Before the COVID-19 pandemic, people used to pick up the phone as a distraction from work. Now, with people working from home, they are less inclined to do so. Find out how to master the art of cold-calling in this new era as we chat with sales expert and strategist, Kevin Hopp. In this episode, we cover how you can stand out from the noise, which once-popular sales technologies are now obsolete, and why it’s important to make sure your cold-callers are relaxed. Kevin breaks down the top 5 sales objections: the disinterested Prospect, the “send me some information” brush-off, the wrong person, the “I’m busy” brush-off, and “I have other priorities right now”; and gives us simple solutions using his wealth of sales experience. Discover what the X-factor in a cold-caller is, and methods you can use to improve your tactics. We also cover a bonus pointer: when to level with your Prospects. Don't miss out on this fascinating discussion that puts cold-calling in the hot seat.
Key Points From This Episode:
“If you’re listening to this, and you’re anywhere from the age of 18 to 22, don’t worry about finding what you want to do. Start going around the list and checking off the things you don’t want to do.” — @KevHopp [0:03:27]
“I really do believe that the key to good cold calling is preparation and mindset” — @KevHopp [0:15:00]
“What separates good salespeople from the rest of all people in sales is following up.” — @KevHopp [0:29:56]
“Everyone listening, stop saying “I would love to” or “I would like to”. Replace that with “it might make sense to/do you think it’s a good idea to””. — @KevHopp [0:42:36]
“You’re not selling when you cold-call. You’re getting enough interest to spark the next step.” — @KevHopp [0:56:05]
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.
Speaker 1 00:00:30 Kevin, welcome to the show, man. How are
Speaker 2 00:00:32 You? I'm doing great. Thanks for having me on
Speaker 1 00:00:35 Man. I'm super excited. I mean, we couldn't be any further from one another lie, but that's the beautiful thing about bod casting. I could be here in Orlando and you're all the way out in beautiful San Diego, correct?
Speaker 2 00:00:46 That's right. The sunshine sound on both of us except a, I bet you it's a little, a little mug ear where you are.
Speaker 1 00:00:54 Yes. That's not even a question, man. If we got any more rain, I don't know. It's crazy, but yes, it's a lot muggier here in Orlando. That's for sure. Awesome brother. Well, Hey man. Well, before we kind of get into this sexiest subject, I love talking about, and this is actually the one that audience always is hitting us up for. Hey, cold calling. How do I get better at cold calling? How do I tackle cold calling? What are some tips and techniques? And that's really why I wanted to talk to you because none of this is really your area that you really focus on. So I'm really interested to get into this conversation, but before we do kind of give the audience a little bit of a background, kind of a little bit more about you just to give them a little bit more context, Kevin, if you don't mind.
Speaker 2 00:01:32 Yeah, for sure. I think it's, you know, I'm obsessed with something that most people dread. So it's important to understand. I figured this out a few years ago, like why lean into this? Where most people lean away from it? I guess my story starts out. I'm born and raised in Southern California, but growing up, I had a grandma who was an entrepreneur and she ran her own business. That's important just because she always taught me that kind of anything's possible. And that being bold is better than not being bold, if that makes sense. So she was always kind of in embroiled in controversy in one way or another. And I kind of got that fiery attitude, which has served me well and served me very horribly in my career. So I went to a, I went to high school, I played football. I'm very, very competitive, always liked athletics growing up.
Speaker 2 00:02:28 Then I went to junior college, which is actually a really important part of my story because most people that go to your college don't graduate. I graduated in two years with an AA degree, I transferred to UC Santa Barbara at UCFB. I was a psychology major and this is the part where people are always like, oh, so you know how to get into the heads of buyers and all that. It's like, no, I don't like psychology was the easiest major I could find that had the lowest amount of requirements that I could set the degree. Like it was either that or like poly psy or something. And I was like, maybe don't want to be a therapist, but it took me like two classes to be like, I'm not going to be a therapist. I can't handle like hearing problems without giving the solutions. I don't know.
Speaker 2 00:03:08 So at UCFB I did four internships. Why is that important? Because none of them were in sales. None of them, none of them were even like remotely is like customer success. I worked at target for a summer and I was it, I was a leadership intern at target stores for retail. You know, I figured out really quickly what I didn't want to do. And if you're listening to this and you're anywhere from the age of 18 to 22, don't worry about finding what you want to do. Start going around the list and checking off the things you don't want to do. Right? I don't want to work in retail. I don't want to work in customer success. One of my internships was in that and I don't want to work in any admin function. So my first job out of college, I was the first employee at a startup.
Speaker 2 00:03:47 So I got to do a lot of things. It was awesome. It was all fun and games until I saw a Crunchbase article about early stage employees and equity. And that was about a year into working at this company where I said, Hey, what's equity. Do I get an equity? Nah, I was shown the door quickly after asking for it. So I figured out that the one part of my job that I enjoyed the most was talking to customers and sales because I was making some commission. So I was cold calling real estate agents. And we, we did all sorts of growth, hacky, awesome stuff there, like finding a bunch of Zillow like on Zillow. We had an Indian team that would mind Zillow and have these agents listings. You send a real estate agent of an email that says R E they're listing the address.
Speaker 2 00:04:34 They're going to open it. The open. It was 98%. And then I was using tout app back in the day. So I would call them when they opened the email and I would just get conversations super quickly. And I thought it was so cool. And I'm like, man, B2B sales is so easy and it's like, hold on. You know, in real SAS sales and other businesses, it just doesn't work like that found that out because I became an SDR after that. And then as an SDR, I was a high performing STR I got promoted to account executive. And then I bounced around to a few different tech, startups and other companies in various sales roles, the full time everywhere I went and I'm talking about four jobs in four years, right. Everywhere I went, I was always the new guy and I had the same problem.
Speaker 2 00:05:21 Okay. Hey Kevin, congratulations. Here's your comp plan? Here's this? Here's your laptop. Oh, by the way, company stickers, you know, give one of those to the misses, you know, oh my God, I can't wait for this job. You know, week two comes around. All right, let's do a pipeline review. Where's the pipe. Right. And I'm like, ah, well, shoot. You know, I called some people that didn't pick up, well, you know, it's ones and zeros and sales, right. Uh, so I became obsessed. I became obsessed with this consistent problem. I seriously, we just sit there and say, there has to be a better way, right? I'm not going to say on the Oracle of Omaha or anything, but I was trying to manifest, there has to be a way to talk to people instead of just trying to talk to people all the time. And that's when I found a piece of software called connect and sell.
