Preparing Business for Business Radio Interview with Brandt Page
New York Shop Exchange Aired 12/14/11
Today is Wednesday, December 14, 2011. Heading into the last few weeks of December and rounding the corner into the final weeks of 2011. Kyle and I do welcome you and want to thank you for joining us here every Wednesday evening where you take an informative look at how we can help you prepare your business for business. I think we have some great ideas and helpful information for you along with some exciting guests and informative commentary.
Now our true focus and goal each week, we really want to provide you with some mind expanding thoughts and some helpful resources you need to either start a business, grow your existing business or offer up solutions for you, you know, for some challenges you might be experiencing. Now I’d like to bring on my cohost Kyle Clouse. Hello there, Mr. Clouse.
Kyle Clouse: Hey, how you doing Marcia? It’s really good to be here.
Marcia Hawkins: Yeah. How are you today?
Kyle Clouse: Oh, very good. You know, I was actually just going over our list of hosts, the past hosts that we’ve had including the one that we have on the show with us tonight and really blown away and impressed by the caliber of guests we’ve had on our show as well as the content that’s been provided.
Marcia Hawkins: Absolutely. I know we’ve had some great guests on as well as some of the resources that we’ve been able to download to our listeners has been fantastic from inspirational speakers to resources for capital for your business and of course now we’ve got someone who’s going to give us another little slant on business, which is great. Our guest this evening is Mr. Brandt Page and I’m going to have Kyle do a little intro about our guest tonight. Kyle?
Kyle Clouse: Well, sure. Who says you have to be a certain age before you’re successful? Just for the listeners out there, Brandt Page, he is 28 years old and very successful. In fact, he started his first business in college and I believe, if I remember correctly that was a furniture business. Started that in college, ended up selling that and then started Launch Leads out of his living room and then since he started Launch Leads out of his living you know, couple of guys getting around a coffee table, they’ve experienced the 200% annual growth since that time. And this year, Brandt was actually named within the top 25 under 30 entrepreneurs in the Utah Valley Entrepreneurial Forum this year. And so Brandt has some great insight on to what it takes to make a business successful and exactly how to make that happen.
Marcia Hawkins: Perfect, so let’s without further ado, bring him on. Hello Brandt, how are you tonight?
Brandt Page: Hey, I’m doing great Marcia. Thanks again Kyle for the intro.
Kyle Clouse: Absolutely. We’re really excited to have you on and you know, more excited about the content that I know we’re going to be covering because what we are covering is what – I think for most businesses, it’s a shy point. It’s something that a lot of people don’t like to really get into and target and so tonight, we’re going to really be hitting some key resources and key points and hopefully shorten that learning curve.
Marcia Hawkins: First things first, Kyle. I need to know how he got his nickname Bubba.
Brandt Page: I am so glad you bring that up. You know, it’s about time that we get that name out and circulated, right?
Marcia Hawkins: Yeah, so for the rest of this show, you’re going to be known to the listeners as Bubba Brandt, so I need to know. I want to know where you got the name and how long you’ve had it.
Brandt Page: You got it. Well you know, if you go to LinkedIn, it says Brandt Page but if you go to Facebook, it says Brandt Bubba Page. The reason I have to do that was that if I didn’t put Bubba on there, half the people I know wouldn’t have ever found me there. And the real reason behind it honestly, the real reason behind it, as a baby, I was a fat baby. I was one of those huge chubby babies, mom, 5’3” and you know, almost 10-pound baby. And literally from that time, I have been called Bubba. And so anyway, it’s just interesting as I started my very first business in college, like he said, the imported office furniture and then set a distribution here in the United States. And I honestly felt – you know, 21 at the time, I felt like no one would take me seriously if I went by my nickname so that when I started the business with my partners, I didn’t think I would gain – have any credibility saying you know, meeting these people in the business world and saying my name is Bubba. Especially since we’re doing a lot of the work over the phone, and I’m introing a call with hey, I’m Bubba and no, I’m not from the South and no, I don’t weigh 300 pounds and I’m not wearing overalls right now, sometimes that’s a perspective. So anyway, Brandt kind of took off in the business penning but I’m glad you bring it up. Bubba has stuck with me. Unfortunately, I’m not as – I guess you could say I don’t have as much weight on me as I did when I’m a baby anymore but that’s okay.
