An Interview with Brandon Drews, a Senior Sales Consultant
It’s a Numbers Game
Interviewer: How nervous were you for your first cold call?
Brandon: I was a little nervous, because I didn’t necessarily know exactly what we were selling. I had a basic idea. But, I think what helped was doing as many phone calls as possible and learning more about the company. That’s how I got pretty good at it.
I average over 100 cold calls a day. At first it’s awkward, but it helps to stick with a specific industry. I think the key to getting good at cold calling is to make a lot of phone calls. There’s that quote about 10,000 hours by Malcolm Gladwell. Great painters aren’t born great painters. No matter what, they have to paint a lot.
Getting Past the Gate Keeper
Interviewer: What is the biggest challenge of cold calling?
Brandon: A big part of cold calling is getting past the gatekeeper and getting the right person on the phone. If I’m getting the phone number straight off of Google, I don’t know the person I will be talking to.
If I worked with the industry enough I at least know what to sell them. Either way, I need to get information from the gatekeeper. The gatekeeper is generally a receptionist. I try to be nice to the gatekeeper. I befriend the gatekeeper and give a reason why I’m calling them, like that I was browsing their website and wanted to reach out.
I ask the gatekeeper questions that they wouldn’t be able to be answer and then you get transferred to another person.
My first goal is to get transferred to the right person. If they aren’t available, I try to set up a time. If not, then I just ask for an email address to send information. Very rarely does it end up that I get absolutely nothing.
Hang Ups Come with the Territory
Brandon: Sometimes I get hung up with right away.
Interviewer: Oh really?
Brandon: I just call back. And say that I got disconnected. And then they will either say that we did [get disconnected] or they will say no I hung up with you, and then you get another chance.
Interviewer: Have you been successful at all when you call them back?
Brandon: I have. I just need to be straight up and clear with what I want, because I only have like 8 seconds before they hang up again. At that point if they hang up, it’s okay to just move on and focus on the next call.
Staying Positive After Hang Ups
Interviewer: Do you feel bad after a series of people hang up on you? How do you handle that?
Brandon: If a series of people hang up from an industry, it’s usually something I’m doing, whether my tone is off or I’m just not in the greatest mood that day.
It’s not as much of what I say. It’s the feeling of what I’m saying. I try to stay busy and cheerful. I have a hacky sack that I throw up in the air, just to stay moving. Motion creates emotions.
If I’m in a bad mood, I’ll try to get out of it. I’ll go outside and walk around on my break. Try to stay in the moment instead of focusing on my future.
Switch Your Style
Interviewer: Do you find yourself changing the inflection of your voice with certain calls?
Brandon: Yeah, I think I naturally tend to mirror people. I’ve even noticed myself doing a very slight southern drawl when talking to certain clients. Or I’ll use similar words to what they’re using. A word I like right now is copasetic. It’s from the south. It means everything is in working order. Cold calling is fun because you can expand your vocabulary and learn more words when you’re talking to people from all over.
Interviewer: It makes your call unique.
Brandon: Yes, also to make them laugh. I sometimes will drop something random, just to make them laugh. Like today, someone says, “Oh it sounds like you’re really far away.” And I said, “Oh that must be because my headset is on backwards.” And they just started laughing. Befriending people is great. Even if it’s not necessarily the person you want to be talking to from the company on the phone, like the receptionist, it’s good to be nice to everyone.
It’s important to act like you don’t have to be calling. Don’t act like your success depends on whether the person you are calling says “yes” or “no”. People can tell when you’re freaking out. Just relax. It’s almost like you’re calling a friend. Act like you’ve already had a conversation with the person you’re cold calling.
The raddest thing about cold calling is that there isn’t a lot of pressure. With cold calls you can experiment. Cold calls are unlike leads, where the company pays for and the call means more.
Interviewer: Well it’s fortunate that ListGIANT is offering 500 free leads, so that you can get those opportunities without the pressure that you just mentioned. Thanks for your time, Brandon.
Brandon: Thank you.
500 Free Leads with ListGIANT
ListGIANT is offering 500 free sales leads to new customers. We have an easy to use 24/7 List Portal that allows you to download your lists with demographic and psychographic filtering options. Please give us a call at (805) 267-1575 for List Portal help, or schedule a walk through.