Speaker 2 00:06:12 I don't know if you're familiar with connecting sell, but it is a magical talking machine. It's amazing. You just put in a list, hit, go, and a call center agent does all the work for you and just beeps you in when, when the lockers online. So when I use connect cell, my mind was blown and I basically quit my job to go into consulting, to help people use connect and sell effectively. So I was, uh, I was a high paid cold caller for all of 2019 in the beginning of 2020. I'm sure you can imagine people. Aren't going to pay you a ton of money to do cold calling when the markets were in free fall and you know, the world was coming to an end there for a minute. So I had to kind of pivot what I was doing. And then I got introduced to my old boss over at sales gig and we created a company that did outsourced sales development. I've ran a company doing that. It's actually kind of my second time getting involved with the venture like that. So we sold the idea that we did sales development better than anyone else. So I had a team of up to at 1.9 or 10 was most STRs I had underneath me each one of them spending six hours a day on the dialer. So tens of thousands of calls
Speaker 1 00:07:19 On that, Kevin, I always ask this question, by the way, I love the, uh, grandma and the influence. And I've always been a big believer, as you mentioned, just figure out what you don't want to do, right? Sometimes it's about failing fast failing often to figure out what you actually want to do. So I'm right there in the same boat with you and just try different things. But so you got started in sales. How many years you've been in sales, roughly ballpark get for me
Speaker 2 00:07:44 Kevin seven. Okay.
Speaker 1 00:07:46 So seven years, even at seven years, like, like what have you seen from how has sales changed in your eyes? Just in the seven years you've been doing it for the better, for the worst?
Speaker 2 00:07:59 Oh, it's a hundred percent for the better. When I got started in sales, outreach, IO didn't exist. Right? Think about that. Now reach IO is raised what half a billion and they're worth 10 billion, you know, and you know, my first sales job, it really was off a spreadsheet. I mean, heck my fourth sales job, it was still off. You know, it's like we had, we had salesforce.com, but you couldn't get it to work the way you want it to, you couldn't run the report. So I think that sales in the last seven years, by the way, I, I think we have lived through the heyday of LinkedIn. I think the brighter days are not in front of us with LinkedIn. I think it's going to get harder and harder to use. But man for awhile there, LinkedIn was the wild west. It was some of these software platforms it'll send a thousand messages a day and people were responding and it was,
Speaker 1 00:08:53 Yeah. I agree with you that obviously the outreaches, it's funny. Cause you say that and most people I've talked to. I always ask that question because it hovers around technology efficiency, scale technology allowed all that. Let me get your thoughts on this, Kevin, because here's the one downside of it. And this is where I think is the, in my opinion, the worst side that, that has not improved in sales or is the downside of sales. And you know, since that time is that all that technology to your point creates a lot of noise, right? And it's harder and harder, at least in my opinion, to separate yourself from the noise. Right. I remember when I very first now this was, I'm dating myself a gazillion years ago. You know, you make 10 dials. You're probably going to reach 6, 7, 8 people back when I started, you know, if I made a hundred dollars today, I might, and I know COVID you unique, but you might actually connect with a couple, right? I know you'd love her to connect and sell or, or, um, or one of those solutions, but just the connect ratio, just the sheer volume of people reaching out, you know, 200 emails, all the stuff that you can drive efficiency through these tools, that's made it a little bit more challenging from a noise standpoint. You just, you agree, disagree my off base there. Do you agree with that? What's your thoughts?
Speaker 2 00:10:13 You're not off base. I mean, of course, right. It's a harder than ever, but it's, I would argue that it's the pace of innovation has evolved from a buyer standpoint as well. Right? What does that mean? I think that back in the day, from what I understand, you know, no offense we're talking to people like you that have sold back in the day, you know, salespeople, salespeople used to teach you a thing or two, right? Like people would, when you get a call, you learn and you'd be like, oh my God, this exists. I didn't know. Oh sure. You can stop by, you know, nowadays the buyers have so much access to so much information and the internet and new sources and you know, everyone has these super computers that they carry with them everywhere. Like incredible amount of knowledge available for buyers to your point, like email, email is not dead, but it it's definitely not what it used to be.
Speaker 2 00:11:12 And neither is cold calling. Right? I do think that. And I've said this before that cold calling is dead. If you're going to pick up the phone and you're going to punch 10 digits, every time you need to make a phone call, you are going to quit. You will, you know, there's just no way you got to have a dialer. You got to build the list, right? You got to have a good approach. And that's kind of what I make a living doing is being fanatical about that whole process and make it not dead, make it not so
Speaker 1 00:11:40 Well, I like that because that's a good call up because you know, I've heard cold calling is dead. We've had the long live, the social, selling everybody, whatever camp you're in. But I think what you're probably going to wind up saying, cause you actually elaborated to this is just throwing it against the wall and just making you're dialing through the phone book. Those days of cold calling are dead. Like just random. I hope you need what I have to sell. I think what you're doing is, you know, who that ICP is, you know, who your target audience is. You're very deliberate in what that message is to that individual. Now let's leverage technology. So I can maximize myself to make more dials to get in front of them and start talking to these individuals. Right? It's not that cold calling. It's just ineffective. Cold calling is dead. Is that fair to say? Yeah.
Speaker 2 00:12:28 Yeah. I think also just the rates of people picking up are low. Right? Right. The whole stir shaking thing that just came out makes it harder for your calls to get through. Right. Things are not trending in a positive way in terms of, it's easier to get conversations. It's kind of harder. So you have to lean into technology. And the other thing is lead databases, right? Like zoom info when I was a new rep back in the day was seen as super expensive and a luxury if you could get it. And now it's like, there's, there's so much competition out there, right? There's the discover org or I guess that's part of ZoomInfo, but
Speaker 1 00:13:06 You have seamless
Speaker 2 00:13:09 Sales Intel on and on and on and on the democratization of data, let's put it that way of contact data. It has made it so that you have to have that. It's kind of like the table stakes are set now. Like yeah, I gotta have a good database that has your ICP in it. You gotta have the cadencing solution to keep your stuff straight. Whether that's outreach group sales, you gotta have a dialing solution. If you're going to try via phone, there's some markets that phone doesn't work very well in. I don't come across them very often, but most of all, the clients that are called people I work with are, are leveraging phone. Very, very effectively cold calling is far from dead, but let's say it now cold calling is dead. Stop calling, save it for the rest of us, keep the phone lines open.