Marcia Hawkins: But you’re not a square anymore?
Brandt Page: Right.
Marcia Hawkins: Well, that’s great. I had to get to the bottom of that right off the bat. So my first question is now –not even so much a question but more of a comment. I’m kind of thinking about listening to you, talk about where your name came from and how you didn’t think it would be very professional to go by Bubba and I know that part of your business is being able to help the cold calling process along and make it very successful for businesses. Now I got to tell you, if I was on the other end of the phone and someone by the name of Bubba called me, I would take that call. So maybe we ought to rethink that.
Brandt Page: Good point! Honestly, I should switch this around.
Marcia Hawkins: Seriously. I really believe if someone called up and said hi, this is Bubba and I do want to see if I can set up an appointment for you, I probably would, for no other reason than being curious about it. So on that same vein I want to ask you, what makes your cold calling process so successful and if you could be prep us that by just telling us a little bit about what Launch Leads does?
Brandt Page: Absolutely. So just to kind of give you a heads-up, launchleads.com is obviously the best place for resource. But what our company does, what we focus in is we fill our clients sales’ pipelines with qualified leads and scheduled sales appointments. So what all that jargon basically mean is we do the heavy lifting of cold calling, prospecting, lead qualification on behalf of our B2B client so that their sales team can focus on closing more business and not necessarily having to do all the hard work of cold call prospects lead call. And so we’re based on pay-per-performance model so our clients are truly paying only for qualified opportunities, these appointments and so therefore really no risk to the clients. But what helps me to I guess gain value for this call with what I can share with everyone is what we’ve learned. We’ve help now many clients in a B2B world that are trying to get in touch with a potential client, a potential prospect. And we are the ones that are doing all that work in getting in the door, talking through gatekeepers, getting to the decision-maker and getting that interested so hopefully, I can share some of that secret sauce and allow everybody to gain from it.
Marcia Hawkins: Perfect. Because in that same vein that I’m going to do a follow-up question to that, that I think has got to be probably the hardest part, the hardest obstacle for anybody in business to overcome. What – and without giving away all your trade secrets and if you wanted, that’s great too but what would you identify as the ability for somebody to overcome those, I don’t know, was it fear? Is it just they’re not articulating correctly? What is it that a, is hard for people to cold call? Why does it make it so difficult for them and more importantly, how do they overcome that?
Brandt Page: Well, that’s a lot of questions in one but I’ll try to start with one and you can help me along if I forget to answer the other one.
Marcia Hawkins: Well, I’m good at that, don’t worry.
Brandt Page: So cold calling obviously is not the favorite job of anybody out there. I mean there’s very few people who have fallen in love with the job of cold calling. Therefore you know, why we have a business. But here’s – the key thing is I think a lot of people forget. Now I’m a huge marketing fan. I mean you’re talking SCO, PPC, anything web-based, anything webinars, any trade shows, all marketing is good. And nobody should throw any of it away. They should do all of it but I think a lot of people forget that people still communicate by the phone. People still are at their desk the majority of the day and they will pick up phone calls. And so I think this whole cold calling efforts people put on their bottom priority and so it never gets done. And what happens is salespeople get lower than expected performance and they’re not as happy with their own sales because they’re not closing up deals.
Cold calling is just a necessary evil, to be totally honest. Now some of the reasons why people don’t do it obviously is they hate rejection. It’s a lot easier to deal with an inbound lead that comes off of the website than to cold call into somebody and try to convince them of your value proposition. So number one, the rejection is just painful for most people to take. For any experienced sales person out there, obviously you’re going to be used to that rejection. So it might not be as hard but – and so rejection is one.
Number two is how people approach cold call and really what they try to do most of the time is they try and close the sale on the very first conversation. And at least in the B2B world, that just doesn’t happen. Most sales calls or more sales cycles are more than a one phone call approach and people need to understand when you make a cold call, you’re not trying to sell that person and collect a credit card or a payment right then and there on the phone. Now, obviously there are some exceptions at certain industries but for the most part out there for B2B, prospecting and cold calling, that’s not the case.
