Cold callers, communication, LinkedIn, storytelling in sales.
Matt's LinkedIn Posts Q2 2019
Nobody gets comfortable making cold calls on their first day. Don’t expect to conquer the world right away.
Before you make your first dial, commit to giving it time.
Even when you’re comfortable making cold calls you can still find yourself uncomfortable. That’s the nature of the beast and one of the reasons sales people have no problem avoiding the phone.
But cold calling will always be a sure fire way to initiate conversations with decision makers. Since conversations are the best way to inform people about what your company has to offer.
Developing this skill will increase your chances for success in sales.
Stay with it.
The sales board has me down for 8 meetings but I was positive I had 9. Now I need 2 more before the end of the month.
There’s only 1 day left.
Life can get stressful for sales people on the front lines. Chasing meetings with decision makers can feel like an uphill, never ending battle.
When cold calls, emails, InMails, voicemails, and more emails come up empty, the dejection can cause you to start going through the motions.
Right when you think you’re about to lose it, you get an email from a prospect that says “Sorry for the delay, I can meet with your AE next week”.
Instead of going through the motions you turn into a selling machine looking for your last meeting.
This is sales development.
Enjoy the ride.
Most technology sales can be broken down into simple terms. The more decision makers that see your product and why it will help, the more deals you’ll close. That’s why every technology company is chasing meetings like there’s no tomorrow.
On the other side of the table, decision makers are being sandblasted by more noise than ever. Everything to them looks the same. In many scenarios, it doesn’t matter what you’re selling because the decision maker is preprogrammed to reject you. They believe they’re all set (for now).
The technology sales game is only going to get harder. As new tech develops so does more noise.
Sales people have to make the most out of every connection.
That’s why we built Subroot.
Message me for more info.
Why does your discovery presentation (demo) suck?
Here’s a true story that might help you figure that out.
A typical technology company has a team of non-sales people spend weeks creating a canned discovery presentation; it ends up being a deck of 44 slides. The company requires that all sales personnel train and be certified to deliver this presentation, that takes more weeks. In the end, it’s a one hour spiel that begins with a timeline of the company’s history and finishes with a long list of their clients.
Enter the company’s best sales rep. He’s the guy responsible for a majority of the deals closed over the last few years. The presentation part of his discovery meeting lasts just over five minutes and includes only 1 of the 44 canned slides. After he’s done explaining the tech he begins to ask questions creating a dialogue that positions him to close the deal.
If you feel like your discovery presentation (demo) has a bunch of useless information and is boring to prospects.
You’re probably right.
I just got a cold call, the rep asked for me with a nervous voice. I said this is Matt and click he hung up the phone without another word.
If you’re the rep and you read this, call me back. No judgement here.
Every single time I scroll through my LinkedIn feed, I learn something.
Here are just a few of the people I’m learning from:
Marc Bodner – Marc is living in the real world of sales and sales leadership. His assessments on sales strategy, management, and training are brilliant.
Patrick Campbell – Patrick is the foremost expert on subscription pricing. He hosts a show called Pricing Page Teardown where he evaluates the subscription pricing of companies all over the world.
Jay Jensen – Jay understands life and sales. He’s a no-nonsense writer who tells it like it is and people love him for it. He wrote arguably the best LI post ever: Be a Leader, Not a Dick.
Gaetano Nino DiNardi – Besides being a talented singer and fly dude, Gaetano is a modern marketing guru. He’s accomplished in all aspects of digital and provides phenomenal information on marketing strategies.
David Masover – David is a sales acceleration consultant helping companies all over the world. His perspective on developing reps and sales strategy are top of the line.
There is valuable information being given away all over this site. All you have to do is read/view it and maybe drop down a Like here and there 😉
LI = LearnedIt
The hardest period for a sales person is the time between when they first become active and once they really understand what they’re selling. It’s a lot like blowing bubbles in the rain.
The more complicated a company’s product or service, the longer this process will take. Sales orgs that are committed to teaching reps their company’s value, make this transition much easier.
Those sales people out there who’re stuck in the middle:
The information you need is right there at your company. Sometimes you have to ask a lot of questions to find it.
Don’t let that stop you.
Do you know what it costs your company to get a meeting with a prospect? It’s a pretty simple calculation. Take the total cost for your sales development team and add basically all of your marketing expenditures. Divide that sum by your number of meetings and there you have it.