Speaker 1 00:13:58 So let's tackle this because what we're here to talk about and what we wanted to chat about, but there's a couple of layers to this. And so you and I connected because you really wrote, wrote something that thought was really, really effective. And from a tips and techniques standpoint, you know, top five sales objections, and really how to respond to those when you get those objections. So we're going to tackle those in some granularity, Hey, we only have so much time to talk tonight, but we're going to tackle that. But before we do, I want to ask you, because before we start talking about objections, like, what is your approach to cold calling? Like, how do you prep for it? How do you prioritize it? You mentioned some tech stack stuff. Like if you're saying, Hey Sam, before we start talking about objections, here's how you set yourself up for success to replicate and do some of these things. So you can maximize it. What are some of the things that you're doing? Are you educate or consult your customer?
Speaker 2 00:14:55 Kevin totally. That's great that you bring that up because I really do believe that the key to good cold calling is preparation and mindset. Right? You gotta have both of those. The first thing that a lot of sales leaders are making mistakes around is thinking, yeah, I'll give them the database and I'll give them a phone and they better go do it. And the phone itself can feel like it weighs a thousand pounds if you actually have to pick it up. So what we want to do is lower that mental effort to making dials and that's using software, you know, you had Paul inspector on Oram nominal piece of technology. I love horn. All right, it's not connecting cell because they can't get you through dial trees. Which kind of sucks. Especially if you have a ICP with a ton of dial trees and stuff like that and corporate numbers, but using dialing technology and setting it up in a way that all you have to do is press go is huge.
Speaker 2 00:15:54 Right? So when I was running my outsource SDR shop and these guys were making hundreds of dials a day, you know, the way that they set it up is I made sure they had two monitors. You have one over here, you press go, you have your script over here. And I told them like, we got so disciplined with it. Like, I'm like, I need you to relax. So if that means scrolling on your phone, Instagram, that's fine because you know, what's going on. I know that I'm calling a list of this ICP. I have my script right here. The first thing out of my mouth is exactly the same on every single call. Hey, this is Kevin with Acme corporation. How are you doing today? Steve? It's the same every single time. So I don't care who picks up. I have none of that butterfly in my chest. I'm going to throw up knees, weak arms are heavy. You know, vomit on a sweater already thinking about eight mile. Don't don't
Speaker 1 00:16:46 Have the rights to that. Kevin, let's not do too
Speaker 2 00:16:49 Bad, but like my first SCR gig, when I was at mine touch a company that raised a series, a, they had a consultant come in, a guy that a guy named Michael barons, who's a legend in his own, right? But they had a consultant come in. And his way of doing this was turning us into a boiler room, boiler room. You stand up, you can't sit down, you got a headset and you're pounding on those digits. He was all old school, east coast. And that showed me that it could be done. But at the same time, everybody quit. That was a light bulb for me where I'm like, dude, cold calling is the way, but you've gotta make it enjoyable. You gotta make it away to where it's not pulling teeth mentally and psychologically to press go. So it's in proper preparation, building a good list. One ICP, one message. You know, it's going to happen. And then you have to be calm, cool, and collected while you do it so that you can react in the proper ways you objections are common. They're busy. And guess what? I always tell every rep that I've ever trained before you pick up that phone, they're not interested. So don't tell me after the call, they're not interested, right? It's not about them. Well, I think we'll get into that next year.
Speaker 1 00:18:02 That's awesome. Hey, what do you say that they're not interested immediately? The line from Ben Affleck in boiler room came to my mind. Someone's being sold either. They're selling you all. What? They can't, you're selling them on why they can't buy. Soon. As you said that that's a thought that came to mind. That's awesome. So I love that because I think that piece is really missed way too often. I think we over-complicate things when we're going into cold calling saying, Hey, I'm going to pivot from one buyer to the next buyer, to the next part, to the next buyer, next industry, next industry. And we're trying to remember, well, what do I say to that one? What do I say to that one? And your mind just can't work at that speed. And then also on top of it, react to everything. That's completely unique to those individual businesses, industries, titles, whatever you want to call it, it you're setting yourself up for failure.
Speaker 2 00:18:50 And I promise you there's a sales rep or an SDR listening right now that has done this exact cadence. Okay. I'm going to make some cold calls. Who should I call? Okay. I'm going to go to LinkedIn. Ooh. This company looks good. Click on the company. Read about the company, Google it on Crunchbase. Learn about the company. Ooh, this is interesting. I like this. Okay, cool. Who should I call? Ooh, I'll call the VP of HR, selling HR solution. Find HR VPs number, type the number in look at it for a second ago. Uh, let me look at some more about this company. Okay. So this is, uh, okay. Okay. Okay. Okay. Okay. Ready? Dial. And then it goes to the ring and then it's like, oh, Hey, oh Janice. Oh my God. I've been trying to get you. Oh, Janice. I can't wait to show. I would love to show you a demo of our solution. Can you take me off your list? And then what does that rep feel? Oh, I'm going to take an early lunch and I'm going to drink at lunch. I'm going to, you know, that happens every day. It's tragedy.
Speaker 1 00:20:00 It's funny. Maybe because I can very honestly say I've probably done that more than my fair share where you kind of do that paralysis by analysis where you're like, I got to analyze that a little bit further to make sure I have my right script now. So yes, that's funny. So let's hop into this because these are things that you know are top of mind, so you didn't develop the objections, but you were saying, Hey, here's the most common. And, and I actually agree with you. There's a few outliers. And I actually have one bonus, one for us to see today, to see if we could tackle it. But the top five objections, Kevin, that we hear when cold calling by phone number, and this is not stack rank. This is not in any order. Number one I'm not interested is probably the king fan of all sales objections. Talk to us a little bit about what is the tactic behind that? Like what is a common response? Why that just kind of talked through? How do you typically tackle that? Objection from the get-go?
