This is the transcript of episode 16
Click here to visit the full episode page and listen to the interview.
Hey, training professionals. This is Mark, your host on the Hired Trainer.com podcast.
Thank you so much. It’s lovely to have your company again. Thank you for stopping by.
Last week we focused on five tips on the subject of cold calling or telephone prospecting. So guess what? Yes, today we’re going to focus on the next five tips on that same subject.
This is Episode 16 of the Hired Trainer.com podcast. You’re very welcome.
Thanks once again for your time today. There are many podcasts out there. I know because I listen to them too, but you’ve chosen to spend your time today listening to this episode of this podcast, and for that I am very, very grateful.
This is the podcast serving the freelance trainer community internationally.
In case this is your first time here, the goal of this podcast is to help you as a freelance trainer to get hired, to earn more and to learn more in your training business.
Now, I thought we’d do something different today. So before we begin, I’d like to share with you some feedback which I’ve received from the community.
Every week I get some email, sometimes some comments on different social media platforms, but what’s really helpful for me is to understand from listeners like you what is helping you and how it’s helping you and why.
So this is feedback which I’m going to read to you from just one of my listeners. Her name is Mary.
Mary writes – “Hi Mark. I’m writing to thank you for the wonderful resource you have created with Hired Trainer.com. I’m a secondary school teacher or second level or high school teacher, and I’m currently doing a Professional Practice Certificate in training and development. I found the podcasts to be invaluable to me, teaching me about the world of training and also showing how the material I’m learning about is used in practice.
As someone who has a background in education, I’m trying to find my niche in the training market. Thanks to your podcast I believe I have some guidance as to how to go about it. Keep up the good work.”
Mary, thank you so much. You wouldn’t believe how chuffed I am, how thrilled I am to hear feedback like this because it really confirms to me that I’m serving people and that’s what I’m all about.
I love talking to trainers. I love talking about training. So if there are questions you have, comments you have, advice you have, the things you’d talk about or like me to talk about to you, I’d love to hear that.
I really want to make sure that this podcast is working for you, that the episodes are delivering value to you because this tells me what you want to know more about and why, and also helps me to know what kinds of guests to have on future episodes of the podcasts.
Now, on the subject of that very briefly, I have begun a series of training business coaching sessions with one of my listeners, and I’ll be talking to you about that in a future episode.
So, again, that’s something coming up. It was his suggestion actually and I think it’s a fantastic idea to talk through some of the business challenges and business decisions he has to make.
We’ll talk about that in future episodes of the podcasts.
Specifically on last week’s episode a comment I received on LinkedIn came from someone called Derek.
I don’t want to read out his last name but if you want to read or find out his last name, you can look at the podcast post on LinkedIn for Episode 15 and you can read the comments in the post section of the LinkedIn post.
Anyway, this is from Derek. Derek gave me some thinking, some thoughts, some advice about how to make one of the tips I gave you last week even better.
The reason I mention Derek’s comment is because Derek is a Learning and Development Manager with a specific bank and what he’s doing is he’s writing to me to tell me that as someone who buys training services – in other words, he’s someone who makes decisions about which training providers to go with, he says:
“I get these kinds of calls all the time and a lot of the time trainers hoping to do business with me start off talking about themselves.”
Great point. That’s the thing I mentioned last week as well. We need to talk about value from the perspective of the potential buyer.
So, what Derek suggested is that you could begin a conversation with him, for example, as follows: (I’m going to read out now what he wrote as if you are speaking to him).
I can see from your company’s last few posts on LinkedIn and the awards you’ve won, that X,Y,Z is important to you right now.
I’d love to take a moment to share a thought I had about increasing / decreasing / achieving / simplifying (whatever the word is) X,Y,Z (whatever that thing is that you’re hoping to talk to him about).
Derek, if you have a few minutes now, I’d love to give you the headlines so you can decide whether it would be good to explore this further.”
So to paraphrase Derek, as someone who buys training services and has conversations with trainers more or less every week, people calling him up looking to train his internal customers, it’s really important that we think about, as trainers, how we can add value even on the first call.
So Derek’s providing us with a great tip here.
