Do you hate cold calls? I can't tell which one I dislike more...receiving cold calls or making them.
Well, good thing those days are over...at least making cold calls. Some people still insist that cold calling works and will continue to be stuck in the olden days of sales. For those of you that are stuck in that day, please take me off of your list!
For those of your that want to change the way you sell and book more appointments, read on...
The Set Up
This started for me in November of 2017. We'd built our agency almost entirely on referrals to that point, which was awesome! But how do you predict when those referrals are going to come in, how to do you grow your business on something that you can't control or at least have impact on?
Enter HubSpot...we became HubSpot partners in early 2016 and it's been a pretty crazy ride since then (more on that in another post)! In particular, HubSpot has shown a genuine care for helping our agency grow, does it indirectly help them grow? Sure. But they way they've gone about it has been truly unique.
Gary Vaynerchuk says, "Give Without Exception." HubSpot has continually modeled this very well.
In January I got recommended to take an eight week "Pipeline Generation Bootcamp." It's an advanced course only offered to proven HubSpot Agency Partners taught by the one and only Dan Tyre. Dan is a key influencer in the inbound marketing and sales community and has a proven track record as an entrepreneur and sales guru.
The course is about getting more opportunities by putting more leads and prospects in the top of the funnel.
WAIT...do you want to grow your business? If not, stop here and save the time. If you want to grow your business, continue reading.
During that eight week course, I was pushed out of my comfort zone most days. You see, I've never really liked cold calling, in fact, I've never been much of a phone person at all. It's not that I don't like talking to people, it's that there are more efficient ways to do it. But...most of us in the professional services and consulting world need to talk to people to close more business. So I jumped in.
Are you intrigued yet? If so, I'm happy to share what I learned. Schedule a Free 15-Minute Call With Me today and I'll listen to what you're up to, challenges you're having in your business and share how inbound marketing and sales can transform your organization. I promise not to "pitch" our services ;)
This Is Where It Gets Good
It turns out that this eight week course will change the direction of my business and the businesses we help!
Step 1: Identify your goals
- If you want to grow, by how much? How much net new revenue do you want to increase by this year? How many deals do you need to close to hit that mark? How many opportunities do you need to close those deals? How many leads do you need to get enough opportunities to close those deals?
- Example: Say you want to grow by $500k this year and your average sales deal is worth $5,000. That means you need to close 100 new deals this year, about 8-9 per month. Say you close at a 30% close rate, that will mean you need 25-30 opportunities each month to close those 8-9 sales deals. But in order get those opportunities you need leads! Say you are able to convert 40% of those leads to opportunities, than means you need 65-75 leads each month.
- Ok, now you know your numbers.
Step 2: Who Do You Want To Sell To
- Understand your prospects. What industry or industries do you help with your product or service? Where are they located? How big are they (revenue)? What's the size of their team? What's the average sale price of their products or services? What are their challenges?
Pro Tip: narrow your focus on industries, select a niche so you can build a presence in that sector business. Need help understand how to niche down, check out how to build better buyer personas.
Step 3: Build A Targeted Lead List
- This could start with calling friends and family for people they know or opportunities they know of that fit the types of people you want to sell to.
- Call your customers for references, follow up with lost or unresponsive opportunities from previous months and year. Attend live networking events.
- One of my favorites...try social media prospecting!
- Start identifying companies you want to work with
- Do you have a list of inbound leads that have come through your website, tradeshows, or other events?
- Need more ideas, here a helpful article to help you identify some sales triggers from companies.
- These are just a few way to get started, there are lots of others.
Pro Tip: make sure you are building this list in your CRM to stay organized, keeping track of all of these leads via your email, sticky notes, or spreadsheets just doesn't work. You need to step up your game and use a CRM.
Step 4: Build Your Connect Call Playbook
- What are the magic words in your industry? What gets people's attention quickly? Hint...it's usually something that solves their greatest challenge
- Outline your greeting, ideas to open up the call, ideas on how to build rapport with a prospect, addressing resistance, develop your positioning statements specific to different roles within the company you are talking to, again speaking to problems and challenges they are dealing with.
- The goal of the playbook is to have something that will lead you through the "Connect Call" process when reaching out to these new prospects.
Pro Tip: add voicemail scripts to this playbook. You'll probably leave a lot of voicemails :)
Step 5: The Connect Call
- It time to start picking up the phone
- A connect call is your first live conversation with a prospect. On this call you introduce yourself, break down and resistance, get into a conversation and ultimately schedule an appointment.
- Picking up the phone is a game changer. Just because you have the best website in the world and people are reading your content, maybe even downloading a content asset or attending a webinar...it doesn't mean they are knocking on your door to buy your services.
Step 6: Always Always Be Helping (MOST IMPORTANT)
- If you don't remember anything else, remember this step
- I'm not talking about the helpful aspects of your product or service
- Provide as much value as you can. In the research before your call identify some key ideas that could really help your prospect out, solve their problems for them, make suggestions that could have dramatic impact on their business.
- Successful helping requires listening. Since you are here to focus on the prospect and what their challenges are. Ask the right questions, and listen to identify what's most important to them.
- Oh yeah, there is no cost or committment for these tips, just give them away.
Step 7: Follow The Process
- The goal is 4 attempts to these prospect over the course of 10-12 days.
- Attempt 1: First Call (intro)
- Attempt 2: Second Message (2 days after 1st call)
- Attempt 3: Third outreach (3 days after the 2nd call)
- Attempt 4: 2 days after last outreach, should I stay or should I go?
- 4 attempts over the course of 10-12 days shows professionalism and persistence
Pro Tip: Use templates and sequences to keep your life organized. If you don't use either of these today. We need to talk. THIS. WILL. CHANGE. YOUR. LIFE.
It's important to have a sales process in place, stages that you walk your prospect through to get to the end goal of landing their business. The steps outlined above helping you get in touch with those opportunities to get them in your sales pipeline. If you need help building out your sales pipeline, we're here to help!
The best part of all the steps above is that they apply to all types of leads, inbound, referrals, previous opportunities, and even existing customers! You can make adjustments throughout based on the prospect and relationship but the key here is picking up the phone to talk to them and this helpful conversation will set you apart from the noise.
Growing a business is hard work and after going through this eight week course I feel better equipped to grow our agency and better help clients in the process by stop cold calling and just adding value!
If you have any questions on the above, please don't hesitate to reach out @tylerpigott on Twitter, find me on Linkedin, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or you could pick up the phone (haha) 253.344.4031.