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GOLD! Getting Rid of Cold Calling Anxiety Using Brute Force

Vilox

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I've got some free time on my hands and decided to get some sales experience. I'll be the doing cold calls, since the mere thought of doing them terrifies me.

Inspired by @Fox's thread, I decided to "sell" websites. That being said, I can't build a site. I don't even know someone who could build one. Then again, that's not the point.

I also don't have any sales experience whatsoever, although I did some reading over the last couple of days. I have thrown a sales script together and used a web data extraction platform to get a few hundred leads from the yellow pages.

I'll start on Monday (5/22) and will stick with it for a month. Setting a baseline of 50 calls per day, that's 250 calls a week or 1000 calls over the whole month.

For accountability purposes I'll post the number of calls I made during weekdays, and a short review of what I learned on the weekend.

Thanks for reading!
 

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Waspy

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I admire the drive the get better at sales, but wouldn't it be better making 50 calls a day selling something you can actually deliver?

You would be getting the same experinace, and perhaps even gain some genuine clients.
 

Denim Chicken

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This is a great way for you to hate sales. Trust me, if you dont have product, how are you going to answer the most basic questions that come up like "how long would it take for a website to be made?" or "how much do you charge"?

Find a good product (yours or someone else) that you know isn't the problem, and then go into sales. Otherwise you will never know whether you just suck at sales or whether people dont want to buy whatever it is you're selling.

You seem to have the drive and determination which is good. But getting good at sales also involves the following:

1) Having a good product offering
2) Perfecting your process
3) Keeping track of data and analyzing where you can improve

You're working backwards.

And if you want to go the high probability selling approach of hitting the phones every day, then go for it. But that method sucks and what I learned in sales is that it's not the number of leads or calls you make, it's how much physical and emotional energy you are able to maintain in the gas tank. And calling 50 cold leads a day without a product offering will wear you thin.
 

SquatchMan

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That being said, I can't build a site. I don't even know someone who could build one. Then again, that's not the point.
What is the point of selling if you don't have anything to sell?

If you're gonna cold call businesses, then have something to sell and don't waste people's time.

This is like knocking on doors selling girl scout cookies and then if someone says they want some cookies... "lol sorry I don't have girl scout cookies. I'm just practicing."
 

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What is the point of selling if you don't have anything to sell?

If you're gonna cold call businesses, then have something to sell and don't waste people's time.

This is like knocking on doors selling girl scout cookies and then if someone says they want some cookies... "lol sorry I don't have girl scout cookies. I'm just practicing."
Then how about pre-sells? Maybe make a demo prototype or samples? The sales cash can be used to get the manufacturing roaring.

I bought a vacuum cleaner once from a come-to-house salesman,and he demonstrated it usefulness very well. Took the order, followed up nicely and after a few days sent in the box. But the vacuum was very high value unlike the usual retail ones, as it could clean dust mites from beds and had multiple heads for various tasks. It could also suck up a shit ton of dust, not into a bag, but into a water container....

It's called Rainbow. (but it's not coloured rainbow!)
 

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You're going to crash and burn.

Get something to sell. Luckily for you, there are companies that will let you sell for them on a freelance basis. Find them and sell that.
 

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Get a job doing telemarketing, you will get paid training, then just quit after a few days lol. Go learn from the best!
 

sparechange

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The trick to sales is asking leading questions, dancing with the person on the phone and asking them questions they will say yes to, then throw in a money ask, example, hey Gerry I'm sure you'd like to increase some of your profits right?! Perfect!! I won't take up to much of your time >> spew ur crap and go in for money ask
 
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Vilox

Vilox

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Day 1
Alright, done for today.

The plan was for me to start at 9. Well, at around 8:30 I started pacing like a caged animal through my apartment. After doing that for the better part of two hours I managed to pull myself together and got started. I can't really say what makes me so nervous about the whole thing. On a purely rational level that's ridiculous. Doesn't change the fact that my emotions are in turmoil, even now that it's over.

