How To Cold Call Successfully In 2022

Josh Braun helps salespeople book more meetings and reduce the chance of getting ghosted without them having to sell their soul. In this episode of the Salesman Podcast, Josh Braun explains his simple step-by-step framework for successful cold calling and rejection minimization.

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Featured on this episode:

Host - Will Barron
Founder of Salesman.org
Guest - Josh Braun
Sales Training Expert

Resources:

Transcript

Will Barron:

Hi. My name is Will, and welcome to The Salesman Podcast. On today’s episode we’re looking at how to cold call effectively. Today’s guest is Josh Braun. Josh helps sales people book more meetings and reduce the chances of getting ghosted without you having to sell your soul. Josh has been on the show a bunch of times and there’s a total value that’s going to come at you in this episode, sales nation, and with that, Josh, welcome to the podcast.

 

Josh Braun:

Will, thanks for having me back. You are an energetic guy. I’m always pumped up at the beginning of that intro. I feel like I want to run a marathon, but I’ll sit here and we’ll do the podcast.

 

Will Barron:

So here’s a question for you to pull the curtain back for the audience. Am I substantially more animated doing that intro than in the 10 minutes we chatted before the show? Is there a dramatic difference between the real Will and podcast Will?

 

Josh Braun:

Podcast Will and the real Will are similar.

 

Will Barron:

Well there you go.

 

Josh Braun:

They are similar. They’re energetic, and positive, and you want more of them.

 

Is Cold Calling Still Effective in 2022? · [01:10] 

 

Will Barron:

I don’t know about that, especially not in this space. Maybe one Will per industry might be an appropriate number of us too before we just take over the planet. So with that, Josh, we’ll jump into cold calling, and I want to dive into process, what we should be doing, in a second, but let’s set up the topic here with somewhat of a cliché question that get gets asked every year, and we all know the answer to it because it’s going to be a short episode if the answer is no. But is there still opportunity for straight up cold calling in 2022 as we record this, or do we need to use social selling, and cadences, and emails, and meeting people, knocking on doors to set up a cold call? Can we have success just picking up the phone and cold calling people right now in 2022?

 

“If the person that you’re trying to get in front of has a phone number, then cold calling is a channel that can be effective for starting conversations with people. But can also be an ineffective channel depending on how you’re making a cold call. All channels can be effective or ineffective. Emails can be really effective or ineffective. A movie can be amazing, but it could also bore you to tears. So it’s never the medium really, it’s how you’re executing the medium, and if in fact that person can be contacted with that medium.” – Josh Braun · [01:40] 

 

Josh Braun:

So if the person that you’re trying to get in front of has a phone number, then cold calling is a channel that can be effective for starting conversations with people, but can also be an ineffective channel depending on how you’re making a cold call. All channels can be effective or ineffective. Emails can be really effective or ineffective. Movie can be amazing, but it could also bore you to tears. So it’s never the medium really, it’s how you’re executing the medium, and if in fact that person can be contacted with that medium. So if that person can be contacted and you are proficient or good, and we’re going to talk about that on this podcast, then the phone is a good tool that you have in your toolbox. Is it the only tool that you have in your toolbox? No. It is one of many tools that you have in your toolbox for stacking the odds in your favour for starting a conversation with someone that you want to get in front of.

 

The Effectiveness of Using Cold Calls as the First Line of Contact During a Cold Outreach · [01:30] 

 

Will Barron:

If we are pretty confident in our data and we’ve got a phone number, obviously ringing someone up can be the quickest way to go from A to B, ask a few questions, book that meeting, get it formally in the diary. So let’s say we’ve got great data. Is the phone the first thing that we should do, or are there other steps to this process for the average salesperson who’s consuming this in the average marketplace that they are selling into?

 

Josh Braun:

So if you’re good on the phone and you have good data, and you have one more tool, which we’re going to talk about in a second, I think the phone is a really good first tool to use. And the third missing piece to that I want to talk about briefly, let’s assume that you’re good and let’s assume the person can be reached and you have good data. The third piece is the problem with traditional cold calling is you make 50 dials even if you have good data, and even if you have direct dials. And maybe if you’re lucky, you talk to one or two people. You get phone trees, you get gatekeepers, the numbers are bad even if you have “good data,” some of them doesn’t pick up.

 

Josh Braun:

That problem has been solved in a couple of different ways. One of the ways that I use is I use a service and what this service does is they pre-call the leads before you do. And they determine people that are most likely to pick up the phone. What that means for you is instead of you having two to three conversations for every 50 dials, you have 10 to 12 conversations for every 50 dials without adding any new technology to your tech stack or outstanding any annual contracts. The benefit of that is you can get better faster. You can get data faster, you can have more conversations. You can do it without that, it’s just you’re not as efficient. It just takes you longer. You need more people to do the same job. So that’s the third piece of this is to have something in your stack, that’s stacks the odds in your favours for actually talking to people that you want to actually talk to, so you’re not sitting there dialling and not having conversations.

