Is it Your Salespeople or Did You Make a Bad Decision?

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Wed, Oct 19, 2016 @ 12:10 PM


Consider buying a car that had an insanely cheap price, with every option you could imagine, as well as options that you never thought you could use.  Nice!  But, you can't drive it until you hire an after market specialist to install instrumentation on the dashboard, a steering wheel, brakes, and gas pedal in the driver's area.  When you finally accept delivery and take it for a spin with your family, everyone hates it, nobody wants to drive with you, and you feel like it wasn't such a great price after all. You can't trade it in, and now you're stuck with it. Sounds impossible, doesn't it?  But for many companies, that is exactly how things are playing out for that purchased this popular application.  

Consider this quote from a client:

"You were right, you know.  Six months ago, when you told us that we wouldn't be happy with the integration of the customized sales process into, we didn't understand what you meant.  But now we do.  It's clunky, not really part of the interface, the customization cost us tens of thousands of dollars, and it doesn't work the way we need it to.  We are so sorry we didn't listen because that train has left the station."

Companies think they have to buy when, in reality, there are some really great alternatives.  Our favorite is Membrain.  It doesn't cost as much, doesn't require third-party integrators to get it to do what you want, and has perfectly good dashboards out of the box.  There's even a standard configuration for Baseline Selling.  [Speaking of Baseline Selling, I've received so many compliments on the great job of the voice over talent on the new audiobook!  You can order all versions (hardcover, paperback, Kindle, audio) of Baseline Selling here.]

Nobody should be stuck in a CRM application that salespeople don't want to use!  They will be inconsistent at best with regard to entering data, when they should actually be living in their CRM application.  Whether they are inconsistent or invisible when it comes time to enter and update opportunities, you won't have real time data on your dashboard and that makes the application useless to management.  At that point it's like owning a car that has a folding chair for a driver's seat and the car does not have a working speedometer, odometer or gasoline gauge. 

CRM is important.  Accurate forecasts are important.  Visibility into each and every opportunity is important.  Integration of the sales process that must be executed and the stage and milestone on which each opportunity sits is important.  Real time visibility is important.  If it's not working for you, cut your losses and move on.  Isn't that what you would do with an under performing salesperson?

Kitedesk featured me in a Sales Expert interview that you can read here.

I was the guest expert on a Rapid Learning Institute Webinar on the sales candidate interviewing mistakes you must avoid.  You can listen to that Webinar here.

I'll be hosting a 30-minute presentation of my own on October 25 at 11 AM Eastern.  I'll be talking about the 6 Hidden Weaknesses that impact sales revenue!  If you would like to listen in, you can register here.

Topics: Dave Kurlan, Baseline Selling, sales process, sales CRM, membrain,

The Crucial Selling Skill That Nobody Talks About

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Thu, Oct 13, 2016 @ 20:10 PM


Image Copyright 123RF Stock Photo

Earlier this week I received an unsolicited email from the founder of a company who introduced himself and asked me to try his new tool for speakers.  By itself, this was not unusual because I receive 20-25 unsolicited emails per day. They want to optimize my website, sell me SEO services, provide me with online marketing tools, sell me the latest SaaS program, provide a guest article for my Blog, buy advertising on my Blog, sell me leads, book appointments for us with prospects, or show me the latest sales enablement tools.  Unlike most, this particular email was actually formatted and the sender signed his complete name, title and company.  But let's talk about the biggest, most surprising thing about this sender that brings us to the topic of today's article.

Just three days later I received a follow up email from the same sender and the subject line read, "Good By from [company name withheld].  The body of the message began with, "I was looking forward to helping you but I haven't received a response to any of my I will be removing you from my contact list."

I couldn't care less because the tool looked lame and if he thought that he was going to hurt my feelings with his threat to remove my name he is as stupid as he is impatient.  And patience is what I want to talk about today.

"Patience is the most important selling skill that nobody ever talks about.  You can visualize patience on a pendulum where on one side there is an excess of patience and on the other, tremendous impatience."

When there is an excess of patience it always results in the salesperson accepting an endless number of stalls and put-offs, thereby lengthening the sales cycle, and shrinking the win rate.

When there is an excess of impatience, as we observed with the email sender, there will be a disproportionate number of prospects who become turned off, pissed off, or off-ended.

In a perfect selling world, salespeople must be able to walk the fine line between patience and impatience.  They must be able to challenge and push back on stalls and put-offs, but do so with kindness and professionalism so as not to cause a prospect to feel pressure.