Here are a few things I observed and learned today:
  • By far the most common sentence I heard was "we already have a guy doing that". I spent some time yesterday to make sure to only call companies whose sites are in desperate need of a rework, so I feel like that shouldn't have stopped me. I'll have to do some reading on how to overcome common objections. My response to hearing that so far has been ("Nothing you can do. Thanks for your time, bye!")
  • The sales script definitely helps, but the structure is terrible and doesn't really flow with the conversations I'm having. Definitely need to make some adjustments.
  • I agree with what people said earlier: It would definitely help to sell something that exists and provides real value. I got quite a few messages already from people asking me to do sales for them. And while I appreciate the offers, there are two issues:
  1. I'm in Europe and can only make calls in the morning, so hitting up companies in the US doesn't work due to time zone differences
  2. As of right now, I'm a stumbling mess who can't close shit and get's a nervous breakdown just by thinking of getting back on the phone. But that's something I'll get over real soon. In the meantime, I'll reach out to a few local folks who do good work and offer to help them sell their product
And some minor things:
  • I printed the names and numbers of the companies I wanted to call on a sheet of paper and had my computer turned off the whole morning. Pretty sure I would have managed to get lost on the Internet if I hadn't done that.
  • I use Skype on my iPad to make the calls. But entering a number manually and waiting for Skype to connect takes around 30 seconds per call. Doesn't sound like much, but definitely adds up with increasing volume. But since optimizing workflow is the least of my problems right now I'll push that issue back a little.
Overall, I'm quite happy, even though it was a rocky start. As with everything in life, making the first step is the hardest, and I'm really glad that I managed to catch myself before procrastinating the whole day away. I'll reply to all the kind folks who volunteered their time to participate in this thread or sent me a message, and then I'll go for a long walk to clear my head.

Thanks everyone!
 
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Vilox

Vilox

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I learned in sales is that it's not the number of leads or calls you make, it's how much physical and emotional energy you are able to maintain in the gas tank.
That's an interesting way of looking at it. Thanks for your input. And for dropping some incredible knowledge over in Fox's thread.

What is the point of selling if you don't have anything to sell?
I heard that quite a few folks tested whether their idea was valuable by calling a few hundred people and evaluating their interest before even manufacturing the product. I thought that if someone else can sell something that doesn't exist, so can I. I now realize that they had a big picture in mind (starting production if customer base was there), and I don't. But that's an issue I will take care of.

Get something to sell. Luckily for you, there are companies that will let you sell for them on a freelance basis. Find them and sell that.
Something I'll look into. Cheers!
 
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Vilox

Vilox

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Day 2
Done for today.

You'd think that after one hundred calls you'd at least get a lukewarm reaction. Well, didn't happen so far. My longest call up to this point lasted 2 minutes and 33 seconds. On average, my calls last less than a minute.

But hey, at least I got a secretary to connect me to her boss. That's something. And I'm getting to a point of where I'm less afraid of making calls. Instead, I just want someone to be at least somewhat interested in what I'm selling. I'd call that progress.

Here in Germany there's a public holiday coming up on Thursday, so I'll get a long weekend to do some more reading. Right now, my method is apparently utter garbage.

For tomorrow, I plan to introduce myself saying something along the lines of 'I help companies aquire and retain customers through the Internet' instead of 'I build websites'. The latter obviously doesn't work at this point in time.

I also got in touch with three designers who I think do good work, offering to do sales for them. Didn't get a reply just yet, but things will work out somehow.

As always, thanks for reading.
 

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Not sure if this is any help at all. I remember Patrick Bet Davids agents (some youtube guru) who sell insurance, just focus on one thing on the first cold call; scheduling an appointment. Maybe you could try that approach. Instead of coming out of the gates trying to sell, you ask them to make a small commitment onto a bigger commitment. Then you can tell them all the reasons why they need a new website. Great work doing 100 calls though.

As for people sending you PM's what kind of products do they need selling?
 

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Some stuff I've learned cold calling:

1) Gatekeepers are a good thing. A gatekeeper will never tell you to go F*ck yourself and to never contact them again on threat of prosecution. Owner operators will, though.

2) It's easier to sell a strategy call than it is to sell a meeting or a sale. Although most people know that strategy call is code for 5 minute interactive sales pitch.

3) I like 'no' and 'not interested'. It's 2nd only to a yes. Maybe is the worst. Writing a proposal takes time and proposals not accepted = time of mine wasted.

4) With a gatekeeper, they're looking for the best messages to pass to his/her (mainly her) boss. Their job is to screen sales calls because they get them all the time. However, the gatekeeper knows more than you think: they're not completely blind to the issues of the business. If they're privy to some information about what the business needs, they'll be more receptive to your pitch.