So trainers, think of the ways that you can actually provide some value – not the promise of some value.
You may want to use the first call just to give an example of the thinking that marries or matches what you can do with what they need.
So give an example of that.
Give it away on the first call and that may well convince someone like Derek or a Learning and Development Manager, that a face to face meeting with you makes sense from their perspective.
And that’s an excellent piece of advice.
Many, many thanks for that, Derek.
(This is Mark talking now) If you feel that the prospect has time, you may also want to ask some qualifying questions just to make sure that although the meeting’s valuable from their perspective, is it an opportunity which is valuable potentially from your perspective?
So, some of you, as training business owners, may feel that it’s only worthwhile working with particular organizations if they have X budget or X amount of business internally.
As Derek’s pointing out, you may not get all that information on the first call.
It may be something you only find out when you meet that person face to face.
I talked about a model called B-A-N-T which will guide you in asking the right questions so that you can carefully screen out people who are not right for your training business early on in the sales process.
So please, I love comments like this.
Thank you, Derek, for your advice.
Mary, thank you for writing in.
Please continue to post on LinkedIn and to email me directly.
I always get back to you myself. I write the email replies personally, and I will be expanding social media channels in the New Year, 2019.
If you’re listening to this podcast in the future, this has been recorded in November 2018.
My email address, if you’d like to contact me directly, is Hiredtrainer1[at]gmail.com That’s the word Hired – then the word trainer and the No 1 @ gmail.com.
I’d love to hear from you.
So today, we’re going to focus on five more tips which you can refer to, to help you when cold calling or telephone prospecting.
Those tips are as follows:
I’m going to name them first of all and then we’ll go into them individually.
First of all ‘Structure Your Day.’
No 2 – ‘Work with Gatekeepers’
No 3 – ‘Keep Going’
No 4 – ‘Know your Value’
No 5 – ‘Reward Yourself’
So we’re going to go through each of those individually and we’ll start with the first one – ‘Structure Your Day.’
As someone who is calling to generate leads, to generate business for your training business, you need to be aware of two things:
First of all, the best time to get through.
Now, it’s very hard for me to say to you what is the best time to get through to anyone because there are things you cannot possibly know.
You have no idea when someone is available.
You’ve no idea what they’re doing.
The best time to get through is something that you’ll learn through practice.
As a rule, just to give you some guidelines, I find that I get through to many decision makers, in my training business, on a Tuesday late morning.
The reason I don’t always do most of my calling, but I do some calling on a Monday, is because very often if you think about this, if you trying to get through to say, managers, very often the time they find themselves in meetings is usually a Monday morning.
But, as I’ll talk to you about in another tip shortly, that should never be the basis for an excuse not to lift the phone and try and get through.
There are always exceptions and there are no rules about when to call.
You will find out when is the best time to get through to decision makers for you.
Typically, for obvious reasons, people aren’t always there, say in the public sector, maybe after three or four o’clock on a Friday, depending on the country you’re in.
In other jurisdictions or countries, it could be different.
This is my experience talking now.
I often find that I will not get through to many people in the private sector round about the same time – sometimes a bit later on a Friday.
That said, I have, when I was hard core sales, just purely sales focused – not training focused – in the past, as a Business Development Executive and then Business Development Manager, I often encouraged myself and my team to often try outside the framework and often call people early on.
So, for example, if you’re calling someone in management of IT, sometimes you find they’re in the server room or early in the office because IT is such a fundamental part of an organization’s infrastructure.
So, often in my experience at least, people in IT were often early in the office and often left early in the afternoon.
But again, to reiterate, you will find the best time that works for your training business.
The second consideration when it comes to your time to call is your energy levels because as a trainer you’re training, you’re delivering, you’re designing.
You could be doing this, doing that.
You could be travelling.
So you want to structure your day (and your week, by the way) around the times when you’re feeling energetic and focused. You’re not tired.
So you will again know what days of the week or times of the week that suits you.
So you’re looking for a match between those two things.
One the one hand, the time that gets through to people who are decision makers or key people you need to speak to, to get business decisions made, and secondly, you need to also align that with times of the week when your energy and your focus and your confidence is peak.