We can't call the skill Patience because that implies having too much patience.  But the correct balance of patience is the key to pipeline velocity, shorter sales cycles and higher win rates.  I call this the ability to Manage Patience.

And the best news?  In the coming months we will add Manages Patience to Objective Management Group's (OMG) already feature-rich, acutely accurate and predictive Sales Candidate Assessments.  You can subscribe, get a free trial, or request samples here.

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales excellence, sales effectiveness, long sales cycle, win rates, managing patience

What it Takes to be an Elite (Top 7%) Salesperson

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Tue, Oct 11, 2016 @ 06:10 AM


Last week I received a call from a young, motivated salesperson - we'll call him Jim - who desperately wanted to be one of the elite 7% of all salespeople.  Despite being just 26 years old, he believed that he was already in the top 7%.  During our call, he asked me a great question.  He asked, "How many of the top 7% have you actually met and where are they today?"  I didn't have to think very long or hard to answer that question because it was one of the easiest questions I have ever been asked.

Most companies have mediocre salespeople and a small percentage - less than 10% - are strong.  But there is an exception.  Many of the greatest salespeople, following a necessary stint in sales leadership, become sales consultants.  Now you are probably familiar with the sales consultants who have best-selling books or who tweet and blog on social media.  But they aren't the only sales consultants and trainers by a long shot.  There are thousands more and some of them are really good at what they do.  The best and brightest of them partner with my company, Objective Management Group (OMG), and provide our award winning sales candidate assessments and sales force evaluations to their clients.  Without a doubt, the nearly 300 individuals that represent OMG around the world, are the single biggest collection of the top 7% anywhere.  And each year, when around 150 of them gather for our international sales experts conference, that is where you will find the single biggest gathering of elite salespeople.

Why did Jim ask how many of these top performers I had met?  Because to him, the top 7% are the celebrities of sales.  It's like asking someone if they have met any professional athletes, movie or TV stars, or Presidents.  He has the top 7% on a pedestal because he wants to be one.

The bigger question for me is why Jim?  Why aren't the other 93% of the sales population calling, writing and asking how they can become part of the top 7%?  Why isn't it more important to them?  

Part of the answer should be so, so obvious.  If it was more important to them they would already be part of the top 7%, certainly part of the next 16% and not one of the bottom 77%!

Much of this problem boils down to Commitment to success in sales.

  • All salespeople score, on average, only 59% for Commitment.
  • The top 7% (Sales Quotient over 139) average, 72%.
  • Strong salespeople (Sales Quotient between 130-139) Score, on average, 65%
  • Serviceable salespeople (Sales Quotient between 115-129) 60% - or borderline Commitment.
  • Weak salespeople (Sales Quotient between 91-115 and the largest group) score, on average 45%
  • The bottom 10% (Sales Quotient under 91) score, on average, 39%

Notice that the biggest drop-off (from 60% to 45%) occurs when you drop from serviceable to weak.

If I had to guess, Jim's commitment is consistent with the elite group.  And while the top group has the highest overall scores for Commitment, it doesn't necessarily hold true that if a salesperson has a high commitment score that they are or will become part of that group.  Commitment is only 1 of 250 data points and while it is the most important, it is only 1.  For example, a salesperson with strong commitment, but a low score for Desire for success in sales, Motivation, Excuse Making, or even Coachable, is less likely to make it to the top group.  

OMG measures 21 Sales Core Competenceis and while I have mentioned 4 in this article, there are 17 others that will also have a great impact on whether a salesperson can make it to the top.  While 10 of those competenices are Tactical Selling competencies, 6 of them represent Sales DNA.  The top 7% have Sales DNA greater than 82% while weak Salespeople score 60% and the bottom 10% only 54%.  Sales DNA is a huge contributor to sales success and the lower the score on Commitment, the less likely it is that one could overcome a low Sales DNA.

Of course, when it comes to hiring salespeople, there is only one tool that can accurately predict whether you have an elite candidate, a strong candidate, or one of the others.

And if you were an elite salesperson, have put in your time in sales leadership, and are ready to bring OMG's great tools to your clients, you can learn more here.

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales motivation, sales excellence, sales commitment, Sales Experts, elite salespeople

I Admit it - Why Words in Selling Really Are Important

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Wed, Oct 05, 2016 @ 06:10 AM


In the past I've written about how words aren't that important.  Here are two such articles:

But today, I'll play politician, reverse my position, and talk about why words are very important.  I've written about the importance of words before too. 

