Episode 4: Tips and Techniques to Improve Phone Skills with Colin Specter
The relationship between sales and cold calling has always been a close one. Despite this, cold calling has always had a difficult position and is often viewed with some trepidation or disdain from people in the field. Today we are setting some things straight and breaking down a few simple ways to up your cold calling game! Joining us to dive into the subject is Colin Specter, the VP of Sales at Orum, and someone who knows a thing or two about this important part of any salesperson's life! Colin clearly lives and breathes sales and we get to hear a little from him about his path into the field, his early affinity for the work, and his jobs prior to joining Orum. Colin explains how cold calling and communication over the phone fits into a healthy omnichannel method and what this sort of holistic approach can consist of for optimum results. We also get to discuss contentious elements such as scripts, times of calls, and confidence. The main takeaway here is that finding ways to practice and hone your skills on a constant basis will make all the difference to your numbers, so make sure to listen in with us and hear what this sales guru has to say!
Key Points From This Episode:
“I am not sure why anybody would say cold calling is dead.” — @c_specter [0:08:46]
“You have to stay sharp in your skills and your message, and your responses to different complaints and objections.” — @c_specter [0:12:17]
“You need to have a good data provider, you need to have a good message, you need to make sure that you have nailed down your ideal customer profile.” — @c_specter [0:33:18]
Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:
Speaker 0 00:00:01 Coming to you from Orlando, Florida, Orlando, Florida, and streaming around the world around the world. You're not tuned in to the sales samurai podcast. The only B2B sales podcast, providing unfiltered unapologetic views and tactics directly from the sales trenches. Here's your host, Sam Capra. Welcome to episode
Speaker 1 00:00:28 Four of the sales samurai. Thanks for listening. Before we begin, do us a favor, take a moment to subscribe or download on today's show. We're going to be discussing cold calling specifically tips and techniques around improving your phone skills. I have a very special guest to actually help us tackle this topic really near and dear to his heart based on what he's doing right now as a VP of sales, Colin spectrum absolutely lives and breeds, all things, sales and marketing. As I mentioned, he is the VP of sales for aura, which is a fast growing SAS company, helping organizations cut through the noise and generate live conversations with their target market.
Speaker 2 00:01:06 Hey, Collin, welcome to the show. Super excited to have you, man. How are
Speaker 3 00:01:09 You, Dan? I'm doing great. Thank you. Hi, how's it going and keeping you busy today?
Speaker 4 00:01:15 You know what I mean? They're trying to meet me, earn some money today and that's never a good thing, brother. How about you?
Speaker 3 00:01:21 I absolutely, every day, absolutely. I really appreciate you having me on the show here.
Speaker 4 00:01:26 I'm really excited. This is one of the conversations I was looking forward to because you know, cold calling is one of the biggest challenges facing salespeople. I mean, I think it's been since the Dawn of sales cold calling has been the kryptonite, if you will. And I think it's only been exacerbated. I want to get your thoughts on it with everything that's been thrown at people, social selling and cold calling is dead. No one picks up their phone, any, all this mumbo jumbo from the so-called experts out there. And I want to kind of go down that path, but before I do, I'd like to share a little bit more kind of tell, tell us a little bit about your journey because you've got a pretty unique background from, from a sales perspective. Tell us a little bit about kinda how you got started in sales, how long, that type of stuff,
Speaker 3 00:02:10 Tom. Absolutely. Sam appreciate that. And yeah, super excited to talk about cold calling. Uh, and what's led to my, my present role as VP of sales of Oram. You know, starting from the beginning. I, I mean, I've always kinda been in sales in some respect. My dad had me, uh, selling Pokemon cards in the elementary school or like sixth grade or whenever Pokemon was hot. I remember he gave me a whole cart and he said, here, you gotta sell, you know, $20 a pack. All your friends. These are really cool cards right now. And so I think that's actually how I got my start in sales and then, uh, you know, doing the door to door magazine drives for the schools. But, you know, from a career perspective, I mean I've sales has always been something, a part of my journey. I mean, I did to door flower sales, I sold a nutrition product called that's it fruit bars, which, which is a pretty well known it's available in Starbucks and jet blue.
Speaker 3 00:03:08 And uh, in big enterprises today, how I really got into software sales was I was inspired by my, one of my professors, a professor named John Greathouse at UC Santa Barbara. I took his sales course and his whole course was on enterprise sales software, this whole thing of technology sales, which, which was like, kind of still a new thing. But he said, look like if, if you want to go make it as a sales professional, like you don't have to go to medical devices. Like there's this new, uh, there's technology sales out there. And, uh, it's, it's, it's, it's where you can go make the money if doctors and lawyers without, uh, you know, having the smarts so to speak. So that sounds, that sounds great.