Rob Moore in his book, which is one of the books I’m reading right now… Rob Moore, by the way, is a fantastic podcaster.
His podcast is called ‘The Disruptive Entrepreneur.’
Really straight talking guy, has written some fantastic books. I’m actually three at the moment in tandem.
I shouldn’t really, but I’m reading three for different reasons.
One of the books is called ‘Start Now. Get Perfect Later.’
He talks about the concept of IGAs. In other words – Income Generating Activities.
So that’s another consideration.
When you’re structuring your day and your training week, you and I as trainers need to really ensure that we schedule our income generating activities first and that we do everything else – administration, etc – around those activities.
Does that make sense?
I can see you nodding. It does!
In other words, if cold calling is a part of your business that generates income, then you schedule that first and secondary things like email, take a second or a third place.
Does that make sense?
To my mind, email is something which is a huge time suck.
I’m really, all the time, finding excuses or ways not to email people when I can meet them face to face or lift the phone, dial and get the answer I want really quickly.
So be really conscious of your IGAs.
What is the time that you need to spend on these things?
Schedule that first and then around that you’ll want to schedule other things of secondary or tertiary – in other words, third level importance.
On the same subject of structuring your day, how much time do you need to spend cold calling?
I would, if you’re new to this, start with maybe two periods a week of maybe 60 minutes or 30 minutes.
Start the clock and stick to that.
Don’t go away from that. If you say 60 minutes, you must stick to that and you must do nothing else in that 60 minute period, or 30 minute period, except cold calling.
I’ll tell you why in a moment.
If you start off with two call blocks a week or one call block a week depending on what’s priority for you and stick to that, you’ll be able to confidently start to track whether and how much results you’re getting.
How many results and whether you are getting results. So start with that and your call block time is golden.
When you’re calling, you’re doing nothing else but calling.
I’ll say that again – when you’re calling, you’re doing nothing else but calling.
You’re not checking email. Not Facebook, Instagram, Periscope, Snapchat. You’re not on eBay buying that rubber thingumajig for the corner of your room, looking at cushions or curtains.
You’re doing nothing else but that.
You’re not speaking to anyone.
You’re doing nothing but calling.
You’re not in a meeting.
You’re doing nothing but calling.
Do you understand? You’re doing nothing but that thing that you’ve scheduled for that period.
If you start multi-tasking, it’s not going to work.
And the reason I’m raising this point is because I was, as a telephone sales trainer and coach, (which is one of the things I do in my training business, I work with financial institutions and insurance companies specifically in this area), is I observe.
I go into the floors of contact center or banks or insurance companies and I watch what people are doing.
I’m reminded of a time this year when twice I was asked to shadow sales people on phones – just observe, listen to what they’re doing, how they’re making calls and then decide what training interventions are required, are relevant, and what outcomes and behaviors’ I want to change.
What I observed was this:
One guy in particular comes to mind.
He spend one minute 51 seconds (I timed him) speaking to a prospect and then spent the next 13 minutes and 15 seconds writing an email to that prospect and then putting information into the company CRM – customer relationship management system.
If that term is new to you, it’s simply the software where you record call touch points or conversations or sales activity with a particular prospect or customer.
So this guy was literally spending the minimal amount of time on the phone and then using the call block time to write emails and populate or fill in information in the CRM.
Now this is a recipe for disaster.
As I said, and I’ll say it again, when you’re calling, you’re calling.
When you’re emailing, that’s a separate block or separate 30 minute or hour period.
If you’re multi-tasking, that’s often what causes you and I at the end of the day to look back and say, “Where on earth did my eight hours go?”
If you do that, you will not be able to track what’s working and what’s not working because everything will be mixed together.
Does that make sense?
If you don’t believe me, there’s a book you should read or could read.
It’s called ‘The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time.’ By Jeff Sutherland. I’ll include this in the show notes to this episode.
Jeff was one of the co-founders of a project management methodology called ‘Scrum.’
I’ll not go into that now. I’m a qualified Scrum master and this is one of the things I teach and use with clients, but suffice to say if you read this book you’ll understand why multi-tasking is actually detrimental to your productivity.
