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NOTABLE! A Room Full of Opportunity (Follow up on the darn leads!)

MidwestLandlord

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I have 2 stories to share.

I think it's easy to get involved in the fastlane here, and start to lose sight of how most people in the world actually are, and hopefully you can realize that it isn't actually that hard to set yourself apart from most. It really just takes some legit effort and execution!

A Room Full of Opportunity

I've been taking this class on lead generation and sales. GREAT class. We have to give presentations of our sales efforts in class, so this is part of my efforts to overcome my fear of public speaking!

Interesting lesson came up the first day though...

This is a room of about 75 people, mostly licensed professionals.

Realtors
Mortgage Brokers
CPA's
Lawyers
Financial Advisers
A couple of personal trainers were there too

The instructor said:

"Raise your hand and keep it up if it's been more than 24 hours since you cold called a lead"

The entire room raised their hand (except me and one gal)

"More than a week since you cold called?"

NO ONE put their hand down.

"Two weeks?"

95% of the room still had their hand up

"A month?"

90% of the room still hand their hand up

"Put your hand down if the reason you didn't make calls was you didn't have any leads"

Still, 90% of the room had their hand up.

The instructor then went around and asked various people why they don't call.

"don't want to bother them"
"I don't like rejection"
"it's scary"
"probably won't answer their phone anyway"
"I'm sure they're too busy"

90% of the room didn't make cold calls, not because they didn't have leads, but because of FEAR! Those fears manifested themselves as excuses!

A room full of self-employed, or at the very least commission based people, and they are letting themselves fail. CHOOSING to fail.

Meanwhile, someone else is taking their leads and making a lot of money from them.

While it was sad to see this (I love to see people succeed!), it was quite eye opening, in that if you're in one of these industries...9 out of 10 people in that room were not a legitimate competitor to you.

IT HAS ALWAYS BEEN THIS WAY

I'm reading this book, The Effective Executive by Peter Drucker. Originally published in the mid-1960's.

He talks in this book about how ineffective the vast majority of executives are. Additionally, he defines an "executive" as anyone that has the responsibility to execute systems or processes in business (so not just c-suite type people)

It's eye-opening in that if you had told me this book was written last year, I would believe it.

I also just got done reading How to have confidence and power in dealing with people by Les Giblin, originally published in 1956.

In this book he talks about how people struggle to overcome fear of rejection (especially in contacting leads), and how they are choosing to fail.

Crazy. Sounds just like today, no?

TL;DR

2 books, both written in America's "golden era" of business when supposedly everyone was better at their jobs and were far more effective.

A class showing that people are still the same way, and while technology might change (texting and such makes it easier to avoid fear), people as a whole DON'T CHANGE.

Is there really as much competition as you think?

"The children now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for
authority, they show disrespect to their elders.... They no longer
rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents,
chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their
legs, and are tyrants over their teachers." -
Aristotle (or Socrates depending on which historian you believe)
 

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Shepherd

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Great post, @MidwestLandlord. I'm looking at transitioning in my day job to a more direct sales role. Is there any material out there beside the books you mentioned you would recommend in terms of cold-calling? I'm not afraid of public speaking, but cold calls I have always struggled a bit with in terms of developing my own process. I do a bit of it now, but I don't think I'm good at it and want to get better quickly.
 

MJ DeMarco

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90% of the room didn't make cold calls, not because they didn't have leads, but because of FEAR! Those fears manifested themselves as excuses!
Wait a sec, so they aren't calling people who have ALREADY expressed interest in their offering?

Are you kidding?

I could understand not cold calling some stranger, but someone who has already expressed interest? Is the definition of a cold call a stranger? Not a "warm lead?"

This is unfathomable.

But then again, it has been my experience when leaving messages for people, appliance repair, garage door repair, etc.
 
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MidwestLandlord

MidwestLandlord

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Wait a sec, so they aren't calling people who have ALREADY expressed interest in their offering?

Are you kidding?

I could understand not cold calling some stranger, but someone who has already expressed interest? Is the definition of a cold call a stranger? Not a "warm lead?"

This is unfathomable.