Speaker 2 00:21:00 Sure. So like I mentioned important to remember, no, they're not interested before you pick up the phone, so don't be surprised. Okay. Like I cannot tell you how many people lose the war before they pick up the phone because they have some thought in their head that they are important. The other thing that I always talk about with SCRs is that cold calling is unlike any other form of communication because you don't really matter. And that sounds harsh to say, but like when I call my buddy Sam, I'm like Sam, it's Kevin Hall. How you doing, man? You're like, oh, Hey Kevin, how are you today? Whoa. And we get right into it. And you do that your whole life, your whole life. You only really call people that, you know, right in cold calling, you have to realize that when you say, Hey, this is Kevin hop, I'm calling with, you know, hop consulting group or for us or whoever you're calling for at the time.
Speaker 2 00:21:58 That means nothing. So not only are they not interested, we know that ahead of time, but I mean nothing. And they don't know who I am or care about who I am. So the whole point of the whole thing that people get caught up on I'm not interested is it's usually the gut reaction of someone doesn't understand what you're calling about or what you were trying to get across in the first place. Right? I always tell people that like, if you get, I'm not interested before the call hits two minutes long, it's not a real, I'm not interested. You know what I mean? Until you can articulate. The reason for my call today is my firm does X, Y, and Z. I noticed this about your company. And I was curious if these are priorities you have, if you don't get a reason why they're not interested, then you're probably just getting a junk objection.
Speaker 2 00:22:52 Right. Which is like a real quick, like, oh yeah. Hey, what, what are you calling about? Yeah. I'm not interested. Right. A brush off and brush offs are very different than objections really. Right. But the key to making something out of, I'm not interested. Let's say you get all the way. You're two and a half minutes into this call. And they say, you know, I don't think I'm interested, which happens a lot. What you need to do in that moment is a pattern interrupt. Powered interrupt is also something it's challenging for reps to learn how to do. But what I always tell them is to jump on the non interested, right? Because if you don't jump on it, that phone is already that thousand pounds fall. Yeah. And then they're going to hang up, you know, Hey Sam, I totally understand. You're not interested. The reason I reaching out is I work with people like you to solve problems like this.
Speaker 2 00:23:48 Am I missing the mark? And what makes you different? If you can jump on it as fast as you can, they're going to come back and say, it's not that I'm that different. It's just that we have this solution in place today. Or, you know, then they'll get into it. And that's what I always train my guys to do. Right? So when we disposition calls in the dialer, there's no interest, no reason given, but then there's something called good know in good knows. We're good things. I'm a firm believer you can't win every call. So if you get an I'm not interested and you turn it into, Hey Kevin, I know why this person's not interested. They explained their whole situation and it doesn't make sense to talk right now. That's a win. That's a positive thing. Right? So that's kind of the high level of what I would talk about when it comes to, I'm not interested.
Speaker 1 00:24:37 You know what I like about that? So CA quickly on this note, because you know, I think sometimes we have delusions of, you know, what the role is like, like a really good somebody that's really good on the phone. All the stars aligned, like what is the connect to appointment ratio? Is it 34? Like a really like, I'm talking about an all star Kevin. Like what percentage,
Speaker 2 00:25:02 If you're an all star and you connect with the right person, I'd say anywhere from five to 10% is phenomenal.
Speaker 1 00:25:14 Okay. So let's say 10%. You're just the Michael Jordan of it. Right. You're killing it. So that tells me 90% of the time, like things aren't going our way, we're not reaching someone or they're just telling us go fly. Like I think that's why I like what you said. You tell the rep already, Hey, they're not interested. It's almost like saying, Hey, you got 90% chance. This is going to go nowhere, man. So just be prepared for, and let's just tackle and have some fun with.
Speaker 2 00:25:41 Yeah, exactly. I think once again, it's, this comes from that old boiler room method. Like I wouldn't be who I am. If I didn't go through that boiler room experience where I had someone literally standing over my shoulder saying like, you should have gotten the meeting on that call, like every call. And it's like, dude, that's not the way it real. Right. It's not real. And it's really important to set up a system using technology that allows your reps to take the pressure off of every phone call and make it like, Hey, either I'm going to have a valuable conversation, learned something or set a meeting, or it's not the right time. Which time is the biggest variable that screws cold callers by the way, because it's like, Hey, I'm busy right now. Okay, cool. Hang up by the system will automatically bring them back up another day, another time. Right? So you gotta be able to set up like that. So there's not that psychological pressure to milk. Every call is that until you,
Speaker 1 00:26:37 Hey, so you kind of led into it, you segwayed into it. The next one on that list, no particular order is I'm busy. I kind of bucket these three together. Some people silo them. I kind of all see them the same. I'm busy, not a good time in a meeting. You could differ with me, but they're all kind of, Hey, not a good time right now. If you will you agree with that? Or you think they're actually different? Kevin, just out of curiosity,
Speaker 2 00:27:00 You know, what's interesting with COVID I have found an interesting change in how frequently people say they're busy or how they handle that. Right? Like I feel like when I was calling, you know, before 20, 20, more often than not, if you catch someone at their desk and their phone rings, they pick up their phone off their desk. Right. It feels important. And it feels like something they want to, you know, they need a little break, you know what I mean? Like people will hear you out more often right now when it's like work from home, the pandemic people are already stressed about getting in and out of zooms the right way and like log ins and all that jazz people say that they're busy a lot more, which comes back to the point I just made, which is you gotta have a system that's okay. Talking to people whenever they are ready. Right.
Speaker 1 00:27:57 So even on that front it's okay. So walk me through what you're saying, because this is how I'm hearing that is, Hey, that might be legitimate. Let's just cut bait and move on to the next dial. Is there help me understand that a little bit? Well, maybe I've missed.
