19 replies
How many calls do you make a day. I get in five hours combined on the phone.
#b2b #calling #cold
  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    5 hours is a lot, and much more than other people are doing.

    I recommend 2 hours, twice a day to grow your business. You have to be feeling a '10' to make calls confidently. You need to be mentally sharp. You must not be tired or discouraged.

    2 hours stops the feeling that "oh no this is going to be a terribly long slog...I have 100 dials in front of me and I have no idea how long that is going to take. 10 hours?"

    You can see the end of the session as soon as you start. And after the first couple of dials, the time flies by for the first hour or so. Then, as the last 30 minutes approaches, you can say to yourself, "I can do this--it's only another half-hour."

    Not using an autodialer, 12-20 dials/hour is just fine. But if you're having great conversations, I don't care what the number of dials/hour is...you're going to get sales. So have great conversations and 4 dials per hour: I think that's awesome and soon you'll be getting that order. Lesson: concentrate less on # of dials and more on quality of conversations.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8621741].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Joe Stewart
      Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post

      5 hours is a lot, and much more than other people are doing.

      I recommend 2 hours, twice a day to grow your business. You have to be feeling a '10' to make calls confidently. You need to be mentally sharp. You must not be tired or discouraged.
      This is great advice!

      I currently do 4-6 hours per day depending on how I feel and whether I'm strictly cold calling, calling customers or both.

      Regarding "feeling a 10", I don't think it's realistic to set expectations like that. We're only human and some days are going to be better than others. If I'm really feeling crummy I won't touch my regular customers. I recommend trying to cold call on bad days for a couple hours anyway. It's a proven fact that if you force yourself to smile you can actually change your mood. Also, it can be a big boost if you get a sale during that stretch. I've had days where I'd get to work and wonder "how am I possibly going to do this today?" Uh, that was usually hungover. I'm so glad I don't do that anymore. lol

      Anyway, I'd force myself to just start "smiling and dialing" and the next thing I know I'd pull a rabbit out of the hat and have a productive day. Not always, but much of the time.

      There've also been days where I'd hammer the phone for 5-6 hours, not sell anything, call it a day and a little while later the phone would start ringing with people calling me to place an order. My old boss used to say "activity breeds activity" and he was 100% right.

      That being said, we can make ourselves feel better by consistently treating it like a business and getting proper rest. That means having regular bedtime and wake up hours. At least a few minutes of stretching and exercise before you begin can really help reduce stress and help you get your blood pumping.

      Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post

      2 hours stops the feeling that "oh no this is going to be a terribly long slog...I have 100 dials in front of me and I have no idea how long that is going to take. 10 hours?"

      You can see the end of the session as soon as you start. And after the first couple of dials, the time flies by for the first hour or so. Then, as the last 30 minutes approaches, you can say to yourself, "I can do this--it's only another half-hour."
      Yep. I keep the clock out of sight. It can become a distraction if it's in plain view. I just print out a list of prospects, pick up the phone and start dialing. I have a few browser windows open on my computer to my main supplier sites, the two most popular product pricing spreadsheets and one of the most popular sites in my niche (they offer everything) that I can use for quickly referencing stuff that my primary suppliers don't offer.

      Side Note: Although these guys are competitors I also do a lot of business with them. They buy in huge volume and I can get certain items from them cheaper than buying direct.

      Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post

      Not using an autodialer, 12-20 dials/hour is just fine. But if you're having great conversations, I don't care what the number of dials/hour is...you're going to get sales. So have great conversations and 4 dials per hour: I think that's great and soon you'll be getting that order. Lesson: concentrate less on # of dials and more on quality of conversations.
      Exactly. I almost always spend at least 5-10 minutes chatting with my regular customers each month, sometimes much more. I try to ask as many qualifying questions as possible with new prospects as well so I can get to know them a bit and target their needs better before I go into a presentation.

      Anyway, HTH.
      Signature

      My New "Share All" Blog Is Coming Soon! Online & Offline Marketing, More!

      http://www.UnCENTSored.com

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8622026].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
        Originally Posted by Joe Stewart View Post

        Regarding "feeling a 10", I don't think it's realistic to set expectations like that. We're only human and some days are going to be better than others.
        What I teach is to "Do what you gotta do" to feel better about yourself--surf the web, listen to music, go for a walk--and NOT get on the phone unless you are in the right frame of mind. Otherwise you are sabotaging yourself.

        Doesn't mean we throw the day away. Does mean we develop some "tricks" that do the job to return us to our positive state.

        And as for the hangover thing...yeah. Someone once wrote, "If you had a racehorse, would you keep it up drinking and smoking all night before the big race, and expect it do do well?"

        The racehorse, of course, is YOU.