So that key being a one – I guess, piece of secret sauce that people can take with them is that if you take the approach to cold call as just set an appointment with that decision-maker, to then at a later date talk about the details and their need, you’re going to have a much better success rate of closing a sale. Now there’s many reasons behind that as number one, nobody wants to talk to you on a cold call, right? They pick up the phone, they realize it’s a cold call and they try to get you off the phone as fast as possible. Some other piece of our process and our methodologies that number one, you try and diffuse some of the concerns that these people have. Diffusing these concerns, what that means? I’m a huge fan of – when I’m on the phone and it’s a cold call that I’m going to upfront you know, after I tell them my name and the company, I’m going to say Mr. or Mrs. So-and-so, Mr. Decision-maker, I know you’re busy. Now for most of you guys listening out there you’re going to think, gee, that’s ridiculous. Why would I say I know you’re busy? That’s cheesy. But the real reason to do that is so that people, the person on the other end of the phone, they know that you recognize that you’re not going to take forever. And you actually have to be honest with them and not take forever to do that. And so the key piece with that is just simply to say hey, I know you’re busy, I’m not going to take forever and so let me help you out there.
So that’s just one piece of the pie. Then basically, what you’re able to do is just give the brief value proposition of what your company offers on the phone. And once you’ve given the value proposition, the hope is that that decision-maker will then ask the question of how can that value proposition help my company? Once you’ve gotten that question, then you’re able to then set up an appointment to then talk about the details. The sales cycle for most people, you need to do a needs analysis or a needs audit, you want to ask that decision-maker what their true needs are before you just fly into a sales pitch and give them something that they might not even want. So hopefully, that wasn’t too much all upfront but…
Marcia Hawkins: No, not at all. I just want to follow up a little bit and then I want to get of course, Kyle in here but I guess for me, one of the things that I’m starting to recognize is that with the explosion of the Internet, as good as it is and it’s great, I’m not discounting that. But I do believe to a certain extent that we have become a business minded community where we do not feel that we need to communicate unless we really want to. With e-mail, texting, Skyping, whatever. We’ve really become just kind of disassociated with communicating with people the way that we used to. And I think that that’s kind of fed into a person’s fear of cold calling because everybody is so used to doing everything electronically now. Do you find that that’s probably you know, ramped it up a little bit for people?
Brandt Page: Absolutely. I think a lot of people are so used to the 140 characters that they’re not thinking of having a true conversation with somebody. And I think a lot of it comes back to most of us, want to get things done as efficiently and as quickly as possible and some people think that a cold call is not going to be that efficient and effective. And the reality of it is that in sales, it’s just a must do. You just have to do it. If you have thousands of inbound leads coming in everyday and you can’t possibly have anyone in your – on your company to make outbound calls because you’re too busy with inbound, then that’s awesome. But the reality of it is most companies don’t have that problem.
Marcia Hawkins: Right. When I was with my team, I always tell them it’s all about sharing. Share the information, find out what issues they have. Just identify how you can help them because then the conversation starts to flow much more naturally, that’s my opinion. But I do know that cold calling is just such a huge thing for people, I was very interested to get your insight on that but let’s grab Kyle because I know he’s chomping to get in here with some questions. Kyle?
Kyle Clouse: One thing I think I want to bring back Brandt was you talked about the value proposition. And you know, I know I’m sure that there’s universal laws, doesn’t matter what industry or niche or your business is in. Getting that value proposition in front of the right people is key. But how do you do that in a way where you’re not – you know, you’re already making a cold call. You’re trying to diffuse the situation by mentioning that you understand that their time is valuable but how do you get your value proposition?
First of all, can you explain in more detail like what a value proposition is or the definition of that? And then secondly, how do you get that in front of someone without you know, like if I called you the on the phone and I said, I know what your concerns are without me really knowing what your concerns are or what your struggles are in business. How do you get that value proposition in front of someone in a methodical way so that they don’t – so that it doesn’t put them back on their heels as though I know what your problems are. Does that make sense?
Brandt Page: Absolutely. And honestly so my view, my opinion on what a value proposition is it’s a very, very simple factual statement of what your company’s product or service can do for that potential client. So and you know, for every company, they’re going to have a unique value proposition. Hopefully that value proposition either differentiate yourself from your competition or it allows the person on the other end to be interested in how that could affect their business.