When it comes to words, there was probably nobody more clever than the comedic genius George Carlin.  The video below is the funniest and best example of his use of words.  Watch that and then we'll talk about how the same premise applies to sales.

It seems to me that the same thing that George talks about has happened in sales.  Today we have phrases like:

  • Sales Velocity
  • Sales Enablement
  • Chief Sales Officer
  • Chief Revenue Officer
  • Unique Value Proposition
  • Buyer Journey
  • Sales Process
  • Sales Methodology
  • CRM
  • Elevator Pitch
  • Positioning Statements
  • RFP's and RFQ's
  • Scope of Work
  • Consultative Selling
  • Sales Model
  • Quantification
  • Qualification

Have we complicated this process or what!  Salespeople are now called any one of the following:

  • Sales Consultant
  • Account Executive
  • Major Account Executive
  • VP Major Accounts
  • Representative
  • National Account Manager
  • Distribution Manager
  • Manufacturer's Representative
  • Product Specialist
  • Inside Sales Representative
  • Field Sales Manager
  • Territory Sales Manager

Things were much simpler when we were all peddlers!  We sell.  Some of us are better than others.  Some of us have a more difficult sale than others.  Some of us have a more complicated sale than others.  Some of us enjoy the challenge more than others.  But when it comes right down to it, all of us are peddlers.

"The more you can simplify what you are saying, the better your chance that prospects will understand what you are selling." Dave Kurlan

Don't miss these:

Barb Giamanco interviewed me for the first edition of this fall's Sales Hardtalk series.  You can listen to the podcast on selling value here.  Shimon Abouzaglo, President of the Value Selling and Realization Council, also interviewed me about selling value and specifically, how you can develop salespeople to become value sellers and hire salespeople who already have the ability to sell value.  You can listen to that presentation here.

The October issue of Top Sales World is available today.  You can download your issue here.

Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales interview, sales effectiveness, Top Sales World, words in sales, george carlin

What is the Single Biggest Differentiator Between Top and Bottom Salespeople?

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Mon, Oct 03, 2016 @ 06:10 AM


Thanks for continuing to read my Blog - I appreciate it.  There is one Blog that I never fail to read, and that's Seth Godin's Blog.  Seth doesn't write about sales - he pens a thought leadership Blog - but sometimes his articles are very applicable to sales and selling.  Recently, he posted two very short articles - each is less than 30 seconds to read and I believe they are both well worth your time.

The first is Fully Baked.  The second, on a related topic, is Skills vs. Talents

Over the years, I have seen first hand that one of the major differences between great and mediocre salespeople is that great salespeople want to improve - they made themselves great - and mediocre salespeople aren't willing to make the changes to become more effective.  Great salespeople strive for mastery while underachievers don't.  Back in the 1950's Albert Gray said something along the lines of, "Sales winners do the things they don't want to do and the others don't."

All professions have their small percentage of practitioners who aren't very good, but can you imagine the impact we would experience if attorneys, accountants or engineers underperformed to the same degree as nearly half of the sales population?

You can see evidence of that in this article where the data shows that the best salespeople have twice the level of commitment to achieving greater sales success than their underachieving counterparts.  You read that correctly - that's twice as committed!

All salespeople can develop the skills to achieve greater sales success, but only those who are committed enough to make changes can overcome Sales DNA that doesn't support the execution of those skills.  Even so, most salespeople fail to learn even the skills necessary for sales effectiveness in 2016.  And improving their Sales DNA?  Most salespeople have never even heard the phrase and aren't aware that their sales DNA needs to be improved.  We know you can't fix stupid, but how do you fix uninformed?

Topics: Dave Kurlan, Sales DNA, sales excellence, sales commitment, Seth Godin

A Salesperson's Terrible Reaction to Good Sales Training

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Fri, Sep 30, 2016 @ 09:09 AM

You won't have to read much in today's post because I included most of it in a short video.  This is a story about a salesperson who reacted extremely badly to some great training tips and disrupted the training.  His thinking is so representative of salespeople that struggle, and is the kind of thinking which, if shared with others, could derail an entire sales force!  

I shared the story is in the 4-minute video below, along with a very important lesson.  But don't let the final lesson cause you to miss the power of the questioning that I shared within the story. 


How did you react to the training tips - were you thinking like him - "That won't work!",  or were you thinking more like a salesperson? 