Speaker 2 00:28:14 So one of the things that I've used a lot since COVID is the, Hey I'm calling out of the blue, Hey, this is Kevin and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. How are you doing today? And if you say, how are you doing today? Very genuinely. Then the next thing out of their mouth is I'm all right, who are you? Why are you calling? What are you calling with? Which is great. Those are all questions. And their natural curiosity is they're going to listen to whatever you say next. Yeah. Kevin calling with Boris. I know I'm calling out of the blue. Did it catch you with a second to chat? And that line right there has saved my not interested percentage tremendously, because what it does is it allows them to self say, yeah, no, I'm busy right now. Bye. And at which point I'm not going to bully you guess what? I'm going to call you back tomorrow. What people don't realize is like, what? I guess buyers are kind of trained to say that because if they get you off right then and there without using software to follow up all the time, they'll freak, forget, review the shoe, fly bye-bye. But with me it doesn't work that way. Like you're, you're in a cadence, man. You're going to get called again and again and again and again and again, but we have a good conversation
Speaker 1 00:29:23 And I'm assuming Kevin, you probably lean on, Hey, I tried yesterday. You said you were tied up. You probably refer back to that. I'll be, I don't know if you do or don't, but I'm sure
Speaker 2 00:29:32 Sometimes like are definitely like a tool like Oram at the bottom. You can see the call history. And I will look at that. If they say they're busy. And if I think I've heard that before, I'll definitely call it out. Right. It's important because at the end of the day is people talking to people and if you're just going to tell me you're busy every time as a stupid brush off. Yeah. You got to interrupt that power and, and call them out. But honestly, like, as you probably know what separates good salespeople from the rest of all people in sales is following up.
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Speaker 1 00:30:46 I like that piece of it because, you know, I think we're trying to wire that we're supposed to overcome every of that, going back to that 90 10 rule, right? If you don't get the meeting, you failed, you should be getting a meeting and 100% of the time. And we should always think we should have every response. And there are times that it's okay to cut bait, but to your point, as long as you're following up on it, because I remember this when I was coming up, the one thing that I did pretty well is I heard I'm busy all the time. I always sold B2B. Always. Everyone's always busy. But what I would say is, is there a better time to reach you this afternoon? People will just throw me a time. Yeah. Three o'clock, four o'clock well, you better be dang straight. That four o'clock on the nose. I'm on the line. And they're like, I'm like, Hey, you told me to call you back and forth. And they, it would almost be like, yeah, I did. And you know what? You followed up. Sure. Let's have a quick convert, like do what you're going to say and actually follow up, Hey, and then go down that path. So I think we're kind of in line on that
Speaker 2 00:31:44 A hundred percent, a hundred percent, especially if you don't have an automated solution like that, which I know a lot of people don't have the luxury of having an Orem or a connecting cell or something, which can automatically do it. I would absolutely say, are you free this afternoon? Are you free later? Right. And one of the other things I want to add, there is a little cautionary thing. The worst trap that you can get pulled into to get an I'm not interested or a we're all set when someone is clearly in a rush and they say, what's this about right? Entry-level reps, new reps are going to dump a value prop. They're going to download that value prop all over the table. And the guys they'd be like, oh, perfect. We're good. Take me off your list. And again, it's like,
Speaker 1 00:32:32 What,
Speaker 2 00:32:33 How could he do that? He asked me to tell me what it's about. It's like, dude, the reason that he's asking is to tell you to leave. So I'm a huge fan of saying, look, we only have conversations on our terms, right? Kevin hot method of cold calling puts the cold caller in control, which is not the way that probably 99% of people are cold calling. What does control mean? If you're not ready, I'm hanging up on you. All right. Yeah. Oh, you're busy. All right. I'll call you another time. What's this about? Oh, don't worry about it. We'll we'll have a conversation tomorrow. Bye. Boom.
Speaker 1 00:33:06 That's cool.
Speaker 2 00:33:08 You know,
Speaker 1 00:33:09 I like that because you are kind of, you're walking into a hornet's nest. You're basically giving the out there. Oh, now I know what you're doing. I'm not interested by, like you said, that phone is always so heavy. It's falling from the prospects here. It's falling from your ear, the whole nine yards. So sounds interesting. But priorities are elsewhere was one that you had on the list. And I actually I've actually used this in my role. I've used this with some and I was being honest. I wasn't just saying that for the podcast. I actually, it did sound, it was an interesting technology. I thought there was some merit to it, but I don't have budget our budget. Doesn't come in. I've already exacerbated my budget to this point. I can tell you let's demo it. I could waste your time by no, I can't buy it.
Speaker 1 00:33:55 So I was trying to do the right thing to say, Hey, listen, I liked that. Let's regroup at the end of Q3, early Q4, my budget will come in. Then I can revisit this and see if there's another technology I don't need or whatever. So that does happen. So I want to understand how you tackle that because I'm sure there's instances where that's just a load of crap. What do you do? But then in that scenario, I actually elaborated why it's not a priority or why I've shifted. And maybe that changes your approach, Kevin, and how you handle that with me. I just thought,
Speaker 2 00:34:26 Right? Like, so I think one of the things that focus that most people don't have is on this two way dialogue, right? You got to remember at the end of the day, it's people selling to people, right? As complicated as, as silly as that sounds like, how do you forget that? Of course, people selling, people know like if a lot of these cool cars would have listened to the way that they're talking to their prospects and the way that they're begging for a meeting and all this stuff, it's like, dude, if you ran into them in an elevator, you're not going to act like that. You're going to be understanding of their situation and what's going on. So when people open up to me about what is a priority for them and they talk about things, number one, this is a really good opportunity for you to have some business acumen, right?
Speaker 2 00:35:09 So if I'm a sales rep, I got to understand where my solution fits in and the budget cycle. Is it a cap? Ex capital expenditure is an operational expenditure. How to most people in this industry see this, is it brand new? Is it, you know, highly competitive market. So if you understand that and someone tells you where they're at in that meeting, let's say I sell phone systems and this guy's like, look even I, I don't like my phone system, but we just bought a new one. It's a one year contract. I'm always going to take the time that when they say to follow up and back that up sometimes by 50%, but like the easy one, right. Is call me next year. Right? If you wait until 2022 to call somebody, your phone call is going to land with all the other people that were told to call in 2022, call the first week of December and say, Hey, look, I'm trying to put things on the calendar for 22.
Speaker 2 00:36:08 Right? Always back it up a little bit because they're going to forget, especially if it's a cool call. It's just a moment in time. So business acumen can help you out a lot there because if you can get into a business level conversation with someone about where their budget's at or the solution they have in place today, and then you follow up with an email immediately after the call with the subject line being thanks for the call. That's a hundred times better than a marketing email because it'll get opened and read and there, they might even throw it into a folder. You know, especially if you're dealing with like an it HR kind of title. Sometimes when they hear vendors that they like, they actually will stack that stuff in a folder. I've seen it happen.