So to give you an example, we drink our own Kool-Aid. So how we’ve grown Launch 200% year-over-year is that we do our own prospecting and cold calling, we set up our own appointment and we close our deals, right? Just like we do for our clients, we’re doing the outbound calling, we are setting up the appointments, doing the qualifications so that they can close their own deals. So also that gives you at least a base of what a value proposition is, it’s going to be what your product and/or service could – can or could do for that potential client.
And an example we would use is something like, hey, Mr. Decision-maker, my name is Brandt Page with launchleads and I know that you’re busy so I don’t want to take too much of your time but I’m calling to set up an appointment with you, talk about how our company can increase your sale by 50%. And that – I am giving that as a basic example.
Another thing would be by giving a mini case study but the reality is you got about one sentence of your value proposition but before that person hangs up the phone, we typically talk about it in a seven second situation. You’ve got seven seconds on a cold call before someone is going to hang up on you or have some excuse to get you off the phone if they’re not interested. So if I were to say something like I can increase your sales 50%, somebody might say to you, that’s too broad, I don’t want to talk to you, right? So if you can narrow down your demographic of who you’re calling and know they’re typical of maybe what their pain is, maybe understanding who you’re calling into is going to be a huge help.
I always break it down to three things. There’s a three step process that I use to find out what your value proposition is so hopefully, this helps the listeners. The three-step process is just understanding the core values of what business owners want to hear. So number one, they want to hear if they’re going to make money. If you’re going to help them make money. That would be step number one. If your product or service can help them make money, you better tell them. And you should have some staff to assist in that.
Number two is that if you can help them to save money, if you can help them save money in some way, a business owner is going to want to know that before a senior-level Executive. So number one, make money. Number two, save money and the third one is somewhat unique but – you know, everybody should know this is – number three is if it makes their life easier. Now there is plenty of technology out there today that you and I and everyone that’s listening is using just because it makes our lives easier not because it’s less expensive or because it made us money but because it made made our life easier.
So if you can break down your product or service to fit into either one or two or all three of these pieces either make money, save money or make your life – make your clients life easier, then you can create a value proposition today, right now. And your value proposition needs to be built around one of those three things. So that at least gives you a structure as to base how you can get that value proposition created. The more factual information you can give like a statistic, the more engaging that decision-maker might be on the phone.
So, for example, my cheesy statement of how you can increase your sales by 50%, if I can get more specific light saying, something to the effect of, you know – well, depending on the business and maybe I should give an exact example but looking at the different industries that are out there, pick a statistic that you can use to help that business owner or senior-level Executive be more interested on what you have to say.
So those are the three pieces and then the step-by-step process that we use here at Launch is number one, knowing that you have seven seconds to introduce your name, your company and your value proposition. So when you do write your value proposition and make sure it’s barely a sentence. It gives enough crunch to be able to turn that seven seconds into 30 seconds.
Now here’s kind of the magic that we use internally. Once you can get past that seven seconds and the 30, the 30 seconds allows you to have a little bit of a dialogue. Now we train our staff and our entire team to never necessarily have a pitch. Don’t just have something that sounds like a robot talking. Obviously and especially in today’s environment where social media is king, the comfort conversation and engagement aspect of marketing sales is huge. So when you can get past the seven second intro and you have a 30 second mini dialogue of just finding out to see if that person is interested or not, then you can turn that 30 seconds into three minutes. And this is a beautiful thing that I’d love to share with everybody is this is a really fast step-by-step process of how to turn 30 seconds into three minutes and this is a huge piece of our secret sauce if you will, on what we do at Launch Leads.
Kyle Clouse: Hey and maybe we should do this…
Brandt Page: – in a break and I’ll share that secret sauce.
Marcia Hawkins: Sure. Yeah, let’s do that. Okay we are going to take a quick break to recognize our fine sponsors. This is the Business Preparing for Business radio show on the Preparedness Radio Network. I’m Marcia Hawkins along with Kyle Clouse. Please stop by and visit us at NewYorkShopExchange.com and we’ll be right back.
Marcia Hawkins: Welcome back, everybody. Now right before the break, we heard something about saving money, helping somebody, 30 seconds and special sauce and I don’t know where the heck this is all going but I know you’re going to clarify that for us.
