Chris Beall from ConnectAndSell read an early draft my upcoming book, COMBO Prospecting, and he provided some highly valuable feedback. In my book I state that all new business development salespeople should be driving phone-centered outreach to 30 people every business day by calling, leaving a voicemail or message, sending an email and even texting and sending an InMail... all in rapid succession (COMBO). It's never been easier to reach prospects for those who embrace technology... this funny video makes the point.
It's the combinations of rapid outreach with the right narrative that breaks through to engage a potential customer
But Chris Beall lives life at 1000 Dials a Day (pictured here) with technomagical automation to connect real salespeople with live prospects at amazing scale. Interestingly, this automation means they almost never leave voicemails for people they haven't spoken with previously. He explained his rationale by saying: "We're going to speak with them, and it won't take any effort to make that happen - so why not start higher up the communication ladder and keep 100% of the initiative? Also, it takes time away from getting and having actual conversations, reducing the live conversation rate by about 80%. Voicemails may be short, but leaving them comes with lots of switching costs."
Chris has more 'real world' experience than anyone and he says: "It's magical when you can have 50 conversations a day, effortlessly, with plenty of time to do proposals, LinkedIn and email work while waiting for the next conversation [his ConnectAndSell dialing technology does this in the background]. This is time-magical too because there is no time sacrifice needed to do textual work, given that you wait an average of 4 minutes to get the next conversation."
Both Chris and I believe that salespeople must go beyond the 'discipline of calling' to create the 'habit of calling'. Here is the workflow that Chris teaches:
- List work is all done after hours, with cold lists prepared by research experts, if you have them, and organized by insight themes
- Have conversations all day (25 or more) with targets, filling all non-meeting time
- Do 1.5 to 2 hours of textual "selling" (follow up emails, referral requests, LinkedIn research, industry research - in that order because follow-ups are best done fresh
- Of course, with scheduled meetings having priority.
Jeb Blount is another sales pipeline creation genius (author of Fanatical Prospecting which you must read) and also advocates to "treasure the golden hours" which are the hours in the day when you can be engaging prospective clients. "Outbound has always been the new inbound." Watch the four most influential and credible people in the USA discuss the topic of their outbound conferences and building pipeline today. Anthony Iannarino, Mike Weinberg, Mark Hunter and Jeb Blount are the real deal and have been talking common sense forever. It only took me 9 years to catch up to them! lol
I'm befuddled when I see salespeople cruise into the office around 9 am and then head out for coffee before they start 'working' (2 hours too late) by clicking away on email and LinkedIn instead of arriving at work by 7:45 and hitting the phone with a prepared list that they created the previous day. This list should comprise people that have been researched and 'warmed' through social.
No one needs to cold call with the huge array of information and engagement tools that make it easy to 'warm' a call with research, content or a common connection
Selling is a verb... it's active. Being passive is for snoozers. Be passionate about making a positive difference in the lives of customers. Success demands using social AND the phone, combined with the right narrative. Consistent high levels of intelligent activity have always been the prerequisite of sales success... it remains so today.
How do you drive daily cadence of conversations with potential customers? Let me know here in the comments section.
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Tony Hughes is ranked as the #1 influencer on professional selling in Asia-Pacific and is a keynote speaker and best selling author. This article was originally published on LinkedIn where you can also follow Tony's award-winning blog. Also, visit Tony's keynote speaker website at www.TonyHughes.com.au or his sales methodology website at http://www.rsvpselling.com/.