Now, coming back practically to how we do this.
I have call blocks of 60 minute periods.
If I’m particularly busy during the week, I will allow for a 30 minute call block just to squeeze something in, but when I’m doing that, I’m doing nothing but calling in that call block.
You could start with two days a week or one day a week, depending on your training schedule.
Obviously if you are doing an IGA – an Income Generating Activity – such as paid work. (And by the way, this is basically work for which you are invoiced or you invoice people, that’s what I mean by IGA).
It’s something which, when you do it, you can invoice for.
Those things come first.
So you shape your call blocks around that at a time when your energy is highest and of course, you’re getting through to decision makers.
So start small, track what’s working for you and then move up and scale, if you can, to more call block time.
Don’t go all in. Try it out. See what works for you, but what you need to do is to focus:
F-O-C-U-S – Follow One Course Until Success
When you’re calling, only call.
When you’re emailing, only email.
Do not mix those up.
(I sound like I’m preaching here!)
No 2 – ‘Working with Gatekeepers’
The reason I’m bringing this point up is because again as someone who works with a lot of companies and their teams on the call floor, I’m reminded of a particular project I did in Connecticut not so long ago where I was working with the outward bound or inside sales team of an investment company.
I was shadowing their agents and I observed how they spent the fractional or minimal amount of time talking to the most important person on the phone and then rushed on to do something else.
So who’s the most important person on the phone?
It’s the person who has the power to connect you with the person you need to speak to.
I have never liked the expression ‘Get Past Gatekeeper.’ Often it’s a module on many sales training programs.
Think about this – the gatekeeper is often at the hub of a company.
They’re often the people who’ve been there the longest – not always, but often, particularly in the case of small companies.
I don’t know why, but that often seems to be the case.
I’ve found that again and again in those companies, managers come, managers go, directors come, directors go, but the person at the nexus or the hub or the center of the company is often the person who’s the most connected, the person who’s of the longest tenure, the person that’s been working there the longest, and the person who has their ear to the ground and knows a lot of what’s going on.
Guess who that person is?
It’s often the person working at reception.
It’s often the person who is the secretary, the person who knows things and has the power to put you through or to turn you away.
Why is this important?
Because sales is a people business.
As a trainer, you are selling your programs through people to people.
You’re in the people business, not the training business.
That’s worth repeating – you’re in the people business, not the training business.
And the gatekeeper is a person and they’re called the gatekeeper for a very good reason.
They can open the gate or they can shut you out, so you need to work with them.
Get to know them.
It doesn’t need to be cynical in any way where you falsely express interest or concern in people’s working day.
But I’ve watched and I’ve encouraged people to get to know the person who is more often than not the person who will answer the phone every single time.
If that person feels like you’re ignoring them or making them feel small or not getting to remember their name, it’s not going to do well for you.
Does that make sense?
Spend time in a non-cynical way, in a helpful way, getting to know that person.
That relationship will pay off.
No 3 – ‘Keep Going.’
Keep going because sales and telephone prospecting or cold calling especially, is a numbers game.
It’s a numbers game.
I talked last week in one of my tips in the first episode on this subject, which is Episode 15.
If you didn’t listen to it, you might want to go back and listen to it and just remember the formula I’ve given you.
Sales is a numbers game, and a very simple way to explain this is that think of the rule of thirds.
Imagine that all of your sales – 100 per cent of your sales – can be drawn as a circle.
That circle has three pieces. We’ll call them thirds for argument’s sake.
So, the first 33 per cent are the sales you have because you have a relationship with the buyer.
You know them. You’ve worked for that company before. You know the people. Their people refer you, recommend you readily.
People like your work.
You’ve experience in the industry.
You’ve got some what we call, unfair competitive advantage, which makes it very hard for other training providers to replace you.
That’s the first 33 per cent.
And you’ll often find that this is easy business.
It’s low hanging fruit.
It’s the kind of business you get year after year after year until of course it stops coming your way for all kinds of reasons.
The second 33 per cent – well, this is the stuff you’ll not get no matter how hard you try.
Now again, these numbers are very rough.
What do I mean?
Well, imagine that there are some prospects you’d like to do business with.
