The Gold Call Blog

Back to School - Business Lesson 101

This week I made my teaching debut at The Lubin School of Business - Pace University - New York City. My Gold Call CSI: program is now part of the curriculum for the Lubin School's MBA program.
It was my first return to the classroom in 35 years. (Yikes - Has it been that long?)

 

As I took to the podium to deliver my lecture on sales prospecting and how to effectively sell yourself to others, I couldn't help but think of the movie Back to School with my ol' pal Rodney.
 

If you are in need of a good laugh today, then CLICK BELOW to playback a recording of Rodney (Mr. Mellon) teaching the professor a thing or two about the real world of business.
Professor: "Not withstanding Mr. Mellon's input, the next question for us is where to build our factory".

Rodney (Mr. Mellon): "How about Fantasyland"?

Click below to playback the call ⬇: 

Your 'Miranda Rights' in Sales...

You have the right to remain silent...
During this political season you are eventually going to find yourself having conversations with co-workers or sales prospects that touch upon the topic of the presidential campaign.
Given the notoriety of the election primaries, perhaps you’ve already fielded a request for your opinion about the presidential campaign and the field of candidates vying to be president of the United States. 

When asked - Let it go! Remain silent! Have NO opinion! Let me tell you why...

 

ANYTHING you say can and will be held against you!

It has long been a rule of thumb that you should never talk about politics or religion in business. However, it is quite tempting to talk about it anyway. Some salespeople think it’s a good idea to build rapport by discussing mutual interests with prospects. That’s fine so long as the mutual interests do not include politics or religion. It’s too risky - so why take the chance that your viewpoints are not in alignment with your sales prospect? While they may not say it to your face at the time, what if your prospects disagree? Prospects WILL remember the disagreement later on and may hold it against you - so why chance it?
 

It’s best to stay neutral whenever broached with the subject of politics. For example, if someone asks you what you think of the candidates or the presidential campaign in general, simply respond with, “I have no opinion - I’m not leaning one way or the other”. Then work your way back to discussing what really matters - what you may be in a position to do to solve your prospect’s problem and what it takes to do business.
 

It is always better to be thought a fool than to speak up and prove it”.

Are You Spontaneous? Can You Improvise?

When you approach complete strangers like sales prospects in conversation - are you nervous? Do you struggle to find the right words to say? Are you constantly battling the 'War of Nerves' whenever it comes time to SPEAK UP?   "Homina-Homina..."

When you aren't sure of what to say it's virtually impossible to be spontaneous with anyone, including sales prospects.

Have a look at that sales call script they gave you at the sales kickoff and tell me that the call script they gave you doesn't sound "scripted" and downright awful. During the role play practice sessions did you wince with every spoken word because the dialogue exchange sounded ridiculous? 

I'd like you to have a listen to a recording of a call I received from a telemarketing salesperson a few weeks ago. As you will soon hear for yourself, the only person making spontaneous conversation on this phone call was me! Click below to playback call recording

Making spontaneous conversation with complete strangers is an art form, and it takes PRACTICE! That's why I built the Gold Call Kit - to teach my students how to be spontaneous in conversation and take control of their destiny with every sales call they make to a sales prospect.

The Gold Call Kit will put you in the drivers seat on every sales call you make, and put and end to those brush-off requests to send sales literature, or "call me back next week". 

Visit: www.TheGoldCallKit.com   The cure for the common cold call...  

Click below to playback the call ⬇: 

Bad Messages Get No Respect!

Here's a recording of a voice message left for me today by a cold calling salesperson. The recording serves as a reminder that your voice messages must be Clear & Concise, and NOT sound anything like this message. After you listen to the message - can you tell me what's for sale? I have no idea! 
email me: sales@goldcalltraining.com
Some salespeople rush through their voice messages so fast that they cannot be understood. Take your time - be prepared.
A Clear & Precise voice message earns the RESPECT of your prospects! Don't be like Noona!