Hope it helps. I'm very inexperienced in cold calling but I've learned a lot quickly.

PS Mileage may vary depending on your market
 
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Roli

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Day 2
Done for today.

You'd think that after one hundred calls you'd at least get a lukewarm reaction. Well, didn't happen so far. My longest call up to this point lasted 2 minutes and 33 seconds. On average, my calls last less than a minute.

But hey, at least I got a secretary to connect me to her boss. That's something. And I'm getting to a point of where I'm less afraid of making calls. Instead, I just want someone to be at least somewhat interested in what I'm selling. I'd call that progress.

Here in Germany there's a public holiday coming up on Thursday, so I'll get a long weekend to do some more reading. Right now, my method is apparently utter garbage.

For tomorrow, I plan to introduce myself saying something along the lines of 'I help companies aquire and retain customers through the Internet' instead of 'I build websites'. The latter obviously doesn't work at this point in time.

I also got in touch with three designers who I think do good work, offering to do sales for them. Didn't get a reply just yet, but things will work out somehow.

As always, thanks for reading.
Read Perry Marshall's book 80/20 Sales And Marketing, it will serve you a thousand times better than what you're doing.
 

Denim Chicken

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That's an interesting way of looking at it. Thanks for your input. And for dropping some incredible knowledge over in Fox's thread.


I heard that quite a few folks tested whether their idea was valuable by calling a few hundred people and evaluating their interest before even manufacturing the product. I thought that if someone else can sell something that doesn't exist, so can I. I now realize that they had a big picture in mind (starting production if customer base was there), and I don't. But that's an issue I will take care of.
Your only goal for the first call is to introduce yourself and schedule a time to talk in the future.
Also because you are calling them cold, it helps to have a good reason as to why you are calling.

When prospecting, make sure the list you have is targeted based on what you are looking for and what your clients may need. You COULD pick up a phone book and start dialing local businesses, or you could spend a little time to compile a list based on certain constraints such as company size, # of employees, industry, etc. which will inevitably cut down on wasted time.

Don't pitch the prospect on the first call. The so called "pitch" is the first thing new salespeople want to get to quick, almost like they're dying to get it all out before they explode. Your first call is simply a qualifying call. This is as important for you as it is for them. Right now looks like you enjoy the phone time and experience but later you are going hate when you work a lead and spend an hour talking about this or that, pitching, following up and then finding out you forgot to ask him simple qualifying questions.

First call - Quick intro, qualify prospect, see if there's a fit. If no, move on. If yes, book a meeting.

Say something like "... if thats something that sounds of interest to you, I'd be more than happy to schedule a 10-15 min call to give you a [Free trial, free consult, website analysis, go over the details on how to..] "
If yes, book a time together. I try to make every barrier as painless as possible. So have some open slots ready or just lead them with "I'm free anyday after 1pm, would Wednesday work for you?" I hate it when people are like "I'm free any time" and then you suggest a time and they're like "oh can't do that".

Also, WHILE you are on the phone with them discussing a time, open up Gmail Calendar (I suggest you use it regularly or a CRM) and say "Great. Wednesday at 1pm sounds great. I'm actually going to send you a gmail calendar invite so I don't forget to call you. I'll also send over [a PDF, marketing material, brochures, portfolio, etc.] so you can take a look. I'll talk to you on Wednesday at 1pm Jim, have a good one."

Second call - In Gmail, I changed my default calendar settings to send out a reminder email 1 hr or 30 minutes before an appointment. People forget. So Wednesday at 1230 or 12pm they get an email that says something like "Bill and Jim, Web Design Consult. Wed 1pm" from Gmail Calendar.
It makes it a lot more likely they will pick up when you call.

This call will consist of deeper qualifying questions, find out everything there is to know. Once you listened to their pain point, then go into your "pitch". If you pitch before they tell you anything, it doesn't seem genuine at all. The way this feels as a prospect is, "you didn't listen to any of my problems and you're pitching? How do you even know what I need?"

Always end a call with an objective or a "next move" suggested. You never hang up and say "Ok great call. bye". Promise them you will send them a RFP or Quote with a breakdown and the contract and you'll follow up with them in a few days.