Brandt Page: You got it. Well thanks, Marcia. So just before the break, we talked about – and what I’m trying to do is help walk through some key industry best practices for prospecting, specifically in a business-to-business setting where anybody out there, if you take these key principles, you can increase your success rate immediately. It really is a fairly simple process to be able to increase your success. So we talked about some key pieces of being able to build your own value proposition and understanding how to build that value proposition by having your product or service either helping people, make money, save money or make their life easier.
And once you can get past that initial seven seconds of the cold call, which is the intro, your name and the company you’re calling from and your value proposition and you’re able to have a 30 second dialogue, what I wanted to share was how to take that 30 seconds into three minutes. And the 30 seconds into three minutes, the purpose of this is to schedule an appointment. Again just like we talked about before the break, the purpose of the initial cold call is not to necessarily sell and collect the credit card of your product. In most business-to-business cases, it’s going to take a few conversations. So just looking at that piece at least, give you some of the background for those who are just joining in.
So the secret sauce of going from 30 seconds into three minutes, most who have ever prospected before have always been faced with objection. And there are many, many types of objections. They all mean the same thing, they all mean I basically want you off the phone. Now most at the time, when people give you an objection, it’s not because they are not interested in your product or service, they probably don’t even understand what you’re offering yet but they’re giving you an the objection because they just don’t want to talk to you. Now a very, very common objection that everyone receives, most likely is, Mr. So-and-so, thanks for calling but I’m really busy right now. Can you just send me an e-mail? Now, everybody has gotten that before and most people think, oh great, this guy wants to hang up the phone, and they answer, sure, sure, I’ll send you an e-mail and they will go into a blackhole and they will be deleted.
Well, our secret sauce is very simple. But what we do to take that 30 second dialogue into a three-minute conversations to schedule an appointment is that when they say hey, will you just send me an e-mail, you respond, absolutely. And the reason for that is that you’re – number one, going to say well perfect, what is the best e-mail address for me to send it to you? Most people are going to give you their accurate e-mail address and for those who have been prospecting in the past or who are thinking they need to do it again, most of the time you don’t have an e-mail address when you’re cold calling somebody. So if you’re able to gather the information, it’s critical. You can use it for your nurturing, you can use it for next contacts, for newsletters, whatever it is because they’ve given it to you offhand when they give you their e-mail address.
So number one: they say, yeah, why don’t you just send me an e-mail you know, in quote, person gets info, you know, I’m going to get this person off the phone.And you agree with them and say, absolutely, Mr. Decision-maker, I will be happy to send you an e-mail. What is the best e-mail address? Once they give it to you, you repeat it back to them and make sure you have it spelled correctly and then here’s a little piece that most people don’t do. Most people do not have a template, an e-mail template created already with your key value proposition and intro right in the e-mail.
Now in the e-mail template, you should have your name, you should have your company name and the value proposition with maybe three bullet points, three very specific bullet points of why your value proposition can help them. Now it should be in a template so it’s already created and after those three bullet points and that you know, you should have a link. No attachments anymore guys and gals. People don’t like to open attachments. They would rather see a link. Now, you if you attach that or have that link right below the three bullet points, you have a very high success rate of getting some of them to click on the link, and here’s the reason why. When that person says, send me an email you say, absolutely, what’s the best e-mail address? When they give it to you, you type it into your e-mail template that you already have open on your screen and you hit send. You hit send before you get off the phone. And the piece that’s so important is you say, Mr. or Ms. Decision-maker, I just sent you the e-mail with our information. And sometimes, that e-mail goes to junk or spam. Would you mind checking to see if it got to your inbox?
Now you guys might laugh at how simple this process is but they are going to stay on the phone, you can most likely hear them click on their e-mail and say oh, yes, it actually showed up. It says, this is Brandt Page from launchleads.com. And the simple process is if they’re not on their computer obviously you can’t do that. But most people will be and if you just ask and say you know, Mr. Decision-maker, I have a link in the e-mail, I just want to make sure the link works properly. Now again, I’ll let you off the phone here but if you could, just open the e-mail and click on the link that you see. Now again, you guys might be laughing at this at how simple the process.
Marcia Hawkins: I love simple.