 

Will Barron:

So I want to get into what is good. How do we know if we’re good? There’s a lot of sales people listening who think that they’re probably killer on the phone, and they probably suck. So we’re getting into that in second. But just before you mention it, do you want to plug that software or because you purposely didn’t name it then, or do you want to not name it on the show?

 

Josh Braun:

Sure. It’s not software. So there’s a gentleman that I work with. His name is Ryan Reisert, and the name of his service is called Phone Ready Leads. And it’s a pay-per-use service. And again, he has a team of people that will pre-call the leads and increase your connect rates. So if you’re struggling with low connect rates and you have good data, he might be someone to look into to be able to get you more at bats.

 

Are You Good at Striking Conversations with Cold Prospects? · [05:10]

 

Will Barron:

Cool. Right. Well, let me start this episode over at salesman.org as well. Okay, Josh. So how do we know whether this is objective or subjectively? How do we know if we’re good on the phone? How do we know if this is something that we should be focusing on? How do we know if this is a skill that we should be leaning into? Because maybe is our competitive advantage in the marketplace?

 

“You can’t get good at anything that you haven’t been taught, and you can’t get good at anything that you haven’t deliberately practised.” – Josh Braun · [05:47] 

 

Josh Braun:

So, well, you’re good at doing these podcasts, but I would imagine when you first started doing the podcasts, you weren’t as good as you are now because everything that you’re good at now, you weren’t as good as when you first began something. If you’re a golfer, when you first started playing golf, you weren’t as good as you are if you’ve been playing golf for three or four years. So you can’t get good at anything that you haven’t been taught, and you can’t get good at anything that you haven’t deliberately practised. So this process, and good is something that you can learn and practise. So we’re going to talk a little bit about what good is on a cold call, but it’s not something that you’re born with, just like you’re not born being a good golfer, and it’s not something that’s ever finished. Just like you’re never finished being a good golfer.

 

Josh Braun:

It’s an ongoing progress of learning and getting better. I would imagine the same thing with you as a podcast host. I’ve noticed, and I’ve been following you for a long time, you’ve gotten better with each episode because you’re honing your skills. So for people that are listening, be patient and treat this just like learning any other skill. First, you have to know what good is. You have to be taught what good is, then you have to deliberately practise good and just be a little introspective. Observe how your calls are going, don’t judge yourself and just start to think, “Hey, what did I do on that call? What do I want to focus on? How’d that feel?” And you will get better each day if you just work on those things.

 

How to Know If You’re Good at Cold Calling · [06:50]

 

Will Barron:

How do we know if we are good? And I agree what you’re saying in that this is kaizen, this is continuous improvement. What worked in cold calling five years ago is not going to work now. Millennials are coming up in the marketplace. I’m 35, I’m in that age bracket, we are now starting to get a budget and perhaps we like to be approached differently than generations have come before us. So everything’s constantly fluxing the marketplace, your skillset, even your mood and attitude and stuff during the day. So with that all said, how do we know whether we should be leaning into this or not? Because I guess that both leaned into our own skills and the marketplace that we’re selling into as well.

 

“I don’t believe that everyone has to be good at everything, but if you have an appetite for getting good at the phone, I think it’s a million dollar skill. At least it’s been in my experience and the people that I’ve worked with. But if you don’t have an appetite for it at all, and you don’t think it’s a good channel, what I always say to people is, don’t do it.” – Josh Braun · [07:48] 

 

Josh Braun:

Yeah. I’m a big fan of playing to your strengths. So if you have people on your team that are really great at writing emails and they’re getting good response rates, they love that, double down, let them do emails. If you have someone to that’s good on the phone or has an appetite for being better on the phone or wants to learn how to improve being on the phone, let those people make the calls. So I don’t believe that everyone has to be good at everything, but if you have a appetite for getting good at the phone, I think it’s a million dollar skill. At least it’s been in my experience and the people that I’ve worked with. But if you don’t have an appetite for it at all, and you don’t think it’s a good channel, what I always say to people is, don’t do it.

 

“My job isn’t to change someone who doesn’t have an appetite for wanting to change, my job is to work with people who have an appetite for wanting to get better in a particular area.” – Josh Braun · [08:18]

 

Josh Braun:

I get emails all the time that say, “People don’t respond to voicemails and they never pick up the phone. Cold calling and voicemails suck, I would never use them.” And what I say is, don’t do those things, because my job isn’t to change someone who doesn’t have an appetite for wanting to change, my job is to work with people who have an appetite for wanting to get better in this particular area. And we can certainly talk about that on this podcast, what does good mean with regards to a cold call and get you on the path, but you have to have an appetite for it first. You don’t want to force people into something.

 

Josh Braun:

This is a big problem that I have when I’m training sales organisations, is oftentimes people are told you have to go to sales training. And a lot of people don’t want to be there and guess what? They’re not engaged, they’re not going to get anything out of it. So I think you have to have this mindset of, “Hey, I want to get better at this. I want to do this,” and then you can lean into it a little bit more.

