Cold Calling IS FUN!!

45 replies
The funny part was that I had to chuckle because I literally stalled and stared at my phone for well over a minute before making my first call this afternoon. But then I just called and thought "we'll see what happens". There's a specific reason I pushed on and that was from the push I received after I read this.

So I made about 10 calls that took about 2 hours but only because every single one of them wanted to talk and talk and talk. They were all interested (bar one who was too busy already), most of them wanted me to send them an email with some links to my previous work. Some accepted an SMS with a link to a mobile site I'd built for another business in the same niche (always handy) and some just wanted to talk about their businesses (I let them) and where ever they went I followed - we spoke about all sorts of things. They were all (100%) really friendly!

In some cases it was like we were all friends (I try to relax them with a laugh as early as possible) and spoke about all sorts of things. One asked if I could help them with their office network (I did), another asked if I knew anything about setting up bar code systems (I didn't), another said "yes, but not right now but I'll call you next week - what's your number?" another wanted computer lessons so I could show them how to do it (they will call tonight to organise a time). Another one flat out asked me for a free website! I said "no way!", not unless I could move in with them so they could house and feed me - which got a laugh. I said I'd build them a free site for 3 full paying referrals - he's going to make some calls.

So I didn't actually get any orders(Edit: I did make one sale for $1,500) but I had sooo much fun! It was like I spent the afternoon calling old friends. I got so confident that one call I made I tried the full blunt object approach...

[locksmith] "Locksmiths!"
"Hi [pause for effect - a little trick I learned]...hey do you guys have a website?"
[locksmith said] "nope".
me] "do you want one?"
[locksmith] "I suppose, how much are they?"
[me] "Affordable - I'll make sure of it"
[locksmith] "Cool. Send me the details"
[me] "I'll do better than that. Do you have a smart phone?"
[locksmith] "yep, iPhone"
[me] "I'll send you a link - press it with your thumb"
[locksmith] "****, how do I do that?!"
[me]lol...(when they swear or cuss...it's a great sing that they are relaxed with me) "just press the button"
[locksmith] "what button?"
[me] (cocky mode) "ummm...there's only button"
[locksmith] "smartarse"
[me] lol
[locksmith] "ok I got it now (says name of website), yeah man, these look cool"
[me] "excellent, how many would you like to order?"
[locksmith] lol..."what do you mean"
[me] lol..."just kidding - I'll put you down for one"
[locksmith] "I'll have a think about it and get back to you"
[me] "what's your email so I can send you my details?"

He gave me his details and though we spoke for a while about his other business (home BBQ patio furniture) and before he could end the call I said "ok, well I have to rush off to call all your competition now" he chuckled and said "you better not!" and though I'm not quoting the entire conversation; all the lines above were actually spoken.

My point? It was a lot of fun. No one was upset I called. No one abused me and at the end of each call I asked if they knew of anyone else in the area who needed work done on their website. I didn't get any (cold) referrals but some asked for my number (a good sign).

Cold calling can be fun. I know it's scary but just grit your teeth and start dialing. These are normal and usually friendly people who DO want your help but are a bit afraid of being "sold" something or paying too much. Put them at ease and if you don't get work you'll at least get a laugh. The way I feel right now I could cold call all day...just for fun!

HTH



Edit added: How did I source these "leads"? I just picked up my local directory (I live on a Peninsular so all these guys are small town folk) and (mostly) browsed the picture ads. Normally I'd only call a business who had a website, was advertising and offered a poor mobile experience but this time I went freestyle and called all sorts from businesses who had a website to those who didn't. It was a bit wasteful but I was having such a great time it was like I was looking for more friends to call.
#calling #cold #fun
  • Profile picture of the author Arzak
    That's the way it should be. The other person should be comfortable (heck, maybe even enjoying) talking to you, not trying to get off the phone ASAP!
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  • Profile picture of the author Mr Bill
    I agree. I've made hundreds of cold calls but today it was just a lot more fun than I ever expected it could be. I couldn't wait for the next one.
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    • Profile picture of the author Paulo
      Awesome Bill, I´m glad for you.

      I believe if you go with an open heart
      and a genuine motivation to give of
      yourself and help people you´ll do fine
      and enjoy the experience big time.

      Congratulations and thanks for sharing.

      Paulo

      PS. Keep us updated
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  • Profile picture of the author umc
    I've always had a hard time cold calling alone, but I loved the energy of the big phone room I once called from and later ran. It was lots of fun. Many telemarketers are characters, and we had epic calls that I still remember well over a decade later. Good times.
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  • Those cold calls are already successful from the way I see it. I would rather do business with someone I know, I'm comfortable with,and is really talking to me and listening to me as a person than with some guy who's just rattling off a sales pitch from a script.
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    • Profile picture of the author MarkJez
      Epic post Bill.

      I think I will print your post out and stick it to the side of my PC monitor to remind me (and my staff) that cold calling shouldn't be the dreaded activity that some think it is.
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  • Profile picture of the author NewParadigm
    cold calling is fun if you don't take rejection personal.

    Plus, if you aren't casual calm cool, neither will they. If the prospect picks up any perception that you are nervous or unsure, they will become nervous and unsure. You are telling them you don't believe in your product/service.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mwind076
    Great job! Not all calls go like that, nor do you always get to "talk" and use your personality because you don't get to the DM. However, cold calling is not scary, they are just people like you and me. They have jobs, bills, kids, spouses and have hobbies and interests.