Brandt Page: Most people are going to actually open the e-mail and click on your dang link. Now this is what’s amazing. In a business-to-business world, that guy or gal just thought that they’re getting you off the phone and you committed to them that you are going to get off the phone, you’re just asking them the simple and harmless questions of number one, did you get the e-mail because sometimes it goes to spam. Number two, again, I know you’re busy and I just – last thing again, just make sure that you open the e-mail and click on the link so that you at least make sure that it works.
Now you’ve done a couple things here. Number one, they’ve opened your e-mail so you know that it didn’t hit spam because how many times if you just send it blindly, you don’t even know if they received it or not. Number two, if they do click on the link, they’re going to let you know, so yeah, the link is right here, the website opened up, that whatever landing page or PDF that you gave me, yeah, yeah, whatever it is, case study, I’m looking at it right now. You have got them looking at exactly what you wanted them to look at in the first place. Even if they only look at it for a matter of five or 10 seconds, your branding is there, they now know your name, they know your company name and they probably have read your value proposition again in that e-mail or on that landing page or PDF or whatever you have linked. And obviously at that point you can say to the decision-maker, yeah, thanks for clicking on that link. Again I’m going to let you go, I know you’re extremely busy but what I thought I would do is follow up with you about XYZ value proposition, right, restate the value proposition, on Wednesday at 2:00. Would 2:00 or 4:00 be better for you?
Now, the reason I did that very specifically was you gave them two options. You did not ask then, when are you available? That question will say, well I’m not, no thanks and hang up the phone. And you don’t say, well, let me give you a ring next week to follow up because then they are not expecting you to call and they’re going to be bugged when you do call next week. But if you give them an exact date and time, that decision-maker will expect you to call them and by all means you better dang – you better be able to call as you stated. But it allows you to set up this process so that the decision-maker is expecting you to call, they’ve seen your message because they’ve opened the link, they’ve opened the e-mail so they know your e-mail is nondeliverable and they probably understand who you are and what are value prop is.
Now of course, you hang up the phone once they’ve confirmed their appointment. In my opinion, if you can send a calendar invite right then and there that would be critical so then they can click yes on attending that appointment and it automatically goes to their calendar. If you’re not familiar with a calendar invite whether you are using outlook or Google apps or whatever it is, get to know appointment calendar invites because they’re very critical. But that will turn your 30 second dialogue into about a three minute conversation. It is very harmless, they do not feel threatened, they don’t feel like you’re selling them something because you’re truly just trying to set that appointment and the crazy part is, this actually works.
Marcia Hawkins: That’s wonderful.
Brandt Page: The amazing thing is I’ve trained and talked in many circumstances with just 100 of different entrepreneurs and businesses, I always tell them, if you’re going to try this, you have to do it 100 times before you quit, before your quit and say it doesn’t work, you need at least try it 100 times before you come and e-mail me or send me a message saying it doesn’t work because 99% of the time, this will increase your current production and what you’ve done in the past.
Marcia Hawkins: The keyword, the operative word there, simple. Simple always works. It always works. Kyle?
Kyle Clouse: Yes, I wanted to – the timing about this Brandt is great, this is very key content but I want to kind of step back and dissect that a little bit because as I’ve listened to what you’re saying, it seems that there is a level of pressure, there’s a two-sided level of pressure when a cold call is being made. You have a level of pressure of the person making the call and thinking, oh, I’ve got to try and close this sale. And secondly, you got the pressure on the decision-maker’s shoulder thinking, this guy wants me to make a decision now. And so they’re scheduling the appointment, you’re actually removing the pressure from that and still getting the key information in front of them. So if they can look at that for the scheduled appointment when the decision will be made.
Brandt Page: Absolutely, absolutely. You hit the nail on the head. And it’s all about diffusing those concerns or pressure. I love how you use that terminology as a pressure. You’re right, I mean people just – you’re nervous if you’re cold calling and the decision-maker is nervous trying to be polite and get you off phone and you’ve done – if you use this step-by-step process, you’ve not only diffused the pressure, you’ve released some of that pressure, you’re allowing them to have a true conversation with you. And obviously, the appointment is where you’re going to truly sell – there’s no product and service that cannot be explained in a five minute phone call. You need to have some time to build rapport, build a relationship and an appointment allows you to do that. So anyway, hopefully that’s helpful.
