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Seinfeld’s world on the axis of cold calling

At the risk of dating myself, I’d like to bring Jerry Seinfeld into the discussion.  Remember the low talkerhigh talker and close talker?  For those who are too young to remember the Seinfeld references, there is actually an online Seinfeld dictionary to offset this handicap.<--break->The low talkers, high talkers and close talkers set a certain pace or tone to their conversations, often confusing, baffling or upsetting their chosen conversation partner.  The person with whom the low, close or high talker is chatting often sticks his heels in the mud, refusing to match the chosen style of communication, and very little is accomplished by an exchange between the two as a result.

Let’s turn Seinfeld’s world on the axis of cold calling – what if the conversation partner listens intently before speaking, internalizes and mirrors the low talker’s style, therefore validating the low talker and making him feel understood?  Yes, this process is called active listening.  I’m sure that you have come across the phrase before, as its soaring popularity began in the 1990’s, but have we really internalized it in terms of the sales process?  We have all been coached at one point or another by either a trained therapist or a friend who thinks he’s a trained therapist to listen actively.  There are several rules that apply here (in my case, it’s the friend who thinks he’s a trained therapist, but admittedly, I’ve learned a lot and haven’t had to pay $200/hour):

  • Instead of simply waiting for your turn to speak, turn your full attention and focus on what your conversation partner is trying to convey
  • IGNORE your objective for the time that your potential client is speaking – actually allow yourself to get lost in their point
  • Mirror your potential client’s style and pace to the conversation.  This will make him more comfortable (He’s a low talker?  Guess what!  YOU are a low talker too.)
  • In addition to his style of actual speech, try to mirror his attitude – is he casual?  Stiff?  Articulate?  Does he say “dude”?  Be a chameleon and match your style to his.
  • Rephrase and repeat back to him what he had to say – this confirms that you really did internalize his point, and it validates him, making him feel understood



As much as the low-talkers of the world have a tendency to push us over the edge, and perhaps we wouldn’t befriend them personally, when they are the potential client, we must adapt.  Active listening can be productive in every area of life, up to and including your sales process!

Daniel Francès

About Daniel Francès

Author of The Cold Call Bible, I have developed, fine tuned and honed my specialty - cold calling. Break the barriers! Joke! Laugh! Think creatively! People will tell you "Don't". "Don't call decision-makers." "Don't make cold calls at 3pm." Bullshit! Let's break the old patterns and let me show you how successful you can be. I am an expert at getting in the proverbial door, and I inspire, train and motivate others to do the same. My Motto: NO ONE WANTS TO TALK TO YOU! You must utilize your inner power of empathy, proactive listening skills and humor to court your prospects. I will teach you how.

The three magic words in sales.

Like, Trust, Buy!


This phrase is used, or should be, by every successful sales person on the planet.  For many aspects of life, there is a certain order in which things flow.  Grass seeds must be planted before they pop up and make a beautiful lawn.  We learn to walk before we run.  And so it is with sales.  People need to like us before they trust us.  People need to trust us before they will buy from us.   Don’t confuse “like” here the way your best friend likes you; although that may end up being the case.  Like, in the sales context, really means establishing a good business rapport.  You are someone with whom your prospect “likes” speaking with and meeting.

You never trust someone you don’t like.  It’s contrary to human nature.  There’s probably something about that person that just rubs you the wrong way.  Maybe you perceived them as pushy, or they made an inappropriate joke thinking it was funny.  Your perception of them, whether you realized it or not, was that they did not have the same values as you.  There is no like and no rapport here.

On the other hand, if someone does like you, you have a shot at getting them to trust you.  Yes, I said a shot.  Most people make you earn their trust.  Don’t disappoint them.

 To earn trust remember this:

·         Do what you say you’re going to do.  Be dependable.

·         Arrive early.

·         Follow up promptly and when you said you would.

·         Find things that are of value to the other person.

·         Always tell the truth.  Even when it means possibly losing the sale.

·         Understand that from their perspective, purchasing the wrong product could be career-ending for them.

·         Be knowledgeable.

·         Really listen.

 

The key concept of Like, Trust, Buy, is that it can never go out of this order.  Approach Like, Trust, Buy in this order and you will be a step ahead of 90% of your competition.

Sales Homework – Write down three things that people said they Like about you.  Use those traits as you build your customer relationships.

1. ___________________________________________________________

2. ___________________________________________________________

3. ___________________________________________________________


Sales Managers –
Make a list of what you think makes a sales rep trustworthy, and share it with your team.