Click below to playback the call ⬇: 

"Don't Count Your Chickens Before They Hatch"

I saw a video today and it made me laugh. I saw a bunch of people jumping up and down after thinking that they “won” the $1 billion PowerBall lottery last week. Problem is, they didn’t win. The “winning” numbers were taken from a preceding drawing, not the current drawing.
It was funny watching the restaurant workers jumping up and down thinking that they just won almost $1 billion PowerBall lottery. Stupid jerks…
As the numbers were called out by the bartender, and verified by someone in the crowd, you can hear their excitement grow, then WHOOPEEE!! They all went wild with celebration. Watch the video.

What a let down it must have been when everyone found out the truth - the numbers were drawn from another day. Must have been tough for them to come to grips and deal with the fact that they’ll probably have to go to work everyday for the rest of their lives. Bummer…
You’ve seen this scenario play out before, only not for $1 billion PowerBall win.
Remember that time when someone said the check is in the mail? Remember that time when you felt really good about closing the deal, and you went and told someone like your boss, or spouse?
Now think back to how you felt when the check never arrived, or when you found out that your prospect decided to stay with their supplier rather than give you the order. Remember that let down feeling you experienced? The anguish? Remember how embarrassed you felt telling your boss or spouse that you didn’t get it? Your feelings back then were probably similar in scope to the way those restaurant workers felt when they found out they didn’t win the PowerBall lottery after believing they did.

I once had a friend that worked for a car dealership. I was curious about how someone got paid selling cars so I asked my friend. I’ll never forget his answer. He said, “I get paid when the tail lights go up the street”. In other words, when the check clears, and the money is physically in the bank.

My Two Cents…
Nothing - absolutely nothing in this world is guaranteed. So here’s a tip to help you avoid that let down feeling when things don’t come through. Until you have a check that clears funds into your account you have absolutely nothing! Realize that every sales prospect is interested right up to the point when it comes time to pay. Then everything changes. Your sale is closed only when the contract is signed and the funds clear. Everything prior to that is just talk. Don’t believe me? Just ask any of those poor restaurant workers still “slinging hash” today.

Always Be Closing! - My Chance Encounter w/Alec Baldwin

Years ago I had a chance encounter with the one and only Alec Baldwin. Following a trade show I attended at the Jacob Javitz Convention Center in New York I made my way over to a small Italian restaurant on the West side called Guidos Restaurant - Supreme Macaroni. Because Guidos Restaurant was near the Theatre district in NY they always had a loyal following of celebrities that would stop by for lunch and enjoy the pasta and sausage prepared by an old man (owner) in a small kitchen at the rear of the dining room. Guidos Restaurant was so small that it only sat about 24 people, and there was always a line waiting for a table.
(Have a look at Billy Joel's back album cover for The Stranger and you will see the entrance to the kitchen at Guidos Restaraunt).

This one particular afternoon I was lucky to find myself to be the only one waiting for a table. In the middle of the restaurant sitting at a table for two I could see Alec Baldwin fiddling with his salad. Suddenly his cell phone rang and he raised the phone to his ear. He then excused himself from the table and began walking right towards me. Naturally I had to say something so I said the only thing I could think of in the spur of a moment, “Always be closing - Always be closing”!
Also, being a resident of Massapequa, (Alec’s home town), I also said, “Massapequa misses you”! With that, Alec told the person he was speaking to on the phone that he would call them back, and he folded his flip phone, looked at me and said, “Are you from Massapequa”? “You bet I am”, I replied.

Aside from talking about the old neighborhood in Massapequa we talked for awhile about the movie business. Alec had just finished filming Pearl Harbor with Ben Afleck, and he was very excited to tell me all about that. Then we moved on to my favorite topic - GlenGarry Glen Ross.
Being the salesperson I am I began to recite his lines verbatim from the movie. “A-B-C: Always Be Closing”! Alec was such a great audience - he and I went back and forth with the GlenGarry Glen Ross scenarios for nearly 20-minutes. I was really amazed that he actually stuck with me through my entire routine.
Aside from enjoying my exchange with the likes of Alec Baldwin, I was quite proud of the fact that I had the cojones to speak up and say something to him without regard for what might happen next - like whether he would beat me up thinking I was Paparazzi.
In sales you’ve got to be ready to have conversation with everyone you come in contact with. It doesn’t matter if they are the president of a Fortune 500 company, or an international celebrity out for lunch somewhere. You’ve got to be ready at all times to speak up! Always be closing!