 

The Best Cold Callers in Sales Have These Distinct Traits · [09:02] 

 

Will Barron:

So how do we know if we are good, Josh. Is this a, we make 50 dials, we get on so many calls and we book so many meetings. Is this a case of, we can use a cold call we know objectively or people in the organisation that we use cold calls to shorten our sales cycle by two months? Because we want to improve, and I want to give the audience a way to say, “Well, okay, I’m making progress.” How do we measure where we are, measure where we’re at? And then how do we know that we’re winning?

 

Josh Braun:

Yeah. So, we’ll talk a little bit about what a good cold call is in a second, but the way you’ll know when it’s really simple is how does it feel? So when you’re connecting with people and you have a conversation, how did that experience feel for you? You don’t have to judge yourself. You don’t have to score yourself. Those things might bum you out a little bit, but if you just are a little introspective and say, “Hey, that call felt a little wonky, what was it about it that felt wonky? It seems like I was talking a little faster than I normally talk.”

 

Josh Braun:

So that’s an observation. I’m going to assess the call. I’m not going to judge my call. I’m going to assess the call, and I’m going to say, “I was talking a little fast, maybe next time what I’m going to work on, I’m going to focus on slowing down my speech a little bit. What did I notice on this call? It looks like I was talking over the prospect. I’m going to slow my speech down and I’m going to pause for two seconds after the prospect’s done talking, and I’m going to work on that a little bit.” That’s going to get you much further in terms of progress in getting better than beating yourself up, telling yourself all the things you did wrong, and that you suck. You don’t suck, you just haven’t been patient enough and practised. So shift from judging to assessing and observing.

 

Josh Braun:

And I have found for myself and for the people that I coach, when you have that mentality of just observing and being thoughtful about what you’re observing and assessing, you get better because you start to hone in on things. And if you’re a coach, you might say, “What do you think about slowing down your speech a little bit?” “What do you think about maybe pausing for a couple seconds when someone’s done talking?” And then just focus on one thing at a time, just like you would golfing or playing tennis, or the piano, you will get better just by doing that.

 

Assessing the Effectiveness of Your Cold Calls and Filling in the Gaps · [11:13] 

 

Will Barron:

Sure. So is this a first strategy then? I’m making this up the top of my head, but it seems like it could be appropriate, what you’re saying here, Josh. We have a piece of paper next to us as we run through our calls, we don’t need to show this to anyone. This is our document. Perhaps we write down one thing that went well, one thing that we want to improve on, and then we can see if we are becoming good, if we can eventually see if we are good then perhaps there’s a lot more positives than there are negatives on the page. That might be comparing week one to week 27. Is that a fair way to go in about measuring our success, our journey to success, and also whether we are good or not. Is that a fair way to go about doing this?

 

Josh Braun:

Yeah. And I wouldn’t even focus on the negative. So, well, let me ask you a question. I don’t know. Do you play golf?

 

Will Barron:

No.

 

Josh Braun:

Okay. What do you think the first question is that someone asks someone when they come off the golf course?

 

Will Barron:

Your score.

 

Josh Braun:

What’s your score, right? That’s the first thing a lot of times people will ask a sales rep too, “What’s your score?” How many meetings did you book? A better question is what did you learn? Because when you talk about what do you learn, you’re going to get better. You’re going to say, “Well, I learned that stroke didn’t feel so good. I got a little stiff here. I’m going to need to work on my hips a little bit.” So I wouldn’t even focus on anything you really did “wrong” because it’s going to get you into this negative space, perhaps. I would focus on just observing and assessing, what did you observe? How did it make you feel? And what do you want to focus on to make you feel a little bit better. And just pick one thing and you will just get better.

 

Josh Braun:

The meetings are a byproduct of just getting a little bit better. You don’t finish a marathon, you train deliberately for four or five months, and the marathon finishing is a byproduct of the training. And if you just don’t beat yourself up and focus on the negatives, which takes away from that, and you just focus on assessing and observing, you will get better. And you’ll also feel tremendously better as well about yourself.

 

How to Get Better at Anything · [13:13] 

 

Will Barron:

So I’ve never run marathon, I know you do triathlons in that, Josh. I’ve done a bunch of half marathons. Surely though, to use this analogy, you still set a goal of, well, I’m going to run so many miles this week, or I’m going to lead up to the event and then pull back for the few runs beforehand. So we still need to know what good is, what success is and still move towards the target, right? I just want to counteract your point here of, you don’t run 10 feet and then have slightly sore toes, and then sit and ponder about your toes and not initial run, do you?

 

Josh Braun:

No, I think, in that analogy you might go for a run and maybe you were able to only run 15 or 20 steps and you might say to yourself, “Well, how did that run feel? That really hurt. That really sucked.” And then I might say, “Well, what else might be true? The run did suck,” you only ran 10 feet, and it did hurt, but what else might be true is you just started running. And anytime you start running in the beginning, it’s going to hurt a little bit, right? And so hurting when you run is a natural part of getting better. So on a cold call, it might be the same thing. Well, that really went dicey. I spoke to three people, and all of those calls were negative. They didn’t really go anywhere.