Speaker 4 00:03:52 I would have been like, you had me, I didn't need to be, they have the smarts, you have me,
Speaker 3 00:03:58 Right, right. I think to be in sales, you have to have a high degree of intelligence and character and smarts, but you don't have to necessarily necessarily have the kind of book smarts, you know, and follow that path of lawyer, doctor accountable, et cetera. Right. So I think there is a path for us to kind of make our mark in the world. You know, that, that spurred my interest in, in, you know, technology sales, which, you know, led to me really focusing on finding a technology sales job. I did a startup out of college with a couple of friends. We did a athletic apparel and a medical device type startup. And we had a good run on it in a couple of years, but didn't really take off. And then, you know, I just remember that professor Greathouse was telling me, you got to do technology sales, like that's where you'll thrive and grow as this profession is, is taken off cloud and everything is exploding.
Speaker 3 00:04:50 And so w w was decided to move to New York and looked up any kind of technology sales job in Silicon alley, as it was called at the time I was living in Santa Barbara and moving to New York, actually chasing love a girl. I met out on the trip abroad that had moved out there. So I was like, I need to move to New York. I need to get a job. And I know it's in technology sales and so applied to many jobs and, uh, got lucky and serendipitously landed at namely, which was a HR and payroll technology company. Uh, and that was my first kind of entry point to software sales and, you know, jumped, uh, really stayed at namely for six years, had a great run there, SDR to account executive to manage through to a regional sales manager or to a, uh, really any of my crew there as a director of sales. And then that led to my present role now jumping to Oram for the last couple of years, VP of sales for Oram, where a cold calling and sales conversation technology platform.
Speaker 4 00:05:52 And from a, from a, from a sales work standpoint, college, it just kind of give us a high, I know you guys have gone through some massive, like you guys have been growing like wildfire talk a little bit about, Hey, that growth that you've seen just from your, your internal sales organization. What does that look like?
Speaker 3 00:06:08 Yeah, I mean, I've been with aura now two years when I joined, we were bootstrapping, which is three of us on payroll, really focused on SA I mean, well, two, actually two of us were taking commission and, uh, and uh, only a couple of us were taking salaries. You know, I got, I got a couple kids and a family, so I was one of the salary guys. But, uh, you know, we, we did a really great job in the, in the first year, figuring out our ideal customer profile, you know, the integrations that, that we needed to have in place, you know, it took a lot of cold calls to, to get the target right. And land the right accounts. But, uh, yeah, since, since that time, I mean, we've gone from really just, you know, or two kind of full-time reps. One of the, one of them went more into marketing. And then, uh, now we're at five account executives. We've got, you know, three STR. So just closing on our series a I think by the time this will be released, we'll have announced that publicly. So we're, we're definitely entering exciting times.
Speaker 4 00:07:03 Fantastic, man. That's awesome, man. Well, you know, I love, like I said, I'm super excited to have you on, because one of the things that, and I don't by any stretch of the imagination, think I have the answers. I think cold calling and prospecting is just one of those types of things. You've got to be a constant student. You, you gotta be disciplined in testing, learning, and then guess what do it all over again? Because just as soon as you think you got it, things are going to change. They're going to evolve or you have to adapt. Um, we're being excited to talk about cold calling and what I want to focus on with you call it is specifically tips and techniques around improving on the phone side of things, which I think is really been the biggest challenge for most sales reps. I think that became even more challenging post COVID or during COVID, if you will trying to connect with somebody on the phone. So I want to spend a few, almost spend the rest of our time talking through that. Give me a high level from your perspective. Cause I'm hearing that quite a bit. Like what role does cold calling play in today's selling landscape? Is it still, is it still necessary? Is it viable? Should we be doing it or just kind of give me your overall thoughts?
Speaker 3 00:08:16 Cold calling is dead. Don't do it. No, no. Um, it's, it's very much alive, but you know, we don't want, we don't want it to get too crowded on the phone. So what else? Let us make the calls and emails. No, but really we, you know, for those that say cold calling is dead. It's usually because it's, it's, it's like the video prospecting sales guy or salesperson, uh, you know, preaching that or the intent data salesperson reaching out, but you still gotta call those people. So I'm not sure why anybody would say cold calling is dead. Look we're, we're, we're big believers in, uh, in an omni-channel approach or, um, in what we even prescribed to our clients. We're never telling you that the phone is, is the only way it's, it's the one, the only challenge would be investing in no, like it's, it is about the holistic sequence, right?
Speaker 3 00:09:07 The sales campaign that you're, you're putting these contacts through, right? Like what, what touches are you putting on them? And by the way, like different personas respond differently to different channels, right? So to maximize the coverage of your Tam, your total addressable market, you have to address all the channels, right? Calling LinkedIn email, direct mail, making a comeback. And in many cases, you know, there's Twitter or social texting also in, in, in some markets, uh, is acceptable, but certainly the phone, you know, and I see the phone just as a part of that larger, larger strategy, you know, and, and to answer the question, I mean, you know, if you're sending all these personalized, customized emails, which many shops do these days, it's great. Like love the practice and the research you should research and have thoughtful conversations with the people you're calling. Right. I think the kind of connect in pitches is different than the type of sale that, that I think we're, we're referring to.