Speak up!
If you are a persistent ‘go-getter’ in business there are opportunities that are going to come your way by chance. If you ‘blink’ , second guess yourself, and lack the confidence to speak up, opportunities will pass you by in an instant, and then they are gone forever. Your ability to speak up is a terrible thing to waste - take the shot!
My chance encounter with Alec Baldwin gave me a re-newed sense of purpose - I am Always Ready!

Rule of thumb... Opportunity only means something to those that are prepared to meet it.
That said, my advice for you is to focus upon what you want and understand what you are willing to do to get it and YOU WILL ALWAYS BE READY and never put yourself in a position for someone to demand that you - “Put that coffee down”!
For your listening pleasure here below is a recording of Alec’s “ABC - Always be Closing”!

Click below to playback the call ⬇: 

Happy New Year! Ready, Set, Go!

Happy New Year my friends…
I have been looking forward to 2016 for months. With the holiday season finally behind us, I now have a sense of renewed possibility. With no summer vacations & holidays that usually get in the way of business, I now have a sense that I have room to run. How about you?
Prospects can no longer blame their summer vacations and the year-end holiday as the reasons why they can’t do business. Oh sure they’ll probably blame something else for the delay, but at least the excuses will be a bit more creative. They may be traveling to Singapore, or tied up in board meetings, or wrapping up “year-end”. Regardless of the circumstances & excuses this is a new year year and that means a fresh start for you. Ready, set, go!

The past does not equal the present…
Last year may have been a difficult time for you, but that is all in the past. Put away the bad experience in the desk drawer and think of possibilities and start envisioning what it would be like to possess what you really want, other than simply having more money. Ask yourself this, “What do I really want”? “What will make me happy”? You can’t achieve what you want unless you really know in advance what it is that you want. Make this the year that you give all your attention towards getting what you REALLY want. What is it?

The clock is ticking…
Given our newly crowned year of 2016, we now have 5 1/2 months of unobstructed selling time ahead of us. However, we can’t lose sight of the fact that the ‘meter’ is always running and time is running out.
An average month has 21 working days. Let’s assume that you spend 6 hours/day working on finding and closing new business. This gives you 693 hours or 41,580 minutes of ‘selling time’ to achieve your goal of getting whatever you want. That may seem like a lot of time, but think back to last year - it sure went by fast didn’t it?
Fact is, June 15th will be here before you know it. Here’s your chance to set yourself up for a very good year. The time is now. Don’t wait until May 1st to get your “ask” in gear and start working on achieving your goal. By then it will be too late and you are setting yourself up for a tough summer, a slow selling season beginning in early Fall, and a downright stagnant year-end when everyone seems to be thinking about Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years. The time is now!

One final note…
Given all the economic turbulence and chaos we see around the world, don’t you think for a minute that there aren’t new business opportunities to be had. “You gotta believe!” Think positive thoughts. Any person that says in their heart that it cannot be done is usually right.
All the best to you in 2016!

~ Pete 'The Gold Caller'
www.TheGoldCallKit.com

Are Your Prospects Listening or Paying Attention?

There is a defining moment in every sales call to a sales prospect. Once the small talk about the weather is out of the way it is time to get down to business. How you transition your call from the weather and get down to business has everything to do with what happens next, good or bad. Read more...

Most salespeople jump into conversation and talk about their company, product, client references, and then they deliver a summary of features and benefits. During this ‘information dump’ most salespeople ASSUME that the prospect is listening. While this may be true, there is a vast difference between listening and paying attention.

Prospects are listening but they sure aren’t paying attention. How can they? While the salesperson is babbling away, the prospect is paying attention to what they need to say to mount a resistance to the sales call. This is how objections are born!

Too much information up front alerts your prospects to the fact that this is a sales call.
Ask yourself this, when a salesperson calls you and jumps into a broad description of their business & product, are you sitting on the edge of your seat, or are you thinking about what to say to fend off the salesperson once they stop speaking?