 

Josh Braun:

Lots of fact they were negative. But another way to look at it is they were negative, but you also just started cold calling, and you’ve only had 15 connects in your whole life. And anytime you pick up a guitar and start playing, it’s going to hurt your fingers. And that little shift, it might seem very insignificant, but it changes the wiring in the brain and motivates you to want to learn more rather than focusing on the suck. And so what I’m suggesting here is that there’s always multiple lenses to view these things from. There’s the, “Oh my God, my toes hurt lens,” but there’s also the lens of, “I just started running,” and my toes are going to hurt a little bit because I haven’t run before.

 

Josh Braun:

This movie was terrible about these cheerleaders. It was so thin and uninteresting. However, if I asked someone who was a cheerleader about that same movie, they might say, I found it fascinating because I used to be a cheerleader. You’re in a car driving, and you flip off the person that cut you off. That person’s such a jerk. The other lens is, “Well, maybe that person’s in a rush to the hospital, I hope they’re okay.” And I think in sales we have a tendency to only look at it through that one lens and we beat ourselves up instead of building ourselves up.

 

Will Barron:

Sure. I guess there’s different ways to look at it. I know myself when I’ve got to do these kind of things and when I’m learning new skills, I don’t respond to what you’re describing, Josh. I respond to the stick of, “Hey, just get 50 calls done. It’s going to suck, it’s fine. After 50, it’s going to suck less, and then you just keep going.” And the discipline for me is the thing that gets me through this. And then judging what’s good, what’s bad, and documenting that result. Then I ended up with a feedback loop of well, the first 25 sucked, then there was one that was great. Then 10 sucked, then there was one that was great. Then it is five sucked, and there’s one that’s great. So with that said, we’ve quite a lot the emotional side of this now. Hopefully the audience can pick an angle on this, of how they’re going to get through the suck, so whether it’s discipline, whether it is being introspective and documenting either mentally or on the page what they have improved upon and they can build that feedback loop for themselves.

 

The Step by Step Framework for Successful Cold Calling · [16:38] 

 

Will Barron:

Is there a step by step framework? Is there a step by step process of what you should be saying on a cold call? Because I feel like if there is, then we can nail that, a lot of this other stuff just disappears because most people can sit down and say, “Right, I can make five of these calls right now.” Then obviously you make five and you can carry on for the rest of the morning, if that’s what you choose. I think the hardest bit of a lot of this is that initial momentum and making that first call of the day. And obviously this has helped with structure. So do you have a structure that you teach, Josh? Is there a way to go about this that you can share with the audience?

 

Josh Braun:

Yeah, let’s actually start it with step number one and step number one is often missed because people want the script, but there’s a really important step one, which is, you have to stand for something. Let me just tell you a quick story. Well, you might know about this product P90X. Does that ring a bell, or am I ageing myself. Do you remember that product?

 

Will Barron:

I’ve never used it, but yeah, I only do training with barbells, but I understand the product, a training from home high intensity training, right?

 

Josh Braun:

Yeah. I don’t know if you know this, but when they first started marketing that product, they did about 15 versions of that commercial, and they bombed, they couldn’t sell any P90X DVDs. And then Tony Horton, who’s the guy who’s in the video, and the creator had this brilliant idea. And this was his idea. And you can see this on YouTube if you Google it. It’s a 35, 45, second black and white thing. And he said, “The problem with traditional work outs is that you do the same thing over and over again. You lift the same weight’s the same way and your muscles plateau. They don’t get any bigger. In fact, they get smaller and you don’t make any progress. What you need is muscle confusion.” Now that’s a word he made up. “And when you confuse your muscles, when you lift heavy weights one day and light weights the other day, and you do this exercise this way and this exercise that way, you confuse your muscles and then they grow.”

 

“When cold calling, you have to know something that your prospects don’t know that can hurt them.” – Josh Braun · [18:45] 

 

Josh Braun:

What he’s doing here, is he’s having a point of view. He’s standing for something. The reason I’m bringing this up is that everybody that you call, no matter what you sell is working out today somehow. They have weights and they’re working out a certain way. You have to know something that they don’t know that can hurt them. So what is it that you know that they don’t know? So if they kept working out today the same exact way, what would happen? I’ll tell you another story that illustrates this point, because it’s so important.

 

Josh Braun:

Several years ago, I was in the mall with my wife and I did not need anything. I was keeping her company. We were going to grab dinner afterwards. I walked into a Fit2Run store for no reason. So if the store associate said, “We got these new sneakers,” I’m going to be like, “Not interested, got new sneakers.” If she said, “Can I help you?” I’m going to say, “Not interested, bad sneakers.” But she didn’t do any of those things. She looked down at my sneakers. She said, “Are you a runner?” I said, “Yes.” She said, “What distance?” I said, “I’m training for my first marathon.”

 

Josh Braun:

And she said, “Have you ever had a running gate test?” And I said, “What’s that?” And moments later, I’m on a treadmill in the Fit2Run store. She freezes the frame, zooms in on my ankles and says, “Look, your ankles are over pronating.” I’m like, “Yes, so what?” She said, “If you’re running in sneakers that are not made for pronated feet, you can get injured on long distance runs and get sidelined, get shins splints and runners knee. If you would like, I could look at your sneakers to see if they’re made for pronated feet.” And about seven minutes later, I’m buying new sneakers and insoles because she had a point of view. She’s standing for something. So step number one, and this is where a lot of sales people just say, “Well, I got better sneakers,” is what is it that you know that your prospect doesn’t know. That’s step one.