The cost to acquire a meeting isn’t something that all companies are tracking. Why? I have no idea but I would guess it’s because it’s not a very flattering number.
A funded tech company recently determined they’re spending over $13,000 to schedule a single demo.
This is why we built Subroot.
You can be one of the first.
Message me for more info.
It’s never too late to change your sales game.
You could be short selling yourself if you don’t.
STORYTELLING is a sales technique used all over the world and proven to be highly effective. Mike Adams published a great book to help sales people with storytelling called ‘Seven Stories Every Sales Person Must Tell’.
COLD CALLING is making a comeback in sales because of the cost of inbound marketing and the fact that it works. It’s always a good idea to (re)acquaint yourself with the phone if you’re working in sales.
REFERRALS are the easiest way to acquire new customers and one of the most common ways companies get new business. If you’re not asking your clients for referrals then today is a good time to start.
VISUAL SELLING and marketing have been around for centuries. If you’re selling technical products or services, visuals can be an important part of the sales process. Decision makers may need to see how your product will help before they can understand its value.
SOCIAL SELLING is creating sales opportunities by being active on a social network. In order to accomplish this you need to be consistently active by making comments, adding value, helping people, and maybe even posting some content.
If you’ve ever wondered why I post a lot about cold calling?
It’s because I make cold calls.
I go through the same struggle you do to make that first dial each day.
I feel the same panic you do when a decision maker picks up my call.
I get it because I do it.
So, I wrote this guide to help anyone who wants to improve their cold calling game.
It’s called ’33 Moves to Conquer Cold Calling’.
There is nothing in sales that beats a one-on-one conversation.
You haven’t really started selling until you speak to somebody.
Selling is conversing with another person, sharing information by asking & answering questions, satisfying objections, developing rapport, and earning trust. It’s not sending an email.
Sales people from time to time should ask themselves this one question:
Am I doing everything I can to create conversations?
The answer is probably no.
Cold calls, warm calls, inbound follow-ups, upsells, trade show exchanges, airport encounters, etc.
Once you feel comfortable talking to people.
That’s when the profession of sales is a lot of fun.
Do you know what’s better than cold calls?
Warm up calls with LinkedIn by doing these things:
1. Create Content – It doesn’t have to be a well written manifesto. If nothing else, write/vlog weekly about your experiences in sales. The better your content circulates the more warm calls you’ll be able to create.
2. Leave Comments on Comments – If your targets are making comments, it’s a great opportunity to communicate with them. Don’t pitch or tell them that they’ll conquer the world if they choose you. Ask questions and use it as a chance to learn more about their business.
3. Follow – Instead of starting with a connection request and dreaded pitch message, stand out from the crowd by following your target. The decision maker will be notified and they might just remember that when you call.
4. LinkedIn Voicemail – I haven’t tried LinkedIn Voicemail yet but some experts are claiming it’s very effective. The best voicemails are 30 seconds or less and clearly state the purpose of your call. Some decision makers may be willing to pick up your call once they’ve heard your voice.
5. Help People – Whenever you can.
Today is national cold calling day.
Tomorrow is too.
It really sucks when you’re on the outside of the workforce looking in.
When you want work but work doesn’t want you.
20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, every age group is affected.
It doesn’t matter what’s going on in the world economy. Some people won’t find work.
You might be too young or too old.
Too qualified or not qualified enough.
Many people will face this in their life.
Many will persevere through it.
“I work 80 hours a week, I’m crushing it!”
Don’t confuse working a lot of hours with progress, especially in sales.
It’s a profession where you can really spin your wheels.
You can be wasting your time with any of these:
Here’s a secret.
Spend most of your time communicating the right message to your company’s ideal prospects.
You won’t even need to work 40 hours.
B2B sales emails are primarily effective when the timing is right.
It doesn’t matter if they’re long or short.
You can start them off with a joke or attach a cute little bunny.
In 2016, I sent thousands of targeted emails. I watched as my co-workers sent even more.
You know what I discovered?
If the prospect is actively looking for a solution in your sector, it doesn’t really matter what the email says. They will respond.
If they’re not looking for a solution in your space, it doesn’t matter what the email says. They will NOT respond.
Moral of the story:
Do you know why everybody is looking for SDRs?
It’s because the job is hard.
Cold calling is a game of inches.
One wrong sentence and you could be done.
Say the right words and you’re opening up your calendar.