    We often tell our clients that we don't use "scripts" - we will sell you one, create one, use one as a basic idea to learn your product, but after about 2 days, the scripts are GONE! Why? Because talking sells more than scripting does. If you can talk about the service/product AND small talk or read your customers enough to get them off the main subject and comfortable, you'll sell ALL DAY LONG.
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  • Profile picture of the author NewParadigm
    It's much like many martial arts that redirect energy the way you want it. In cold calling case, its a sale. You first elicit energy from the prospect by asking them questions. You want to redirect and have them lead themselves in the direction you want. The best sales people don't sell at all, they redirect and help prospects lead and sell themselves.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mr Bill
      Originally Posted by MarkJez View Post

      Epic post Bill.

      I think I will print your post out and stick it to the side of my PC monitor to remind me (and my staff) that cold calling shouldn't be the dreaded activity that some think it is.
      Cool, that made me smile. I was so whelmed by my experience it seemed odd and I'd wished I'd closed one to give the story it's fitting end but even posted it to see if we can repair the reputation of the poor old cold call. Imagine if Cold Calls were really fun (like a game show) I'm show we'd all be making more of them.

      Originally Posted by NewParadigm View Post

      cold calling is fun if you don't take rejection personal.

      Plus, if you aren't casual calm cool, neither will they. If the prospect picks up any perception that you are nervous or unsure, they will become nervous and unsure. You are telling them you don't believe in your product/service.
      True. Maybe we should call them "Cool Calls" because the idea is to meet cool people and be cool with them. It's hard not to take rejection aimed at you personally. I think it's ok to get upset if someone gets upset with you but not to remain upset for long.

      I remember once I had a particularly gruff towtruck driver have a go at me but he had obviously had lots of calls that day about the same thing because he said "don't you guys ever give up?!" I decided that to get that feeling out of my head I needed to take a cool pill by ringing someone else immediately to snap me out of it - it worked.

      Originally Posted by John Jonas Phil VA View Post

      Those cold calls are already successful from the way I see it. I would rather do business with someone I know, I'm comfortable with,and is really talking to me and listening to me as a person than with some guy who's just rattling off a sales pitch from a script.
      This is the attitude I went into it with yesterday. I think it could be compared to the "at least buy me dinner if you're going to..." well you know. In a cold call you must pay a social toll fee by at least giving them a friendly experience and a laugh.

      I don't mind being offered a service but I'm mostly looking to connect with people so if you're going to sell me something at least attempt to give me something (such as a laugh or some information) to make me feel good because an immediate sales pitch is never going to work on me unless I walked into your store.

      Originally Posted by umc View Post

      I've always had a hard time cold calling alone, but I loved the energy of the big phone room I once called from and later ran. It was lots of fun. Many telemarketers are characters, and we had epic calls that I still remember well over a decade later. Good times.
      I've never worked as a cold call salesman but we all sell ourselves daily in many ways for many reasons. I did work in a call center for a local Taxi company and I did take and make a lot of calls as a support tech for big corp and governments. I think this may have helped because I've been able to frame myself as a helper which if I take into a cal call in this context should help. I think all good offliners should really want to help deed down. My particular buzz is "de-mystification" and I use "Feel, Felt, Found"..." I know how you feel, I felt the same way (about websites) until I found out how it all works...etc

      Originally Posted by Paulo View Post

      Awesome Bill, I´m glad for you.

      I believe if you go with an open heart
      and a genuine motivation to give of
      yourself and help people you´ll do fine
      and enjoy the experience big time.

      Congratulations and thanks for sharing.

      Paulo

      PS. Keep us updated
      Thanks Paul, I'm glad you got something out of it. I hope it makes you pick up the phone today. One thing that worked for me yesterday was taking notes. I put the number 1) then made a call and took notes. Then number 2)...and so on. The frame was that I'd be making up to 20 calls (or any amount really) until I scored a job. This blunts any negativity you might get but the astounding thing about yesterday was that I received no negativity at all.

      Originally Posted by Mwind076 View Post

      Great job! Not all calls go like that, nor do you always get to "talk" and use your personality because you don't get to the DM. However, cold calling is not scary, they are just people like you and me. They have jobs, bills, kids, spouses and have hobbies and interests.

      We often tell our clients that we don't use "scripts" - we will sell you one, create one, use one as a basic idea to learn your product, but after about 2 days, the scripts are GONE! Why? Because talking sells more than scripting does. If you can talk about the service/product AND small talk or read your customers enough to get them off the main subject and comfortable, you'll sell ALL DAY LONG.
      100% agree. I usually expect some grief from someone I called at the wrong time which is why I was so surprised yesterday at the warm reception I got and thought I'd capture that energy by posting about it. Now, no one can take yesterday from us (me anyway).

      As far as scripts go, they don't work but do think you should go in with an aim to achieve certain milestones (get them talking, relax them, give them some value and ask if you can help further) which is close enough to a script. You do lose some posture by being "uber" friendly (sometimes I forget what I'm doing and get lost in the conversation...lol).

      When people ask me how I cold call I'm surprised at how many want a script. One even accused me (jokingly I'm sure) that I was avoiding the question because I didn't want to give out "my script". I just don't have one and I reply by asking for the script they use when they talk to their friends at the pub. They get the point.

      Originally Posted by NewParadigm View Post

      It's much like many martial arts that redirect energy the way you want it. In cold calling case, its a sale. You first elicit energy from the prospect by asking them questions. You want to redirect and have them lead themselves in the direction you want. The best sales people don't sell at all, they redirect and help prospects lead and sell themselves.
      Good point.
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      • Profile picture of the author Mwind076
        Originally Posted by Mr Bill View Post



        100% agree. I usually expect some grief from someone I called at the wrong time which is why I was so surprised yesterday at the warm reception I got and thought I'd capture that energy by posting about it. Now, no one can take yesterday from us (me anyway).