Speaker 1 00:36:48 Let me ask you this because I actually was going to, I was curious about this is that I've actually said that multiple times, you know, maybe one time I was actually Alliant. I don't remember, but that one I was not. But what I actually liked about that is I gave this rep a lot. He didn't have to probe for really. He's like, okay, that makes sense to me. Wait. So if we get, he tried to push for a date and time she, we put something on tentative. I'm like, no, that's way too far out. He's like, great. I'll follow up with you closer to that time. And then I'm sure he put it in some type of follow-up. However, I have had reps in the past where I've said, Hey, cool, it's just not a priority, but thanks for calling. I've had reps say, Hey, do you mind if I ask, like, what are the priorities you're focusing on?
Speaker 1 00:37:32 Is that too early? Like, do I know you, like, am I going to get the response, the intended response or the response I'm looking for? Or has it just not like I always go back and forth on this because if you were to ask me this, Kevin, and I know you, of course almost say, Hey, here's what I'm focused on. But if I don't know you from Adam and I've only been talking to you for five seconds, 10 seconds, 15, I'm not going to share my priorities necessarily with you in great detail or at all, perhaps where do you like, is that a good path to go down from a cold call standpoint? Hey, my priorities are elsewhere. Can you share it? Like w where do you fall in that camp? Kevin,
Speaker 2 00:38:09 I think hate to beat the broken record, but it would have a lot to do with business acumen, right? Which is the hardest thing to teach, especially because cold calling tends to end up being a entry-level activity, which frustrates me, but I get it right. There's not that many people out there that do it so much. Like I do that. They can be really good at it. But if you can take a second and have a, a business level conversation with someone, I think, you know, I've had it many times where people have enough respect for the hustle and respect for the fact that you're asking the right questions right away, that they will open up and talk to you a little bit more. Also, if you look at like, you know, let's go back and use my college degree for a minute. The psychology of people, some people are going to be open books. Some people are going to tell you all that. So I'm a big fan of asking. What's the worst thing that they can do is say, you know, you can't talk about it right now. So that's
Speaker 1 00:39:05 Good call, uh, Kevin is the fact that what's the worst that can happen from it. He tells me, Hey, we don't have time to share it, or, Hey, I can't share whatever it doesn't hurt to ask. I mean, at the end of the day, and in my book, I would actually mark that in my notes, whether that's the disposition or whatever priorities at the time. And when I am calling back, that would definitely be, Hey Sam, we did speak three months ago. You said your priorities were really kind of, until you asked me to follow up here, I want to make sure this, like, I love trying to connect the calls. Like if I can remember something we talked about and actually connect it, it actually jobs that memory, you say, you know what? That's right. That opens a little bit more of a door than not Kevin. I might be way off base there, but that's kind of been my mentality around it
Speaker 2 00:39:48 A hundred percent, right? One of the things that is super valuable that people don't realize is so valuable is if you cold call somebody and you connect with them on that number, you have an awesome little tie to that person. Like, think about how many people spend so many hours trying to get people on the phone. If I called Sam cell phone and you picked up and it's actually Sam, dude, I know I can call you back another day on that number. That's awesome. Right? So it's a follow up to your point. Take good notes and follow up.
Speaker 1 00:40:18 That's awesome. All right. This is the one I fundamentally hate. Probably actually even more than I'm not interested is just send me information.
Speaker 2 00:40:25 Right? Right. So the line that I used a lot with, uh, the STRs that sales gig that I thought worked pretty well for us actually was to level with the prospect, right? There's kind of two ways to look at you can right away say, well, what, what are you interested in? And what can I send ya? And then they might throw another one of these, like, ah, this is whatever your solution law. And then it's like, oh shoot, I'm getting rushed off the phone. This is boring. This is not going anywhere. The line that I like is to, it's kind of a, so your tone needs to drop your level with them. So Sam says to me, yeah, I don't know. It sounds interesting. Send me an email. Yeah. Sam, look, I totally get it. I can send you an email, but I don't know if you're like me.
Speaker 2 00:41:12 My inbox is overflowing. And if my inbox is overflowing you as the VP of customer success at Acme corporation, I can only imagine what a nightmare your inbox. And if you say it like that, I can only imagine what kind of a nightmare your inbox is. This person sitting there going, oh, I hate email she's. So would it make sense for me to send this email? They're going to be like, I, you know, yeah. I'll look at it. So what it's either going to do is they're going to say, no, I actually don't care. And we can get to the point where it's like, you are ready for this conversation in the first place by call you bet and call you in another day, or they're going to say, you're right. It's a terrible black hole and I don't enjoy it, but I'm going to make sure I see your email and that's going to that.
Speaker 2 00:42:03 It's a change, right? It's a little bit of a pattern interrupt. Think about how many people are calling them. Just vomiting value props. I would love to get you in on a demo, which like, I love the term. I would love to like, if all the sales people could erase that from their vocabulary, like how many sales emails at the bottom say, I would love to get 15 minutes of your time. And then the only answer to that is of course you would, right? Of course you would love that. That's not serving the prospect. That's not serving your buyer. That's serving you dude. So everyone listening, stop saying I would love to, or I would like to right. Replace that with it might make sense to do you think it's a good idea to have, think about what makes sense for the prospect of the buyer. But I would paint a picture in this person's mind that their inbox is a black hole nightmare and make it the worst thing in the world. And they'll be honest with you. They don't want that stupid email.
Speaker 1 00:43:03 Yeah. That's good, man. Yeah. I used to have a, an old colleague back in the day that he, his response would always be, and he wasn't lying though. I mean, he was not. And that made it a lot easier to say this because he truly wasn't like, if you go to our back in the day, you go to our closet, there was one sheeters on everything at the company I was at. And there was literally over 500 pieces of collateral we can set. And he would literally say, I'm happy to send you something, but we literally have over 500 pieces of collateral. I need you to help me guide. Like I would actually need to know a little bit more so I can actually send you the right information versus barraging you with just a bunch of garbage. Does it make sense to maybe sync up? Like he would use that to pivot and end. He was actually telling the truth and it actually worked. It didn't work all the time, but they were like, you know what? Okay, well, let's get five. And this was way back when let's get five, 10 minutes on the calendar. There are some things that maybe you are able to do that we need to have a conversation around, but he used that transparency to actually pivot from, uh, from the information component of things, which I thought was pretty sharp.