Sales people who are prepared for every inch of a cold call are the most successful.
1. Prevent early evasion.
2. Expose problems.
3. Explain solution (value).
4. Overcome objections.
5. Schedule meeting.
Hey sales people, LinkedIn is an IN and OUT system. When you put something IN then you’ll get something OUT.
If you connect with someone and immediately pitch, you’re going right for the OUT.
Don’t do that.
Think about them.
Throw something IN first.
Close Quarters Combat is an effective fighting system because it’s based on moves that are PRACTICAL. For example, you wouldn’t be trying to do a reverse spin kick when someone’s tackling you.
Instead, your response would be more like an elbow to the side of their head. It’s an easier motion that causes more damage and has a higher likelihood of success.
When I hear some of the canned responses being used for objections, I think about Close Quarters Combat. The responses are simply NOT practical for REAL conversations.
For example, if a decision maker tells you they’re all set with their current vendor. Your automatic response shouldn’t be that your all-in-one gadget helps companies become more efficient so they can make more money and be happy.
It should be an elbow. Like this, “I know you’re set but things could also be better. Would it hurt to see another option, John?”
If you’re feeling like your words don’t match the objection, step back and figure it out first.
Message me if you need help.
True cold calling story: Decision maker’s perspective.
He called me up late in the day on a Thursday.
I’d seen the name on the caller ID a few times before.
I decided it was time to pick up the phone and end the harassment.
I answered with my gruffest, “This is Rick, what do you want?!”
The sales person said “Hi Rick, this is Matt Wanty from Airborne. Sounds like this is a bad time?”
Surprised I said, “Yes, I was just headed out.”
The rep quickly replied, “I’ll try catching you again sometime.” Click.
A week or so went by and he called me back. I was much nicer.
He invited me out to lunch. I said “How about a burger?”
His company ended up saving mine over $5 million/year in logistics costs.
I was a hero.
Sure glad he called.
When you expect too much you’re disappointed.
When you expect too little you’re unsatisfied.
That’s why you shouldn’t expect anything.
Make it happen yourself.
Do you feel RELIEF when a decision maker doesn’t answer your cold call?
You’re not alone.
But it needs to change.
A decision maker picking up your dial is one of the most exciting events in sales. If you’re not prepared it can also be one of the scariest.
It’s important to go into every dial with a desire to talk to someone. That comes a lot easier when you have confidence in what you’re saying.
If you don’t feel comfortable, you can change that by:
1. mastering your product or service
2. creating a cold calling plan
8 reasons why SDRs are the toughest people in sales:
1. They do a lot work that other reps won’t.
2. Rejection is pretty much daily.
3. Success usually depends on their ability to get someone’s time (the most precious commodity of all).
4. In most cases they’re removed from the sales process once they’ve done the hardest part.
5. Their job duties can change from one day to the next.
6. They’re considered entry-level but perform senior level tasks.
7. Their contribution to a sale can be missed or downplayed.
8. Decision makers aren’t very nice to them sometimes.
Hey cold callers, if you’re NOT creating dialogue then you’re not selling.
You’re just pitching.
Conversations can change a lot of things, including the mind of a decision maker.
If your strategy consists of you throwing down mad pitch while they wait for their chance to get off the phone, you could be doing this a lot better.
Here’s one thing you can do different right now.
On every connection make it a point to ask 2 questions that AREN’T anything like these: “How are you doing today?” or “Can I have 22 seconds to tell you why I’m calling?”
Let me know how it works.
If you’re new to sales you should figure things out for yourself.
Don’t confuse that with figure everything out on your own.
When you start a new sales position most of the information you need to be successful is sitting in the brains of your co-workers. All you need to do is ask them a bunch of questions.
The rest of the information comes from prospecting, talking with decision makers, and anything else you do to improve.
In most cases, success in sales is beyond what your company is going to provide you.
There’s a time when you’ll need to take it upon yourself to develop.
That’s when your co-workers will start asking you questions.
Thanks for reading, please share!
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About the Author
Matt Wanty is the Founder of Subroot and the Author of The Lost Art of Cold Calling. Recently launched Subroot is the latest sales tool to help reps reach more prospects and build a bigger sales funnel. In addition to writing a book on cold calling, Matt regularly shares posts on Linkedin, His sales content on cold calling, sales career, SDRs and more has been read by millions of sales people around the world. Sign up below to receive Matt’s content directly to your inbox.