by Steli Efti
Want to know what the fastest and most effective way is to become great at cold calling?
It’s a simple two-fold approach I’ll share in this post.
But before we go into that, let’s dispel some widespread myths when it comes to improving your phone sales skills.
None of the following activities will be the silver bullet when it comes to unlocking your cold calling magic:
- reading sales advice books (whether it’s the latest new sales breakthrough everyone raves about or the bestselling classics with hundreds of 5-star Amazon reviews)
- visiting a sales workshop by this great sales guru
- getting a personal sales coach
- reading blog posts (not even all the cold calling posts on the Close.io blog).
All of this is great and has its place. I strongly encourage continuous education. But it's not what will yield the biggest learning ROI for you.
Basically, you can improve your cold calling skills on two levels: the inner game of sales (how you manage your own emotions, how to get yourself in the right state, how to deal with rejection and setbacks) and the strategies and tactics you use to navigate the sales process (sales scripts, objection management documents, techniques, etc.)
But ultimately, what will really accelerate your journey to sales mastery is doing these two things:
Make a lot of cold calls
I’m talking hundreds of cold calls per week. If you’re serious about wanting to become great at cold calling, you need to expose your brain to the intense learning that comes with doing high-volume sales calls.
It’s not possible to comfortably cruise your way to the top. You have to go all in and really dedicate yourself to honing this skill for a clearly defined timeframe.
Record your calls
Record your sales calls, and then analyze the recordings. They will be the greatest source for your improvement in sales skills. It’s the most personalized sales coaching resource available to you.
When you study one of your own sales call recordings, take notes on what you can improve. Start with the big things - don’t try to improve every detail at once. Instead, focus on one thing that you believe will have the biggest impact on your sales effectiveness, and focus on improving that particular aspect for the next week.
Put up a post-it note on your wall and schedule reminders so that it's constantly on top of your mind and doesn't get lost in your day-to-day activities.
Then get someone else to listen to your sales call recordings and ask them for feedback. If it’s an experienced sales pro, that’s great. But that’s not the primary objective here; it’s more about getting another person to give you feedback, whether that person has a sales background or not. There’s no excuse for not doing this: it can be your co-founder, a colleague, your boss, your uncle, your mom, your friend…
Bonus tip: If you’re using our inside sales software to make cold calls, all calls can automatically be recorded and safely stored in the cloud, and you can easily access them whenever you want. You can also add and edit notes for each sales conversation, to make it easy for you to review your takeaways and share it with others on your team or share it as an MP3 with someone else.
Most importantly: share your most difficult and challenging calls, not your best calls.
This isn’t about boosting your ego or making you look great. This isn’t about impressing others. It’s about getting the maximum amount of learning in the minimum amount of time, it’s about discovering massive opportunities for growth. You want to ask them for their critical feedback, and being really open to their views and opinions.
Ideally, you want to schedule this as a recurring event in your calendar: time to review your sales call recordings.
This way you can keep track of your progress and make set yourself up for continuous improvement.
Bottom line: You're your own best sales coach
To succeed in sales, you don't need access to great talent or money to go to the best sales college in the country to become great.
You need to be hungry and humble. Hungry because that will help you push through all the emotional barriers that make people give up the pursuit. Humble because that will help you to see your own flaws and weaknesses and learn from your own mistakes.
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