        I occasionally smoke cigarillos, maybe once every couple of weeks or so. There have been times I've gone years without smoking one. But if I smoke EVEN ONE, it screws my sinuses and throat up for the next day. So I am very conscious of what I'm doing tomorrow, and if talking is on the menu, a cigarillo is not. When I break this rule, I regret it intensely. Hoarse prospecting or coaching calls are no fun at all.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8622551].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author Joe Stewart
          Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post

          What I teach is to "Do what you gotta do" to feel better about yourself--surf the web, listen to music, go for a walk--and NOT get on the phone unless you are in the right frame of mind. Otherwise you are sabotaging yourself.

          Doesn't mean we throw the day away. Does mean we develop some "tricks" that do the job to return us to our positive state.
          I understand. I do those things before, during and after the day is over. I've personally found that sometimes when it seems like the phone weighs 100 pounds and I just don't want to do anything that day, if I just start "smiling and dialing", at least for a couple hours, there've been many days when I've been able to have a good day after all. Sometimes I'll accidentally run across someone that needs something just by playing the numbers.

          Other times I'll call it a day after a couple hours if I'm still struggling and make a note to try those people again in a month or two.

          I guess I just developed the habit of at least trying back when I had a boss and had no choice.

          Unlike most people here, who are selling internet related products, I sell physical products and accessories to businesses offline.

          Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post

          And as for the hangover thing...yeah. Someone once wrote, "If you had a racehorse, would you keep it up drinking and smoking all night before the big race, and expect it do do well?"

          The racehorse, of course, is YOU.
          I was just making a bad joke here, though there used to be some truth to it. I haven't had a drink for many years now. Still, I have insomnia some nights that cause me trouble, but I still give it a try most days. I have to be up before 4:30 AM anyway because that's when I open for business.

          Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post

          I occasionally smoke cigarillos, maybe once every couple of weeks or so. There have been times I've gone years without smoking one. But if I smoke EVEN ONE, it screws my sinuses and throat up for the next day. So I am very conscious of what I'm doing tomorrow, and if talking is on the menu, a cigarillo is not. When I break this rule, I regret it intensely. Hoarse prospecting or coaching calls are no fun at all.
          I understand. I quit smoking 7 years ago as well. Now I need to work harder on giving up junk food. One thing at time, I guess. :-)

          I'll have to check out your products sometime. Maybe we could chat? I've been in sales for about 25 years altogether, mostly telemarketing, and I've worked independently from home since 2001, though I did get out of it for 5 years when "Bum Marketing" and Google Adwords were still working well for affiliates. The good old days. Saved my caboose when the recession hit my industry.

          Anyway, I respect your input and always enjoy reading your posts.

          Joe
          Signature

          My New "Share All" Blog Is Coming Soon! Online & Offline Marketing, More!

          http://www.UnCENTSored.com

          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8622695].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author bgood77
            I am always looking to devote an hour of my day to other b2b products. If anyone has anything good brewing send me a message. My 5 hours a day is not with a dialer, but I take tons of breaks. I do 20 mins on 10 mins off.
            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8623506].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Matthew North
      Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post

      You have to be feeling a '10' to make calls confidently. You need to be mentally sharp. You must not be tired or discouraged.
      Aside from things like exercise and meditation which I do weekly anyway, I find that nothing prepares you more for calling than actually picking up the phone.

      There has been so many times when I have felt like crap and not wanting to make the calls but I pushed through and ended up feeling fantastic. Not feeling like making calls is not a valid reason IMO. Waiting to feel good or not discouraged is like waiting to feel motivated or inspired, this is putting the cart before the horse.

      More motivation leads to more energy which leads to more motivation that pushes you forward. In other words, you need to start the task first before you can expect your motivation to keep you going.

      You start off slow, very slow. Celebrate each conversation you have and push each call a little beyond what you are comfortable with in your present state of mind.

      The key is to find enjoyment out of a 30 second conversation. It seems almost delusional, but you are building momentum to put yourself into a flow state of peak performance.

      Because you are entitled to the process but not the result.

      The flow state contains your best mental faculties when there is a big enough challenge for you to activate it. If it's too hard or too easy you won't be able to tap into that unconscious competence. This is why we build our emotional state in a calling session deliberately and slowly, one step at a time.

      We make sure not to let negativity in and focus on just doing the process. This is where meditation helps because it forces you to be present even in the face of uncomfortable emotions, boredom, physical pain etc. Meditation and cold calling builds your prefrontal cortex like a muscle that governs your willpower and mental tenacity to keep moving forward.

      Lowering your expectations of success, staying focused and celebrating each result regardless of outcome is what breeds excellence and a positive association to cold calling.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8623666].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Booster
      Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post

      5 hours is a lot, and much more than other people are doing.