Speaker 3 00:10:05 Right. A more enterprise strategic B2B motion. You're typically doing pre-call research. You're, you're putting that research, the emails, messages, LinkedIn videos, Pauling folks is a way to cut through the noise. I mean, you mentioned, you know, the, the, the recent times who were working from home, but their email inbox has just become flooded. Even if you've spent hours writing and crafting the perfect, you know, email, you know, you fired that toll Quito, but it's blocked by all the other crap in their inbox, you know, for lack of a better term. So with that, to neglect the phone, to help you cut through the noise. I mean, that's, I think that that is a mistake in my, in my opinion, you know, any, if any sales organization is neglecting the phone, so the phone in lockstep with email, LinkedIn voicemail, texting, it is part of that holistic strategy and catching them on the right channel with the relevant message is key.
Speaker 4 00:11:01 No, I think, you know, that's where I think you hit the nail on the head and I, and I knew you would go down that path. Obviously you guys sell a phone solution, which is a phenomenal solution, but you're right. I mean, there is no silver bullet. There's never been a silver bullet in sales. There never will be a silver bullet in sales. You've got to be wherever that buyer that prospect is. And you've gotta be efficient at getting to them at the right time, at the right place on the right channel. Uh, so, you know, I, 100% agree with you. So what do you attribute from the biggest hurdle as it relates to sales people? Like, like, what is the biggest hurdle in your mind around cold calling with salespeople? Is it just skillset? Is it confidence? Is it a little bit of both? Is there something like, well, what is, what is the challenge for most salespeople? People you've coached, you've trained, obviously you've gone through it. Like, what do you see as the biggest challenge right now for, for sales professionals when it comes to cold calling specifically on the phone, uh, which I think is a little bit more in depth,
Speaker 3 00:12:01 Your introduction, you really hit on it, right? It's, it's never ending refinement practice and crafting of your message and your training and your, your, your sharpen, your like, you know, cold calling. You have to stay sharp in your skills and your message and your, your, your responses to, you know, different complaints and objections. You know, I tell my reps all the time, you know, practice, practice, practice, right? Like we have to constantly be practicing the objections. We have to constantly be practicing the opener, the message. And now these days, I mean, there's so many technologies to measure, you know, different parts of that, that cold call. And so you can start to understand, you know, where in the call you're getting held up. Are you, are you getting held up in the introduction? You know, just even your opener when you're saying, hello, you, are you getting held up in qualifying that person to make that message relevant? Is it your tonality? Is it your voice maturity? There's so many, you know, kind of variables here, right? It's, it's, it's the message. It's, it's the way you're speaking. It's, it's that maturity on the phone. It's emotional IQ to, to read the room very quickly and make snap decisions of like, where you want to take this phone.
Speaker 4 00:13:15 So, so yeah, you bring up a good point. I want to kind of dig in there a bit first and foremost, there is a lot of elements of the phone that you don't have to, it's a lot easier to sit behind a computer screen and just fire off emails. Right? We all, I think we can all agree that that's probably the ease. I don't, I don't think any of them is easy. Don't get me wrong. I do it still day in and day out, but to be able to do it on the fly on a call, and when I say fly there's preparation, but still you gotta be able to read and react. My question to you is how do you get better at that? Like, so it isn't all about the tones and now it isn't recording yourself. Like, what are some of the tips, the techniques, just the best practices to really hone in on, well, how is my tone? How is my tonality? How is my pace, which I know for myself, it's a challenge because they get really fast. How do you start to do that? Common if you're a sales professional and really want to hone in on that?
Speaker 3 00:14:11 Yeah. It's a good question. I think it's, it's recording yourself. Absolutely. It's in an ideal world. It's role-play right. Role-play with your colleagues, obviously, you know, for the reps, listening, play with your manager, put time on their calendar and practice and get that feedback. I think it's also, you know, imperative that your manager, you know, knows how to coach for cold calling. I think, you know, in many sales organizations today, like you might actually have a manager that is themselves not enabled for the phone and therefore they might not have the confidence to give the kind of coaching you're looking for. But you know, now with LinkedIn and all these like slack communities, you know, rev, genius, revenue, collective, and Thursday night sales, all these guys are out there. I think you can find peers to practice with. And I know there are tons of reps that want to, you know, sharpen their steel just as much as you do. So like that, that would be number one, recommendation is practice. I know it's as simple as apple. Like you got to practice your jump shot. Even, you know, LeBron James is practicing his jump shot after winning the championship, right? Like it's, that's just the reality. You have to stay sharp. You gotta practice that swing
Speaker 4 00:15:22 100% agree with you. I mean, and I I've heard this go back and forth and it kind of dovetails, and there's a few questions I have for you, but, you know, I, I've always heard that people say, I don't use a script or a script as bogus. We don't, you know, I don't, I don't like using a script. What's your thoughts on script? Like just, just at a whole holistic level, when it comes to phone work, do you buy the script? Like, Hey, you need to have a script now, then there's these a sound scripted, but yes, yes or no.