This is a classic example of a self-limiting belief that is so strong that it will prevent this salesperson from executing the sales process, the methodology, the strategy of selling value, and the tactic of qualifying.

Topics: Dave Kurlan, effective sales training, qualifying, asking for money

Sales 102 - The Pitch Deck, the Price Reduction and the Data

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Thu, Sep 29, 2016 @ 09:09 AM


Recently I met with a CEO whose salespeople were not closing enough business.  We had just evaluated their sales force and I had the answers as to why their sales were so underwhelming.  Before we could explain what was causing their problem, the CEO said something along the lines of, "We are going to create a new pitch deck and reduce our prices. That will solve the problem!"  

They weren't suggesting a small price change either.  It sounded like an 80% reduction and their reasoning overlapped with one of the contributing issues that we identified.  Their salespeople weren't reaching decision makers which raises more questions.  Why weren't they reaching decision makers and could anything be done about it?  Would lowering their prices solve the problem or did the issue go deeper than that?

It's not terribly unusual when salespeople are unable to reach decision makers but there are always several potential reasons as to why:

  • Tactical - they simply don't know how to get the decision makers engaged in the conversation
  • Conceptual - they don't think they need to
  • Sales DNA - their weaknesses won't allow them to ask to get the decision makers engaged
  • Commitment - they give up when the going becomes too difficult for them
  • Fear - they aren't comfortable speaking or meeting with that level of decision maker

What did the data from the sales force evaluation tell us?

In the case this company, the salespeople didn't believe they needed to reach the decision makers.  As it related to reaching decision makers, their Sales DNA was OK.  Commitment and Fear factors were OK too.  So if they didn't believe they needed to, isn't that lack of direction, inspection and accountability on the part of management?

The other big issue for this sales force was their Sales DNA as it related to money and decision making.  To the salespeople, the amount they were asking for was, "a lot" but the new reduced amount will probably be a lot too.  They also "understood" when their contact stalled to talk with a decision maker who would routinely not be interested in spending that much money.

The Solution

The appropriate solution would be for us to help their salespeople become more effective at getting the decision makers engaged in the conversation and at selling the value of their offering, while helping management coach to those outcomes.  

Lowering the Price

Their reasoning for lowering the price is that the contacts their salespeople are talking with would supposedly have the authority to spend the lesser fee without requiring approval from the decision makers.

Can that work?   

In my experience, if the salespeople don't reach decision makers it won't matter how much they are charging.  They'll continue to hear the same stalls, especially if they continue to begin their first meetings with the pitch deck!  The pitch deck is simply a crutch that turns a potential two-way conversation into a one-way presentation and that makes matters worse instead of better.  If they do convert more often with the lower price, they'll still have to close 5 times as many deals to bring in the same revenue.  So if they are closing 1 of 10 today, and they close 3X more deals but at 1/5 the fee, they will lag 65% behind their previously unacceptable run rate.

On the other hand, if they become effective reaching decision makers, their sales cycle will be significantly shorter, their win rate will improve by 3-5X and at the original fees, their revenue will increase by 3-5X as well.

Hermann Simon wrote the bible on pricing and questions related to how your product or service should be priced can be answered in his book, Confessions of the Pricing Man.

"The question to be answered is, should they do what's easiest and lower the fees, or do what's best for the company and fix the problem?"

It's an obvious choice unless you're the one who has to make the choice, with the future of the company depending on the decision.

Topics: Dave Kurlan, Sales Force, Sales DNA, pricing, selling value, OMG evaluation, pitch deck

A Sales Expert's Take on Who is Most Deplorable

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Mon, Sep 19, 2016 @ 06:09 AM


I was home recovering from a bout of asthmatic bronchitis last week and I got a chance to watch some news shows on television.  That's when I realized how incredibly angry I am about the 2016 US presidential election!

Earlier this month I broke the business rule about not talking about religion when I revealed that God was my greatest secret of sales success.  I thought I might be criticized but instead I received dozens of supportive and encouraging emails.  So, if I can break that rule, why not go one step further and break the rule about politics too?  Specifically, I want to share my opinion on who is the most deplorable and who this entrepreneur/sales expert will support in November. I'll probably lose some readers.  I'm sure the trolls will find me and have their say.  But I'm willing to take that chance because what is taking place right now is completely crazy!

I'll start with Hillary.  I don't like her,  I don't like what she has done, and I don't like the prospects for business if she becomes the next president.  Her policies are bad for business and since this is a business Blog, I'll stick with that.

