Tips, Rips, and Reviews
by Michael Dalton Johnson
Donít call me. Iíll call you.
I sympathize with anyone trying to make a living by cold-calling prospects.
Itís a tough hustle, and only a few succeed at it.
Because of the unprofessional telephone sales tactics of some, the
well has been poisoned for all. Yet, despite the difficulty of selling on the
phone, the calls keep coming in.
Anyone in business is forced to take defensive measures against
unwanted phone solicitations.
While you may refuse to accept unsolicited sales calls, never ask anyone
to lie for you, as in, "Tell him Iím not in." This is bad business form
and shows weak leadership.
When a salesperson calls, have whoever is taking the call instruct
the caller to send an e-mail. Have the screener ask the caller to put
STAR in the subject line of the e-mail so you will know the person has
called and you wonít summarily delete the e-mail. This makes the rejection
easier for the caller and, who knows, you may have an interest in
what is being sold or proposed. Although unlikely, the call could also be
about a wonderful business opportunity.
Of course, the most effective junkyard dog of a gatekeeper is voice
mail. I worked with one CEO whose voice mail message concludes with,
"If I donít know you or the reason youíre calling, please donít expect a
There will be times when you will be the one making the cold call.
You may be calling to discuss an affiliate arrangement, check out a reference,
or other business not related to selling. While you wonít be selling
anything, you will be screened as if you were. Your call will be much
more likely to be put through if you give your company and your name
and title and state the reason for your call and add, "Please tell her that
this is not a sales call."
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Jill Konrath is a top sale strategist who helps b2b sales pros develop fresh strategies to engage their crazy-busy prospects. Jill authored the classic, Selling to Big Companies and bestselling SNAP Selling. You can visit her website here.
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Since 1983, Art Sobczak and Business By Phone Inc. have helped hundreds of thousands of professionals say the right things by phone to get more of what they want. He customizes and delivers onsite programs for companies and associations. You can visit his website here.
Wendy Weiss helps salespeople prospect fearlessly and schedule more appointments with qualified decision-makers. An author, speaker, sales trainer, and sales coach, Wendy is recognized as one of the leading authorities on lead generation, cold calling and new business development. You can visit her website here.
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Break a Few Rules and Build the Career
of Your Dreams
The problem with "conventional wisdom" is that it's not always wise. It's often off target, outdated, or just plain wrong.
However, when you practice a little creative rule breaking good things start to happen.
The rules below are explained in Rules of the Hunt and brief case histories and examples are given.
"To say that Rules of the Hunt is one of the most unusual business books I've ever read or reviewed would be an understatement." - Ivana Taylor, Editor, Small Business Trends
• Steal good ideas
• Never pay full price.
• Get off the phone.
• Avoid meetings with more than three people in attendance.
• Raise your prices and sell more.
• Avoid writing memos.
• Look at business as a form of playing.
• Don't tell people what to do. (There is a much better way to get what you want.)
• Turn down invitations to business lunches.
• Drop in unexpectedly on your competitors.
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