You can also see that with a little minor adjustment, you can hand off a qualified lead after the first call to a more experienced salesperson/closer so they close on the 2nd or 3rd call. In the tech industry, the appointment setters are usually called SDR sales dev reps and the closers are AE/Account Executive. Usually get paid per appointment set and have quotas each month and account executive start with qualified warm leads but their quotas are set based on revenue closed.

My point is, if you have a qualified lead (After call #1) and you have a network of other people, you can pass the lead or referrals on. Maybe someone who is a better fit than you are for the prospect. A lot of agencies or designers do this when they have smaller budget clients or if they flat out are maxed out and can't take on any more projects.

You can also teach that part to someone to outsource appointment setting although I personally wouldn't like to, especially internationally. The closing and follow-up is the more difficult part.
 
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Vilox

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As for people sending you PM's what kind of products do they need selling?
Exclusively websites so far.

Read Perry Marshall's book 80/20 Sales And Marketing, it will serve you a thousand times better than what you're doing.
I don't see how reading a book can help me get over cold calling anxiety.

Seriously though, I've been guilty of reading for hours on end without ever doing something. Reading -- at least for me -- is dangerous in the sense that it gives me the feeling of having done something useful when in fact I just found another way to procrastinate. I've come to realize that it's better to do some basic prep, dive right in and fix issues as they come up.

I do appreciate the book suggestion and will definitely look into it. Thanks!
 
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Vilox

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Day 3
There's still some initial resistance before making my first few calls. That being said, it's nothing compared to what I felt two days ago, and I don't have to make a conscious effort to keep going anymore. I'm pretty happy, considering that getting rid of said feeling was the whole point of this endeavor.

I finally got someone who seems genuinely interested in what I'm saying. We scheduled a call for later tonight to discuss the details. Considering that two of the designers I contacted got back to me I might actually sell a website. I always expect the first tries to go awry, but it's nice knowing that there's at least a chance.

Tomorrow's a public holiday, so I won't make new calls until next Monday. I'll use the time to incorporate all the feedback I've gotten and do some more reading.

Thank you very much. I truly appreciate your input and support.
 
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Roli

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Exclusively websites so far.


I don't see how reading a book can help me get over cold calling anxiety.

Seriously though, I've been guilty of reading for hours on end without ever doing something. Reading -- at least for me -- is dangerous in the sense that it gives me the feeling of having done something useful when in fact I just found another way to procrastinate. I've come to realize that it's better to do some basic prep, dive right in and fix issues as they come up.

I do appreciate the book suggestion and will definitely look into it. Thanks!
Totally hear you, reading without action is really bad, as it does make you think you're doing something when you're not...

80/20 will help you focus on the right things, cold calling is essentially a waste of time. I spent many years cold calling for various companies, and the amount of people you have to call before getting a sale, is so counter-productive.

When I started out in 2001, I could get a sale every 50-75 calls, around 5-10 full pitches to the decision maker. Last time I tried it was about every 500 calls. I think there are cleverer ways of marketing now. I'm not saying you will definitely get them from 80/20. However you will start to focus on the 20% of your efforts that will give you 80% of your results.

That being said, it does seem like you're doing this as some sort of exercise, so that in itself has value :)
 

Thiago Machado

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Everybody has given some solid advice here man!
Be sure to apply this information.

Just my two cents from doing the same thing as you...
Cold calling is good to get some traction.
It works. But it's pretty masochistic.
Once you get clients results, they'll start referring you.

Anyways, you might want to look into some of this stuff later on.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_PYtfjfpgA&t=11s

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HyTXFdC_fR0

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cNPCbRwgHbw&t=353s

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=olH8Yf_aMfI&t=548s
 
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Vilox

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Day 4
Back after a long weekend. Today's conversations got me another appointment to talk about a new website (yay!). I had a similar follow-up call last week that initially went very well and actually lasted longer than 30 minutes. Pretty sure I botched it at the end when I asked them about their budget, though. I wasn't prepared for the ensuing conversation and made too many mistakes to list here.

Today I started recording my calls. Listening to myself talk makes me cringe. But I'd like to think that I'm doing better compared to how I performed on day 1. I just noticed how often I use "ah", "oh" and "um". And with "often" I mean "all the time". Really gotta do something about that.