Donald is next.  I don't like him either but I do love what he stands for.  He stands for change, he's from the outside and he knows how to get things done.  His policies will create jobs so a Trump presidency will be good for businesses.  I'll stick with that.  By the way, back in May I wrote about the Rise of Trump for LinkedIn (a sales article, not an article in support of Trump).

So who is most deplorable?  Hillary has done some pretty deplorable things.  Trump has said some deplorable things.  But if you want to know who is the most deplorable, it's not them. It's the media.

You probably don't have the time or inclination to watch a Trump or Clinton campaign speech.  You might simply be reading headlines or getting little sound bites each day. That's what the media wants because your lack of attention allows the Washington Post, CNN and MSNBC, the biggest Clinton supporters, to take Trump's sound bites out of context and create some powerful anti-Trump headlines that make him out to be a racist.  The Washington Post writes opinion pieces based on these sound bites and every one of those articles is written to make sure we have the appropriate amount of hate for Trump and assure that Clinton gets elected.  CNN puts a political panel together - usually three Clinton supporters who talk about how horrible Donald Trump is. Two Trump supporters are then asked for their responses but are rarely allowed to actually state their opinions.  The hosts cut them off, badger and bully them, and try to make them say what the hosts want them to say.  Don't believe me?

Watch Don Lemon of CNN refuse to let Corey Lewandowski talk,

Watch Chris Matthews of MSNBC bully Rudy Giuliani. 

Watch Don Lemon badger Kellyann Conway on CNN.

And yes, Fox News will sometimes do the same thing - letting Trump supporters speak while shutting down Clinton supporters.  but as you can see in the comments below, this article proves that Fox was anti-Trump throughout the primaries.

When those same media outlets had the opportunity to press Clinton on the email scandal, they simply reported on it. You didn't read opinion pieces in the Washington Post, and CNN and MSNBC kept asking why we were still talking about it.  "Let's move on!" they said.

This is really scary.  This article shows that Google, Apple, Instagram and Twitter are manipulating searches to hide negative Clinton information.  And this is probably the most revealing information of all.  This video proves that the internet is manipulating what you read about Hillary and Donald.

I really don't care which candidate you support and I hope you don't care which candidate I support.  

On the other hand, I really hope you care that the media has so much power to change the narrative.  Last week, CNN's polls showed that Trump had taken the lead over Clinton both nationally and in some swing states.  But CNN spun that around and instead of talking about Trump's momentum, they talked about how he can't possibly win and what it will take to stop him.

Here's an example that is so fresh I'm sure most of you saw it or read it. Trump recently suggested that if Hillary is anti-gun, then perhaps her bodyguards should be disarmed.  If you heard the entire context for his comment then you would know that he was saying that if bad guys are the only ones with guns then we will be in even more trouble than we are now.  The media turned that into Trump's second call for violence against Hillary.  And yes, the same thing happened the first time.  Seriously, the media has put more words into his mouth than there is pollution in the Ohio River.

Today, new polls show Trump increasing his national lead to 7 points and being just one state away from the presidency.  However the NY Times shows Hillary with a 2 point lead.  How can that be?  They are reporting on poll results from 2 weeks ago and not including Gary Johnson in the results!  

When I was growing up, the media consisted of radio, television, newspapers and magazines.  Reporters reported on the story - they weren't part of the story.  Today, the media extends to everything on the Internet they are forcing their agenda on the American people.  It's propoganda, which I wrote about in July on LinkedIn

So I will cast my vote for Donald Trump because he represents what America needs, even if America doesn't particularly like him and the media is hell bent on keeping him out of office.  

Topics: Dave Kurlan, Donald Trump, cnn, don lemon, chris matthews, media, hillary clinton, msnbc, washington post

The Buyer Journey - Myth, Reality, Hybrid, or an Avoidable Part of Selling?

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Thu, Sep 15, 2016 @ 15:09 PM


The Buyer Journey is front and center again.  Dan McDade posted the second in his 3-part series on Lies and Myths and part 2 is about the Buyer Journey.  8 Sales Experts weighed in with their thoughts about the Buyer Journey and you can read those here.  Don't miss Mike Weinberg's comment - I love it!  It's pretty clear where the sales experts stand, so where is all of the Buyer Journey data coming from if not the sales experts?

Could it be the people with the most to gain from propagating the myth of the Buyer Journey?  Those people are the big proponents of inbound of course.  If they can get you to believe it's 57% over when a salesperson gets invited in, then there is more reason for you to purchase inbound programs and applications to generate even more inbound leads for which you can be late.