You’d love to become their training provider for sales or leadership or management.
The trouble is they’re very happy with the current training provider they have. Let’s call this person the incumbent.
In other words, they’re very happy with this relationship.
They see no reason to change, so you’re banging your head against a wall here.
You need to recognize the signs when you’re not going to make headway.
It may be a different case next year, but if you keep wasting time when you don’t recognize that you’ve no way of getting into this business, you are literally wasting time.
There will always be training contracts for which you cannot be considered because:
- You’re perhaps not experienced enough
- No one in that company knows you and therefore you’ve no inside advocates or influences on your side – or
- Maybe you don’t have some niche or unfair competitive advantage which someone else has.
They may be related to someone in that company. They may know one of the directors or owners and on that basis you’re just not going to dislodge them.
That’s a fact, but there is light at the end of the tunnel here.
The third, third, the last 33 per cent – well, that’s the stuff that’s up for grabs.
That’s all the business that’s out there when companies are changing training providers but they don’t yet know you exist.
There are companies out there thinking, “We need this. We have a future need or a current need. I wonder who could help us with this.”
This 33 per cent you will only get if you lift the phone and dial and if you go and make contact with people proactively.
Many of us don’t do this because we have what are called false assumptions.
Now, in thinking this podcast episode through, I came out with an acronym myself.
You can use this – I’m not going to trademark this. Maybe someone else in the world has the same idea, but I like F-A-L-S-E.
F-A-L-S-E stands for False Assumptions Let Sales Escape.
False Assumptions Let Sales Escape.
What often prevents us from keeping going or even starting is that we’re telling ourselves things which are not true.
False Assumptions Let Sales Escape.
For example, it’s Monday morning and you think, “Now’s not the right time. They’re all in a meeting.”
Or “They’re on holidays.”
Or “You know what? It’s coming up to Christmas or Chanukah or it’s some other event or it’s August and everyone in this part of the world is away.”
Or “You know what? It’s Friday evening. They’ve all gone home.”
You have no way of knowing this.
So, when people ask me, “Mark, as a trainer, as a training business coach, is there a perfect time to call?” I say, “No, there’ isn’t.”
There’s never a perfect time to call because if you think about it, there are things you cannot possibly know.
You cannot know if someone’s in a meeting.
You cannot know if someone’s on the phone, in the pool, on the beach, in a restaurant.
You cannot know if someone actually is really busy or available.
You cannot know if they’re happy with their training provider or if they’re thinking of changing.
So, be honest with yourself. Until you ask and establish these facts, you cannot know.
False Assumptions Let Sales Escape.
Similarly, there are things you cannot make people do.
You can’t make people answer the phone.
You can’t make people say ‘yes’ to you.
You can provide a business case, but you can’t make people say ‘yes’ if it does genuinely suit them.
So, for goodness sake, don’t give yourself a hard time.
Don’t beat yourself up if people don’t answer the phone.
I’ve often watched team leads in contact centers give their sales agents a hard time because they’re not getting through to people, but that’s the uncontrollable.
You can’t control when people are in the office and you cannot control if they’ll lift the phone or not.
What you have to do – thinking of last week’s episode – is to put in the effort and then track the evidence which is telling you that this particular activity is generating outcome.
Does that make sense?
Only you will know what that recipe is.
Now, if you do get through to people, you are going to get lots of ‘no’s.’
Let’s be honest, we all get ‘no’s,’ as sales people, but this is not a reason or excuse not to keep going because ‘no’ does not mean ‘never.’ It just means ‘not right now’ or it means ‘not today.’
So, all you have to do as a sales person selling your training business, products and services, is to seek permission to re-engage.
“Okay, Jim. I understand. Not a good time. Just so I’m clear on this, when is a good time to circle back or call you back next year so that it’s the time when you’re sitting down to plan your training budget? When would make sense for you?”
And what you’ve just done then is you’ve created a warm call or an appointment in the future when you can legitimately call back and say, “Yes, we talked about this last year and you asked me to call back at this time.”
So, again, don’t give up. Keep going.
“No” does not mean ‘never.’ It just means ‘not today.’
