Profile picture of the author Ron Lafuddy
        Jason,

        Just want to say thanks again for all the great information
        that you provide here, absolutely free.

        I wish I'd had this kind of material when I started decades ago.

        It would have shaved years off the learning curve and I would have
        made a lot more money, in those early days and beyond.

        I saw a Les Brown (the speaker not orchestra leader) video recently
        Les talked about being paid $400,000 for one speaking engagement.
        It was a breakthrough moment for him, but he also felt disgusted.

        Les realized that he'd been underpaid for speaking all these years.
        He realized that the big money had always been there, all he had to
        do was ask for it. They would have happily paid it to him.

        In a way, Les had underpaid himself by mentally underpricing his real
        value to the marketplace.

        It's probably time for you to take it up a couple of notches. There
        are bigger fish to fry, so to speak. And, you are worth the kind of
        money, that they will pay you.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    One more point I want to echo from my original post.

    When you start getting referrals, especially the right kinds of referrals (did you know there are 4 types, and 2 are terrible while 2 give you a much higher chance of closing?) you will start to eliminate the need for HUNDREDS of dials.

    Say you start getting weak referrals--but you can still close a third of them. So now if you figure out how to get 3 or 4 of these a month, you are virtually guaranteed a sale. Deduct that sale and its calling requirements from your total.

    Now you don't need as many leads.

    Most people never stick with anything long enough to become known as the guy or gal to talk to about ________. But that's the point where you start gaining traction. It's around 4 months in.

    Looking at it from the "I need 5000-10000 leads this year" perspective is wrong. Not to mention demoralizing. Get the leads you need this week set up in front of you. As you go and start to gain traction, you'll chip away at that number. It will shrink.
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    • Profile picture of the author acidtest
      Great thread here!

      I'm just getting started with my cold calls, so it's not like I'm speaking from years of hard won experience or anything, but thought I'd chime in anyway...

      I'm calling into the small hotels vertical, and am definitely hitting Jason's numbers of having a conversation every 4-6 dials. I'm curious about your results, Paul, wondering if your results are related to some other interesting variable, perhaps the vertical you're calling on or something...?

      I also have to say that reading those numbers of needing to make thousands of calls IS pretty intimidating to me, or at least it was until I followed what Jason is saying to the end: it's not really that much when you break it down by how many dials you need to make in a day. AND that is the number of dials to be made, not the number of prospects on the list.

      That makes the arithmetic much more "real life" for me.

      Jason, please check me on my math here?

      A: If I'm only talking to a prospect in 1/5 of the dials I make, then to make 5000 dials one only needs a list of about 1000 prospects. You just keep calling the 4/5 you missed earlier, minus the ones you qualify off your list.

      B: Factor in that >80% of sales don't happen until after the fourth call, then potentially we'd only need a list of about 250 prospects, because we need to be following up; good news since >90% of sales people give up at the second call.

      C: Calling to sort out prospects for need, budget and fit would bump that number of prospects needed back up, because we're sorting out unqualified prospects and narrowing down the list. I suppose that depends on what we're selling, how targeted the list is to begin with, what our criteria are for need, budget and fit, etc..??

      At any rate, it all seems totally manageable to me.... From Reference USA's database I know there's over 83k small hotels in the US, so there's no shortage of prospects to call... and because I'm lazy, I'm just scraping enough numbers off Google for a couple day's worth of calling, so it only takes twenty minutes or so to be ready to go to work.
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Nguyen
    Jason, how do manage calls and blocking out time if you've made 100 calls on Monday but 70 didn't pick up. Meaning you try it again the next day. But since the aim is to do 100 a day of new calls, then it's potentially 170 dials for Tuesday.

    To manage the call numbers, would you suggest work on a batch of maybe 3-400 numbers that week before moving to the next batch taking into account non pickups?

    Thank you.
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  • nice post. wow i need to step my game up with the number of calls.
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