Even when you are on the top of your game, you will hear ‘NO’, many more times than you will hear ‘YES’ when prospecting. Here are some activity tracking tips to help you reach your prospecting goals, by staying motivated and on track.
If you know me at all, you know that I love a good challenge. And that I have never met a quota I didn’t want to meet or beat!
This has served me well as an entrepreneur and has certainly been a key component of my success. It keeps me prospecting, long after others have given up. But that doesn’t mean it is easy. Staying motivated and on track is always a challenge.
Here is a trick I use to keep myself motivated and to stay on track when prospecting.
I have a mini spreadsheet with my goals, that I set up every week. In the left hand column, I list all the activities I need to complete to meet my quota. The key for me, is to include my weekly goal for each one, in the next column.
Then I have columns for Monday through Friday where I input the progress I made each day on each task. The last column is the total, the actual number I completed that week.
The simple act of setting the goals each week and then updating them each day, motivates me to work harder to meet and exceed those numbers!
Why this works
You have probably heard the quote, ‘What you Measure, Improves’ or ‘What you Measure, Matters’. This isn’t a new concept but it’s one that has helped me, and the teams I work with, stay on track and really deliver!
Why this works for ME
For me, setting the goals focuses my attention and watching my progress is a real motivator. All of us have more to do than there are hours in the day. This process helps me prioritize the tasks and actions that ensure I succeed.
Try it yourself!
If this sounds like something that might work for you, click here for a free downloadable version of my ‘Workbook’, the mini spreadsheet I use to monitor and measure MY progress.
You don’t need to measure EVERYthing you do – actually, the whole point is to identify the KEY tasks that drive results and to focus on those.
Those will be YOUR Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) and will differ from mine, based on your role, objectives and responsibilities. Modify your document to reflect your priorities.
Customize as needed
The weekly format works best for me but you can customize the spreadsheet to be monthly, to have each week in a month on a different sheet – you could even do it by day.
Don’t burn through your ROI!
As a colleague often says, don’t burn through your Return on Investment (ROI), monitoring and measuring your ROI.
Defining my goals at the start of the week, filling in my progress each day and totaling the results at the end of the week works well for me. Try these activity tracking tips to reach YOUR prospecting goals.
Experiment and adjust the timing to see what works for you.
Do you need help identifying the tasks YOU need to complete to achieve YOUR quota? Need help completing those tasks? Not sure of what to actually SAY on a call?
Give us a call at 908.879.2911 – we can get you and your team set up and ready for success!
Need more motivation?
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Good luck and keep dialing!
At One of a Kind Sales, we talk a lot about LISTENING. But the tone of YOUR voice is also key to your Cold Calling success.
According to an industry statistic, “93% of the potential success of your cold call is attributed to the tone of your voice during the conversation.”
How do you sound?
Confidence is AUDIBLE – make sure the client hears this.
This is one of the many reasons we say that you should memorize your script. Knowing what you are going to say, without having to think about it, helps instill confidence.
Having your rebuttals ready helps too.
And of course, PRACTICE! The more conversations you have, the better you will become.
Match their tone
And it isn’t just confidence. I also recommend that you match the prospect’s cadence and style of communication. If they are calm and soft spoken, speaking quickly and confidently may be a turn off or feel ‘salesy’.
Really LISTEN to what the prospect is saying AND to their tone. Then match their tone in your delivery. For more about this please see our post on Active Listening
What NOT to do
And for a humorous look at what NOT to do, check out this vintage Saturday Night Live skit with Chris Farley and Paul McCartney.
If you need help with YOUR delivery, give us a call at 908.879.2911 – we can provide you with the skills that will instill the confidence YOU need to succeed!
When asked for Sales Tips for Success, I always include the reminder that you should ‘Do what they aren’t’. By that, I mean, do what your competition ISN’T doing.
Don’t necessarily follow the crowd
Yes, stats may show that Cold Calling Success rates are 46% higher on Wednesdays than they are on Mondays but that usually just means that your prospects are now going to be bombarded by cold callers on Wednesday.