        As far as scripts go, they don't work but do think you should go in with an aim to achieve certain milestones (get them talking, relax them, give them some value and ask if you can help further) which is close enough to a script. You do lose some posture by being "uber" friendly (sometimes I forget what I'm doing and get lost in the conversation...lol).

        When people ask me how I cold call I'm surprised at how many want a script. One even accused me (jokingly I'm sure) that I was avoiding the question because I didn't want to give out "my script". I just don't have one and I reply by asking for the script they use when they talk to their friends at the pub. They get the point.

        Let me say this, scripts work, if you have no idea what you're doing, or if you are new at calling and learning, or if you are forgetful and can't remember things. Some people NEED scripts. Everyone when just starting a new campaign (even us) need scripting. Ours is more talking points or qualifying questions, a few key descriptions we haven't learned all the way yet etc.

        We never get friendly until they do, we always mimic the "demeanor" they give off. If they are stuffy we are nice, but stuffy, if they are fast talkers, we are fast talkers etc. We don't start by being overly friendly or losing our posture - we always keep the dominant hand
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        • Profile picture of the author Joe Stewart
          Originally Posted by Mwind076 View Post

          Let me say this, scripts work, if you have no idea what you're doing, or if you are new at calling and learning, or if you are forgetful and can't remember things. Some people NEED scripts. Everyone when just starting a new campaign (even us) need scripting. Ours is more talking points or qualifying questions, a few key descriptions we haven't learned all the way yet etc.

          We never get friendly until they do, we always mimic the "demeanor" they give off. If they are stuffy we are nice, but stuffy, if they are fast talkers, we are fast talkers etc. We don't start by being overly friendly or losing our posture - we always keep the dominant hand
          This^^^^

          It's so easy to get off course even when you've been doing it for years. You start off using the script and over time make it your own, but you can get too far off course sometimes and need to get back to the basics, especially when cold calling.

          I remember years ago when I was working for a particular company. Every once in awhile I'd go into a slump and couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong. I'd ask my boss to come and listen to me for awhile and every time he'd listen for a bit and then tell me "go back and start using the script again". I had gotten too far off course and was missing key components of the presentation. It wasn't just me either, it happens to most people.

          That's why I'd always tell people that I was training to read the script verbatim. It was written like that word for word for a reason - it's proven to work!
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  • Profile picture of the author Mr Bill
    Update: This just in...

    Hi Bill,
    Ok we will go ahead with the online web site to be discussed...
    Disclosure: This isn't a paid job (yet) because I offered to help him sort out his hosting (he had no idea where anything was, has a heap of domains...etc). I believe this will eventually lead to building him a nice clean, simple website like the one I showed him to showcase my work. He really like that site so...finger's crossed. He also said he knew some folks who needed a website.

    This method of mine is slightly innefficient in that I offer free help on a small job to prove my worth. I'm sure the big guns in the mobile/offline niche wouldn't give stuff away for free like I do but then again I only have one mouth to feed - mine. So I can afford to give away little treats to build rapport. This might not work for you but it works for me as I have the luxury of time on my side.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mr Bill
    You're right. You have to know at least roughly why you're bothering them and then of course once they start asking questions you have to make them feel at ease by demonstrating that you know what you're talking about. I suppose it's not strictly true that I don't have any script at all but to me it's more like an agenda with a flexible path with multiple aims.

    1 Sale Closed!
    I sold a full size website + matching mobile for a negotiated discount price on the promise of at least 3 referrals to be delivered before the end of the job (thanks to the Warrior who suggested that). We also spoke of building a list (of caravan owners), starting a Facebook page, joining caravan groups...etc.

    He was totally down with all of that, was fascinated when I explained how it all tied in and said "let's get the basic website built, I want one of those cool mobile sites as well and I want to pay you to teach me to how to manage all that stuff (he wants to learn) so who knows where this could lead. I'm estimating that with a lead or two that converts into another sale I could easily have generated a few grand from 6 calls.

    All I'm sayin' is that this is not impossible. I'm going to give this guy the best service he's ever had, he was also talking of getting me to drive in there and take a look at his network (he's that guy). He even said he could give me some welding work if I wanted (we got sidetracked and I shared that I'm a pro welder as well). I politely refused but must admit...did think of it for a moment. 'Love layin' down a righteous bead.

    I hope this encourages you to step a little closer to the phone. People out there need our help. We're probably being selfish focusing on our fears instead of dusting off the old red cape and flying in to people's rescue. Charge a fair price and make sure it's not too cheap because I'[ve noticed that businesses get nervous around people who clearly don't know how to value themselves.

    He even told me that most of the people they know (when discussing referrals) are too scared to ring up for a website because they think it's going to cost thousands (I jumped in and said "SOLD!" which made him laugh). We have a responsibility to help these people. If we get enough work we can be affordable for everyone and make a great living.

    P.S. Don't forget I also offered to help this guy for free to (as I described it) "serve the first ball" which made him chuckle (again with the laughter) which I'm sure helped. It's a fine line between "please allow me to demonstrate my skills" and "please hire me...I'm soooo hungry".

    Posture...as always, helps. People can feel when you're genuine and you know what you're talking about and it's a relief (for them) when they feel they can finally trust you. Cost, at that point, is largely a formality.
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  • Profile picture of the author watsonovedades
    great result man
    how do you make the website compatible with mobile?
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    • Profile picture of the author Mr Bill
      Originally Posted by watsonovedades View Post

      great result man
      how do you make the website compatible with mobile?
      Thanks.

      I personally dislike "responsive" (squashed sausage) websites. I make a custom (matching) mobile website for each new client which I build and install into a sub-domain and I use redirection scripts to direct mobile visitors to it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    Actually getting on the phone and making dials is important; so is having a consistent sales process. Having the right expectations is even more important, because then you'll know what to expect, and not get 'beaten up' by what you think is rejection but is really just part of the game.