And the final point on the subject of keeping going is that the most important word in your vocabulary as a sales person – and I really want you to post this on your notice board, above your desk, near your phone, on your iPhone or your Android phone, or even put it above your computer screen.
It’s this word – ‘NEXT.’
It’s the most important word in sales because there will always be people who are not the right person for you at this moment in time, but if you keep going make the next phone call, you will find someone who is delighted to hear from you and you’re calling them at the right time.
Next, next, next. No, okay, I’ll call back. Onto the next call.
Not today. You’re currently happy with your provider. Understand. Onto the next call.
Just keep going.
No 4 is ‘Know your Value’
I often find, particularly in sales training, that people struggle to clearly articulate the value of their brand, of themselves, of their company.
So, the way to do this for yourself as a trainer is to create a mind map.
What is a mind map?
Well, if you’re unclear – and I’ll provide some links in the show notes to this podcast episode – you can look up on Google by typing in the words ‘Mind Map’ or the name ‘Tony Buzan.’
Tony Buzan is one of the people who came up with the concept of mind maps but Tony did the most work in this direction.
My understanding is that he came up with this solo, but you never know.
Nonetheless, it’s a fantastic tool.
All it consists of is a large piece of paper.
I’ll use brown wrapping paper for this and get some coloring pens and pencils and put on some music and I’ll think.
I’ll dump down on paper all of the arguments that I have or the reasons that someone would find value in what I do.
So think of all the experience you have.
Think of all the projects you’ve worked on.
Think of all the outcomes you’ve generated and that’s key.
The results – can you actually put them into figures?
So, qualitatively and quantitively provide evidence for how your training or your expertise.
Even if you haven’t trained before, your expertise, your experience has generated outcome for your employer, if you’re employed, or for a client if you work as a consultant.
Get that down on paper. Don’t try and write this sequentially, logically or chronologically.
Just put everything down on paper and have fun doing this exercise.
What you’ll find is all of a sudden what will emerge from that big messy glorious colorful piece of paper, is that you’ll have ideas.
Oh my goodness! You have worked on that and that was good and I did this and I turned this around and I saved money here and I did this.
This is really, really valuable because ultimately with a lot of skill, people can stand up and train people, train adults in a corporate environment, but often what those adults will want to hear is how you actually apply this in your own experience.
So, please don’t underestimate the importance of this.
First of all, get everything down on a mind map and then you can begin cartoon – which I’ll talk about in a moment.
So, everything down on paper. All the experience, projects, people you’ve worked with, their job titles, that’s really important as well.
I’ve worked with, for example, legal teams. Thinking of my experience, I’ve worked with Project Managers, directors.
I’ve worked in public sector and private sector, so that’s really crucial because people want to know that you’ve worked with someone just like them before.
Anyway, more on that in another episode.
And the second part of this is now think of what we talked about in Episode 15, which is put yourself in the shoes of the customer and think about their needs, their challenges.
What’s going on in their world?
Where are they losing money, spending money?
What’s their strategy? Derek talked about in his comment.
Think about the things they’re working on.
They’ve won awards. Okay, what does that tell you about what’s on their mind, what they’re thinking of doing, what they’ve done?
And now go back to the mind map and marry those two things.
What experience, value, projects have you worked on that could help them achieve this particular goal, achieve this particular strategy, enable this particular project or save money, eliminate these problems and fears, if they’re the ones that match those projects and experience that you have?
Do you see what I’m saying here?
Basically, marry up the two and see where what you’ve done actually then helps someone achieve that thing.
What you’ve done is you’ve now begun the first part of creating what’s called ‘a value statement.’
So if someone asks you how you can help them, you just can’t scramble around in your mind in front of them.
You really will have had to have done this exercise of articulating your value by creating this mind map.
It’s like taking an inventory. Taking an idea or inventory of all the experiences and outcomes that you have and then matching them carefully to the challenges and goals and strategy of your prospect and then doing that verbally in an answer.
Does that make sense?
Those two things are essential.
So, if someone asks you a question, how can you clearly articulate your value?
One of the things that I find very useful is a model called CSR.
What does CSR mean?
CSR stands for three words.