Speaker 3 00:15:52 Well, the answer to both your question to both your points, there is yes. Yes. You need to script. Yes. You don't want to sound scripted. So I'll tell you a quick story. You know, we, the folks that we target, you know, are generally people on our partners, CRMs and engagement platforms, outreach Salesforce, people on sales loft, because our technology can really help those sales organizations. And I was making some cold calls and I didn't have my script in front of me, but, you know, I know my script by the back of your hand at this point, but I get, I get the chief revenue officer for one of these strategic accounts on the phone and I'm going through my intro and show's going great. You know, they're keeping you busy today. Yes. Great. Yeah. You know, I know you're not in the trenches dialing every day, but you know, going into my pitch and I'm getting information from him, he was like, yeah, we have, you know, a couple of hundred reps making cold calls every day.
Speaker 3 00:16:47 We're on outreach. Am I like, and this is information I did not know about the account. And I literally blacked out and like, I was like, where do I, oh my God, this is, this is perfect. I didn't have my script up. I'm like, wait, wait, I can't remember how to like transition. And I've been, you know, cold calling forever, you know, and I, they call it, the calling might not have gone to the textbook script that, that it could have and should have normally under normal circumstances. But like, you don't want to leave that room for error. Like you should always have your, your script or your, your message up in front of you to lean on independent. Even for someone that not to toot my horn at like what level I'm at, but just like at someone that's been in the game for, you know, over 10 years, like, it's, I still need it. I still need to have that, that script. And for me, I, and I wouldn't say I sound scripted necessarily. Right. And I, I sell the same with my reps. Keep the script in front of you. Uh, keep the objection to handles all in front of you, the insights in front of you. So those are the points there. No,
Speaker 4 00:17:54 That, that that's helpful, man. I mean, I used to have an old mentor many moons ago that said, listen, man, you need a script, actors use scripts, but they don't sound like they're using shifts because they learned, and that's Brad Pitt doesn't sound like, you know, he's reading off a script or Leonardo DiCaprio, like that's the same premise in sales. Like you've got to know that like the back of your hand and then weave that into your natural ability. So I always get amazed when I see those things going back and forth on LinkedIn, around some of these topics around you don't need a script. It makes it too robotic. Well, then that just means you haven't learned it. I mean, because it's robotic because you haven't learned it well enough. So just wanting to get your take. Well, what would, what's your thoughts around day time? Does that make a difference when making the calls? Is it that much of a difference if it does help understand? I know you guys go through all the analytics through your own platform. Like, are you seeing something that is just so like Sam never call this day, this time? Or is it universal help? Would help me understand that a bit more?
Speaker 3 00:18:57 Yeah. I like, I think it's evolved with the environment we've been in the last year, because like, look at your own calendar. I like, we've all been on back-to-back-to-back to back zooms, you know? And so what we had started doing was as soon as our zoom meetings would end, you got on and would make some calls in those kinds of brief, you know, 15 minutes before bottom or top of the hour. And you would catch people and, and it would be the same exact objection every time, which we just trained on handling. It was, oh, I'm bout to start a meeting or people actually answer the phone on zoom meetings because they're so tired of the zoom meeting that they're on. So you hear the zoom meeting in the background like, oh, I'm on a meeting right now. I can't talk not to start a meeting.
Speaker 3 00:19:44 I can't talk right now. That's just a brush off. Right. But they pick the phone up, you have your window of opportunity. And I got this objection handle actually from, uh, that call and who I, you know, is another one, the LinkedIn sales folks out there. And you know, I'll give credit where credit's due. I, we use this one here all the time. We say, uh, you know, when they say, yeah, I'm about to run into a meeting like, Hey, Hey, I know I caught you a cold. You mind if I level with you real quick to see if it's worth, even following up when you're available, right? Like just like 80 months I level with you real quick. I know I caught you cold. Do you mind if I level with you real quick, I get a little pause. See if it's even worth me calling again, like letting you also know I'm going to call you again, even want me to do a little bit of an upfront contract there.
Speaker 3 00:20:31 Yeah. Do you mind if I level with you real quick, give you, you know, 30, 30, second overview of what we do. You let me know if it's even worth me calling again or a longer scheduled conversation, and that buys you that time or that act that second chance to go into the pitch. And you know, I'd say that that increases at minimum. You're 50% more chance of that conversation progressing at least to a point where you can qualify, Hey, are you on the CRMs that we partner with? You have reps enabled for the phones, right? Every company has their own kind of qualification criteria, you know, if it's worth pursuing this account. So, so yeah, so to answer the question on timing, I think it has, it has evolved. I think with the zoom meetings factored in, you kind of catch people in between Zunes even on zooms, whereas before, you know, insert, and it also varies by industries, right?