    This will help:

    http://www.warriorforum.com/offline-...beginners.html
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  • Profile picture of the author Mwind076
    Let me say this - we never suggest anyone read a script verbatim. Period. I could write it friendly and say something like "Hi, this is Melissa, who does your website advertising?" and you could sound like a robot saying that. We write scripting for our newbies, or clients, but it is never to be used verbatim, nor is it expected. We all don't speak the same, or do the same pauses, or inflections, so what sounds great or non-cheesy to the writer of the script will come off as cheesy and not-great when someone else says it with their own voice and mannerisms.

    What we do advise is for them to learn the flow of the script, the intro, getting to the DM, the qualifying questions, or the sell, or the appointment. Use your own intro, your own way to get to the DM (within reason), ask the questions correctly, but use your own wording etc. It all makes it flow better. If you NEED to say it verbatim because you can't remember or have no personality or ability to converse, you are not someone we would let work for us.

    How many times have you heard a help line person reading a script to you and you just want to reach through the phone and smack them because you know they are reading and not TALKING to you! I want those I speak with to know I am invested, and hearing them and that I am conversing with them, not talking at them.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mr Bill
      Originally Posted by Mwind076 View Post

      I want those I speak with to know I am invested, and hearing them and that I am conversing with them, not talking at them.
      This is pretty much how I work. During this landmark day I was full of confidence because I was looking at horrible websites so I didn't ask "if they needed my help" I knew they needed my help so I told them that. Sometimes in a comic way e.g. I told them their website was like clothing for the business and at the moment their bare arse was showing. I wouldn't say something strong like that until we were "at that point" in the friendship which leads me to want to agree with...

      That was a great approach to cold calling. I am glad it worked so well for you. It sounds like you are a natural.

      LLS
      I do like to talk a lot, I like to make people laugh and feel comfortable and I like to open all new conversations like we're old friends continuing a conversation. I've never had any success being officious, following a strict script or being fully prepared. I do suspect I had an easier time because

      1) I was calling Australians - famously a laid back culture and
      2) I was calling small town folks who respond more to a friendly approach than they do to an officious scripted approach.

      I've no doubt that a script is essential if you have to make hundreds of calls a day and as I mentioned earlier I do know what I want to achieve and some closing approaches and I'm a fan of ABC (Always Be Closing). I just spice it with a little sugar (compliments) and laughter to make them relax as well as some encouragement (about their business - but being very careful to avoid false or exaggerated claims or making big promises) then hit them with strong technical proficiency, some scary facts, some inevitable realities (everyone's going mobile...etc) and that's the best I can do.

      If I sense they are starting to trust me (by asking questions) I'll give them a sweet like a free task or something, I make them feel at ease that I'll leave them a website that they'll be able to easily operate (using presupposition to place them on the scene)...and if all else fails I want to make sure that even if I don't get the sale I have a pleasant experience.

      I end the call by asking for referrals (from anyone else they know who might need help with their website) and when they say no I end by saying "...gotta ask - right?" they agree, don't blame me and usually say they'll keep my number handy and I end by reminding them of my name, wish them good luck and invite them to call me any time if they get stuck. They seem to appreciate the chat and I always leave them more educated than I found them.
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      • Profile picture of the author socialentry
        I find when working on a difficult campaign and you get a sale, it's a big boost of adrenaline. That's fun. That feels really good.

        If I think I'm losing the sale and I'm not sure why, I try a hail mary pass and I screw around. I think it's a bit like sports meaning internalizing new techniques and seeing a general progression is rewarding even if the "play" or training itself might be very tiring. That's fun too.

        I joke a lot with other cold callers, and in general I'm a fairly good if shy teamplayer. That can be fun too because a lot of cold callers are characters.


        I think a lot of the bad rap that cold calling get are from corporate call centers and high pressure boiler rooms.
        .
        In corporate outsourcers, they use courtesy closes, meaning you have to say something like "the bank of blah blah blah thank you for your time" even if you lose the sale, you can't just hang up on the guy because its corporate policy, that sucks big time.
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        • Profile picture of the author Mr Bill
          Originally Posted by socialentry View Post

          ...I think a lot of the bad rap that cold calling get are from corporate call centers and high pressure boiler rooms...
          I agree, what we (most of us) do is just normal people connecting with other normal people trying to help them. That's the big difference. There's no formality. I like that.
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  • Profile picture of the author NewParadigm
    Bullet points are all you pretty much need as reminders to hit and sound more natural. A hard script makes you sound unnatural and scripted But if that's where you need to start, do it. Set your beginning expectation levels very low to not put pressure on yourself. PLAN on burning several new leads as "failure fun!" This helps most people newer to cold calling to be much more comfortable.

    The quicker you get to asking good questions, the better you are off. Think of yourself as an interviewer, not a cold callin salesman convincing people to buy. I've found the more people talk about themselves, the more successful you are. I've heard feedback from folks that I was a pretty cool guy, and I literally didn't say much of anything on the call except ask a few questions. haha.
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    • Profile picture of the author Garble
      Based on my short experience cold calling, I've found scripting the opening line to be the most critical. The rest is just following bullet points of subjects that I should bring up. That opening sentence needs to be short and compelling. Its taken me several months of tweaking to find something to say that doesn't cause people to shut down and dismiss my call before I've even had a chance to finish.
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  • Profile picture of the author bobert8590
    If you actually have a great product and not pushing tired old crap then yes you should be excited about cold calling
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  • Profile picture of the author Mr Bill
    Thanks Jason. Even though I'm a natural chatterbox I have taken a lot from your (and other's) posts to guide my natural enthusiasm.
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  • Profile picture of the author Matthew Anton
    "So I didn't actually get any orders but I had sooo much fun!"