 

How to Overcome the Zone of Resistance When Cold Calling Prospects · [20:10] 

 

Will Barron:

So let’s stop there for a second. If you got an example of this, Josh, I’m assuming with your social media presence, you don’t do a lot of outbound calls. I’m sure all your training is inbound, right? Same with us. A lot of what we do is inbound. If you were to do an outbound cold call though to a VP of sales, a potential training client, what would you stand for? What would be an example of how you’d implement this?

 

Josh Braun:

So, I love how to start this exercise with the problem with. So again, and I’m [inaudible 00:20:43] this to our sales trainer. But Steve Jobs 2007, iconic iPhone speech. If you haven’t seen that, you must watch. One of his iconic lines was, “the problem with smartphones is,” and it wasn’t just one smartphone. He had them all listed on the screen. At the time the Nokia, the Palm, the Trail, the Motorola, all that stuff. He goes, “The problem with smartphones is they’re not that smart. It’s these keys that are fixed in plastic. Well, every application wants a different set of keys, so it just doesn’t work. Interesting, it worked like five minutes ago.” That’s the point of view. That’s the perspective. So for me, I would say something like this, “The problem with traditional cold calling is that prospects are in the zone of resistance when they hear sales pressure.” You start to pitch your product and they pull away.

 

Josh Braun:

It’s the same reason when you’re in the mall and someone says from a kiosk, “Can I ask you a question,” you turn around and walk. You’re afraid of the pitch. Prospects feel that way all the time. So what you need is an approach that ditches the pitch. Now what you’re hearing when I do this Will, is people nodding their heads. Going, “Yeah, I’ve been in the mall.” “Yeah, I see that ditch the pitch,” and the brain naturally goes to, “What do you have?” What’s the answer to that. We’re going to get on that in this podcast, but that’s how I position when I do outbound, that’s the story that I have in my head. I don’t do a cold call like that, but in my head I’m like, “That’s the Tony Horton version of what I do.”

 

Josh Braun:

It’s this idea that traditional cold calling is all about the pitch, and the value proposition and overcoming objections. And yet when you do that, people go into what I call the zone of resistance. It’s a natural reflex reaction to sales pressure. It’s why you tell someone in a department store you’re just looking and literally buying something five minutes later. You don’t want the pressure. And so people will say to me, “Well, what do you do?” And now we’re into the next part that we’re going to be talking about.

 

Will Barron:

Perfect. Okay. So that is written down, it’s on a plaque, it’s on our desk in front of us and it’s a constant reminder, I guess, for us at salesman.org, we make selling simple. Selling’s over complicated, it’s complicated with tools, with processes, with people, with ideas, with management, who haven’t sold anything in 30 years trying to teach you how to one system or another. So we make selling simple. So I’ve got it on a post-it note. There we go, Josh. I’ve got it on a post-it note. It’s stuck on my laptop to remind me. That’s step one, what’s step two?

 

Why Cold Calling is More Like an Infomercial · [23:00] 

 

Josh Braun:

So like what you said there, and I want to be very clear, this is like an infomercial. If you’re saying to yourself it’s simple, that’s too generic. I can’t see that infomercial in my head. So this exercise I called infomercial, you should be able to see the black and white version of the infomercial. So right now, today, when people get sales training, they’re using seven different mechanisms. And let me show you the problem with these seven different mechanisms. They’re from the ’80s, and therefore buyers react this way. The problem with traditional knives is they go doll, and when you slice a tomato, look what happens, spurt all over your white shirt. What you need is this Ginsu thing. So I want to stress that this is an exercise that you gloss over. Most people that I talk to can’t pass the infomercial test. And the litmus test is, can I actually see it?

 

Josh Braun:

I can’t see simple. It’s not crispy. I know you have this positioning. Perfect, Will. We can delve into this. But can you actually see it? Can you observe it? Can you see the movie in your head? Don’t do product training, do problem training, get a really good understanding of what’s sucked in your prospect’s life before they switched, and feel that. And it’s a feeling, like, “Oh my God, that tomato, it’s splatted all over that white shirt. That’s awful. What do we have?” Well, we got this thing called a Ginsu knife. “What is that?” It cuts cans and tomatoes perfectly forever without having to be sharpened. “That’s awesome.” Sure. So I just wanted to punctuate that before we go to the next step.

 

Will Barron:

Well, look, let’s spend 30 seconds on this. You can help us refine it. So maybe it’s not visual. But when I share that with people, you use the word feeling, this feeling kit. Most sales people that I speak to, and obviously not everyone’s a fit for our product and training, but most sales people I speak to, most sales leadership, they are overwhelmed with the training in the marketplace. They’re overwhelmed with the sales stack, they’re being bombarded by… At this point now, they weren’t a few years ago, but billion dollar companies with big advertising budgets. And yet they’re tuning into this like pleb podcast, right? We get 700,000 downloads a month and people are tuning to this way more than any podcast from every sales technology company or any sales training company.