Kyle Clouse: Absolutely. Let’s go back because I’m sure there’s people listening that you know, would say, gosh, I hope I can just stay on the phone for 30 seconds, let alone the short seven second window, which – it’s about the time that it takes me to blink my eyes a couple of times and I have seven seconds to make a first impression and that first impression is coming over the phone and through a cold call.
So what are some key things that people can do within that first seven seconds that they can do – turn that seven seconds into 30 seconds as far as you know, what is their posture in on the phone, how do they sound on the phone, what are some things that you guys at Launch Leads had found to be very successful?
Brandt Page: Great question, honestly. Great question. There are definitely some simple steps again – cold calling is not necessarily rocket science, right? But it takes determination and it takes some great you know – hard work into it and there of course, you have some of these secret principle or step to get in there so everybody’s probably heard out there, “Smile and Dial”. And I’m sure there’s some smirks on people’s faces as they hear that. Smile and dial is so critical, it’s even more critical than most people are saying.
When you’re talking on the phone, you only have your voice for people to understand who you are. They can’t see your face, they can’t see your body language, they can only hear your voice and the inflection in your voice. It’s very critical that when you do get on the phone especially when you’re talking to a gatekeeper and a decision-maker to have a huge smile on your face. And now what’s so funny is obviously they can’t see your face but they can feel your intonation and your voice that allows them to know that you’re number one, a positive person. Some of them probably even want to talk to you. It’s a lot easier for a gatekeeper to be nice to you if you’re nice to them and you treat them like a friend, treat them like they are valued. And then when you talk to the decision-maker, being positive on the phone shows that you truly care about your product or service and that you want to help them. And that – you know what, you’re not a smart aleck and you’re not going to be telling them that they’re not smart for not listening to you, you’re going to be a nice person.
So honestly, number one, smile and dial. It is a crucial component with anything that has to do with sales, phone sales. Number two is going to be confidence. You are absolutely got to be confident. If you’re not a naturally confident person, you got to fake it till you make it, you know what I mean? That is something where you just got to show that confidence – and no, confidence is not arrogance, it’s not being cocky. Confidence is knowing what you’re talking about and who you are talking to and showing that through the phone. Confidence is critical because a decision-maker does not want to hear somebody say, um, ah, let me see, you know – they don’t want to hear those filler words, they want to hear and cut down to the chase of what your value prop is so have that confidence.
And then what I would say is number three that helps – number one, smile and dial, number two, confidence, number three is assume the sale. Now obviously when you’re prospecting and it’s initial cold call, you’re assuming the appointment, not a sale but you’re assuming the appointment. You’re assuming that they’re going to want to take an appointment with you because your product or service is just that good. So when you’re smiling and you’re confident and you’re assuming that they’re going to want to take the appointment, a lot of times you’re going to get some success. Now if you’re further along in the sales process and you’re – you know, you’ve already had your initial call, you’ve already had the media analysis call, you need to assume the sale in order to close the deal. I’m sure a lot of people out there heard that before but it’s so critical. The person on the other line on the phone does not want to think that you’re not confident. They don’t want to ever not have that assurance that your product or service is going to be the key for them to succeed.
And so being able to assume that sale again, not being cocky or arrogant but assuming in conversations such as at the end of a phone call saying well, Mr. Decision-maker, why don’t we do a follow-up call at Tuesday at 4:00 so we can discuss more details? Even something as simple as that is assuming sales instead of saying hey, decision-maker, would you like to talk to me again? That is obviously not portraying confidence nor assuming anything other than they don’t want to talk to you. So make sure that you set up follow up calls on every call but hopefully, those three steps, give people some ammo when you do hop on a phone to help out.
Kyle Clouse: No, absolutely. So I’m going to put myself in someone’s shoes that is doing the cold calling. So I’m smiling and dialing, I’m maintaining my posture or my confidence, I’m assuming the sale and I get past the seven-second mark. I’m in the 30 second window. Now I know that there’s a lot of people who, within that 30 second window – I mean, you’ll do everything 110% to the first seven seconds and then somehow kill the deal in the next 30 seconds or overanalyze or overthink the situation, what are some things that people when they are cold calling, what are some things that they should avoid or some things that they should avoid saying that can cost them to kill setting the appointment or killing the deal?