It’s an acronym:
C for Challenge
S for Solution
R for Result
So, this tip is called ‘Knowing your Value’ and what CSR does it allows you to communicate your value to someone in a conversational manner.
So, you can tell someone about a challenge that someone you worked with had in the past. This is where the mind map will help you define that.
And then think of the solution which you implemented. This could be your expertise or a training program or a consultancy or something.
And then finally, the result tells them what outcome you achieved for someone just like them.
So CSR is a lovely model because it’s very simple to remember.
If someone’s asking you about what you can do for them, maybe tell them about someone just like them, a challenge that someone just like them had, the solution that you did for that person or made for that person, and then the result that person got as a result of your services, your expertise.
And that’s fantastic because it tells someone or confirms to someone that you can do the same for them.
And ultimately this is what people are buying.
It’s not retrospective. Although that’s important, it’s not what you did for other people.
They need to hear you articulate how you can do something – future tense – for them.
Does that make sense?
So know your value, be really familiar, confident and be able to articulate this in the shape of a sales conversation because you just might get one of these questions in the course of a phone call.
And No 5, the final tip today in this series on making cold calling or telephone prospecting work for you is ‘Reward Yourself.’
And this is so important!
A lot of the people I talk to, I can say confidently most don’t like cold calling and sales, but paradoxically it’s where you will often see a lot of results quickly.
Because so few people do it, or do it properly, it’s wide open.
Now I mentioned this in podcast Episode 15.
Many people are just throwing at videos and live streams and graphics and infographics and means on social media and they’re not able to confidently say that it’s working for them.
It’s almost generating brand awareness, but not necessarily producing sales.
So, if you’re able to do this confidently and consistently, you should be rewarding yourself because it’s hard work.
And, let’s be honest, a lot of the time cold calling, telephone prospecting, can be lonely.
If it’s just you and your kitchen table, or you and your dining room table, or you’ve a small office somewhere, it’s just you and maybe your computer, so it’s hard to know if it’s working.
Sometimes you beat yourself up, you give yourself negative self-talk and you put yourself down and you just give up.
So I mentioned in Tip 3 that you keep going and Tip 5 I’d like to say again, you need to reward yourself.
And I’m thinking of a time when I worked as a lead generator.
I worked for a lead generation company in Philadelphia.
There were roughly 120 agents on the floor.
Now, I was subsequently then involved as a Business Development Manager for that company, but I began like everyone else.
We had to make 150 calls a day. One hundred and fifty calls a day – 150 – one hundred and fifty calls a day, and to get through to people and have those conversations, to prospect and qualify them and then we would sell those leads to organizations like Microsoft, Cisco and Oracle, and so on and so on.
So, you need to have a process.
You need to also be very confident and you need to enjoy this.
How can we do this?
Well, first of all, be careful of negative associations.
If you associate the room, the dining room, the kitchen table or wherever it is that you’re doing this work with a negative activity, guess what? You will avoid that physical location.
So it’s really important that you gamify and that you enjoy your cold calling and that you do it in a way that rewards you for putting in the effort.
Does that make sense?
I can see you nodding. I know. You know I’m talking about the truth here.
If you’ve negative associations about the activity or the location in which you perform that activity, your brain will create every single excuse not to perform that activity.
So here are couple of ideas that you can do to make this work for you.
First of all, I want you to set up some small milestones.
Just create a first small goal of calling ten people. Just ten people.
When you achieve that, I want you to create an emotional trigger.
Create an emotional trigger and when you reach that milestone of ten calls or 20 calls, or however many number of calls that is right for you, I want you to go and make yourself a cup of your favorite coffee or do something like check your Facebook, outside of your calling hours.
In other words, set up a reward which links the activity of cold calling with a positive outcome for you emotionally.
Some of the things I do is, for example, I’ll have a cold calling volume or target for a particular time of the week or a week in its entirety, and when I achieve that goal I might, go get a massage or I might go to the Turkish barber locally, have a shave and a haircut.
Whatever it is for you. You don’t have to tell other people (I just did!) or justify what that thing is for you.