 

Will Barron:

So people have that rapport with me when I speak to them, typically before I pick up the phone. So when I say we make selling simple, we use training frameworks to take all the pain out and add process to your sales team’s delivery, that’s what I pitch. How would you humbly help me refine that?

 

Cold Calling 101: Always Start with a Problem · [25:25]  

 

Josh Braun:

So I love that, because you started with the problem, right? If you notice, if you’re listening to this, and of course you’re listening to this, if you’re listening to this, that Will started with a black and white version. They’re overwhelmed by all these… Imagine the kitchen analogy. They’re using 10 or 15 of these tools to grow with. You got a spatula, you got a fork, you got a scrapper, you got all this stuff. It’s a lot to handle, you got to go keep running back and forth to get the right tool. You got to clean seven tools and everyone’s going to be nodding their head. I call it the head nod. Just like what Will did. Yeah. And then brain is naturally going to go, “Well, what do you have?” “Well, we got this tool. It’s an all in one tool. It’s seven barbecue tools in one. So you only have one to clean, and it’s right there, handy for you whenever you want to grill.”

 

Josh Braun:

That’s essentially what Will is saying here, to use a grill analogy is that he has instead of using nine or 10 things and having these things be confusing and having a bunch of stuff that doesn’t talk to each other, you’ve got one thing and it’s really easy to use and simple to clean. It’s the contrast that Will did, but most people have a time with this because they’ve been focused on the after version. But just like P90X, if they just showed the person with the six pack abs, that doesn’t really hit you unless you see the before version when they’re about 40 or 50 pounds heavier. So I thought you did that really well, Will.

 

Crucial Assumptions You Should Never Make in Sales · [26:52] 

 

Will Barron:

Thank you. I appreciate that. Okay. So if that’s step one. I’m conscious of time, Josh, so we might have to rattle through some of these. Give us step two.

 

“When you assume that everyone’s a fit for what you have, what ends up happening is people go into the zone of resistance because you’re going to try to be talking people into things, and pitching everyone, and thinking that you’re a fit for everyone. So instead, shift away from that and discover if the person has a problem that you could potentially help with, rather than assuming.” – Josh Braun · [27:12] 

 

Josh Braun:

Okay. Step two will be really brief. Of course you think that the person you’re calling can benefit from the thing that you have, that they have a problem, that their training and they’re plateaued, but you don’t know until you talk to them. So step two is letting go of assumptions, and detach them from the outcome. Because when you assume that everyone’s a fit for what you have, what ends up happening is people go into the zone of resistance, because you’re going to try to be talking people into things, and pitching everyone, and thinking that you’re a fit for everyone. So instead shift away from that and discover if the person has a problem that you could potentially help with, rather than assuming.

 

Josh Braun:

The mantra here is, I’m for some people, but I’m not for everyone. That intent is going to change what you say, because your thoughts, what you think going into the call, changes what comes out of your mouth. So step two is detaching from the outcome and letting go of the assumptions and testing to see if the person has a problem, rather than assuming they have a problem. And now we’ll get into the actual framework. But those two things are really strong foundational elements.

 

Will Barron:

Sure. So, this is prior to picking up the phone, we are focusing on these two things, right?

 

Josh Braun:

Yes.

 

Why Role Play is Such a Crucial Aspect of Improving Your Cold Calling Outcomes · [28:13]

 

Will Barron:

Cool. Okay. So we are in the right mindset, are there to diagnose potentially a problem, and then book a meeting. We’re conscious of that, Josh. What do we do when we pick up the phone and it starts ringing and our heart starts going, “Oh, crap. I should just do something now. I thought I’ve done some work, but now I’m actually going to do the work.”

 

Josh Braun:

Let’s go through a real cold call. Let’s role play it. I’m going to just put myself on the spot here. And I’m going to make a cold call to Will. And were going [crosstalk 00:28:30]-

 

Will Barron:

Sure. I’ll be a small business owner, right?

 

Josh Braun:

Yeah. No, you be you. And we’re going to go through this, and we haven’t rehearsed this, so this will be a good process. And we’re going to go in and out of role play, and I’m going to dissect what’s going on. So just to set this up, we mentioned at the beginning of the call, that when we start to pitch at the beginning of a call, it feels like those mall kiosk people. So what you’re going to hear is no pitch. You’re going to hear me being a little interested in how will is getting a particular job done today to see if there might be an opening, and we’re going to save the pitch if they’re even is one for the end. So we’re going to walk you through four steps. And the first step you probably heard of bazillion times before, but I’m a big believer in it is we want to get Will’s permission to talk.