Salespeople that assume that their prospect is paying attention are making a huge mistake. They fail to recognize that their ‘elevator pitch’ has actually diverted their prospect’s attention away from them. Prospects have heard the same sort of ‘elevator pitch’ dozens of times from other salespeople. They have become conditioned, and thus have a conditioned response. They know a sales call when they hear one, and it only takes them a few seconds to recognize it. Once the prospect recognizes the ‘sales pitch’ their natural tendency is to let each word go in one ear and out the other (listening), and re-direct their thoughts and attention on what to say to fend off the sales call.

Aren’t you tired of ‘pitching’ your prospect for 30-seconds only to meet a mounted resistance to your call once you finish? You gave it your best shot but in reality your prospect was only listening, not paying attention. When prospects pay attention there are no objections - only 2-way conversations that lead to a decision.

Take a listen to my sales call recording and hear how I start the conversation by asking my prospect for 10-seconds to explain my call. “I’m hoping I have 10-seconds to explain my call”.
Notice how my prospect recognizes and agrees to the request without hesitation, and then I quickly transition into explaining the reason for my call and we get down to business. 

Asking for 10-seconds to explain the call sets the stage, and gets you the benefit of the doubt. It gets you the time it takes to get down to business and grab hold of the prospect’s attention so that you can articulate the purpose of your call in simple terms.
When you eliminate the ‘sales pitch’ as a starting point to conversation you will spare yourself the agony of constantly handling objections, and turning your sales calls into more of a debate instead of an offer to help solve a problem.

Understanding comes before selling. Clear the path to conversation first by asking your prospect for the 10-seconds it takes to describe the purpose behind your call. Doing this will calm your prospects defenses and give you a real chance at grabbing attention and maintaining it through the entire conversation. Most importantly, asking for 10-seconds will help you avoid the frustration and angst of handling objections from  prospects on every call you make. You might even learn to like making sales calls…

Click below to playback the call ⬇: 

Your Struggle With Prospecting...

Welcome to The Gold Call Show! This week's podcast sheds light on a few of the reasons why you may be struggling with prospecting, and what you can do about it to become more proficient at finding new customers. Here are some simple ideas to help you get your foot out of your mouth and in the door to close new business. How you speak IS how you sell.

Click below to playback the call ⬇: 

Getting to the Truth with Negative Questions

Ever have a sales prospect that requests sales literature before agreeing to a meeting? Haven’t we all? This call recording demonstrates how to overcome this obstacle by asking negative questions that reveal the truth behind a prospect’s request for brochures, or to visit your website. Are requests for sales literature a sign of genuine interest on the part of the prospect? Listen to the call - you be the judge!

Click below to playback the call ⬇: 

"Clowning Around" with Sales Propsects

It’s been said that if you aren’t a little crazy you’ll never make it in sales. You have to be crazy to do what we do day in and day out. To help keep me from going completely crazy talking to sales prospects all day I have to clown around every now and then.

The following sales call recording is a blind call I made to the owner of a clothing importer. My client sells PLM (manufacturing) software to apparel manufacturers. So… I made a sales call to the owner in an effort to qualify & schedule a sales appointment. But first I had to interact with the gatekeeper before getting transferred to Serge (my new friend). Most everyone loves a clown - so why not take a chance...

Click below to playback the call ⬇
Let me know how you think I did. E-mail me at: pekstrom@dealbuilders.com

Click below to playback the call ⬇: 

Talking to Gatekeepers...

Is it possible to befriend the gatekeeper? Playback this call and you be the judge. This recorded phone conversation with a real Gatekeeper reveals some reasons why you might be wasting your time talking to gatekeepers.

Click below to playback the call ⬇: 

"Humina-Humina" - A Loss for Words...

Getting sales prospects to answer their phone is hard enough without adding to the problem by falling for the trick questions prospects ask in the opening seconds of your sales call that leave you at a
loss for words - "Humina-Humina"

Sales Rule: The first person to ask a question on any sales call controls at least 51% of the course and direction of the conversation.