Speaker 2 00:44:05 Yeah. I mean, the problem is in my experience, at least might be a little different for other people. It's a brush off. So asking them specifically what they want to see, like the answer is they don't really want to see anything. They don't want to be on the phone right now. Right. And, you know, seeing the world from their perspective is important. I teach my guys like, look, when you're calling these people, they're thinking about whatever else. They're not thinking about what you're thinking about right now. So we have to be sensitive to that. And when they're trying to push us off, be honest with them, you know? So
Speaker 1 00:44:41 I think the good default there, Kevin, I'm what I'm hearing from you is it goes back to that, just be human, right? I mean, you've got to be secure enough at, Hey, worst case scenario. You can always follow up. Like, there's nothing that says you got one call with this person for the rest of your life. So make it count. Like if it doesn't go the right way, if he's just too busy or he's running somewhere, Hey, maybe you, you lose the battle, but you'll wage the war later on. So I think that's a good catch on your side. Okay. So this is another one of my favorite ones because it's pretty popular, at least in our space is I'm the wrong person to speak to, which is actually a legitimate reason if it's legit. Right? So walk me through your thought process and either deciphering, is this the truth or how do you tackle that one? Your opinion.
Speaker 2 00:45:29 Yeah. So one of the things you got to understand is how did they get onto your list in the first place? Right? If you're pretty confident, like if you hear that from like a, a CEO or something, you know what I mean? A lot of times that tends to happen where it's like, you call the VP or the higher level. And they say, I'm the wrong guy for that. It's because yeah, sure. They make that ultimate decision. But a lot of corporate structures they do and good leadership do trust other people to make those decisions. Right. So I've had some really unique experiences calling for clients in the last few months where I'm calling high up VP levels at big companies. And they're like, yeah know, it's like a regional director. You need to talk to you for that. I'm like, are you sure? And they're like, yeah, like they make that decision.
Speaker 2 00:46:17 I'm not really involved. Like I'm at the signature table, but I'm not involved in the evaluation. Therefore you don't want to start the conversation with them. I think one of the biggest mistakes that people make, especially entry level reps is they get so excited to hear the name like, oh yeah. Sam, if you're not the right person who is Bob Smith. Oh, okay, cool. Well, I'll give Bob a call, but thanks Sam bye. And they hang up, right? Strombolis if you ask people in that moment, right after Bob Smith. Okay, cool. Do you happen to have a number for Bob dude? I get it one in three times they will pull out their phone. They will find a number for Bob and they will give you Bob's number. And it always blows my mind. It's like, it's because they feel that the dynamic is flipped. Right? All of a sudden they are helping you. Right. And if you ask them right after they tell you that it's consistent with what their brain already did, which is this guy has a problem. The problem is he needs to speak with Bob. Right.
Speaker 1 00:47:20 Don, you know, on that note though, Kevin, there's two things. A, like we said, if you don't ask, you don't receive. Right. So it doesn't hurt to ask, can I give his number and be an old mentor of mine? You say, Hey, it's a natural chain of events. Right. I just given you someone's name, they expect you to ask for, Hey, well, how do I reach this guy? Like, it's a nap. It's not like so far fetched to like, Hey, what's his home address? Like, that's like, it's a natural response to, Hey, what's his email? What's his, what's his phone number? Like, that's a natural thing. I would expect you to ask me once I give you someone else's name. Yup.
Speaker 2 00:47:54 And then the other thing that always gets people to chuckle. And when I used to grade cold calls, by the way I set up a whole kind of grading system, it's pretty cool. I should show it to you sometime. Like we got 10 point structure for like volume, tone, energy and tempo. And then there's an X factor point that you could get in a cold call that very few reps ever got this X factor. The X factor is if you can get the person on the end of the line to laugh, if you can cold call a business decision maker, get them to laugh. They are going to eat out of the Palm of your hand. Right? All of a sudden you are no longer the stranger in the darkness. You're the stand-up comedian on the stage and they want to applaud. Right? So one of the things that I say when we get a referral is, Hey Sam, look, I totally understand.
Speaker 2 00:48:43 You're not the right guy. I'm going to reach out to Bob. Thanks for giving me the number. Now, do you mind if I tell him that Sam referred me or do you want this to be our little secret? And the, our little secret part people go, well, you know, it's not, you know, all of it's a secret. I don't know if I'm that important, you know? But then sometimes you find people that are like, you know, making questionable decisions. They're like, yeah, you really don't tell Bob that I gave you that, but good luck. And you're like, oh cool. It's our little secret. Cool. You know, so I dunno, I have so many of these nuggets because I've made a, you know, half a million cold calls or something like that. I spent an entire year as a connect and sell consultant making anywhere from five to $800 a day on connecting, sell just crushing meetings because I found out I was good at it. So I've been in every single scenario under the sun, which is cool.
Speaker 1 00:49:39 Well, you know, that's funny you bring it up because, you know, experience, there's something to be said for these, but like a lot of these things that you've just done it so often, it's just like, okay, the reaction time is so minimal because you've heard it probably 184 times and you have the immediate recall. So I'm going back to this 90 10. I know the stat keeps bubbling to the top, but let yourself off the cross for lack of better terminology. Like it's going to take time. You're going to have to learn these react like, but that's where all the training and that's where self-improvement, that's where listening back to these calls, that's where understanding your numbers. Are you improving? Are you not improving understanding the days and the times you're calling all those things that you probably do, like the back of your hand, like, but you've also got to give yourself some to get better and hear these things in real time. Is that fair to say Kevin,
Speaker 2 00:50:32 The percent, a hundred percent, you know, some of the really simple things that people could do to get better at cold calling is listen to your cold calls, make sure you're using software that records it. Basically every software records calls these days. So listen to your calls. When new reps would start at sales gig, when I was there, we had a whole library of calls with over 40 calls in it of the various dispositions, meaning, Hey, here's what it looks like when they take a meeting. Here's what it looks like. When they say they're not interested right away. So if you could do that, you're going to lower the barrier to success for anyone new coming in. And anytime you listened to calls, like always, always, always ask yourself, would I take the meeting? Right. I think we lose that. And to your very first point on this podcast, technology makes it so easy to send out a blurry barrage of garbage and just, you know, reread that email. Would you really respond to it? Listen to that call. Would you like to get that call the end of the day? I think people sold, like they want to be sold to, we would have a lot less of this LinkedIn shaming that we see where people, you know, put people on blast all the time. Cause they're doing terrible jobs. So,
Speaker 1 00:51:45 So we said there was going to be a bonus. So we're going to cover this one relatively quickly, but the bonus is, Hey, we already have a solution. We have a solution. We work with your competitors Lea like Oram and we work with connect and sell already. Like what's your advice around that? Objection.