Brandt Page: Great question, Kyle. So what we do at Launch Leads is we always try and get questions to be asked. So instead of what I would say that the not do or don’t do is don’t – once you get past the seven seconds and the person says, well, how are you going to get that value proposition X to work for my company? Instead of going into a full-blown speed pitch where you just vomit all of your information all over that decision-maker, what we always train our staff to do is ask some simple questions.
The reason for that is the number one, you’re going to show some humility on the phone by not trying to – one, you can assume the sale but don’t assume you know everything about their business. The truth is, you just don’t. And the decision-maker does not want to ever think that you think you know everything about their business either. But you know everything about your business and why your product or service is going to help them. So if you can ask some key questions that will help you to tailor your sales pitch to exactly their need, that will allow some success. So let’s take an example of a software company and let’s say we are calling on behalf of one of the clients which is a software company. They might ask a simple question once they get past the intro and the value proposition out to the decision-maker. Hey, decision-maker are you currently using a software like this or are you currently using the software to do XYZ? All of this is a simple question, it’s non threatening, the person can say yes, no or yes, we are and this is who we’re using or no, we haven’t but we’re looking, you know what I mean? Something to engage in that conversation. But it also allows that salesperson to know if they are using somebody and the follow up question would be, what/who are you currently using?
So that way, you can find out and you’re prepared to tailor your appointment when you set that appointment. So anyway, not to go on for too long but I would have two or three questions to ask them that will help solidify your value proposition in their minds. You will also engage in a little bit of conversation to allow that 30 seconds to go to three minutes, to be able to get that e-mail sent and get an appointment scheduled.
Marcia Hawkins: I think one of the things that you’ve alluded to but really haven’t stated right out there is the fact that when you’re calling another business to tell them about a service or a product that you have and you want to get that all-important appointment, I think that it’s implied with what you’re saying that really, knowing your product and knowing that it’s going to help that person on the other end of the phone and believing in what you do is also part of the puzzle.
Brandt Page: Oh, absolutely. And that part of assuming, assuming a sale, right? If you don’t have confidence in your product or service you’re offering, it’s going to be really hard for you to assume that that person is going to want to buy your product or service. So you absolutely have to have confidence in your own product and service and if you’re not, if somebody’s listening that’s a salesperson or a marketing person, go find another company to work with or help your current company change a product or service to be something that you are absolutely confident if they would – whatever prospect they’d want to buy.
Marcia Hawkins: Very key, very, very key. I know when – I’ve always told people when I believe in something and it’s really, really the foundation of business because a product that you’ve purchased or the service that you’ve utilized and you have experienced, had a wonderful experience with that, what are you going to do? You’re going to tell everybody about it.
Brandt Page: Absolutely.
Marcia Hawkins: Kyle?
Kyle Clouse: Yeah, absolutely. We’ve gone over some really key information, Brandt. Let’s talk a little bit now about Launch Leads and what makes Launch different from other companies or other prospecting companies. What makes you guys different and why should someone look at your company versus another prospecting company?
Brandt Page: That’s a great question. Well, before I even dived into you know, maybe some of our competitors and to be honest, our biggest competitor is our clients doing it in-house. And of course I’ve been teaching everyone now on how to do it in-house, right? And hopefully, these key information will allow a lot of people listening to do the majority of this in-house. So when it comes down to the point of should we build it or should we outsource it? That’s really where it comes down to, to how we can help. I know you might need to take a quick – so maybe I’ll come back and talk specifically about our differentiators here.
Marcia Hawkins: Well, I’m going to tell you right now, I’m so sorry that we’re out of time and I got to tell you, we have got to rebook you for another hour because this has been beyond fantastic and entertaining all in the same time but we just so enjoyed having you, Bubba. I really want to make sure that we reschedule this and have you back on.
Brandt Page: I’d love to be a part of that.
Marcia Hawkins: Yes and I just really enjoyed speaking with you tonight and I just want to make sure that we schedule that. But again, we are out of time and we want to thank our guest, Brandt Page of launchleads.com. That’s launchleads.com. And of course to you, our listeners, please visit us at NewYorkShopExchange.com. You can tune in every Wednesday at 7 p.m. Eastern Standard Time for Business Preparing for Business radio show and we look forward to meeting you here next week. But until then, you have a great night.