Speaker 3 00:21:29 Like in the restaurant industry, you know, you don't call during peak restaurant time, right? Like when people are dining and kitchen prep is happening, but it really depends who you call, who your ICP, your ideal customer profile is the personas that you're focused on, where you can start to track that data and inform your own your own target times and in call block times. And part of what we're doing is, is absolutely providing analytics to show you when your ideal connect rates are. And, and then, you know, when to schedule those call blocks, cause like Sam, your call block at 11:00 AM. Eastern might not be the call block, my team that, you know, 1:00 PM Pacific does. Right? Like, so I think it is unique to each kind of vertical you're targeting, et cetera.
Speaker 4 00:22:11 I'm glad you brought up call blocks because you know, I have found through my tenure, you know, social imagination, do I think I'm a pro at the phone and there's a lot of work I need to do on it. But I have found that if you give me any inkling to get out of phone work, I will try to get out of it as a salesperson, unless you have scheduled foam blocks. Like I remember going back to my days at Cintas, we had two scheduled foam blocks. Like you had to be phone block. We had to be at your desk dialing for dollars back in the days between these times, like you couldn't get four hour foam blocks. Like, is that still relevant? Do you recommend, have you have to have allocated time for foam block versus, Hey, I'm gonna pick up the phone an hour here, 10 minutes here, 20 minutes there. What your thoughts were on call blocks. I know you brought it up. So I just wanted to kind of elaborate.
Speaker 3 00:22:59 Um, I'm a big fan. I think, you know, it's, I think you need some focus time to get into that rhythm, you know, I think with not to do self promoting, but I'll do a little like with a technology like ours, like we could log on for five minutes, get to a couple of conversations, right? Like at least have a couple qualification conversations in that short five minute window. Right. But yes, I, we, we recommend to all of our clients that have dedicated call blocks minimum 30 minutes long, ideally an hour long, ideally twice a day. You know, I think you should at least have 90 minutes, you know, each, each day that, that you're calling makes sense for the people that you reach out to. You know, we have clients that do PG Tuesdays, PG, Mondays, right? Some people say we don't cold call on Mondays.
Speaker 3 00:23:44 They just do list building then. Right. So it just depends on your organization. But yes, the short answer is I think it takes time to get into the flow. I think it takes you time to get warmed up. And in that zone where you're in, I do think you can get to a flow state. I like to get flow states with playing sports and everything else. But like when this is your craft, when this is like part of your, your, your job, you know, you want to really sharpen and refine the skill. And I think going from one conversation to the next really warms you up, you know, to that persona, to that person, the consistent people that you're pitching. So
Speaker 4 00:24:21 No that's good feedback. And you know, I think, you know, as, as we're talking about this and just thinking out loud and I'm really big, you know what my goal as we've shared on previous shows is we really want this to be tactical, practical, tactical, whatever you want to call it. And you know, as I'm thinking through this, you know, I always think about the basic blocking and tackling. What did we forget to do? Like w like just the basics that we need to get back to and just appall block is a basic, like, that's a fundamental that you should be weaving in. Like, if you look at my calendar, you should have two blocks, three blocks to your point hour and a half blocked off on your calendar. So no one can schedule over, um, no one could put an internal meeting over them.
Speaker 4 00:25:03 Like it's, it's dedicated for phone block. Uh, and I'm a big believer to your ICP conversation that, you know, what you've got them getting the flow you're right. That flow is so important. I just actually give myself the very first five, 10 dials of my initial foam blocks on a little bit more and more called to kind of where somebody is not going to be killing me. Like I may have talked to him once before doesn't necessarily call, but, but it gets me my mojo going get a little confidence going before I'm just heading right into the cold calls. And that was my technique, just to build some initial confidence that, you know, I get two or three bad calls. It's a lot easier to hang up and never pick up the phone again. Or if you can get a couple wins under your belt, what's your thoughts around that? Any tips, techniques that you've kind of adopted, that's really been good from a confidence standpoint, technique standpoint?
