Please see our events page for info on our upcoming FREE Telesales conference call.
In this article I’m basically going discussing “productivity.” Though it is an old cliche, prospecting, or cold calling, is a numbers game. This may be even truer today that it was just 10 or 15 years ago. By the way these techniques are totally valid and workable for any sales effort and not limited to cold calling. They are just more important for cold calling because of the nature of that game.
Why is this true? Because of the advent of technology and possibly the pace of business you’re simply going to reach less people each day. With voice mail and automated attendants decision makers can better protect their time and your access. Twenty years ago you would talk to more people than not. Today you’re lucky to talk to anyone at all in a whole day of calling – researched or not.
All of this makes it critically important that you play the numbers game with maximum efficiency.
The first secret here is “focus.” Focus is all about avoiding distractions during your efforts. When you sit down to make cold calls or prospect you MUST completely avoid any kind of distraction. You need to make sure you are ready to call and call without interruption.
Experts claim that interruptions cost a minimum of 11 minutes to recover from and many say that is conservative. That’s almost 20 percent of your hourly calling time eaten up by any interruption.
The second secret is “concentration” which is closely related to focus. In order to be effective and efficient you must keep your concentration on the matters at hand. When you lose concentration on your prospecting not only does it effect our efficiency but you also potentially loose your effectiveness in responding to the prospect.
You will find working fully focused with energy and concentration that you get on a roll – especially if you rack up a good call early in the effort. Once on that roll you’ll find that you begin working much faster than you were when you started. This is the right way to cold call or prospect or for that matter sell.
I suggest that you work in spurts of 50 minutes and then take a 10 minute rest. During the 50 minutes put all your effort and concentration on making the maximum number of calls you can, no sacrificing quality of course. Then take a 10 minute break and get away from your desk and the calling completely. Think about something else do something that is fun or relaxing, then get back for another concentrated period.
I managed a team years ago that I taught this trick to. Using this method they were able to make an average of 30 percent more calls than our peer groups and team members and they did it in 75 percent of the time. My group worked a solid 6 hours with total focus and was able to make more calls that other team members working 8 and 9 hours per day. Why, focus and concentration. And by the way they had better results as well.
Finally I want to introduce “work flow.” Most salespeople and manager’s pay no attention to this subject. You will find if you work at the work flow of making calls that you can produce some incredible results. Here’s an example.
Most people would say that making 50 calls in six hours is a reasonable number. And if you just cruise along you can probably do this consistently. However if you test and work some work flow tactics you may actually double it.
First, most people answer the phone by the third ring, thus, is you don’t need to leave a message you can hang up on ring 3 without much risk.
Second, if you create a prepared voice mail message and learn it well, you can deliver that message with enthusiasm and more quickly and efficiently saving even more time.
Third, use time after dialing the number while the phone rings and the time you spend speaking to the gatekeeper to fill out the contact record as if you “didn’t” talk to the person with a note that you left a message if you are going to do so. You’ll be right 90% of the time and ready to move to the next call immediately.
If they answer, you can simply edit as you talk and you’ve lost no time.
Consistently using the above tactics you’ll be able to move from call to call very quickly. This will result in far more calls, messages, and contacts in the same period of time.
In fact, don’t be surprised if you double your call numbers (Which has to improve your results). You will also notice with this focused approach that the day moves much faster and you feel far better and less tired at the end of the day.
Surprise yourself, try it!