Many entrepreneurs, no matter how confident they appear to hate the idea of sales calls. And to be quite honest the way this guy in this post describes cold calling I am right there with them. The only time I ever did cold calling was when I took a gap year to Australia. As a broke backpacker you take pretty much any job you can get and I landed a job cold-calling for a charity.
I can’t remember if it was commission only or low pay and commission… the only thing I remember was the utterly awful and depressing office we were in. The boring sales scripts and the depressed look on everyone’s face.
You’d think that working for a charity it would be more rewarding right? Well actually I think it made it worse – you basically have to guilt trip unsuspecting people into giving up their money for a cause they probably weren’t thinking about until you showed up in their house.
6 hours in and I looked just as depressed as everyone else in there. I did try to crack a few jokes and cheer people up but it didn’t go down too well with the boss and I walked out (might have been fired – can’t quite remember) of the job on day one having made zero sales.
Pretty sure at that time I had about 50 dollars in my bank account but my thought process was I’d rather sleep outside on a beach and look for volunteer work than waste my gap year inside some stuffy, awful depressing office.
9 years later as Chief Happiness Officer at a Content Marketing Agency sales calls are part of my life again. And, I actually enjoy them.
In fact, I am pretty sure I enjoy it more than the clients, which is why I have now set up our site to take payments through the website instead of forcing them on a call with me.
As a work at home – sometimes work in a cafe entrepreneur I LOVE connecting with other entrepreneurs. It brightens up my day to speak to other people doing great stuff – and more so I love speaking about how we can help them and add value to their business.
Rejection is still a part of the process. I don’t close every call, in fact probably the majority aren’t closed straight away. But it doesn’t phase me.
Technically it is pretty much the same deal. I have a rough path to take on the call i.e a script, I am speaking to someone who I hope will give me money and rejection are very likely. So, why is it different to the Australian job?
I’m going to outline some core differences here;
THE SECRET METHOD TO FEELING CONFIDENT DURING EVERY SALES CALL
PRE-QUALIFY YOUR CALLS WITH CONTENT MARKETING
One of the reasons I love having sales calls is because the people I am speaking to have already told me they want my help. As a Content Marketing person I know that means they probably know quite a lot about me already. They have probably read several of our blog posts, researched our company online, read some guest posts, checked out our social media posts. Maybe even looked me up on Linkedin.
They aren’t going into the call totally blind. They know what I do, they like my vibe and they want to see if I can help.
This is the value of authentic Content Marketing. You want to attract the people onto your sales calls who you want to work with and enjoy speaking too! My writing is a bit quirky, a bit creative, honest and quite raw.
I don’t mind testing new content ideas out and being open in my communication. SO, I tend to attract clients who are quite similar to me & that’s great because those are the types of people I want to work with.
Maybe that’s a bit strange – wanting to work with people like you… but UM who doesn’t want to work with people they get on with?!
MAKE SURE YOU KNOW EXACTLY WHAT YOU ARE OFFERING
I fell into the trap as a newbie entrepreneur of having a very vague list of activities I could do for someone. I’m sure your skillset if you looked at it, could cover quite a broad spectrum. BUT, if you aren’t really specific about what you offer then your sales calls are going to end up vague and loose direction.
Your clients want you to provide a solution to their problem. So it’s your job to figure out what their problem is and show that your solution can help them solve it. Not come up with some random solution you might be able to offer. I hope that is a clear distinction for you because it has helped me a lot!
FEEL CONFIDENT IN YOUR ABILITY TO PROVIDE VALUE
This one can be tough. It’s a chicken and egg situation, you need to feel confident about your skills to get your first client but how can you be confident without having your first client and doing a good job for them?
When I first started moving into a more content focused offering I did small jobs for free to get feedback. How did I know if I was any good? Would people actually pay me for my writing? I took a number of small writing jobs which could be delivered in a few days.
The clients I had were blown away by the work I did for them and it really gave me the confidence to focus on creating content. I even asked them what they believe I should have charged and I got back several hundred dollars which at the time seemed CRAZY to me.
I still get fear come over me about the results we provide, I have very high expectations and put a lot of pressure on myself there. But I constantly remind myself that we are all on a learning curve and we can always improve. And, the positive feedback from our clients continues to come in creating an Agency which is growing organically as much as through our Content Marketing efforts.
To be that says we should feel confident in our abilities!
So, remember, a piece of praise, a referral, and a thank-you are very, very important. Always celebrate when you receive them and remind yourself of them every time you communicate with your product and service.