Speaker 3 00:25:55 Well, I think practicing getting your marbles out, getting like, you know, fumbling with your peers in those training sessions and, and generally not on the phone with, with, with a prospect and it does happen, right. And if it does happen, like we're human, you can catch yourself and say, Hey, Hey, I, I'm totally blowing this conversation right now in level with you real quick. And just, you need a pattern, interrupt yourself, you know, like, wow, I, you know, Hey, I'm fumbling over this. You might have a level with you real quick and just cut to the chase, like what we're doing here, why I'm calling, you know, like if you just find yourself stumbling, but yeah, I think it's, it's funny, like, you know, on, on the opposite end of the spectrum, you're talking about, right. You're talking about getting maybe a couple of rejections, whatever that could be like a feeling of like, wanting to give up. What I often see more often is, is, uh, a rep will have a great conversation or actually book a meeting. And then they, like, they hang it up and you're like, I did it. I'm done, man. I did mine today and they're good. And that's it like the activity, just like, they're just on cloud nine, but like, I would say, you need to ride that cloud nine, that, that feeling, right. Like success breeds success. Like, let's go, let's hit the button again. Let's go. Like, I've caught myself doing that. Like you just you're elated after a demo. You're like, I need to share this with everybody, but you need to, I would say, get right back in it right then. So
Speaker 4 00:27:26 That's funny. Cause it's a good catch because you know, I, I I'm, I do that. I've done that. Like I've got a meeting. Yeah. Okay. Well, full bucks over let's move on in their lives, but you're right. You've got to capitalize on the momentum, just like you would a rejection, but I think a little bit that's human nature. Right? You want to celebrate the wins. We want to be optimistic, but she'll redaction aspect of things as well. So I think that's a good, call-out it? Anything else that when you like, when I've done the role-playing and you know, role play is always fun. I like to get my iPhone recorder and I like to just work, rehearse my script. I'll just do it back and forth. Record it, play it back, record it, play it back. I just do it a hundred times. That's my goal.
Speaker 4 00:28:09 I want to do it a hundred times and I want to listen to it a hundred times before and I'm calling, here's what I've done. And you tell me if I'm just losing my mind. And I think this is where some reps lose their way and why they can't, why they think scripts don't work is you can't reiterate too quickly. Like you can't be constantly tweaking and check because it's like, you've got to have the overall talking points pretty well boiled down before you start reiterating because you never learned something. If you keep changing over and over on the fly, does that make sense column is what your thoughts are on that?
Speaker 3 00:28:46 Yeah. I, I do think you need to maintain a consistent framework of, of your script and that way you can start to get going into the call block or into rejection's going to book a meeting. It comes down to numbers, it's still a numbers game. Like how many dials, how many connects, how many conversations to a meeting book, right? And like, if you know your, your team's averages, you know how many dollars you were away from potential meeting every day. And so on the, on the same token, right within the message you don't want to deviate from at least the framework. Like you kind of ha you know, you bring your authentic personality to, to the sale. Absolutely. That's the art, the art is you say the art is me calling me myself and bringing that personality to the call. But the framework of that messaging, the specific word words chosen, describe your value proposition. Those should not be modified Willy nilly in my opinion, because you guys can collect so much better data on how those words arresting resonating with your, your ideal customers. And then you know where to make tweaks, like making small, small tweaks to small words, you know, make, can make all the world of difference, you know, and, and kind of edging your, your, your, your conversion rates higher and higher.
Speaker 4 00:30:07 No, that's great feedback, man. Uh, I think those are one of the things that it takes that takes discipline, right? That's all, that's all the discipline to stay the course a bit. I know we talked about adapting and as salespeople, we always want to be adapting and testing things, but there's also time to stay the course and focus on the core fundamentals. I remember the days Collin, I know before a solution like an Orum, but even they'll tick marks to your context, to dials to appointments, we used to give a little take part for every dial, a tick mark for every contact and a tick mark for every meeting. And I used to try and break that out into blocks. So my blocks for the morning, my blocks for the afternoon. So I can start to see the trend lines in a very manual format of, Hey, you know what, when I'm dialing on Tuesday at know, in the afternoon, I get no contacts, but on Thursday in the morning, my contact ratio is through the roof. And that's when I may start reiterating and saying, Hey, that's the time I need to be calling? Or that's the time I should be then to my, a longer phone block, perhaps those are all things. I've always been a big believer that you have to know your numbers as a salesperson. You've got to know your numbers inside and out because that's the only two things you can really control, right? Calendars is your activity and your skill lacking. You got to pick up the slack with the other
Speaker 3 00:31:30 Activity and attitude. That's I tell my team, every sales meeting, any chance I can, I can get, you know, if I hear someone complaining about, you know, whether it's a process change, whether it's anything, it really comes down to activity and attitude like control the things that are in your control. And, you know, like let's, let's use data to make more informed decisions on, on, you know, changes to the timing or the message, you know, these days you can really track and measure everything. So it's, it's, it's, I think we're, we're really advancing that to get it, you know, the create the ultra, you know, sales person, look, we're still human. Like I just mentioned, I blacked out on a cold call the other day, and now like, we make mistakes. We do deviate from the script and, and, but it takes extreme discipline. It takes practice to make sure you're hitting that jump shot every time. Right? Like it doesn't go, uh, easy there. So
Speaker 4 00:32:24 No, without a doubt. And I think you hit the nail on that. I mean, I, I know it sounds so fundamental and it sounds so simplistic, but I'm just trying to boil this down your practice, get your iPhone, record it, play it back to your point. Find a colleague to, to set up role-playing times, even if it's 10 minutes, every other day 15, whatever the magic number is. Even if you have to start small and build up, fantastic. Get on the calendar of your leader and say, listen, I want to find 30 minutes every other day on your calendar. Is that cool? So we can role play fantastic. Find the LinkedIn group, like you think you've said rev gen and then Thursday sales next. I think it is. There's a number of them out there, right? Column. Am I missing anything from, from a, from a trending and just performance
Speaker 3 00:33:08 Standpoint? No, look, I like, I really keeping it, keeping it simple, you know, practice, practice, practice, you know, w you know, talking about cold calls, practice, practice, practice, you need to have a good data provider. You need to have a good message. You're, you know, you need to make sure that you've kind of nailed down the ideal customer profile of, of who you're focused on reaching out to. And, uh, and what message is resonating with that target persona, right? And you you've hopefully done that through some data. I mean, if you're a startup, trying to figure it out, you're going to have to do a lot of testing and tweaking and like collect, collect the feedback and figure it out. In the early days of namely, we were, we were trying to call like, you know, everyone from talent managers to HR coordinators, to VPs, to CHRs, and, you know, different messages would work with different people.