 

Josh Braun:

Now, why is that? Really briefly, if I told Will I would pick him up at 5:00 for dinner and I didn’t show up until six, I would feel bad because I’m incongruent. My actions are incongruent with my words. So when someone says, “Sure, I have a second,” they’re more likely to hear us out for part two. You could think of this as four little levels of a video game, and we’re going to be asking for permission to get to level two. So Will picks up the phone, and in a very calm voice, I might say something like this. And there’s a lot of ways to do this. “Hey, Will. My name is Josh. We’ve never spoken before. You have no idea who I am; complete stranger here, but I was hoping you could help me out for a moment. Do you have two minutes?

 

Will Barron:

Sure. What’s up my friend. What’s up Josh?

 

Josh Braun:

Okay. So what did I do here? So I’m using a time commitment, so Will knows this isn’t going to be an hour. I’m asking for help because people are wired to help, and I’m using a tonality that’s not, “Hey, Will, this is Josh, can you help me out for a moment?” Kind of calm, because when you’re calm, you’re more inviting. So, that’s going to be level one. And then people are going to say, “Sure,” about 70 or 80% of the time. And then what I’m going to do is this I’m going to see if Will, is even the right person that I need to be speaking with. Because even though you’ve done a bunch of research, this person might not even work at the company anymore, they might not go there anymore. So in a very humble way, I’m going to say this, “Will, are you still the person that’s involved with getting sponsors for your podcasts? Or is that someone else since you’ve gotten so big?”

 

Will Barron:

That is me, Josh. For the purpose of this role play it’s me, but do not email me about sponsorships anyone who’s listened to this episode. But yes, Josh that’s me. I deal with that.

 

Josh Braun:

Okay. So that’s step two is, am I talking to the right person? And notice the phraseology? “It seems like it,” it looks like. That implies that I’ve done a little research. Now, one of two things is going to happen there. You’re either going to get the response that Will gave you, which is, “Yeah, that’s me,” or “I’m retired.” And don’t you want to know that at the beginning of the call rather than going through your pitch? Or “I don’t do that at all. That’s not me.” In which case we could talk about another path if we have some time, but we’ll go through the happy path first. You can see the big picture here. So Will’s just going to say, “Yeah, that’s me.”

 

Josh Braun:

I’m going to go to step three now. And step three is what’s called… So step one, permission. Step two, person, is it the right person? And then step three is what I call poke and peel. I’m going to be poking around a little bit to see how Will’s getting the job today done, and I’m going to peel the onion a little bit. I might say something like this. “So Will, how are you currently going about getting sponsors today? Are you like reaching out via cold email? Are people mostly coming to you, or is it a combination of both?”

 

Will Barron:

It’s typically inbound leads, Josh.

 

Josh Braun:

Inbound leads, just inbound, or are you doing any outbound as well, or it’s all just inbound?

 

Will Barron:

It is all inbound, but I would love to have the time or the help to do some outbound stuff as well. Josh, I feel like we’re not at full capacity, and we need a little bit of some secret source here, mate.

 

Josh Braun:

I’m sorry. Not at full capacity?

 

Will Barron:

Correct.

 

Josh Braun:

It seems like I’m missing something here. When you say not at full capacity.

 

Will Barron:

We have ad available.

 

Josh Braun:

Okay. So look what I’m doing here. So the poking was, I’m asking a little bit about how he’s doing the job done today. And the peeling was notice I use a mirror, and I know you and I are big Chris Foss fans. “I’m sorry, not at full capacity?” So I’m poking around a little bit. And now I’m going to shift to asking the question that’s going to get Will to think a little bit differently. And that might sound like this. “Well, I know you’ve been doing this for a while. I’m sure you’ve batted this around, but have you considered using a company in addition to what you’re doing now, to be able to find high value sponsors to fill that ad space without you having to actually spend any overtime doing it? I’m sure you’ve gone down that road before.”

 

Will Barron:

I have considered it, but not gone down that road before, Josh. We’re just so busy, mate.

 

Josh Braun:

Okay. So pause here. The question is, “Have you considered,” right? “I’m sure you’ve thought of this before,” this is for captivated IQ. “I’m sure you’ve thought of this before. Have you considered automating your commission payouts? I’m sure you’ve batted this around a little bit.” I’m saying the phrase, “have you thought about this?” “I’m sure you have thought about this” to not hurt Will’s ego, and then I’m asking a question that’s going to get the prospect to think a little differently about how they’re currently getting the job done today. So, “But Josh, have you considered incorporating a Kinstretch into your triathlon training?” “What’s Kinstretch?” It’s a approach that’s used to make sure you don’t get injured. It’s complimentary.

 

Why You Should Never Hurt a Prospect’s Ego · [34:07]

 

Josh Braun:

I always want to compliment what Will is doing. Notice I’m not asking Will to rip and replace anything. I’m saying we can compliment this. “Have you considered this.” And notice he’s leaning into this. At some point in the call, what ends up happening oftentimes is Will says, “Well, I’m sorry, what do you do? What’s your deal?” And then he’s asking me the question. If he doesn’t, I might say, “No, it sounds like this might be a fit. Will, I know I’m calling out of the blue here,” step four, going to pop the question, “Would you be open to investing,” not spending, but investing, “15 minutes later this week so I can share a few ideas with you about how you can generate these sponsors, but without you having to actually lift a finger?” What I’m doing is, I’m proactively to Will [crosstalk 00:34:48].