But then again, it has been my experience when leaving messages for people, appliance repair, garage door repair, etc.
Both warm and cold calls. Calling complete strangers AND calling people filling out contact forms on a landing page for instance. The instructor considers them all "cold" for simplicity.

During one of the breaks I cornered the instructor. He teaches a lot of these classes all over the country.

I asked him if this was common, that people would put that little effort into their profession.

He said it was not only common, but the norm! He said if he could get even 15 people in that room to start making calls and improving their sales number he would consider the class a major success.

15 out of 75 people. That's only 20%

He told me how he used to do this class for a major employer, before he started his own business to teach it. At that employer, his class graduates were responsible for 75% of all sales in the entire company, even though they were only about 10% of the sales force.

10% doing 75% of the sales, just because he taught them to pick up the phone.

So I made it a point to meet everyone in the room. The one's not making calls were seriously struggling, but the one's actually making calls? KILLING IT.

There were some seriously wealthy people in that room, and those were the one's that actually executed a process for lead generation that included calling.

You wouldn't believe how many of the struggling one's told me about texting a PPC landing page contact instead of calling. (of course they get very few responses)

Insanity.
 
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MidwestLandlord

MidwestLandlord

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I'm looking at transitioning in my day job to a more direct sales role. Is there any material out there beside the books you mentioned you would recommend in terms of cold-calling?
I'm actually looking for the same thing myself. This is my first experience with professional sales training. I took the class because it promised that they would help me write cold calling scripts. (and they have, and it's amazing)

Wish I could be more help.

I read a lot of books though. If I find good one's for this subject I'll drop them here. I'm actively looking for them, so should find something!
 

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@Shepherd I hear the book SPIN Selling is a great book.
 

Determined2012

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I'm actually looking for the same thing myself. This is my first experience with professional sales training. I took the class because it promised that they would help me write cold calling scripts. (and they have, and it's amazing)

Wish I could be more help.

I read a lot of books though. If I find good one's for this subject I'll drop them here. I'm actively looking for them, so should find something!
What is the training you are taking? I'm interested to look it up, please.
 

Rawseed

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Great post, @MidwestLandlord. I'm looking at transitioning in my day job to a more direct sales role. Is there any material out there beside the books you mentioned you would recommend in terms of cold-calling? I'm not afraid of public speaking, but cold calls I have always struggled a bit with in terms of developing my own process. I do a bit of it now, but I don't think I'm good at it and want to get better quickly.
Consider:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1501164287/?tag=tff-amazonparser-20

I haven't read the book, but I did watch the movie about his life.

The Wolf of Wall Street (2013 film) - Wikipedia
 
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MidwestLandlord

MidwestLandlord

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MTEE1985

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His past ethics (or lack thereof) aside, “The Way of the Wolf” is a good one as well. Like Cardone, Belfourt isn’t just preaching the stuff, he lived it and executed it.

I recently gave something away that would be reasonably valued at $80 and of the 30 inquiries I received only 2 actually followed up with me. For a free item.

If you are in any field requiring customer service you will be in the top 10% just by answering phones and responding to people. Great post @MidwestLandlord
 
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MidwestLandlord

MidwestLandlord

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So cold calling is still effective?
Sure it is. It depends on the specifics though. Which industry, etc.

The point isn't really "cold calling" per se, the point is how many companies out there are actual legit competition, and not just action-faking market noise?

Everyone wants the next big thing when there are dozens of industries plagued by this level if ineptitude. Opportunity is everywhere!
 

MTEE1985

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So cold calling is still effective?
Take your field of SEO for example. Option A: If you called me and said “want some SEO help?” Then no, it wouldn’t be effective.

Option B: If you called me and said “I’ve reviewed your website and you have good SEO, however there are several areas where you could increase your (rank, clicks, views etc). Would you like to go over them?”
Now you have a much better chance of me using your services.

9 out of 10 companies pay a call center minimum wage to say Option A.

My wife received a cold call for her ecom store and the guy asked her to do a 45 minute webinar to try and sell her. She politely declined and said to me “45 minutes? Was that a joke?”

Having said all that, as stated above, doing something is better than nothing and better than what most people or companies do.
 