      I recommend 2 hours, twice a day to grow your business. You have to be feeling a '10' to make calls confidently. You need to be mentally sharp. You must not be tired or discouraged.

      2 hours stops the feeling that "oh no this is going to be a terribly long slog...I have 100 dials in front of me and I have no idea how long that is going to take. 10 hours?"

      You can see the end of the session as soon as you start. And after the first couple of dials, the time flies by for the first hour or so. Then, as the last 30 minutes approaches, you can say to yourself, "I can do this--it's only another half-hour."

      Not using an autodialer, 12-20 dials/hour is just fine. But if you're having great conversations, I don't care what the number of dials/hour is...you're going to get sales. So have great conversations and 4 dials per hour: I think that's awesome and soon you'll be getting that order. Lesson: concentrate less on # of dials and more on quality of conversations.
      I am a programmer so usually I am focused on code : so shouldn't be better in my case to find a sales for this purpose or reserve Friday for cold calls?
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8624201].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author jamesfreddyc
        Originally Posted by Booster View Post

        I am a programmer so usually I am focused on code : so shouldn't be better in my case to find a sales for this purpose or reserve Friday for cold calls?
        How do you intend to do this (find sales people)?
        Do you expect them to come with experience and know what to do?
        Have you developed a commission schedule? How did you validate it?
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8624227].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author Booster
          Originally Posted by jamesfreddyc View Post

          How do you intend to do this (find sales people)?
          Do you expect them to come with experience and know what to do?
          Have you developed a commission schedule? How did you validate it?
          I was trying trying to find some in my local area but all were requesting a payment instead of a partnership. My commission schedule is 20% of the service sold by lead.

          To validate it, the client has just to tell me that he has been referred by the specific sale.
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8624674].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author jamesfreddyc
            Originally Posted by Booster View Post

            I was trying trying to find some in my local area but all were requesting a payment instead of a partnership. My commission schedule is 20% of the service sold by lead.
            Here's what I have found out since the SaaS I built is mature enough to bring to market:

            1. I assumed that experienced/seasoned sales people would view an aggressive commission schedule that paid recurring monthly commissions for the life of each account would be very attractive. It's not apparently.
            2. I assumed that there were lots of "hired guns" that I could solicit to sell my SaaS. There aren't.
            3. Don't setup your commission structure on Gross Sale. It has to be on Gross Margin for you to build any kind of decent return AND stay in business.
            4. Most of those you do find to sell your product are going to be inexperienced and looking for a paycheck.

            To validate it, the client has just to tell me that he has been referred by the specific sale.
            I meant, how did you validate that your commission schedule is going to be attractive to the sales person?

            OP, sorry if this is a bit of a derail on your post -- I personally think it is quite relevant to the topic though!
            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8624872].message }}
            • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
              Originally Posted by jamesfreddyc View Post

              Here's what I have found out since the SaaS I built is mature enough to bring to market:

              1. I assumed that experienced/seasoned sales people would view an aggressive commission schedule that paid recurring monthly commissions for the life of each account would be very attractive. It's not apparently.
              2. I assumed that there were lots of "hired guns" that I could solicit to sell my SaaS. There aren't.
              3. Don't setup your commission structure on Gross Sale. It has to be on Gross Margin for you to build any kind of decent return AND stay in business.
              4. Most of those you do find to sell your product are going to be inexperienced and looking for a paycheck.

              I meant, how did you validate that your commission schedule is going to be attractive to the sales person?

              OP, sorry if this is a bit of a derail on your post -- I personally think it is quite relevant to the topic though!
              A great way to find out what a commission salesperson expects is to ask them.

              Just finished an interview with a client where we did that. The candidate completely threw out the idea of an hourly rate...and that showed us he is confident in his abilities. Then we asked him what his target was for commission, and it was a good fit with our own expectations.

              If they don't know what they're worth, does it sound to you like they're looking for a steady thing to earn a wage at, or an opportunity to jump on and grow? We want self-starters, right?

              If you cannot make a profit from 50% of your sale price, you had better re-think your approach or raise your prices.
              {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8624884].message }}
            • Profile picture of the author Booster
              Originally Posted by jamesfreddyc View Post

              I meant, how did you validate that your commission schedule is going to be attractive to the sales person?

              OP, sorry if this is a bit of a derail on your post -- I personally think it is quite relevant to the topic though!
              Frankly, I do not validate it by any way except believing (maybe wrongly) that 20% of margin (is about the Gross Sale since I only provide Services) should be attractive enough.
              {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8626582].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author bob ross
    Jason is spot-on with this. You'll find yourself talking to people for a long time in some cases, sometimes half hour to an hour even.

