Using the phone for sales is dead.
Or is it?
Pre-COVID 19, social media was chock full of “sales gurus” claiming outbound sales using the phone was a thing of the past. The virus-induced lockdown, however, has business owners re-discovering how to effectively dial.
Art Sobczak literally wrote the book on how to sell effectively utilizing the phone. His book, Smart Calling™- How to Take the Fear, Failure, and Rejection Out of Cold Calling, hit number one in Amazon’s Sales and Marketing category on its very first day of release, and was named Top Sales Book of 2010 by Top Sales Awards.
Sobczak joined Freedom Media Network founder Curt Mercadante for a recent interview to mark the book’s third edition, which was released this spring.
What’s the difference between smart calling and cold calling?
“Cold calling I define as a salesperson who is just randomly calling names on a list, people that he or she doesn't know, calling people who do not know him or her,” Sobczak explained. “Everybody is getting the same pitch and he or she doesn't know anything about the people that they're calling.”
He said that, in this instance, the salesperson is simply playing the “numbers game” and talking about his or her product or service, “which may or may not even be relevant to the person that they're calling because they haven't done any research.”
“The opposite of that is smart calling,” said Sobczak, “which is knowing something about my audience, having done my research in advance. First of all having targeted my audience, knowing something about them as a group in general and what would make my offer potentially of value to them, so having that down first even before I start calling.”
He said that pre-call research entails knowing basic details about the person or their organization, perhaps some situation or “trigger events” that they’re experiencing.
“Then I'm going to take that and plug it into my smart calling process, which is the messaging, which means that in my voicemails, (LinkedIn) InMails, emails and my opening statement when I get the decision maker on live I've got something that is tailored to you personally.”
He added, “It's customized to you and it sounds like the first time I've ever said it. It's not talking about my product. It's talking about some type of potential result that you may have interest in, because all I'm really trying to do at the beginning is to make you curious, lean in and want to hear more so that we can engage in a conversation.”
Does Sobczak see some salespeople and business owners prefer cold-calling to avoid the extra work inherent in the smart calling process?
“I think that's the difference between sales professionals and sales tinkerers or hobbyists,” he said. “The hobbyists are looking for the easy button. They don't look at this as a profession with a process and something that really requires that we put in the work in order to reach the levels of the highest performers.
“It's no different than any other profession, especially... I always compare it to athletes and artistic performers, because we are performers in a sense as well.”
Watch Sobczak’s full conversation with Mercadante by clicking here.