Overcoming the psychological baggage of cold marketing phone work by Philip Hlohinec

Philip HlohinecWhat is Predictive dialing technology? NOT to be confused with voice broadcast technology, it’s technology that eliminates much of the baggage that gets in the way of phone work… adding to your productivity without compromising the development of personal relationships. Nothing can kill enthusiasm in a sales group faster than cold market recruiting. In fact, over the years I’ve come to learn that it is one of the only things that truly threaten success for all of us. It doesn’t matter whether you are a leader who’s already made it to the top of your organization, or a newbie just getting started, it’s one of the only things in our business that is constantly a thorn in our sides. Nobody enjoys the baggage that goes with cold market advertising, let alone cold market phone work. Would you like the good news before you start to get depressed just thinking about cold market phone work?

The days of putting a list in front of you, dialing a number and then seeing what happens from there, are over.

 NULL Life is about to change for all of us. The biggest challenges are now evaporating right before our very eyes. No more sitting down with a list, grabbing the phone and dialing a number to find your suspect. I’m sure you know the game well. You look at the name on the list, you wonder in your mind if this is going to be a “prospect” or as Kim Klaver, industry trainer, would say, “a pukey”. But instead you hear “this number has been disconnected – if you feel this number is a working number please hang up and try your call again”. You strike a line across the suspect’s name. You hang up, look at the list, and dial another number. A fax or modem tone blows you out of your seat. You hang up; put a strike through that name. You dial another number, it rings, someone answers, and you think this is a positive sign in your mind, you say “is John in?” They say “who’s calling? You say my name is …., and they say “what is this about?” You say I’m calling because I heard John was interested in starting a home based business, they interrupt you and say “I’ve had 17 calls in the last 3 days and I’m not interested anymore – take me off your list” You hang up and think your list sucks, that you’ve got to start getting expensive, better leads. You look at the list, dial another number. Busy signal, you look at the list again… you wonder why you should. Now to keep going you have to start talking yourself into it. You tell yourself positive things. You tell yourself that your “why” is more important than your “why not”. You remind yourself that you really should be listening to those inspirational CD’s you just bought three weeks ago that have been sitting on your desk. You look at the list again; you start to dial another number…

In playing the cold market phone game you will now deal with the “psychological bag” that goes with it.

You will also deal with the numbers game. You will dial on average 50 numbers per hour. You will get lots of disconnects, busy signals, network errors, wrong numbers, fax tones, voice mail, not interested, and you might get two to six prospects per hour if, your “why” is bigger than you’re “why not”, and if you’ve figured out that you should ask questions and listen. Trust me; whether you buy ten cent, fifty cent, dollar or ten dollar leads, this is the reality. Expect 2-6 possible prospects per hour because you can’t physically dial more than 50 numbers per hour. Once you reach this point, you will focus on turning 2-6 prospects per hour effort, into prospects for your business. The “psychological bag” is heavy enough, with these results this is really beginning to feel like work…and did we mention what this process is costing us in time and money on top of carrying this heavy bag? So why do we even need cold market advertising as a method for recruiting or finding customers if it always seems like such a grueling task? After all, for years our industry has been referred to as referral marketing. Most of us come to the conclusion sooner or later, that the winning formula in referral marketing is when a product or service is so strong that it moves quickly through a warm market.

When you have something strong to offer, you can keep it simple. Simple is what duplicates a large sales organization.

When people are excited, and believe in a product so strongly that they don’t hesitate to tell everyone they know, is when the real magic of referral marketing begins. The reason we need cold market advertising is because of fear. Fear keeps distributors from going into their warm market to start, or even worse, they have no warm market left to go to, so now they look towards marketing their business just like all the traditional non-referral businesses. This is the moment the whole process of referral marketing slows down. Sometimes it affects an organizations growth so much that it seems like it stopped moving completely. Then none of us are happy and it seems like the business is beginning to lose its magic. The leaders scramble to find systems or strategies, the newbie’s beat themselves up trying to use the systems and strategies. We all slow down on enthusiasm and even worse, when this happens, it begins to feel like real work. Most of us got into the business because it seemed like the smart thing to do, we were supposed to work less and earn more.

When it seems like work, we are carrying too much baggage.

I know, because I’ve been accused by my friends and family of working twice as hard as anyone they know… to get out of working. I was confident right from the start that this was the greatest business in the world, but I was always carrying too much psychological baggage that prevented the business from really being fun and productive. And it’s on production that we get paid. The reality is that even if you represent the strongest of products and services in our industry you will still have fear and baggage in your business when it comes to cold market advertising. If it’s not you, it’s the people in your organization. Even if you can find inspirational ways of dealing with fear, you have to carry two main pieces of baggage with you everywhere you go in your business. The bag you carry on your left side is leads, and the bag you carry on your right side is the psychological challenges associated with working those leads in the other bag. What if you could pitch your bags out the door of a moving train tomorrow? What if the train had already left the station and was already moving down the tracks about 60 miles per hour, and you could just open the doors and say goodbye to those two bags you have been carrying around. Would you pitch them out the door of the moving train? I did. If you would like a ticket for the train here’s what you need to consider. First let’s deal with the lead bag.

A lead is a lead. Whether you pick up a phone book or buy leads for $10 a piece, it’s a process of turning suspects into prospects.

The baggage is really not so heavy once you come to terms with this fact. No matter where you get your leads, you always have a 50/50 shot at turning a suspect into a prospect. It doesn’t really matter whether you get your leads for free, pay ten cents or ten dollars a piece, you always and only ever have a 50/50 shot in the first step of the process. I know you may have a problem seeing it this way, but coming from a person that sells leads from anywhere between a penny and twenty five dollars each, let me explain what I’ve come to realize after a few years in the lead business. People think that the more you pay for a lead the more it’s worth.

People actually think that there is a connection between better results and lead quality, and I’m here to tell everyone that although there may be truth to this when selling a product to a consumer, it matters little at turning suspects into prospects for distributorships in referral marketing.

I see and hear everyday
how one person takes a lead file and pounds the phone and gets little results, and another client takes the same lead file and gets results. I think it has a lot less to do with the product or service being offered. I think it matters even less that the business presentation or compensation plan is perfect, or whether your program cost one-hundred dollars or one thousand dollars. I know that people that focus on building relationships and understand that this is a people helping people business do well consistently in both warm and cold markets in our business. I know that distributors that don’t jump on a suspect, do all the talking and ask them to get out their credit card in the first ten minutes, have a better chance at turning suspects into prospects, than the ones that do.

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