Some ‘trick’ questions prospects like to ask that give them the upper hand:
1) How can I help you?
2) What can I do for you?
3) ...and you're calling from where?
4) Do I know you?
5) How did you get my phone number?

Prospects know that when they ask the first question that it puts them in control of the call, and puts YOU on the defensive to come up with an answer. One false move and they got you. When you struggle for an answer ("Humina-Humina") it makes it easier for prospects to brush you off the phone. Game over…

What to do: Always ask the first question - and have a prepared set of ‘Follow-Up” questions! Questions perpetuate conversation, and if you’re the one asking the questions, your chances of keeping your prospect on the phone and getting your foot in the door are greatly improved.

Solution: Here are some examples of ‘starter questions’ that work for me.
Right after I say, “Hello”, and announce who I am, I ask my prospect the following question, “May I have 10-seconds to explain why I’m calling”? or  “I’m hoping I might have 10-seconds to explain my call”. Then I continue with a simple  10-15 word explanation of the problem I solve for people, and then I’m on to asking my follow up questions. Before I know it I’ve created an easy going two-way conversation without the pressure and anxiety I used to feel on sales calls.

Don't be afraid to ask! If you don't ask- you don't get!

Visit www.thegoldcall.com and listen to some of the recorded telephone conversations I've had with my sales prospects that demonstrate how to ask not talk your way in the door for a sales meeting.
Learn THE GOLD CALL and you'll never have to say, Humina-Humina ever again.

Don't 'TRUMP' the Competition

Whether you are following politics or not, you most certainly have heard of Donald Trump, now GOP presidential candidate. You may also have read about some of the names Trump has been calling other candidates. For example, Trump has called Gov. Jeb Bush a “jackass”, and he also called Sen. Lindsey Graham an “idiot”. For the record, Trump hasn’t has many nice things to say about anyone, especially those he’s running against. That’s a big mistake!

You probably realize that bashing and demeaning your competitors is no way to conduct yourself in business. It’s unprofessional under any circumstances. When you bash, or ’Trump’ the competition, you only make yourself look bad, and you come off as being desperate for the business. When you appear desperate for the business, your sales prospect begins to wonder why. When sales prospects wonder why you sound desperate, they tend to stay with their current supplier? Is that really what you want?

Never have a bad word to say about your competitor no matter what, and no matter how it may pain you to do so. Take the emotion out of the picture. You lose bonus points with prospects when you sound desperate for the business and say bad things about your competitor. I suggest you stick to the business points, and put your competitive advantages across in ways that don’t demean your competitor, but serve to elevate the quality and value of your offering compared to others. Keep it professional and maintain a level head and you won’t ‘Trump up’ your business.

Talking Yourself into 'Sales Depression'?

You choose to feel the way you do! You might not think so, but it’s true. For example, if you look out the window on a Monday morning and find that it’s raining, and realize that you now have to wait in the rain for the bus, YOU DECIDE at that moment how you feel - probably lousy!

Disappointment in sales, and with business in general, is completely unavoidable. I bet we could all write a book filled with those ‘let down’ incidents that made us wonder why we chose sales as a profession. It’s how we react, or better yet, how we DECIDE to think and feel that determines whether or not we can chase away the ‘blues’ and move on to the next sales call.

The issue is that every time you face disappointment you CHOOSE how you feel about it, and how long you are going to ‘carry that weight’. You can actually talk your way into feeling depressed if you give yourself enough reminders about how crappy things are. Do you hear that little voice in your head too?

My advice to you is to catch yourself every time you start focusing on the negative and making a conscious DECISION to feel awful. STOP right there! Realize that YOU, and YOU alone are DECIDING to feel lousy.
Here’s an important note - If you DECIDE to feel lousy, then you can also DECIDE to not feel lousy. You have the power to control how you feel and what to do about it.
So… STOP listening to that little voice inside your head that tries endlessly to talk you into feeling depressed. Turn down the volume on the negative and amplify the positive. If you CHOOSE how you feel, then why not CHOOSE to feel positive every chance you get?

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