Starting with this post I'll include a short piece of advice that worked well for me. Remember, I'm no expert. But everything that I'll post will have given me better results than what I've been doing before. So let's get started:

Pricing
Quite a few people bring the issue of pricing up quite early. They'll say something like

"There's no reason for us to waste our time having this conversation only to find out that your service is too expensive in the end. So just tell me your price."​

Reasonable enough, right? What I learned is that giving them a price early doesn't make sense, since you don't know anything about them and their needs yet. By giving them a price early you transform your service into a commodity and make them focus on cost instead of value. What DOES work is giving them a reason as to why you'd like to know their budget. Something like

"Well, what's your budget? We can structure the deal in different ways. If you tell me how much money you're willing to put into this, I can tell you if and how we can make it work."
The question shouldn't be: How much does this cost? The question should be: How much will my return on this investment be?
 
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Vilox

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Day 5
I had my first angry person on the line today. Guess he had a really bad day judging by how furious he was.

Still haven't made a sale, but my conversations last longer and and I perceive things to flow more naturally.

"Send me an email with more information"
That's a phrase I heard multiple times by now. It sounds like a fair request, but I haven't gotten a reply to any of those emails so far. People seem to say something along those lines in order to end the conversation. A good reply is

I certainly will. But can you tell me about XXX? Just so I know what to include in the email.
I usually ask them whether their websites attracts enough customers. The point is to prevent the conversation from ending before it really began. I got a few people to hook and give a reply.

They might also ask you to send an email after you've been talking for 20 minutes. I haven't experienced that scenario yet, but after you've been talking for quite a while you should be able to send them an email that fits their needs.

"I don't have time to talk right now"
Again, another way for them to end the conversation quickly. And who can blame them? What has been working for me is:

No problem, when is the best time to reach you for a short conversation? Shouldn't take longer than three minutes. Just to determine whether we're a good fit before we start talking at any length.
About half of the people I talked to managed to find three minutes right then and there.
 

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I decided to "sell" websites. That being said, I can't build a site. I don't even know someone who could build one.
God damn, bro! You're really doing the hard part first and the easy part last, if at all. All with an awesome attitude too.

I bet you fall a$$ backwards into a legitimate sale, and thereafter a repeatable process through this. At a minimum, you'll have the seed of a repeatable process.

Ideas are a dime a dozen; action is everything, in my limited experience.
 
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Vilox

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Day 6
I think I might be pretty close to selling a site. I just wanted to set a regular appointment, but the person I was talking to was really interested in what I had to say. We ended up talking for 20 minutes, to the point where he wanted me to send him an offer. I referred him to one of the designers I talked with earlier last week. Now things are out of my hand. Granted, this was more or less a freebie, but I'm still pretty elated. Only took me 277 calls to get to this point haha.

Effectiveness
Obviously I'm still learning, but over the long run making one sale every 300 calls is... well, shit. @Denim Chicken suggested earlier to track data and find ways to improve from there. I did some reading and here are three metrics I like. I've also included a few suggestions on how to improve in the respective areas:

Activity:
The number of calls you made. Someone making 200 calls a day will see more success than someone making 10, assuming the same quality of leads.

That being said, if you're talking to a mailbox 70 percent of the time you're just wasting breath. Try calling at different times or calling different numbers altogether.

Quality:
How many people did you talk to that were allowed to make a decision? Talking to secretaries is nice for practice, but ultimately you want to get that sale. In the same vein, how many companies actually needed what you sell? Pitching them a new website when they just got a new one is pointless.

If you're having problems with quality you'd have to revise your customer profile. It's pretty straightforward in my case, since you can tell whether a website needs a rework.

Close:
How many of the decision makers actually took the next step? Doesn't even have to be a sale. For my purposes I'll count the people willing to talk to one of my designers.

That's my main issue. Unfortunately, the ways to improve are pretty straightforward here:
  1. Improve your script
  2. Delegate sales responsibilities and focus on setting appointments
  3. Get a new job
For the moment I'll blame the fact that I'm still learning on my disastrous performance.

God damn, bro! You're really doing the hard part first and the easy part last, if at all. All with an awesome attitude too.
Thank you very much! I truly appreciate you and everyone else who reads this thread and tags along on the journey.
 

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"Send me an email with more information"
Make sure you also tell them that you'll be calling them back in a few days to follow up on the information.

This lets them know they haven't heard the last from you and that they should read or pass on the information and not just mark the email as read, because you'll be talking to them again.

