Updated: Nov 16, 2018
In the last month, I've had the privilege of cold-calling a lot of entrepreneurs and executives from Linkedin. I'm a glutton for punishment, obviously. It started simple enough. I sent messages in my target market to potential prospects introducing myself very briefly, stating a potential synergy, and then included a call to action such as setting up a half hour phone introduction.
Out of over 1000 messages, I've had about 100 calls scheduled.
Much better than a cold email approach, but still a lot of room to grow.
So here's where it gets interesting...
About 75 people I wound up talking to were sales people.
And the call usually began like this:
"Hi Klyn from Linkedin. I see you're a speaker and glad we could set up a call. I help clients with lead gen to get more high paying speaking engagements."
Not a bad intro, per say.
Then they would ramble on and on and on and on.
And on. and still on.
Features, features, word vomiting.
Not once did any of them ask any relevant questions. Not once did their pitch make sense.
It was awkward, unrehearsed, and in order to overcompensate for lack of preparation, they comforted themselves with the sound of their own voice.
Some studies say the average number of questions a sales person should ask compared to a prospect is 6.
In some calls, the sales person would even go into discussing Trump, religion, and get this... the #metoo movement.
"You seem genuinely intelligent," they would say. "I think as a woman who is also an author and speaker, you could have a lot more press but the #metoo movement is stagnating growth. " Or my personal favorite word vomit, "Companies shouldn't legally be required to have women on boards because then we will need to have mexicans, black people, and there is no end to it!"
My intent to have introduction calls turned into the craziest, most unproductive use of my time.
However, there were a few golden nuggets that it made it worth it.
Those calls started like this, "Hi Klyn, glad you reached out on Linkedin. As you saw, I specialize in XYZ, but I notice you have quite a few different skillsets. Which one is your biggest priority right now?"
I want to talk to that guy. So I tell him which part of my business is most exciting. He asks more questions about that particular segment and adds a ton of value.
Not once does he try to sell me. He tries to help me.
The end of the call happens and within a 24 hour window, I have a great recapped email from him suggesting potential next steps or to learn more about how his company could help the specific need he strategically uncovered.
If you're in sales- STOP.
Stop inserting political drama.
STOP talking about me too.
Stop thinking that as a woman I have an unfair advantage and trying to win me over by capitalizing on statistics. STOP product and feature dumping.
START asking questions...
Your sales numbers will thank me.
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