Speaker 3 00:33:56 And same here at Oram, you know, different messages work for the VP of sales versus the VP of demand gen or VP of marketing. You know, you have to invest the time to craft and tweak and refine. And, and I think to make that scalable, having a persona based, you know, flow with your call block is another tactical piece of advice I would give, like, if you're calling call back to back the same persona, so that messaging doesn't have to deviate too much versus going from VP of sales to CRO, to CMO, to VP of dementia. Now like persona base is going to help you scale those conversations help you stay on track because we're human. We make mistakes. We're going to fall off the guardrail.
Speaker 4 00:34:39 That's a good call-out column. That's a great one. And, yeah. So, Hey, so just, uh, just to kind of boil that down, Hey, focus on specific personas that way, when you're dialing, you know, dialing down the list, you're dialing everything, PSA. All right. So that the pain ports are going to be pretty systematic VSL. Here's the systematic pain points that we're going to have to try to adjust to think on the fly. Fair enough. You
Speaker 3 00:35:02 Nailed it. And then you can see, you consistently can like, forget, like normally when I talk to a VP of sales, these are the three things that I know they're thinking about, you know, as a series, a VP of sales, these are probably the three things you're worried about as a pre IPO VP of sales. These are probably the three things you're worried about, right? Like really getting persona refined. Right. And I think, you know, and companies at different stages are going to be thinking about different things and knowing what you, what your solution solves for at those different stages and what resonates and what might be a personal win for those people that you're calling to, what they might be focused on is, is, is critical. So, no,
Speaker 4 00:35:39 I think that's a good call out. I think the persona, one thing we've done, that's been helpful for us, and I've seen some success in it is we layer in not this isn't applicable to everybody. Not everyone has some, I guess everybody should have sub industries within their core target industries. If you will, like put for us it's retail, but then within retail, your Southern shoes, apparel, and accessories shoes, sporting goods, all the electronics. What I want to do is actually bucket my calls by the sub-industry. So if I'm talking to, you know, apparel and accessories, that that's typically a different use case, a different talk track than talking to someone in liquor or music and books or whatever the case might be. And that just helps me continue to refine that top track. So I don't have to think as much on the fly. I know that may sound bad. I still think on the fly, but you've got to make it as easy on yourself as you possibly can. Is that fair to say,
Speaker 3 00:36:37 Absolutely. You know, try and reduce risk, you know, reduce risk and your deals reduce risk in your cold calls. You know, any way you can, we're humans. We make mistakes, as I mentioned. So anyways, you can put yourself into a process and create consistency. It's going to help you. Cause it's, it's, you know, it's tough to stay disciplined and stuff to stay on track and to, to add extra variables just makes it harder on yourself. So you know that in a lot of that will come down the list building and filtering, and it does take prep work. But when you put in that prep work, I promise you it's going to pay dividends and you're going to be flying and it's going to be awesome.
Speaker 4 00:37:14 No, that's great feedback, man. And I know as we're talking through this, and as we're talking, I know we beat a dead horse here around practice, practice, practice practice. I have actually later in my life have really thought the success or failure. I hate to say failure, the area of opportunity. If you will really comes down to confidence, like every great rep I've dealt with or interact with it's good on the phone. There's a certain amount of confidence that they've developed because they've rehearsed the practice that they made 2 million calls and done it day in and day out. And you just got to go through that grind. You've got to rehearse so much practice so much that the confidence increases. And then naturally as your confidence increases, the skill begins, the performance begins to improve and it's kind of an enemy. They keep feeding one another, the more confident I get, the better I get. It's kind of that, you know, uh, that, that old saying that you just got to keep that confidence going.