SquatchMan

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10% doing 75% of the sales, just because he taught them to pick up the phone.
That was my experience working in sales as well. It was high pressure B2C cold call sales, so probably a little different than B2B. Still, the top 10% of guys would close way more deals in a week than the rest of the team combined.

We didn't have much choice on making calls since we were hooked up to an auto-dialer, but I still saw those guys turn around people yelling at them and battle through 5-10 rebuttals before closing a deal.

Pretty impressive stuff considering most employees lasted less than a week.

Thank you, I just replied. Sorry for being so persistent!!!
That's the second step of making it in sales LOL. You can't give up after the first rebuttal or rejection.
 

Determined2012

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That was my experience working in sales as well. It was high pressure B2C cold call sales, so probably a little different than B2B. Still, the top 10% of guys would close way more deals in a week than the rest of the team combined.

We didn't have much choice on making calls since we were hooked up to an auto-dialer, but I still saw those guys turn around people yelling at them and battle through 5-10 rebuttals before closing a deal.

Pretty impressive stuff considering most employees lasted less than a week.



That's the second step of making it in sales LOL. You can't give up after the first rebuttal or rejection.
Yes, I'm in sales too...Thats why that response was immediate and came on naturally!
 

SquatchMan

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So cold calling is still effective?
Yes. I worked for a company that is currently valued at over $300 million...

built entirely on selling vehicle service contracts (car warranties) via cold calling consumers.

If they can get that big selling crappy B2C products cold, then you'll do fine selling SEO services B2B cold. It's all about explaining the value proposition well... and picking up the phone.
 

Tommo

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I have 2 stories to share.

I think it's easy to get involved in the fastlane here, and start to lose sight of how most people in the world actually are, and hopefully you can realize that it isn't actually that hard to set yourself apart from most. It really just takes some legit effort and execution!

A Room Full of Opportunity

I've been taking this class on lead generation and sales. GREAT class. We have to give presentations of our sales efforts in class, so this is part of my efforts to overcome my fear of public speaking!

Interesting lesson came up the first day though...

This is a room of about 75 people, mostly licensed professionals.

Realtors
Mortgage Brokers
CPA's
Lawyers
Financial Advisers
A couple of personal trainers were there too

The instructor said:

"Raise your hand and keep it up if it's been more than 24 hours since you cold called a lead"

The entire room raised their hand (except me and one gal)

"More than a week since you cold called?"

NO ONE put their hand down.

"Two weeks?"

95% of the room still had their hand up

"A month?"

90% of the room still hand their hand up

"Put your hand down if the reason you didn't make calls was you didn't have any leads"

Still, 90% of the room had their hand up.

The instructor then went around and asked various people why they don't call.

"don't want to bother them"
"I don't like rejection"
"it's scary"
"probably won't answer their phone anyway"
"I'm sure they're too busy"

90% of the room didn't make cold calls, not because they didn't have leads, but because of FEAR! Those fears manifested themselves as excuses!

A room full of self-employed, or at the very least commission based people, and they are letting themselves fail. CHOOSING to fail.

Meanwhile, someone else is taking their leads and making a lot of money from them.

While it was sad to see this (I love to see people succeed!), it was quite eye opening, in that if you're in one of these industries...9 out of 10 people in that room were not a legitimate competitor to you.

IT HAS ALWAYS BEEN THIS WAY

I'm reading this book, The Effective Executive by Peter Drucker. Originally published in the mid-1960's.

He talks in this book about how ineffective the vast majority of executives are. Additionally, he defines an "executive" as anyone that has the responsibility to execute systems or processes in business (so not just c-suite type people)

It's eye-opening in that if you had told me this book was written last year, I would believe it.

I also just got done reading How to have confidence and power in dealing with people by Les Giblin, originally published in 1956.

In this book he talks about how people struggle to overcome fear of rejection (especially in contacting leads), and how they are choosing to fail.

Crazy. Sounds just like today, no?

TL;DR

2 books, both written in America's "golden era" of business when supposedly everyone was better at their jobs and were far more effective.

A class showing that people are still the same way, and while technology might change (texting and such makes it easier to avoid fear), people as a whole DON'T CHANGE.

Is there really as much competition as you think?