    If you're outsourcing or hiring callers, you'll want to bring time into the equation but if it's you, just focus on quality of your calls.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8622628].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author JohnnyG11k
    There's a right and a wrong way to do cold calls.

    The standard method rarely works. It provides some results.

    The other approach is to get to know the person on the other side. Make the first question, open. Don't ask: "do you need X in your life/business". Give them an "yes or no" option and you'll not get the results you should be getting.

    My method requires you get to know the person, and build trust in as little as 5 minutes per contact. Then you could direct them to your landing page where you get prospects leave you their email. Then you get a lead to follow-up with via email/phone/skype, and generate business from there.

    Was this helpful? Do you have any further questions?
    Signature
    You won't believe it!
    This NICHE made me $300,000...
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8623978].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Booster
      Originally Posted by JohnnyG11k View Post

      There's a right and a wrong way to do cold calls.

      The standard method rarely works. It provides some results.

      The other approach is to get to know the person on the other side. Make the first question, open. Don't ask: "do you need X in your life/business". Give them an "yes or no" option and you'll not get the results you should be getting.

      My method requires you get to know the person, and build trust in as little as 5 minutes per contact. Then you could direct them to your landing page where you get prospects leave you their email. Then you get a lead to follow-up with via email/phone/skype, and generate business from there.

      Was this helpful? Do you have any further questions?
      I would like to know how many times (after the first cold call) you have to call them? I am planning to apply a similar approach where the first contact is through linkedin then I will also have call them normally just once.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8624194].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author JohnnyG11k
        Usually you get them online, you direct them onto a survey or onto your landing page and follow-up with your prospects via an auto-responder.

        If they don't answer your call the first time, you may want to call again within 72 hours.

        Does this help answer your question?

        Originally Posted by Booster View Post

        I would like to know how many times (after the first cold call) you have to call them? I am planning to apply a similar approach where the first contact is through linkedin then I will also have call them normally just once.
        Signature
        You won't believe it!
        This NICHE made me $300,000...
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8626443].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author Booster
          Originally Posted by JohnnyG11k View Post

          Usually you get them online, you direct them onto a survey or onto your landing page and follow-up with your prospects via an auto-responder.

          If they don't answer your call the first time, you may want to call again within 72 hours.

          Does this help answer your question?
          I am a bit confused with auto-responder following-up in parallel (usually equally 3 days after client subscription to the mailing list), but I agree for the re-call 72 hours later (in my case it is however just week later since I have decided to make phone call only each Friday).
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8626594].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Joe Stewart
      Originally Posted by JohnnyG11k View Post

      There's a right and a wrong way to do cold calls.

      The standard method rarely works. It provides some results.

      The other approach is to get to know the person on the other side. Make the first question, open. Don't ask: "do you need X in your life/business". Give them an "yes or no" option and you'll not get the results you should be getting.

      My method requires you get to know the person, and build trust in as little as 5 minutes per contact. Then you could direct them to your landing page where you get prospects leave you their email. Then you get a lead to follow-up with via email/phone/skype, and generate business from there.

      Was this helpful? Do you have any further questions?

      Certain approaches are very specific to the market you're working in, the cost of the item or service you're providing, the type of individual you're speaking to and more. There isn't really a "one pitch fits all" approach in telemarketing. If that were the case there'd only be one script that everybody in every industry used, right?

      I've sold several different products and services in both the B2B and B2C markets, but mostly B2B. Some scripts can be similar, but I'm not always going to approach a dentist the same way I approach an owner in a blue collar industry, the same way I approach a homeowner, etc.

      The ticket size of the product or products you're selling can make a difference in your approach as well.

      My point is that we're not all in the same markets and there are going to be differences in how we do business.

      I hope that makes sense? Not everyone here is in the "sell website services to business owners" niche, though it seems like most people are.

      People that are established in what they're doing should stick to what works for them. Others that are new to telemarketing should find a mentor that is successful teaching the style that best suits their industry.

      My two bits.
      Signature

      My New "Share All" Blog Is Coming Soon! Online & Offline Marketing, More!

      http://www.UnCENTSored.com

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8624323].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author club20coaching
    I was the top 5 of 2000 sales reps for one of the largest lenders in America and I can promise you that size does not trump quality. Keep yourself human and don't give into robotic scripts that sound like a robot programmed to take people's time and money. Get right to the point and focus on appointments the first time around and not sales. My conversion rate is sometimes 80 percent on appointments because I make my intro and than list the top reasons why they should meet with me and than I ask when and where to meet. Be fast and to the point!
    Signature
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8625333].message }}

Trending Topics