    I think we've all been victims of letting meetings, or calls get off topic. Remember, there is a difference between not having a sales process and being unfriendly. Not being direct, or lack of a process will lead to conversations going astray.

    The goal isn't to become best friends but allow the prospect to recognize they are lacking something, and you have the solution. "Fun" is good but not the purpose of the call; they have chat rooms for that sort of thing.

    Picture the end goal in mind, and then work backwards to it. I would much rather have someone hang up in my face or tell me to F off, then to discuss their glory days scoring 4 touchdowns in high school (Al Bundy reference!).
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  • Profile picture of the author Mr Bill
    Hi Matthew, thanks for your comments. Believe me, I know how to close and I was closing constantly and I had laser focus on the end goal. In fact you might have missed (further down in the thread) that out of the 6 calls I made one sale. The goal was never to "become bets friends" and I hope that's not what anyone takes away from this and believe me every single one of them new exactly what they were lacking. It's just that 5 of the 6 didn't want to order.

    I let every single one of my calls get off topic. In fact I purposely try to drive them off topic as often as I can as a pattern interrupt. It's part of my process. I'm not out to just have fun. I'm out to sell, sell, sell - it's just that I and the people I call have fun doing it. That was the purpose of my OP.

    1 out 6 is pretty good going in my book. I don't know how well the real professionals do but I made $250 per call that day. I think that's pretty good rate for having fun and getting "rejected" 80% of the time.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mr Bill
    Just as well Australians aren't that uptight. Down here we're all pretty casual and friendly. It's almost impossible to do business down here if they don't like you on a "mateship" level and people that try to come across as "sharp" get the big boot and rarely succeed. My experience and knowledge gives me plenty of authority. They soon know I know what I'm talking about.

    I've also been doing this for years so it's not really 6 calls. I was just reporting on the last 6 which were particularly fun and with all the cold calling fear that's been sprouted around here lately I thought I'd offer some balance. I've made hunbdreds of calls and they are nearly always friendly chatty affairs and every single one of my closes have been as a result of a friendly casual helpful approach.

    20 Minutes isn't long at all if it gets the job, plus I would be forcing them to talk for 20 minutes. It would only go that far if we were both enjoying the call. Most of the chat is about websites, mobile, benefits, samples, advice...etc They get a lot of value when I call them and if I get the job in the end I'd speak for 2 hours each. At the end of the day I got the job and it only took 2 hours to find it.

    Yes, it's true that 5 of the six did not order but I don't count failure, I only count success and it took me only a few hours to have some great conversations with normal people who all appreciated it and if I repeated that pattern every time I'd consider it a massive success.
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  • Profile picture of the author socialentry
    Nevermind, I read the thread some more and I misunderstood. Look like you got all your bases covered.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mr Bill
    That's not really true or the point of this thread (to show off how good I am) but I accept the sarcasm with the humour I'm sure (hope) you intended. I simply wanted to illustrate that making a cold call isn't always a descent into the boiling oil fires of hell that people seem to want to imagine it is.

    Sometimes it can be fun and I had a particularly good day and wanted to share it. In fact, further up I speculate as to some possible reasons why it was so much fun (Aussies are laid back and I was calling small town folk). I just wanted to share how loosening up a bit might help. It did for me.
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    • Profile picture of the author socialentry
      lol. No my friend. It wasn't sarcastic. I simply forgot to add a smiley at the end. Much is lost via the keyboard. .
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      • Profile picture of the author Mr Bill
        Originally Posted by socialentry View Post

        lol. No my friend. It wasn't sarcastic. I simply forgot to add a smiley at the end.

        I think if we all had your philosophy, the world would be a better place.
        Oops, I humbly and fully apologise. I'll have to turn down the sensitivity on my sarcasm meter. Thanks.
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  • Profile picture of the author Aaron Doud
    I want to point something out that you may or may not be aware of when it comes to the way you sell.

    Based on what you said in your OP I would say you are a Relationship Seller. I haven't really talked about dividing people into the 4 types of sellers much. But the fact you spend two hours on 10 calls and didn't close a sale I wanted to point it out so you could be aware of it if you were not.

    People before have seen me talk about how all sales can really be broken down into four basic steps.
    1. Connect: This is the greeting and other social interactions that you use to get the prospect open to speaking with you.
    2. Ask: This is the part where you ask questions about the prospects needs and wants (often alternates back and forth with Present)
    3. Present: This is where you show the prospect one or more items or services.
    4. End: This is the stage in most sales where you close but I call it end because in long game sales the end might be the scheduling of the next appointment/meeting.
    And just as there are four steps there are Four Natural Selling Tendencies, aka where a salesman will focus their attention/efforts.
    • Relationship: These are the people who focus on the small talk and conversation parts of the sales process. They are focused on the Connection. These are the people who at the highest level become masters at networking.
    • Customer: These are the people who focus on the Prospect. They will often spend most of their time listening and almost everything they say will be a question designed to learn more from the prospect. These are the people who at the highest level become masters of persuasion.
    • Product: These are the people who focus on what they are selling. The worst of them we know as Tellers. Remember the old quote, "Telling isn't Selling."? Well it is and once they become masters these people become the ultimate product advocates.
    • Outcome: These are the people who focus on the close/outcome of the sale. Much of the sales training in the world is aimed at these people and/or making others into them. The best of these become masters of negotiation.
    None of these are right or wrong. And in different environments each can excel or fail. Can you image a Relationship Seller trying to sell to engineers? That likely would not work very well.