"The children now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for
authority, they show disrespect to their elders.... They no longer
rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents,
chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their
legs, and are tyrants over their teachers." -
Aristotle (or Socrates depending on which historian you believe)
Great post. I tried selling for six months after a health issue and I truly believe it was the most difficult task I've undertaken but taught me so much about how things work and I would not go there again even though my present work is damn hard. Anyone considering it should know selling is a mindfuck and you should be as hard as nails to survive, at least in financial products. Allied Dunbar if anyone was there btw however that was my experience in 1988 so. Still pisses me off and why Unscripted hit home. Love you MJ.
 

Tommo

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More folk should tell you that seriously. You have started something that is growing and just maybe you don't know how big it's getting.
 

MJ DeMarco

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Just a recent example of this...

Got a cold email (probably from an automated lead generating service) that said, "We do custom Xenforo work, we can do anything!"

I responded with "Please send me a link list of work you've done."

That was 4 days ago.

No response.

You initiated a COLD lead (thru an automated service) but when the lead become WARM and it was time to communicate, you disappeared.

Frustrating.
 

MJ DeMarco

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If they had no list would you still consider using them?
Depends...

YES and NO.

If they said, "Send me $XXX and I'll do X, Y, and Z" I would not hire them. No way.

If they said, "I can do X, Y, and Z and just to show you how good I am, despite having no references, I won't accept payment until you accept the finished project as exactly you want."
 
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MidwestLandlord

MidwestLandlord

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No response.

You initiated a COLD lead (thru an automated service) but when the lead become WARM and it was time to communicate, you disappeared.

Frustrating.
Yeah, a warm lead on someone that owns and operates a large forum!

Insanity!

Anyone considering it should know selling is a mindfuck and you should be as hard as nails to survive, at least in financial products.
I partly agree. (and maybe it's different in industries I haven't been in)

I've done A LOT of cold calling in my life, even more warm calling, and rejection doesn't really bother me at all anymore.

I actually get more frustrated over the fact that people aren't assertive enough to say no when they really want or need to say no. I hate wasting my time.

'Yes' people are awesome (a sale!)
'No' people are awesome (on to the next one!)
The 'maybe' people are irritating and time wasting. I've noticed too that over the last decade more and more people are unwilling to say NO in a direct fashion. Ugh

For me it really does come down to mindset. I love the NO people.

The difference too is I've never done this type of sales work for someone else. It's always been on my terms and the results always had a direct effect on my business(es)

Now if I was sitting in a cubicle hooked to an auto-dialer and somebody else was getting rich off my efforts? Yeah, I'd do that crap for about 30 seconds.
 
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MidwestLandlord

MidwestLandlord

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This is a 7 week class, and I am 4 weeks into it.

I was texting yesterday with a classmate gal that's a realtor.

She was struggling at the start of the class and just about to quit and take a job she was offered, so I had challenged her to see who could get the most "over the phone" rejections in the 7 weeks of class.

She's taken the teachings (and the challenge haha) to heart and put tons of effort into her business over the last 4 weeks.

Her business is up big time. She went from 1 listing and no "under-contract" to 5 listings and 4 under-contracts scheduled for closing in October.

In other words, she went from ZERO income to an October projection of $24,000 (gross)

The only thing she really did different was following up on leads and actually CALLING people.

Amazing.
 

WJS

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I actually get more frustrated over the fact that people aren't assertive enough to say no when they really want or need to say no. I hate wasting my time.
Me too! I HATE dealing with people who are trying to be "polite and diplomatic" by not saying NO. Instead every time you do your follow up they will say/do one or more of the followings:

- "I'm still thinking about it"
- "I'll need to discuss it with my wive/husband/mother/father/mistress/dog/cat/imaginary friend/anyone that I can conveniently put the blame onto"
- "Now is not a good time. Why don't you call me again next month?" Then they repeat the same phrase over and over again
- They ignore your calls/messages/emails, and occasionally reply with one of the responses above

They are willing to go through all those troubles so you'd give up. Then the whole situation becomes "the salesperson gave up" instead of "I declined the salesperson".

Seriously, the "Maybe" people are the worst kind of people to deal with, and every time I spot one of them I would smile politely at them, but in my heart I'd be cursing them all sorts.. LOL
 

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