Don't let them off the hook. If they say "honestly, we're pretty busy and I might not get to this immediately" you ask them what information would make it easy to review quickly in their schedule, you ask when a better time to call back will be, you ask what would have to happen to make this more of a priority or ask who is ultimately going to review it and what their schedule looks like, etc...

Or my favorite - ask them to open up their calendar while they are on the phone with you so you can both find a time that works. Suggest next tuesday at 10am, "Do you have anything going on then?". Most people "give up" trying to brush you off when you try to problem solve for their schedules. It forces them into a situation where they have to say "look, I'm not interested" or "sure, let's talk then".
 

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Make sure you also tell them that you'll be calling them back in a few days to follow up on the information.

This lets them know they haven't heard the last from you and that they should read or pass on the information and not just mark the email as read, because you'll be talking to them again.

Don't let them off the hook. If they say "honestly, we're pretty busy and I might not get to this immediately" you ask them what information would make it easy to review quickly in their schedule, you ask when a better time to call back will be, you ask what would have to happen to make this more of a priority or ask who is ultimately going to review it and what their schedule looks like, etc...

Or my favorite - ask them to open up their calendar while they are on the phone with you so you can both find a time that works. Suggest next tuesday at 10am, "Do you have anything going on then?". Most people "give up" trying to brush you off when you try to problem solve for their schedules. It forces them into a situation where they have to say "look, I'm not interested" or "sure, let's talk then".

"Ok Cool. I'm going to send you some information and follow up in a few days"

This is if you can't get a meeting. Then follow up. Then qualify, check for interest, and if there is schedule a meeting.

I do 1000's of cold calls a month. Everything I read here is standard for cold calling.

The quoted post is also good.

As with anything. Practice will remove that anxiety. I recommend 100+ dials a day for consistent leads. It's not the best method of lead gen, but it works.
 

Denim Chicken

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Make sure you also tell them that you'll be calling them back in a few days to follow up on the information.

This lets them know they haven't heard the last from you and that they should read or pass on the information and not just mark the email as read, because you'll be talking to them again.

Don't let them off the hook. If they say "honestly, we're pretty busy and I might not get to this immediately" you ask them what information would make it easy to review quickly in their schedule, you ask when a better time to call back will be, you ask what would have to happen to make this more of a priority or ask who is ultimately going to review it and what their schedule looks like, etc...

Or my favorite - ask them to open up their calendar while they are on the phone with you so you can both find a time that works. Suggest next tuesday at 10am, "Do you have anything going on then?". Most people "give up" trying to brush you off when you try to problem solve for their schedules. It forces them into a situation where they have to say "look, I'm not interested" or "sure, let's talk then".
Yep, and thats why I love Gmail calendar invites. They won't forget and neither will you. And in my experience, they won't review your info until that calendar invite goes off about an hour before your call and then they'll read it.

You can use a free extension on gmail called calendarly (there are a few others) that allows you to insert appointment time suggestions for the client to choose. Just say you will follow up on X day and in the email with the information you send, put in some times they can pick.


Day 6
I think I might be pretty close to selling a site. I just wanted to set a regular appointment, but the person I was talking to was really interested in what I had to say. We ended up talking for 20 minutes, to the point where he wanted me to send him an offer. I referred him to one of the designers I talked with earlier last week. Now things are out of my hand. Granted, this was more or less a freebie, but I'm still pretty elated. Only took me 277 calls to get to this point haha.

Effectiveness
Obviously I'm still learning, but over the long run making one sale every 300 calls is... well, shit. @Denim Chicken suggested earlier to track data and find ways to improve from there. I did some reading and here are three metrics I like. I've also included a few suggestions on how to improve in the respective areas:

Activity:
The number of calls you made. Someone making 200 calls a day will see more success than someone making 10, assuming the same quality of leads.

That being said, if you're talking to a mailbox 70 percent of the time you're just wasting breath. Try calling at different times or calling different numbers altogether.

Quality:
How many people did you talk to that were allowed to make a decision? Talking to secretaries is nice for practice, but ultimately you want to get that sale. In the same vein, how many companies actually needed what you sell? Pitching them a new website when they just got a new one is pointless.

If you're having problems with quality you'd have to revise your customer profile. It's pretty straightforward in my case, since you can tell whether a website needs a rework.

Close:
How many of the decision makers actually took the next step? Doesn't even have to be a sale. For my purposes I'll count the people willing to talk to one of my designers.