Other things which have done something for me is I will not buy a particular book by one of my favorite business authors or training authors until I reach a particular target and then sometimes I will buy that book, I will not open it but I’ll leave it by my bedside until I hit that particular goal and then I’ll allow myself to open it.
So it’s really visible, it’s really conscious. I’m aware it’s there, but until I earn the right to read that book, I will not read that book.
So, whatever it is for you, whatever that emotional trigger is for you, activate that.
Small emotional triggers you can use could be dancing.
First thing in the morning, particularly on a dark wintry morning, when the last thing I might want to do is start calling people, I will put on a very bright light and play some fantastic music on Spotify.
I really freak out and enjoy myself because that creates an emotional trigger or an association between the cold calling activity or emailing activity (whichever it may be) and a positive activity.
So, begin to create those emotional triggers and you will find they actually help you to look forward to doing something like cold calling.
And also create kickers.
What this means is this: If you have ever experienced or worked with professional sales people, those professional sales people are always incentivized.
In other words, they have a bonus to achieve a particular target.
And then, clever sales management create kickers.
What that means is that if that sales person achieves a particular goal, the Sales Manager will kick in an extra bonus to keep that sales person and their energy going.
In other words, the last thing you want when selling is to take your foot off the pedal and say, “Okay, I’ve achieved my goal. I’m done. That’s it, fine. Let’s put the phone down.”
You want to find a way to go onto the next goal and the next goal.
So that means that, let’s say you reach a particular milestone for that week or that month.
Give yourself a really big reward.
Go for a meal with your loved one.
Go see a show.
Buy yourself a flight to a local city.
Depending on the goal, you’ll know what those kickers are for you, but have fun with this.
Use a vision board and tell yourself, “When I get this, I’m going to get this. When I get this, I will earn this. I want the right to do this. I’m going to start planning this holiday,” and really gamify this.
You’ll find that emotions come into it and you’ll sound more confident on the phone because you’re really linking your activity to what you want.
And the last thing I’ll tell you about rewarding yourself is this – celebrate the ‘no’s.’
Now, this sounds weird. It does work and I’ve seen people use this to great effect.
Celebrate the ‘no’s.’ You’re going to get lots of ‘no’s,’ but you need ‘no’s,’ on the journey towards the ‘yes.’
So if you get ‘no’s,’ woo-hoo! Fantastic! Imagine you’re Homer Simpson.
Imagine Homer Simpson cheering, putting his hand in the air.
Celebrate the ‘no’s,’ and say, “I got another ‘no.’ Great. Onto the next call. Another ‘no.’ Fantastic! Onto the next call.”
It’s reverse psychology.
Now, I’m not suggesting that you put your hand up in the office and scream and shout like Homer Simpson – “Woo-hoo.”
I’m saying that you do it inwardly or if you’re on your own, do it outwardly.
But link the ‘no’s,’ to ‘so what.’ It’s a ‘no.’ I’ve made the effort. Well done, Mark – John – Lucy – Sally – Aya – (whatever your name is). Keep going. Keep going. Keep going.
When you get those ‘no’s,’ celebrate them and whatever you do, any promises you make in the form of milestones or kickers, you must keep them.
I have seen sales people set this system up and then let themselves off the hook.
If you hired a professional sales person, would you promise them a bonus and take it away? Would you? I don’t think so.
You could, but then you’d watch those sales people take nothing you ever said again seriously.
You’d lose sales people.
Keep that promise to yourself. If you promise yourself something, keep it.
If you promise yourself a ticket, an Amazon voucher, a meal, whatever that is, keep your word.
If you break your word, it’s like breaking your bond. Your subconscious mind will not take your conscious mind seriously any more.
You really want to ensure that you keep your word and reward yourself.
Believe me, if you’re achieving your cold calling, telephone prospecting targets, you deserve it and you have my full permission to give yourself that reward. Okay?
Now, in a future episode we’ll be talking to trainers and understanding what they do to keep going, how they structure their day, how they articulate their value, and all those tips and techniques will form the basis of a future episode.
So, that’s it for today, guys.
Thank you so much for taking the time to tune into this podcast episode and to listen to Episode 16 of the Hired Trainer.com podcast.
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Thanks again for your time.