 

Will Barron:

That sounds incredible, Josh. We’re in. I’m all in. Sold. Send me the contract, mate.

 

Josh Braun:

We wish all the calls were that easy. But what I’m doing is I’m proactively addressing your objection. We only work for people that are doing inbound, and without you having to lift the finger, right? We’re only talking to people that have accountants already. So someone wouldn’t be able to say, “Well, we have an accountant for that.” We’re talking to people that have accountants about an approach to obtain employee retention credits that typical accountants miss. I have no idea if that’s the case for you, but is that something you’ve considered working with a specialty accounting that only specialises in ERC credits? Well, how does that work?

 

Josh Braun:

“I know I’m calling out of the blue here,” “would it make sense to invest 15 minutes, maybe Thursday or Friday, so you can see what your options are.” Look at the phraseology. So you can review what your options are. It’s not assumptive, so it’s going to lower the zone of resistance. The words really matter here. I know we’re going through it quick, but each word is very deliberate so as not to create any pressure on will. I am always listening for sales pressure, and I’m going to defuse it at every chance I get, and I’m going to try to prevent it from happening by being very selective with my words.

 

Rejection is at the Core of Cold Calling. Get Used to It · [36:34] 

 

Will Barron:

Josh, I did a full share about this the other day, so we don’t need to go too deep into it. But if we communicate the way you just communicated, and clearly with your background in teaching sales, training VP of sale, you are perhaps 20 years ahead of some of the audience here. So we have to burst some of that in mind, right? And I know you’ve got trading products, which we’ll touch on in a second where the audience can learn some of this perhaps, but say we get 80, 90% of Josh Braun’s skillset here. Should cold calling be a nice, simple, and almost enjoyable activity for salespeople to do when they’re confident in what they’re saying, when they are unconsciously competent in the wording, so the brain isn’t going a million miles an hour trying to source things out in real time. Should cold calling be something that maybe you don’t look forward to it, but that you do when you end up on having a nice few conversations over the course of 20, 30, 40 dials, you end up potentially really sparking a few conversations and helping people?

 

“The trouble salespeople get into is when they attach their self worth to the outcome. No one’s rejecting you as a person, they’re just rejecting what you’re saying.” – Josh Braun · [37:44] 

 

Josh Braun:

Yeah, it’s a tremendous amount. It’s a great question. And when you say enjoyable, I enjoy going to the beach, I enjoy biking. It is work, and there is going to be a lot of resistance, because of the nature of the dynamic. The prospect knows that a salesperson has a vested interest. That’s the whole problem what I’m suggesting with this approach is that we’re trying to lower that zone of resistance. And when we do that well, and we have the right intent where we’re okay either way, of course we care about the prospect, but we’re indifferent to the outcome. The trouble salespeople get into is when they attach their self worth to the outcome. No, one’s rejecting you as a person, they’re just rejecting what you’re saying. And so when you do that, it’s almost like I feel like I’m on a golf course, and I’m calm and I’m swinging the club, and I’m going to the next hole. And there’s a bunch of holes.

 

Josh Braun:

The way I view cold calling is like you’re walking down a street with a bunch of brown stones, and there’s a door up there, and there’s four steps, and there’s prospects standing in front of the steps, and there’s unlimited steps, unlimited brown stones. And I’m going to approach people, strike up a conversation with them and see if they want to invite me up the steps. And if they don’t, that’s okay because back to the mindset, I’m for some people, but I’m not for everyone. And I’ll be really calm, and I have ways to diffuse sales pressure. I’m just going to keep going to the next brownstone.

 

“You don’t control how people respond to you, you only control what you say. And when you let go of things you don’t control, it changes the game, not just in sales, but in your life as well.” – Josh Braun · [38:40] 

 

Josh Braun:

So it’s not so much it’s enjoyable, but it’s peaceful and calming and you’re not going to get anxious. And you’re not going to have this debilitating feeling of rejection when you adopt this mindset because there’s nothing to be rejected about. You don’t control how people respond to you, you only control what you say. And when you let go of things you don’t control, it changes the game, not just in sales, but in your life as well.

 

Parting Thoughts · [38:50]

 

Will Barron:

Amazing stuff. I’ll wrap up with that, mate. For people who want to know more, because we’ve only obviously briefly scratched the surface of this in today’s episode of Sales Broadcast, tell us where we can find more about you and then any training that you offer as well that is relevant to the audience on the back of this conversation.

 

Josh Braun:

Yeah. So I’ve got a joshbraun.com/shop. You can find my stuff or joshbraun.com/learn, you can read about a lot of content or on LinkedIn.

 

Will Barron:

Amazing. I was too slow on the button then to go back to the two boxes. I thought there was going to be a longer pitch phrase. Succinct, very like you, Josh. I appreciate that, mate. I appreciate you, appreciate your insights, and I want to thank you again for joining us on The Salesman Podcast,

 

Josh Braun:

Ditch the pitch. Well, ditch the pitch. Always a pleasure. 

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