That's my main issue. Unfortunately, the ways to improve are pretty straightforward here:
  1. Improve your script
  2. Delegate sales responsibilities and focus on setting appointments
  3. Get a new job
For the moment I'll blame the fact that I'm still learning on my disastrous performance.



Thank you very much! I truly appreciate you and everyone else who reads this thread and tags along on the journey.
Good stuff. But are you getting paid per qualified lead? Meaning at this point when you hand it off to your designer, are you getting a % of the sale or a fee? Most definitely could work but me personally, I'd rather close the deal and have more control about how much the deal is for, etc. and get it signed than rely on someone else to do the most important part. But I get that you don't really have a product yet so something to consider in the future.
In the future if you start doing volume, get a sales contract of some sort in writing between you and your designers to be safe on how much you should get and with all the details.

The numbers I track are: # of calls made, talk time, # of appointments set and revenue closed. There are other things I glance at in the CRM but from a daily metric standpoint, you have a clear idea of how successful your day was.

You will also find that the # of calls will go down if your talk time goes up, so if you have 2 hours of talk time, it's alright for you to have made less calls that day. The key goal is to hit the # of appointments for that day.

Also, the # of calls will go down as your quality of leads or prospecting methods go up. Some of my coworkers would bang out 150 calls a day and I learned early on, that quality can reduce the # of leads you need. I usually made around 20 a day sometimes more and sometimes way more but the results were the same. I got the job done with less calls, more meaningful connections and relationships remembering who I was talking to and where we left off, and more revenue closed. But setting yourself up with discipline to call a lot of people in the beginning is what gets you no longer scared of getting rejected and learning. You want a lot of calls right now to get exposed to all kinds of people and scenarios.

You'll get a sale, keep pushing. Once you get a sale, you can work on optimizing and closing for higher amounts.
 
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Vilox

Vilox

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Day 7
Remember the kind gentleman I wrote about yesterday? He bought a website! I made a sale!

In other news, I ignored my alarm clock this morning. It's probably the fact that my whole routine got screwed with, but I feel like people are far more receptive if you call them in the morning rather than in the afternoon. But I pushed through and even managed to set another appointment for a more detailed talk.

Behavior
Since I started recording myself, I've been experimenting a little to see how my conversations change. Here are a few fun techniques that I've been using recently:
  • Use their name: Whenever I bring up an important issue, I make a conscious effort to say their name beforehand. Just to make sure that I still have their attention. Apparently that's supposed to help, though I haven't noticed a difference so far.
  • Make pauses: Self-explanatory. Never even thought this would be a problem, but judging by the recordings, it is.
  • Make sure the important points stick: Whenever I have a longer conversation, I end with
"Let me ask you, in our conversation, what was the most important to you?"
If they missed something that I want them to take away:

"You're totally right. The two issues you mentioned are incredibly important. Another thing that I want you to take away is [...]".
I usually use the last one in order to reiterate that they're losing potential customers every day, just because of their website.​
But are you getting paid per qualified lead? Meaning at this point when you hand it off to your designer, are you getting a % of the sale or a fee?
I'm getting paid whenever someone I referred buys a website. Truth be told, I didn't quite think this one through when I first approached the designers. I never intended to earn money with this experiment. Rather, I wanted to get rid off an irrational fear and work on a useful skill. For now, I'll focus on getting my 1000 calls. If I end up pursuing this endeavor further, I'll definitely take your recommendation to heart and get something in writing.
 

JAJT

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  • Make pauses: Self-explanatory. Never even thought this would be a problem, but judging by the recordings, it is.
Pauses are powerful. People hate silence.

If you get an answer that's short and not to your liking - just stay quiet for 2-3 seconds. Something like 80% of the time (if I had to pick a number) they'll continue talking to fill the silence and the first thing most people think of on a negative answer is how to solve it and make it a yes, so they'll probably even try solving the problem they just gave you! Or at worse they'll expand on it more and give you ammo to go back at them with.

People are terrible at staying quiet. You'll feel uncomfortable staying quiet. But it works.
 

jilla82

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Not sure if this is any help at all. I remember Patrick Bet Davids agents (some youtube guru) who sell insurance, just focus on one thing on the first cold call;
you dont happen to have a link...or know the name of the video do you?
 

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