The reality is that when salespeople are late to the party, in most cases it is because they are passive rather than proactive about pursuing an opportunity - a trait of weak salespeople or the bottom 77%.  And then, when those same crappy, passive salespeople enter the opportunity late, they aren't able to suddenly become proactive because they are afraid they will lose the business.  Another trait of weak salespeople.  So they facilitate and offer up demos, quotes, proposals, referrals, tours, trials and discounts.  Nothing of value.  Nothing to create urgency.  Nothing that qualifies the opportunity.  Nothing that gathers information.  Nothing.  So that group - 77% of them - would actually perceive a buyer journey where prospects are at least 57% along the way to buying.  And that group will have a loooong sales cycle and a pit.i.ful win rate.

So what is it that enables salespeople to behave so passively on these sales calls?

In my experience, even with weak salespeople, you can blame sales process - either ineffective, inefficient, or a complete lack of a sales process. In some cases, it is a sales process that sales management is not holding salespeople accountable for executing.  With a proper sales process, this.does.not.happen.

This week I wrote an article for Gazelle's Growth Institute's Blog and it just so happens to be on the benefits of getting your sales process right.  You can read that article here.

So what do you believe relative to the buyer journey?


Topics: Dave Kurlan, sales process, sales cycle, closing ratio, dan mcdade, win rates, gazelles, the buyer journey

How This Awful Cold, Voicemail Message Could Have Actually Worked

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Mon, Sep 12, 2016 @ 11:09 AM


The timing on these two events could not have been more perfect!  Both occurred last week and I wanted to share them with you today.  First came Dan McDade's article - the first of three parts - on whether cold calling is dead.  He asked a number of sales experts to weight in and articulate whether it is truth or a lie.  It was very well done and you'll want to read it.  Then came the comments - most notably on LinkedIn - from both sides of the argument.  And finally, I received a cold call from a salesperson who was following up on an email.  It's a great example of a call that was a complete waste and I'll share that call with you as well as how that call could have worked.

First, let's take a look at Dan's article and his quest to determine if "cold calling is dead" is fact or fiction.

Next, let's wander over to one of the LinkedIn discussions and take a look at the argument in progress.  Click on the comment icon to reveal all of the comments.

Finally, let's listen in on this voicemail.  In the context of "cold calling is dead" it's interesting because cold calls like these are obviously not dead.  Although it's far less common to get the call following up on an email, it's not unheard of either.  But what was the real purpose of the call?  To see if I got the email?  Really? Why would anyone expect this call to work?  Listen first, and then we can discuss it.

He did not give me a reason as to why his initial email or a future conversation with him might be important to me.  In other words, it was a total waste of a call for him and for me.

So what could he have done instead?

He could have started with something that I would have agreed with like: "Dave, I sent you an introductory email last week, but if you're as busy as me, it was probably buried in an avalanche of holiday email and you never saw it."

He could have continued with why he sent it to me. "I sent the email because I believe that we could help you in much the same way that we have helped other growing consulting firms like yours."  This demonstrates that the call was targeted, he knows I have a growing consulting firm, and there is reference to having done this before.

And he could have given me a good reason to call.  "If you could give me five minutes next week, I will make sure that you don't waste your time and I'm sure that you will be glad we talked."

And here is a cold call from this morning. Listen to this one.

Just like the first one - what is the purpose of the call?  To formally introduce himself?  Why would that be compelling unless he said his name was Sean Connery.  I know, Connery is Scottish, but you know what I mean.

So what could he have done differently?  He could have said, "I know you're with Toshiba and a lot of Toshiba customers have been frustrated over inaccurate invoicing and moving to us at Kyocera.  I was hoping that we could spend 5 minutes to see if we could provide with you a more enjoyable experience."

Finally, if you aren't tired of these dissections, here is one you can simply read.

Cold calling isn't dead, but most salespeople don't do it - only 35% of salespeople prospect consistently - and that makes it appear dead. Those that do prospect tend to suck at it - 34% aren't able to schedule meetings when they make a cold call.

Meetings don't get scheduled unless somebody picks up a phone.  Read this article on the next big game changer for sales.

Topics: Dave Kurlan, cold calling, linkedin, dan mcdade

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Dave Kurlan's Blog has earned a medal for the Top Sales & Marketing Blog award five years running.  This year the Blog earned a Gold Medal and this article earned the Bronze Medal. Read more about Dave.

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