    Which brings me back to you, the OP, and how you are a Relationship Seller. You need to be aware of this and aware that no matter where your focus is you have to still do all Four Steps. As often is the case with those focused on the Relationship you build great rapport but you didn't likely use that relationship to close the sale.


    Getting people to talk to you will be easy. Getting them to talk about specific things may be harder for you. And asking for the sale may be even harder. But you must do that to close the sale.


    You are not cold calling to make friends. It is great you had fun but having fun doesn't put money in your bank account. So be aware of this and be conscious of your natural tendency to focus on the relationship. Because if you are aware of it you can bring it more "make the sale" focus.


    Note 1: If I am reading you wrong I apologize. I am basing this on what you told us which may not give a full picture of your selling style or what happened in these 10 interactions.


    Note 2: I am a Customer Focus myself and I am well aware of the fact that I tend at times to not ask for the sale. I overcome this buy creating such value that the customer asks to buy. But I can get myself into dangerous spots if I can not get the customer to ask and I fail to attempt to close. So I am aware of this first hand from a related focus.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mr Bill
    Thanks Aaron that was really informative but if you read further down you'll see that I did actually make a sale so it was a very successful day.

    I've been using this technique (of just being a real person) for nearly two years now and have sold over $30,000 worth of mobile sites, wordpress sites and services this way, not to mention that I've used this technique to sell over 7 figures worth of other products in another (unrelated) niche.

    Being a normal friendly person sells very well and in fact every time I try to be officious or efficient or tried to move the sale along faster than the client was ready it's failed. People generally hate sellers so I avoid coming across as one too strongly. I'm also confident that during my few hours I shared a LOT of information with 6 very grateful people who are now better off for my call.

    We spoke mostly about websites and marketing and hosting and Facebook and all sorts of relevant website and marketing topics and they all took my number and I'm going to follow up on a few today. It's not like I spent the time talking about tits, cocaine and hot rods. I was educating, informing and building relationships which netted me $1,500 in one day.

    My technique works exceptionally well for me and (even though it took a few hours) I made $1,500 in just 6 calls that took just a few hours and I had a ball doing it and that's about as successful as I will ever need to be.

    P.S. The sale I made was to an engineer.
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  • Profile picture of the author Aaron Doud
    Glad you made 1 sale so far and sorry I missed that. I hope you didn't take anything I said as a diss or put down because it was not. It was merely meant to be an eye opener if you didn't know that about yourself (that is if my assessment was correct). The hope being that you could use that knowledge to sell more.

    Relationship Selling works if you are good at it, have a natural focus on it, and have the right prospects. Sounds like you have experience getting it done so you know what I mean.

    Would you consider yourself a relationship focused seller? Curious if I read you correctly.

    Also you don't have to talk about tits, cocaine, and hot rods to be having a conversation that is relationship focused. In fact I would say for most people talking about tits, cocaine, and hot rods would not be something they would want to do. But that visual did make me laugh.

    And $1,500 over 6(10?) calls is very good and something very few people can do. But most who do phone sales are Outcome Focused "Closers" so they are about qualifying people in and out quickly. They might have 50 to 100 calls in the time it took you to have 10.

    I would not agree that people hate "sellers" though. People hate bad salespeople and those bad salespeople give the profession a bad name. People love buying and they simply don't think of those sales people as "sellers". I would say that if most people really stopped and thought about it they would find that to be true. You don't have to be aggressive to make sales but I would say that most of us could learn to be a bit more aggressive with asking for the sale.

    What you do is simply your way of selling. And from what you have said it works well for you. And in the long run that is all that matters. The key is to learn what works for you and your prospects and how to become even better at it.

    and that's about as successful as I will ever need to be.
    I will add one last point that thinking like this quote could become limiting. We all tend to get trapped by Relative Success. You have to be careful about ever being satisfied. We all need a little "hunger" to keep ourselves moving forward.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mr Bill
      Originally Posted by Aaron Doud View Post

      Glad you made 1 sale so far and sorry I missed that. I hope you didn't take anything I said as a diss or put down because it was not. It was merely meant to be an eye opener if you didn't know that about yourself (that is if my assessment was correct). The hope being that you could use that knowledge to sell more.
      No, no, not at all. I read all your posts and I'm grateful you dropped in. Every word has been relevant and useful.
      Originally Posted by Aaron Doud View Post


      Relationship Selling works if you are good at it, have a natural focus on it, and have the right prospects. Sounds like you have experience getting it done so you know what I mean.

      Would you consider yourself a relationship focused seller? Curious if I read you correctly.
      I would say it's pretty close.
      Originally Posted by Aaron Doud View Post

      Also you don't have to talk about tits, cocaine, and hot rods to be having a conversation that is relationship focused. In fact I would say for most people talking about tits, cocaine, and hot rods would not be something they would want to do. But that visual did make me laugh.
      I was hoping it would ('cause I know you're into cars) and I get your point but pretty much all the conversations (some were longer than others)
      Originally Posted by Aaron Doud View Post


      And $1,500 over 6(10?) calls is very good and something very few people can do. But most who do phone sales are Outcome Focused "Closers" so they are about qualifying people in and out quickly. They might have 50 to 100 calls in the time it took you to have 10.
      Thanks. Yes, I know some people advocate the lawn mower approach but I'm guessing that if those people slowed down a bit to actually care about the people they're calling instead of only caring about their wallets and shutting people down if they don't buy immediately they might have made a lot more or just as many sales but more people would get helped.

      Give me a bit more time and that same list (of carefully chosen prospects) and I bet I'd have squeezed a heap of sales out the "wasted 100" and I'd have a heap of leads left over. I'd rather make 6 long calls over two hours, have a good time, help people out and end up with a $1,500 day than smash my way through 100 calls to do the same.