What to do instead
I suggest that you have a regular call schedule and that you call consistently, not haphazardly nor based on the last stat you read or heard. And I also recommend calling on Friday afternoons! Some people may be gone for the day but the people who DO pick up will probably be more cheerful. This is also true of the days before, and the ‘short’ weeks after, long weekends.
Zig when they Zag
The concept of ‘Zigging when others Zag’ is not new. You see it in quotes, as book titles and in too many blogs and podcasts to count. It is used in fields as varied as financial investment to business leadership, in marketing and here, in sales. It is good advice but if you look around, you don’t usually see it implemented. EVERYONE is using the same, salesy script and the same, robotic delivery. And now, because of that stat, they are probably doing it on Wednesday!
Be brave – take a chance and ZIG.
Coco Chanel had the right idea
One of my favorite quotes is from Coco Chanel. She said “In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different”. I would take it a step further and say that in order to be successful in sales, one must always be different.
When making Cold Calls, you don’t want to sound like every other sales caller. You don’t want to sound salesy and turn off your prospects before you even have a chance to qualify them. I always say that Cold Calling is about HAVING CONVERSATIONS, not making sales. Approaching your calls with this attitude will shift not only your mindset but the receptivity of your prospect.
Pick up the phone
The humble phone has lost its status as ‘most valuable sales tool’. There are so many other platforms and tools out there that are cheaper, more automated and easier to use that actual phone calling gets lost in the shuffle. I am not saying that you shouldn’t include some of these in your toolkit. I am a huge fan of my CRM (VanillaSoft – click here to learn more!) and social media can be invaluable for networking, building brand awareness and keeping you top of mind. But you still can’t beat the phone for making a real, PERSONAL connection. And personal connections are the foundation for closed sales.
Your Voice = Human Touch
With the prevalence of automated and robo calls, your voice can really make a difference. It can be the human touch and differentiator that helps you stand out from the crowd, making you and what you represent, irreplaceable.
Do you need more sales tips for success? Check out our blog, my podcast series ‘Conversational Selling’ and our videos.
I recently read an article on lead generation and how to drive sales and was surprised – no, I would say SHOCKED! – to see absolutely NO reference to Cold Calling.
Granted the post was listing ‘4 ways’, not ALL ways, to generate leads and drive sales but I think it is a disservice to leave out one of the most effective lead generation tools out there – Cold Calling.
In the post, the author talked about the ‘buyer’s journey’ and focused on the different content needs for each step. I agree that content is needed to support each step in the journey and that the type of content is different for each step. I also think that Cold Calling is an invaluable addition to the mix!
Here are my thoughts on how Cold Calling contributes to each step of the buyer’s journey.
Step 1: Awareness – where we want to establish credibility
Having a set Cold Calling cadence where you reach out to prospects on a regular basis can definitely help establish your credibility and build trust.
And delivering ‘content’ via the human voice trumps any graphic or digital delivery method for establishing credibility and gaining trust.
Step 2: Consideration – where we need to define our Unique Selling Proposition (USP) and how we differ from the competition
I would argue that since most people aren’t bothering to make the effort to Cold Call, picking up the phone and having live conversations sets you apart (makes you ‘unique’)!
I also recommend approaching the call as a ‘Conversation’ rather than as a sales call and that too will make you memorable.
Step 3: Decision: where the client has made the decision to purchase
This step actually occurs long after the Cold Calling stage. But getting to this point requires STARTING with a call to qualify the prospect (making sure they are a good fit) and laying the groundwork for a smooth transition to a successful close.
Step 4: Action: where the client takes action
Like Step 3, this final step is supported and facilitated by ensuring you have qualified leads to begin with. An effective Cold Caller will identify and qualify leads at the outset so they will more efficiently move to and through your funnel.
So, when you are looking for ‘Lead Generation’, definitely start with a strong Cold Calling plan. An effective cold caller will properly and professionally represent your brand, ask the questions needed to determine if the prospect is a good fit for your product or services and will actively LISTEN to the responses to identify pain points and extract the information you need to streamline the path from appointment, through consideration and decision, to close.
Need help getting YOUR Cold Callers up to speed? We can help. Or better yet, we can make your Cold Calls for you!
