Note from the Editors: Anthony’s contrarian advice will not appeal to those waiting for marketing leads to show up so they can call them… but it will make them a lot more money in a lot shorter time.
This is old school advice. I suspect that most salespeople that stumble upon this content in this eBook will skip right past it, believing the big lie that cold calling is dead, that the telephone is no longer important, and that they should use only social media and inbound marketing to prospect. Only those brave enough to have these beliefs challenged and who are willing to take action will receive the enormous boost in their results from following this advice.
What? You’re still here? Even though you know this is prospecting tip is about picking up the telephone? Well, if you’re game, I’m game. Let’s get into it.
It’s Only a Phone Call
No matter what you hear, the telephone is still the fastest, surest way to schedule appointments with your prospective clients. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t also use every other method of prospecting too. It just means the phone should still be the primary method right now. Don’t invest the idea of cold calling with a bunch of negative beliefs. It’s just a phone call. No one has ever died or been seriously injured making a phone call to a prospect (I’ve done the research, not a single verified injury). It’s a phone call. People make them all of the time.
Here’s your tip: Never set down the phone once you’ve picked it up. Once you start dialing, keep calling until you make all of the calls you have committed to make or until you reach your goal.
But before you start, let’s do some prep work.
Separate Research and Prospecting Research and prospecting are two very different activities. When you combine them, you slow your prospecting efforts, you get distracted by the research, and you produce poor results. This problem is easily remedied.
First, do all of your research. Build the list of prospects you intend to call. Identify the two or three contacts you intend to call within each of your target accounts and write down their telephone numbers. If you want to, print their “About Us” page from their website so you have it right in front of you when you are making your calls. You can even write the contact names and numbers on the printed copy of that page. If you are one of those whose confidence is boosted by knowing who you are speaking with before you call them, print the contact’s profile page from LinkedIn.
Once you have your list, stop doing any research. Close the browser, brother or sister. And pick up the telephone.
Dial, and Dial, and Dial, and Dial
The reason so many fail at making their calls is they never give themselves a real chance. They don’t make enough calls to get into a rhythm, and they don’t make enough calls to get really good at it. The remedy: never set down the phone.
Make your first call. No matter what happens, don’t set down the phone. Dial the next number.
- If you schedule an appointment on your call, throw your free fist in the air, write down the appointment with your free hand, and dial the next number.
- If your dream client hangs up in your face, assume they have low blood sugar, they’re in the middle of a messy divorce, or their boss just asked them to cancel their vacation and then dial the next number.
- If you have to leave a message, leave a voicemail message that you will try back tomorrow and the next day until you reach your dream client or until they email you the name of the person who you need to speak with, and then dial the next number.
When you sit down to make your call, make all of your calls without setting down the phone. You will produce more appointments faster than any other prospecting method available to you. You will produce more appointments than your peers sitting idly by waiting for marketing to qualify a lead from your website. You productivity will eclipse all of your brothers and sisters tweeting their faces off and browsing the web looking for distractions that they can pretend is work. Pick up the phone.
Don’t set it down until you’ve made your calls.
About Anthony Iannarino
Anthony is the President and Chief Sales officer for SOLUTIONS Staffing, a best-in-class regional staffing service based in Columbus, Ohio. They provide light industrial, clerical, accounting, and scientific staffing solutions for our clients who need a higher-caliber employee, and the highest levels of service.
He is also the Managing Director of B2B Sales Coach & Consultancy, a boutique sales coaching and consulting company where he works to help salespeople and sales organizations improve and reach their full potential.
He also works as an adjunct faculty member at Capital University’s School of Management and Leadership. He teaches Personal Selling in the undergraduate program, and Persuasive Marketing and Social Media Marketing in the MBA program.