      Originally Posted by Aaron Doud View Post

      I would not agree that people hate "sellers" though. People hate bad salespeople and those bad salespeople give the profession a bad name.
      In Australia they're much more sensitive. One wiff of manipulation and you're not only hung up but the last word you'll here is "...off!" Down here we are almost allergic to most north American style selling techniques so that's another point. Adjust your approach to suit who you're calling. I've called lawyers, Doctors, Dentists and Vets and I'm much tighter on my tongue unless it goes down that path of casual friendly conversation which leads me to another point; I'll only go down the friendly path if that's the path that appears in front of me.

      I'd also like to get the sale over and done with but if they want to talk - I'll talk about anything as long as it keeps them on the phone and don't worry I have a bunch of closing lines - including some funny ones (like "how many would you like to order?" - it's a website so clearly only one). Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't but I'm not a joker from the start. I just love to talk with interesting humans and if they want to talk - so do I.

      Originally Posted by Aaron Doud View Post


      People love buying and they simply don't think of those sales people as "sellers". I would say that if most people really stopped and thought about it they would find that to be true. You don't have to be aggressive to make sales but I would say that most of us could learn to be a bit more aggressive with asking for the sale.
      True, if I was being monitored I'm sure a sales coach would be pulling their hair out and yelling at me to close.
      Originally Posted by Aaron Doud View Post


      What you do is simply your way of selling. And from what you have said it works well for you. And in the long run that is all that matters. The key is to learn what works for you and your prospects and how to become even better at it.

      I will add one last point that thinking like this quote could become limiting. We all tend to get trapped by Relative Success. You have to be careful about ever being satisfied. We all need a little "hunger" to keep ourselves moving forward.
      I hear what you're saying but I have an entirely different outlook on money, wealth and freedom than almost everyone I've ever met. I've had and lived with loads and loads of money (more than most would believe) and it's not really all that it's cracked up to be.

      The never ending pursuit of more and more cash in a never ending push to become as wealthy as possible is an exhausting way to live. I defined what's enough for me, what makes me happy and what I need to be (and feel) free and I'm as rich as the richest man on earth when I've got enough which I have carefully defined almost down to the last cent using my own unique formula for wealth. $1,500 in 6 calls over a few hours meets that lifestyle and income requirement perfectly.

      I am a freak - granted but (as those who know me and my story will know) I've been through a lot and seen a lot (not all good) and I'm almost deliriously happy to have the skill to make a few calls, build a nice site for people who appreciate it and have more than enough to live a pretty good life. I'm not into "Millionairism" any more - been there done that. Now I'm focused on lifestyle, my hobbies (hot rods) and my passions (financial philosphy and writing).

      Plus...I'm addicted to F5. I LOVE building websites. That's got to help.
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  • Profile picture of the author elidean
    I freeze up on cold calling any courses you suggest
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  • Profile picture of the author Mr Bill
    Hi Eli, it's tough to start I know how you feel but why such terror? You've spoken to people before. These are normal people - no one's going to bite your head off and if they do - so what? They obviously have other issues they are dealing with right now. I always imagine that the people who I'm calling are going to be friendly. That helps.

    The first thing I'd do is make sure you know what you're doing - website wise. If you're not confident in your ability to answer questions you'll be nervous to start. In fact I also hesitate and then I just remember "nothing big was ever started perfect". If you're really scared then just resign yourself to blowing the first 10 calls. Imagine them all saying no then go out and get those nos.

    Don't be scared, people are waiting for your call. All the jobs I got using this method have been to friendly people who really appreciated my calling them so by not calling you might be saving yourself but you're hurting them by making them suffer longer because you're scared to offer your help.

    It is scary but usually only because you're thinking the wrong things. Call anyway. Make 10 calls - I dare you!
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  • Profile picture of the author Matt Lee
    Nice story Bill.

    I smiled the entire way through it, and anyone can apply the same approach to their cold calling efforts. You're right, people need to just get over it, and do it. Most people I see here are looking for the newest and best ways to get clients- most are kinda kitschy. Pick up the phone, have a pleasant conversation with the person on the other end. Let your guard down & go where the conversation takes you. People like doing business with other poeple, NOT sales scripts.
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  • Profile picture of the author madhanraj
    Originally Posted by Mr Bill View Post

    The funny part was that I had to chuckle because I literally stalled and stared at my phone for well over a minute before making my first call this afternoon. But then I just called and thought "we'll see what happens". There's a specific reason I pushed on and that was from the push I received after I read this.

    So I made about 10 calls that took about 2 hours but only because every single one of them wanted to talk and talk and talk. They were all interested (bar one who was too busy already), most of them wanted me to send them an email with some links to my previous work. Some accepted an SMS with a link to a mobile site I'd built for another business in the same niche (always handy) and some just wanted to talk about their businesses (I let them) and where ever they went I followed - we spoke about all sorts of things. They were all (100%) really friendly!

    In some cases it was like we were all friends (I try to relax them with a laugh as early as possible) and spoke about all sorts of things. One asked if I could help them with their office network (I did), another asked if I knew anything about setting up bar code systems (I didn't), another said "yes, but not right now but I'll call you next week - what's your number?" another wanted computer lessons so I could show them how to do it (they will call tonight to organise a time). Another one flat out asked me for a free website! I said "no way!", not unless I could move in with them so they could house and feed me - which got a laugh. I said I'd build them a free site for 3 full paying referrals - he's going to make some calls.

    So I didn't actually get any orders(Edit: I did make one sale for $1,500) but I had sooo much fun! It was like I spent the afternoon calling old friends. I got so confident that one call I made I tried the full blunt object approach...