By: Louie Bernstein

11 Tips For Your Voice Mails To Increase Response Rate

When I recently posed the question of voice mail strategies to a few colleagues, I had some great responses.  But there was one that stood out from Michael Brown, President of BtoBEngage, that he got from a Dallas based IT executive.  When Michael asked the executive about returning sales calls, his comment was “Return their call?  You must be joking! I’d be playing defense on their home field!”  It is difficult to get your information across, discuss your company, and still leave room for your prospect to be intrigued within a 30 second time frame.   So, with that said, here are 11 tips that will get you playing more offense.Voice Mail Tips, Sales, Teleprospecting, 6 25 Catley

Always follow up with an Email– By and large we are an internet intensive society and a majority of communication is now done through email rather than the phone.  It’s about getting on the prospects mental radar.  It’s easy to just ignore a caller ID you don’t know, but if you send an immediate follow up email you have a higher likelihood of piquing that prospects interest in regards to what you just said on their voicemail.  Keep the subject line simple “follow up on my voicemail” is still the best.

Don’t let them know you will call them back in a few days – Often times I hear Inside Reps state the following “If I haven’t heard back from you, I plan on trying to re-connect in a few days.”  What have you accomplished with this statement?  It’s passive and weak.  Establish some rules of engagement and tell them exactly when and how often you plan on reaching out.  The goal is to let them know (politely) that you aren’t going away and it’s in everyone’s best interest to have a quick chat.

Don’t be gimmicky – Avoid saying phrases like “We are the experts in the field of _____” or “I am calling from _____, the world leaders in…..”  Yes you are making a sales call, and yes, you are trying to obtain new business.  Guess what?  Your prospect realizes this too, and everyone thinks they are “experts”, “gurus” or “world leaders”.  If you didn’t, then you have no faith in your product/service and won’t close the deal whether you get an appointment or not.

Slow Down! – One of the best pieces of advice I received was when an Executive Admin took the time to call me back and explain that she didn’t understand a word I said in my voice mail because I was speaking so fast.  Rule of thumb…If you feel like you are speaking to slow, chances are your cadence is perfect for your audience.  Your discomfort in your own “slow” pace is music to their ears.

Know who you’re leaving the voicemail for and their role – There is nothing worse than leaving a voice mail intended for someone in IT and you are calling someone in HR.  First and foremost, do a quick check on Linkedin or Zoominfo and confirm that the person you are calling is at least in the right department.  Don’t waste your time and dials on an inappropriate contact.

Leave your number in the voice mail once – This is a very debatable subject.  If you talk to a lot of experienced sales reps, they will tell you to leave your number twice, once at the beginning and once at the end.  But those same pundits will also let you know to keep your voice mail to 30 seconds or less.  If I am trying to stay within the 30 seconds, why repeat information?  It takes approximately 7 seconds to introduce yourself, provide a company name, and leave a phone number at the beginning of a voice mail.  Double that when you leave the same information in closing and you have already used half of your targeted 30 seconds.  Let them know you will follow up with an email, if they are interested and didn’t get your number through your voice mail; they have it in your follow up email.Inside Sales, Teleprospecting, Voice Mails 6 25 Catley

KISS- “Keep It Simple Stupid”- Stick to stating the basics, who you are, where you’re calling from, and the purpose of your call.  Follow up with an email and do it again in a few days.  “Hi (prospect name), my name is Jonathan calling from _____ at 555-555-5555.  I wanted to speak briefly regarding ______ and discover any areas you are looking to address.”  The prospect knows within the first 15 seconds who I am, why I am calling and what I am attempting to accomplish with the call.

Avoid phrases such as follow up, touch base, and circle back– These are phrases that will not produce results.  Instead, try using phrases similar to “When we last spoke…” or “When we discussed ____ a few months ago…” to provide more personalization.  The prospect will be more willing to re-engage in conversation with you when you lead with these types of statements.

Leave them wanting more – Most of us know the phrase “why buy the cow when you get the milk for free”.  One of the many reasons for leaving a voice mail is to get your prospect interested or intrigued by your product.  If you provide too much information on a voice mail, you eliminate that possibility.  Plus, you have already given them enough information to say “no”,” not interested” or “we don’t need this”.

Avoid product dumping – This one could be difficult because you want to pique their interest somehow, and usually that involves mentioning the benefits of your product.  Keeping with the theme of brevity and being concise, reserve your product dumping for your follow up email.  Best thing to do is include bullet points either within your email or after your signature.  The eye is automatically drawn to the bullet points, so this could be your best chance to get across the benefits or statistics you wanted to share with your prospect.

Don’t be a robot or depend on automation – This one is difficult because I see the benefit in using auto-dialers and pre-recorded voice mails from a time savings point of view, but I caution that you will lose any sort of personalization in the process should you decide to proceed this way.  You lose the ability to say the prospects name and offer information specific to their needs/industry.  Sometime I even purposefully insert a random “umm” or “uhh” in my voice mail so the prospect realizes that I am not a robot.    

Some other tips, such as creating a benefit statement or finishing your voice mail with a Call to Action will also increase response rates, but these basic steps will get you heading in the right direction and playing offense on your home turf more often.  Any tips I forgot?

By: Jonathan Catley