Speaker 2 00:52:02 So with most objections like that, if they're going to go into what they're doing now, perfect Sam. That's the reason for my call. The reason for my calls, I know you have a solution to this problem today. And I didn't know if it might make sense for us to just to have a high level discussion about if this is working perfectly for you or how I can tell you the story of some folks that had used connecting cell in the past and got more value out of using Oram. Once again, high-level discussion. What are your thoughts? Right. There's a psychological thing behind telling them that their objection is the reason for the call. Oh no, I have a solution in place today. Oh no, I totally knew that. That's why I'm calling everyone that we call all our best customers had solutions in place today.
Speaker 2 00:52:50 I like that term, by the way, I've put that into a lot of sales scripts. All of our best customers had solutions in place today. And then building like a battlecard like system for your specific market is super important in that kind of scenario. Right? Get to know your market, get to know the players and get to know the things, the levers you can quickly pull because like the weakest lever that you can pull is to say, well, is it working well for you today? And then they'll say, you know, it is thanks, bye. Right? Like know specifically that your solution is more effective. That is, this is that or problems that, that the other people might have when I worked for Vonage telecom company, right? Like we had that outage map. So we would know exactly what problems these prospects were having because the competitors' service went out. So the next day you call and you say, Hey, I understand you use ring central understanding at an outage. You know, we have more uptime than them. Didn't know if it was worth exploring something like that. You know?
Speaker 1 00:53:54 That's cool, man. Yeah. That makes a lot of sense. So, so you just basically taken that objection and say, Hey, I understand you're using connect and sell. And that's actually the purpose of my phone call. I thought it might make some sense to have a high level conversation on what you're, you know, how that's working or whatever, whatever
Speaker 2 00:54:10 Different the emphasis needs to be on a problem they might have or a valuable outcome or a valuable outcome. They can't get to.
Speaker 1 00:54:22 Yep. Like you were talking about when you said aura, like the challenge would be, Hey, can, you know, is not being able to dial through a link tree. Is that, is that an issue for you? Like that would be something that could be a chink in the armor that would be like, you know what? That is a big bug, a bugaboo for us. Yeah. Maybe it does make some like, is that kinda what you're referring to Kevin?
Speaker 2 00:54:42 Yeah. Yeah. A hundred percent. Although let's not a poopoo Oram. I love the guys that are on.
Speaker 1 00:54:47 I mean, obviously I love Coca-Cola, I've just remember just trying to connect that.is, as you're talking through that, that, that's what you're looking for. Like, is there an outage, is there something that, that might be missing that you don't know, you actually want to actually have that we could potentially offer?
Speaker 2 00:55:04 I have a different example. There's a financial technology company that I consult with. And when I was asking them about, you know, what would this competitor, we were trying to build this competitive battle card scenario. Right. And I said, well for this competitor, like what is the big difference? And the guy's like, well, they do everything that we do. But then we do this extra thing. And I'm like, so if we bring up this extra thing, it's analytics tool. If you just talk about that, they don't have it today. And that's what I was talking about just now. And I said, it's either a problem or it's a valuable solution or valuable like a future state they don't even know is possible. Oh yeah. So you're using, you know, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah corporation. Does their analytics package really suit your needs? Oh, they don't have an analytics package.
Speaker 2 00:55:52 Ooh. Not necessarily problem for them. Maybe, maybe their business, isn't bleeding cash because of it. But it'll get them to lean forward. Right. And cold calling. Most of what we're trying to do is get someone to lean forward. That's all we need. You're not selling when you cold call, you're getting enough interest to spark the next step. The next step is a discussion where you don't have to be rushed. It's not out of the blue. You know what I mean? So that's another big mistake that people make is trying to sell on a cold call. Don't sell anything, just sell the next step.
Speaker 1 00:56:23 Yep. Hey Kevin, I know that we could probably spend another 48 hours probably times 80 talking about this subject. And maybe we're going to have a round two at some point, but how do people connect with you? How do they get to know more about you? I'm assuming LinkedIn, but by all means share with the audience how to connect with you.
Speaker 2 00:56:43 Yeah. I mean, absolutely. LinkedIn is the number one way to connect with me. I do consulting for a few different companies that I have my own consulting firm, whop consulting group working right now, a lot with, with forests to early stage outbound sales consulting. So forest.com, but LinkedIn is the number one way to do it. And I have this little thing on LinkedIn, where if you press the little voice icon that the play, the thing I tell people not to DM me. So when people DM me, I'm like, you obviously don't follow directions. Like my phone number is kind of everywhere. You know what I mean? Like I put it on it's on LinkedIn, it's on my website. Just call me. So some people have called me and it's, it's led to nice things. Right. And if you're out there and you're looking for a job or sales job, you're looking to get into this. I'm actually consulting with a few companies that are looking for salespeople right now. So please do reach out to me. I love connecting people. I'm not a recruiter. So people like to work with me when I refer people in. You'll skip a step. So that's a good little leg up for anybody out there.
Speaker 1 00:57:46 That's awesome, man. And yeah, we'll put all that in the show notes. So it's easy for people to connect with you, Kevin man. It was an absolute pleasure chatting with you tonight. A, a ton of information. I don't know what the audience got, but I got a ton, but taking copious notes over here. So I appreciate you taking the time.
Speaker 2 00:58:04 Absolutely. Sam, thanks for having me on. And uh, I really enjoyed it.
Speaker 0 00:58:09 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.
Kevin Hopp is an outbound sales fanatic that has made over 400,000 cold calls. Besides being a contract cold-caller, he has hired, coached, trained and managed over 25 SDRs. He currently is an early stage startup sales advisor at Vouris, where he leverages his 7 years of sales experience to help startups map out their GTM plan. Outside of work you might find him on a golf course, or walking his dog around San Diego with his wife and daughter.