    [locksmith] "Locksmiths!"
    "Hi [pause for effect - a little trick I learned]...hey do you guys have a website?"
    [locksmith said] "nope".
    me] "do you want one?"
    [locksmith] "I suppose, how much are they?"
    [me] "Affordable - I'll make sure of it"
    [locksmith] "Cool. Send me the details"
    [me] "I'll do better than that. Do you have a smart phone?"
    [locksmith] "yep, iPhone"
    [me] "I'll send you a link - press it with your thumb"
    [locksmith] "****, how do I do that?!"
    [me]lol...(when they swear or cuss...it's a great sing that they are relaxed with me) "just press the button"
    [locksmith] "what button?"
    [me] (cocky mode) "ummm...there's only button"
    [locksmith] "smartarse"
    [me] lol
    [locksmith] "ok I got it now (says name of website), yeah man, these look cool"
    [me] "excellent, how many would you like to order?"
    [locksmith] lol..."what do you mean"
    [me] lol..."just kidding - I'll put you down for one"
    [locksmith] "I'll have a think about it and get back to you"
    [me] "what's your email so I can send you my details?"

    He gave me his details and though we spoke for a while about his other business (home BBQ patio furniture) and before he could end the call I said "ok, well I have to rush off to call all your competition now" he chuckled and said "you better not!" and though I'm not quoting the entire conversation; all the lines above were actually spoken.

    My point? It was a lot of fun. No one was upset I called. No one abused me and at the end of each call I asked if they knew of anyone else in the area who needed work done on their website. I didn't get any (cold) referrals but some asked for my number (a good sign).

    Cold calling can be fun. I know it's scary but just grit your teeth and start dialing. These are normal and usually friendly people who DO want your help but are a bit afraid of being "sold" something or paying too much. Put them at ease and if you don't get work you'll at least get a laugh. The way I feel right now I could cold call all day...just for fun!

    HTH



    Edit added: How did I source these "leads"? I just picked up my local directory (I live on a Peninsular so all these guys are small town folk) and (mostly) browsed the picture ads. Normally I'd only call a business who had a website, was advertising and offered a poor mobile experience but this time I went freestyle and called all sorts from businesses who had a website to those who didn't. It was a bit wasteful but I was having such a great time it was like I was looking for more friends to call.
    Awesome work Man
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  • Profile picture of the author Mr Bill
    Just a little update:

    Went out to physically visit the client who ordered (after I received a deposit in my bank account for 1/3 of the cost) and when I got there he'd already lined up 2 other people (his friends) who also want websites. I actually went to visit one and we had a long chat and I'll be converting his CD business card into a website - maybe.

    Even though it wasn't a closed sale, I took the CD and his business card anyway and will probably have a fiddle and show him something "I knocked up to see if we're on the same wavelength". That was my amateur attempt at pre-suposition but it's worked before and he behaved as if it was a done deal...he was just waiting on some late invoices to be paid but made a point of telling me about at least 3 of them which I thought wasn't really necessary unless he wanted to make a point of proving his reason so as to avoid me thinking he was just wasting my time.

    The other guy couldn't be contacted and I'll call him next week but am told he's "definitely interested". They especially liked playing with the super cool mobile site" - thanks Will!

    While I was in the area I also called another of the businesses I called that day who said...
    "if you're in the area, drop in and I'll probably order but I want to speak to you and you can take some pics when you're here".
    It wasn't a good time right at that moment but he remembered me, thanked me for the follow up (he actually said "so many of the other guys who called me never followed up so it's good that you did" and added "come back next week". Not a closed sale but very warm. I think I'll be able to close him on the visit.

    Now, that town was over a 100 mile round trip but I spent all day with two really cool and interesting very normal people and at times the real reason I was there (to take photos and create content and copy, discuss logos...etc) seemed to (at times) fade off into irrelevance. Again, It was a really fun day, I had a healthy deposit and the last word was...

    "Bill, the fact that just spent 3 hours visiting with [his friend] is a massive investment...what I didn't tell you is that [his friend] is VERY influential and if he likes you you'll be flooded with new business - he knows everyone and they all listen to him. No one does what you just did, normally it's all business, business, business and we don't like that around here. We like to do business with real people and you just proved to the town mouthpiece that you're willing to invest in us - just wait and see."
    I know I'm probably having more fun that I should be and that not all of you agree with my methods and think I could close much faster and get far more sales but I'm going to have to give you 30c because this is approach fitting exactly with personality and my wallet is happy and I'm having a good time. That's pretty rare in business so I consider myself pretty lucky.

    These businesses are a "Caravan Storage and Repair", A "Dust eliminator for dirt roads" and a "Steel Merchant"...not your typical offline targets but these guys had either no or a very poor website. Normally I target the "un-mobilised" but I'm finding the "un-websited" to be very pleasant, appreciative people to deal with who respond very well to my (labelled: "inefficient") personal approach and I'm still having fun.
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  • Profile picture of the author BarryAllen
    Hahaha This is great Bill! Good stuff!
    BA,
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    • Profile picture of the author AlexTee
      ............ People out there need our help......... flying in to people's rescue. ...Charge a fair price and make sure it's not too cheap because........... I'[ve noticed that businesses get nervous around people who clearly don't know how to value themselves.


      I think these key points are worthy of highlighting. Many people who want to get into offline consulting should focus on this and not the fear.

      So many business owners know so little about online marketing and NEED OUR HELP!

      There is a lot of money to be made to those who are willing to study professional sales techniques and practice what they learn... while at the same time.. they are calling on these business owners to help them.

      One of the keys to earning six-figures in sales is knowing your value!
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