For many of you reading this, you are dead on arrival the minute you open your mouth on a cold call. It is not because you are a bad person, do not have something of value to offer, or aren’t a contributing member to your community, but because you are saying the wrong things from the get-go. I believe it is true that you only have a finite amount of time to make a compelling case for yourself and, if you botch the opportunity, you will never get that chance again. Although I resolutely believe that there are several ways to penetrate the bureaucracy and get inside the organization you want, you only have one opportunity with each person, so we need to make the initial effort count. It is astonishing how quickly the prospect on the other end makes up his mind regarding our … [Read more...]
Stop Tipping Off the Defense While Cold Calling
Imagine for a moment that you are the head coach of your favorite NFL team. You get up early, get to the office before dawn, and work with your coaching staff to devise original and innovative plays for both the offensive and defensive ends of the football. You use your gift of instruction and inspiration to train your team on what you need them to do and get them energized about your system. By the time the regular season rolls around, you have an incredibly well-developed playbook unlike anything the league has ever seen. Additionally, your players have practiced what you need them to do to perfection and everyone is on board with what you are doing. In the first series of the first game, you notice that your quarterback, before handing the ball to the running back in one of … [Read more...]
Sell Yourself While Cold Calling, Not Your Company!
Let’s quickly conduct an unscientific, random, non-strategic survey. By a show of hands, how many of you agree with the following sentence: people buy people, not companies. Well? How did you do? I know full well that this is not a black and white proposition and that a certain amount of gray area exists between the two choices, but if push came to shove, and you could only sit squarely on one side of the fence, which side would you be resting upon? I ask this question in nearly every single training session that I conduct and the feedback that I receive is nearly universal. Roughly 85% of the participants whom I pose this question to will answer resoundly that people buy people, not companies. If you agree with that statement, let me ask you one direct question: does your … [Read more...]
Cold Calling is Not a Numbers Game
If I were to ask you what type of movie is your favorite genre, how would you respond? If you are like my wife, you love horror movies and the emotional response they elicit from you. Personally, I am a horror movie wimp and would rather have my teeth pulled out than watch a truly scary movie. Ever since I was in high school, I have been enamored with military movies. I love the action, drama, humanity, and history that is prevalent in those types of movies. Specifically, I enjoy military movies that feature snipers as I am fascinated with that type of military personnel. Recently, I was watching “American Sniper” for the 26th time on HBO. It got me to better understand and articulate why I am so fascinated with people in the military that serve in that capacity. The … [Read more...]
Relax! You Have Unlimited Chances While Cold Calling
For all of you pet lovers out there, I beg your forgiveness for the analogy that I am about to make. Have you ever heard of Randy Johnson, the former Major League Baseball pitcher? If not, he cut an imposing figure on the mound, to say the least! Standing 6’11” tall, he seemed to be literally on top of the batters that stepped into the box to face him. Topping out at 100 miles per hour on the radar gun, if the batter blinked, more often than not, the ball would smack hard into the catcher’s mitt and all they would be left staring at is a vapor trail. With that in mind, imagine if someone kidnapped your beloved pet and held it in an undisclosed location, threatening to bring harm to the animal unless you could make contact with a Randy Johnson fastball. Now imagine that you are … [Read more...]
An 85% Cold Call Success Rate?
I fully expect the doubt, push back, and criticism every single time I answer the question. If I had a dollar for every eye roll, snicker, doubting glance, or outright “yeah, right”, I could retire right now! I don’t blame them for responding this way because, as sales professionals who have sometimes dedicated decades to their craft, my response seems to defy all logic and human sensibility. I tell them the answer is over 90% when they ask. That was the peak of my cold call success rate when I was in financial services prior to creating this business. In a world where the average cold call success rate is right around 10%, I don’t begrudge anybody for not believing me when I share this information with them. When I first started this business, all I had to go on was the courage of … [Read more...]
The Three Pillars of Cold Call Success
I will be the first to readily admit that I am a glutton for punishment. My life’s motto can be summed up thusly: if it ain’t hard, it ain’t worth doing. We are inundated in society today with how we should go after things that are easy. We can lose weight in five days without working out or changing our diets. Easy! We can attend one online seminar, take down some vital information, and be rich by the end of the month. Easy! Just because something is easy, does it make it worthwhile? Looking back on my life, I have grown more, both personally and professionally, from actively doing things that were hard. It is the hard that makes it good. If it is hard, I have to dig deep to try to figure it out. If it is hard, I have to use my ingenuity, creativity, and problem solving … [Read more...]
Low Cold Call Success Rate? Shake the Mental Fog!
Low Cold Call Success Rate? Shake the Mental Fog! Have you ever had that experience of when you were in your car, driving to a certain location, and, although the drive was supposed to take you 15 or 20 minutes, you seemingly blink and you were there? You don’t quite remember how you got there, what happened along the way, or even making the turns that you needed to in order to arrive at your destination. It was almost as if you zoned out, were on auto pilot, and seemed to arrive safely merely on muscle memory. Have you ever had an experience like that? If not, it’s hard to put into words exactly what it feels like to go through something like that. Recently, I was mentally pre-occupied and was mulling over all of the thoughts that were on my mind that day, including what I needed to … [Read more...]
Cold Calling: Now There’s an Original Idea
I am blessed to live within the same city as my brother and as often as possible he and I like to get together at our favorite breakfast place in town to catch up, swap stories, and laugh until it hurts. At our most recent breakfast this past Sunday, he mentioned to me that he and his wife watched “Creed” the other night, starring Sylvester Stallone in the latest installment in the “Rocky” franchise. Although I knew the movie was up for a handful of Academy Awards, I had to ask, tongue in cheek, if Rocky could still box given his advanced age, knowing full well that he was not the protagonist in this film. To my surprise, my brother told me how good the movie was, how riveting the script and screenplay turned out to be, and how captivated he was during the movie. That was surprising … [Read more...]
Cold Calling: Embrace the Hard
Like most people, one of the individuals whom I admire most in my life is my father. I have been blessed to have two wonderful, doting, loving parents that have sacrificed an awful lot for me and my brother during the course of our lives. They have sacrificed their time, comfort, and financial pleasure to ensure that their boys were put on the right path in life. In regards to my father, I will never forget the day when I was in middle school that I came home and found him waiting for me. He shared with me in the backyard that day while tossing a football around that he made the decision to enroll me at the local Catholic high school not too far from where we lived. At first, this was a shock to me, as all of my friends attended the local public school where I was currently at and I … [Read more...]