Sales Prospecting is NOT a Silver Bullet

I live, sleep, eat and breathe prospecting. I LOVE Cold Calling and know how well it works. So when companies tell me ‘Sales prospecting doesn’t work’, I always disagree and say, ‘Yes, it DOES!’.  

When they tell me sales prospecting doesn’t work, I know the real problem is probably not the tactic, but something else.  

Poor Plan 

First, I check that they have a plan. I can’t tell you how many companies that just ‘wing’ this. Doing it when they have time, having random people do it for them, ignoring it when they aren’t successful and generally just kind of hoping something will work.  

If this is the case, the first thing needed is to get a plan in place.  

We help companies set up and train their own inhouse prospecting teams. Or our highly trained Cold Calling experts can do your appointment setting for you. Either way, it starts with a plan designed to meet YOUR goals.  

Our plans include scripting as well as role playing to ensure proper implementation. 

Poor Execution 

You can have a well-designed, highly customized plan, with excellent scripts but if your people are not following it or have no clue how to properly approach and engage with prospects, it probably WON’T work.  

We train our clients’ teams so they understand what they are doing, why they are doing it, how often they need to make calls and what to say on those calls. We prepare them, monitor them, review their progress and assist as needed.  

Properly trained people have better attitudes and higher success rates.  

Lack of Patience 

If someone is complaining that a properly implemented plan, by a well-trained team is not working, my next question is, ‘how long have they been working the plan?’ Unsurprisingly, when the answer is ‘a week’ or even, ‘a month’ the reason is that they haven’t given it enough time. 

See this post for more on how Good Sales Reps Need Time to Produce.

Plant Those Seeds 

Our time-proven process works by reaching out to people, continuously, over time to build relationships with qualified prospects. It is then up to you to nurture those relationships and convert them to closed sales. We can help with that as well, but it does take some time.  

Industries differ 

Some Industries have a shorter timeframe from initial call til close, than others. This is to be expected and planned for. An unrealistic expectation can lead to frustration and a pre-mature end to what would otherwise have been a productive plan.  

Not sure how to set realistic expectations for YOUR team? We have extensive experience in many industries – give us a call to see how we can help YOU more effectively reach YOUR most qualified prospects and close more sales! 

Sales Prospecting WORKS! 

Sales prospecting isn’t a silver bullet – it isn’t a single shot, quick fix. But it does work successfully, across industries, to keep your sales funnel full of qualified leads. If you aren’t prospecting, you are leaving money on the table. Call us today at 908.879.2911 to see how we can help YOU prospect effectively to keep YOUR sales funnel full!

My New Book, The Inside Sales Solution, is LIVE!

I am so excited to announce that my book, The Inside Sales Solution is now available! 

This short, easy to read book shows YOU how to set-up an effective outbound prospecting program. You will learn how to build and manage a team of successful outbound prospectors and take back control of your lead generation. 

In any business, there are so many moving parts and obstacles to connecting with prospects, many of which are not in our control. It can feel like we are at the mercy of everything from the google algorithm to the newest technology to avoid email tracking.  But direct outreach – COLD CALLING – is one channel of new business development that can be 100% under your control!  

When done well, outbound prospecting can keep the top of your funnel FULL and your bottom line healthy.  

Part of a complete marketing plan 

Today, you cannot rely on any one single means of communication and outreach. You must utilize both inbound AND outbound prospecting as part of a complete marketing plan.  

In this book, I show you the key components of the strategy that you must put in place to develop a successful outbound prospecting program. One that drives consistent, qualified leads and sales. One that can form a foundation, on top of which you can build your other (long-term) inbound marketing efforts. 

Take control of your future 

Having an “always-on” outbound prospecting program gives you a source of leads that is 100% activity based, which you can control and manage.  

It’s a very direct approach to reaching your most ideal potential clients, producing a conveyor belt of constantly replenishing prospects.  

Less time wasted, more qualified leads generated 

With our approach, your salespeople won’t waste their time chasing after the wrong deals. They will be properly prepared to identify qualified leads and move on when they reach those that are not a good fit. This saves time and leaves you with leads that close more quickly and reliably. 

Cold Calling Still Works – When Done Right 

People say, “Cold calling is dead.” Well, the old fashioned approach where you picked up the yellow pages, picked up the phone and dialed, IS dead. And good riddance! That is NOT how we do it.  

We have a new, 21st century approach which WORKS  

We provide companies with the tools and training to succeed in the current work environment. We develop scripts and show you how to sound different. We set you up on an effective lead-management CRM tool that will monitor your efforts as well as track vital data about your prospects. It will automatically let you know the best time to call and when to follow up.  

Effectively implementing this type of technology is key to your success – we set you up on it and show you how to use it. This book outlines it all, showing YOU how to put this into place in YOUR company!  

Don’t be left behind 

My goal is to help YOU succeed! As a member of our One of a Kind Sales Community, I am offering the book FREE of charge as a digital download or you can purchase it here on Amazon as a paperback or Kindle book.  

Get your copy of the book TODAY to learn how to create and manage an effective inside sales team and harness the power of outbound prospecting to keep YOUR funnel full! 

Need more help? 

And if you need more help getting YOUR team set-up and up to speed, give us a call at 908.879.2911 – we know Cold Calling and Lead Gen and can make them work for YOU!

Activity Tracking Tips to Reach Your Prospecting Goals

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. 

My ‘Workbook’

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.

Your KPI’s

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.

Need help?

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?

Email me at and put ‘sign me up’ in the subjectline to sign up for our enewsletters with more advice, like this, twice a month, delivered to your inbox.

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Good luck and keep dialing!

Cold Calling Success Tips – The Tone of Your Voice is Key

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! 

Sales Tips for Success: Do What They Aren’t!

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 blogmy podcast series ‘Conversational Selling’ and our videos. 

The Buyer’s Journey – Never underestimate the power of Cold Calling

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 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!