Speaker 3 00:38:18 Yeah, it's, it's true. It's true. And like, you know, I had stepped away from cold calling for a couple of years. Once I had become a director of namely, I was more in the coach role management role. And then when I went back to Oram, gosh, it was like really shaking the rust off, you know, like, because it is one of those skills where you have to, if you haven't shot the ball in a while, you know, gosh, like it could take quite a few practice swings to get back into that groove. And it doesn't matter how long you've been in sales, like cold calling is one of those skills that if you don't use it, you'll lose it. It's just the way, the easy way to say it. So practicing consistently is going to be key.
Speaker 4 00:38:55 No, that's awesome, man. Hey, so I know we're bumping up against it. So final thoughts from, from you Kala kind of final tips, takeaways, thoughts, feedback, or whatever, as, as you're thinking about people listening, whether they're new to sales or somewhat tenure, I know there are different groups of people, but what would be some of the tips, techniques, feedback, final thoughts that you might be able to offer up?
Speaker 3 00:39:19 Yeah, it's, you know, when I, when I was new to cold calling, I would read and listen to as, as much as I could in terms of objection handles. And I think I read a book called the sales Bible by like Jeffrey Gitomer that ran through, you know, objection handles in my early career. I had stumbled upon grant Cardone. I know people give Greg Cardone a lotta, a lotta, a lot of heat that he actually has this book called the closer survival guide. And I had the audio tape. And as, as a, an SDR, I would just only save the tracks that were the objection, handles, skip all the fluff. But in that book, he runs through every objection, handle, like I'm not interested. I'm busy right now. Oh, we don't have budget and how to handle every single objection. And I would just listen to those on, repeat on, repeat, repeat out loud. I'd say then walk into the subway in New York or driving the car in LA and, and, you know, learning from others. That's, that's a great way to, to sharpen your skills.
Speaker 4 00:40:24 No, that's great, man. And I know you and I are, I don't know how close we are. I'm an old man in today's day and age. I remember the days of actually having to go and buy a book off the shelf or buy one of those audio cassettes, pop it in your, you know, your tape player and listen to it on your cold calling days. But there's really no excuse in today's day and age. I mean, there's podcasts like us. I mean, there's a million podcasts, there's a million webinars. There's a million eBooks. There's so much at your disposal. Is there any excuse? I can't think of one.
Speaker 3 00:41:01 No. Yeah. I mean, look like there's, if you want a more modern person, as I mentioned, Beck Holland earlier, she's got a great, you know, free stuff on YouTube free. She just is putting her, her content out there. It's great. You know, there's, there's, there's a number of folks. I'm trying to just think off the top of my head, but you know, it's, uh, there's tons of resources out there. You, you just have to look and like th the ones that have sustained through the, the test of time, it's for a reason, because the same objections have come up, probably since people were selling in the bazaars and the sh the Shooks of, you know, the middle east on the silk road or something, you know what I mean? It's the same, same situations are still responding the same way. It's too expensive and I don't have time. So I'll leave you with that. You know, just, you know, constantly be, you know, digesting as much information as you can, practice, practice, practice, and, uh, and, and check out Oram all the, all the more easier to get into live conversations. That's, that's where we focus on for, you
Speaker 4 00:42:05 Know, for those that, for a couple of things, because you're well versed in this, and you have some knowledge, I'm sure you're a big believer in coaching. That's, that's your background. I'm sure if someone reached out to you say Collins or any tips, can I maybe get 15 minutes with you or whatever, you're the type of guy that's like, Hey, if I can make it happen, I'm happy to make it happen. Get people get a hold of you online. And then obviously, how can they find aura as well?
Speaker 3 00:42:29 Yeah. Find me on LinkedIn, shoot me a connection. I'm always posting content on LinkedIn. I try and keep it relevant, you know, to cold call and sales profession and, and, uh, and, and discovery calls negotiate. I mean, we cover everything. LinkedIn is great, or, um, it's O R U M as in mother hq.com. Check it out. We have a free trial or, and we'll help you get into instant live conversations with your target buyers. That's our whole goal for you. So sharpen your skills, get on Oram and put it to practice is what I would, uh, leave everyone here with
Speaker 4 00:43:05 Fantastic. Uh, Tom, sincerely appreciate you taking some time tonight. I really enjoyed our conversation.
Speaker 3 00:43:12 Sam really appreciate you having me on the show again and, uh, you know, congratulations on, on everything. And the launch of sales samurai was a pleasure being here. Awesome.
Speaker 0 00:43:23 Thank you for listening to the sales samurai podcast with your host, Sam Capra, be sure you subscribe to our podcast and visit sales samurai.io and join the conversation. Access show notes and discover bonus content.
VP of Sales @ Orum
Colin Specter lives and breathes all things sales, marketing and business operations. He currently is the VP of Sales for Orum a fast growing SaaS company helping organizations cut through the noise and generate live conversations with their target market.