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at 908.879.2911 to learn more about how our Cold Calling Services can set the appointments you need to get more prospects into YOUR funnel and started on their Customer Journey with YOU!
Cold Calling has a terrible reputation!
Salespeople avoid making cold calls because they fear being rejected. This reticence leads to fewer calls being made and in the end, fewer sales being closed.
Prospects too, dislike cold calls. They are turned off by the thought of being ‘sold’ to and don’t want their time wasted. And who can blame them? Years of poor selling techniques and a barrage of robo calls have killed the cold call.
I think that Cold Calling needs a new name.
At One of a Kind Sales, we refer to it as Conversational Selling and I believe that, as an industry, we will have more success if we all made that change!
The difference between Cold Calling and Conversational Selling
What is the difference between Cold Calling and Conversational Selling? Well, to be honest, the only real difference in is the salesperson’s attitude!
Conversational Selling follows the same basic steps as Cold Calling. You pick up the phone and call a potential prospect. You speak with them and set an appointment. You follow up and make a sale. But the biggest difference is in the way you approach this.
It’s all about your mindset
On a typical Cold Call, the salesperson is trying to ‘sell’ from the moment they pick up the phone. This is immediately apparent to most prospects and is frequently a real turn-off. It is as if the salesperson is actually setting themself up for failure.
With Conversational Selling, we approach the call as a CONVERSATION. We want to speak with the person to see if they are a good fit for the product or services we represent. We aren’t trying to ‘sell’ them – we are ‘qualifying’ them. We are asking them the questions we need answered to determine if they are a good fit and we are LISTENING to the answers.
Because of this major shift in attitude, we have better conversations with prospects, gleaning more valuable information that leads to setting more, and more qualified, appointments!
It’s not a ‘COLD’ call, it’s a ‘DISCOVERY’ call
At One of a Kind Sales, we refer of the initial call as a DISCOVERY call. We are curious and ask questions. The goal isn’t to sell, but to determine if they are a good fit, and if they are, to set an appointment. The change may sound subtle, but the shift in mindset can seriously shift the tone of the interaction and drastically improve your results!
Cold Calling has died a tortured death. Let’s retire the term and move on. Long live Conversational Selling!
Do you and your team need help making this important shift? Give us a call – we can get you and your team up to speed and setting qualified appointments with Conversational Selling.
And if you just need results, we can make the calls and set qualified appointments for you. Give us a call at 908.879.2911 to get started TODAY!
There are a few different answers to the question, ‘how often should you reach out to prospects?’
Frequency of calling
First, let’s talk about how often you should be picking up the phone and having conversations with prospects.
I am a strong believer that ALL salespeople should be cold calling on a regular basis. Yes, even senior salespeople!
Dialing and engaging with prospects keeps your skills sharp, models good habits to your younger employees and helps you stay ‘in the game’. Making calls is the best way to stay familiar with current tools, aware of the latest objections (though those do seem to stay the same over the years) and helps you formulate new and innovative ways to interact with potential clients.
How many days a week you set aside for cold calling and how many calls you make per day should be based on your goals and your call/ appointment ratio. See our post Know and Monitor Your KPI’s for Cold Calling Success for how to calculate this ratio and other KPI’s you should be monitoring.
And check out our post Less is More for more on how many calls YOU should be making.
The second answer to the question of how often you should reach out to prospects is related to following up after that initial call.
I refer to this as our ‘Cadence’. We use a four-week cadence where we reach out to a prospect at least two times each week for four weeks. If, after those contacts, we have determined that they are a good fit but have not yet set an appointment, we put them into a rotation where we will reach out to them again in 90 days.
Note: this rotation may vary based on the number of leads you have. I never recommend exceeding 120 days.
So, while there is no single ‘right’ answer to how often you should reach out to prospects, this post should give you the information you need to determine the right answer for YOU.
Remember, phone skills are like a muscle – the more you use it, the stronger it gets! Check out our blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter for more on how to beef up YOUR phone skills and give us a call at 908.879.2911 to set up one-on-one or team training on how to more effectively use Cold Calling to build YOUR business!