Smashmouth B2B Blog: Sales & Marketing Demand Gen

Outbound Calling Tips from Johnny Bench

Posted by Michael Damphousse on Sep 10, 2010 10:20:00 AM

Outbound Calling Tips from Johnny BenchWhen I was in college, one of my roomates used to watch The Baseball Bunch.  It was designed for kids, but I loved it.  You had Johnny Bench, All-Star Hall of Fame catcher for the Cincinnati Reds, teaching a group of young kids how to be better players, and each week they also got professional tips from guest ballplayers like Jim Rice, Pete Rose, Cal Ripen, Jr, and even Ted Williams!  Add to that, Hall of Fame coach for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Tommy Lasorda, as “The Dugout Wizard,”and the San Diego Chicken, and I’m telling you, any kid who loved baseball was glued to the TV when that show was on, even the older "kids". 

What I loved most about the show, though, was the advice that each guest shared with the team.  I felt like I was getting a one-on-one coaching session with an All-Star right in my dorm room.

What does all of this have to do with B2B sales and marketing?  Well, I’ve had the pleasure of working with a lot of Business Development Reps over the years, and I wanted to share with you some of their “All-Star” outbound calling tips.  Rather than just spout off to you a dozen or so tips that I’ve gathered over the years, I thought it would be much more beneficial for you to hear from them. 

Special thanks to all of those BDR’s who helped put this together.  They really are, in my opinion, the best and the brightest in the industry:

Lenny - When calling a list rather than starting at the top with the "A" companies, work the list in reverse starting with companies that begin with "Z".  That way you most likely will hit the companies that get called the least.

Mira - Repetition has its benefits. However doing the same things over and over again can make you stale.  This stunts growth!  Listen to your peers and change things up a bit. Break out of your old routine and try something different.

Jessica - It's really just a numbers game. The more you hear no the more you hear yes. Be aggressive but nice, quick and to the point. People are busy. They want to know what you want and don't want the BS. Be yourself, have personality, and be a straight shooter. And don't be afraid to ask! The worst thing that can happen is they say "no".  Be persistent, be confident, and go into every call knowing you can close.

John - When dialing high (C-level or VP) pick times to dial when the gatekeeper would be on a break (best times are 7:45am-8:00am, 10:45am-11:00am, 12:45pm-1:00pm and 4:45pm-5:00pm, in each timezones).  When you do speak with an admin, and they give you a referral, ask them politely to transfer you to the referral you get.

Todd -  Always have a good strategy for overcoming objections. Prospects are always going to have objections, so if you can handle the initial objections with relative ease, it will go a long way to getting an appointment for your sales team. Simplify it into a playbook.  List the objections, match up the ways to overcome them.  Then have those techniques memorized and natural.

Meghan - Make sure you are calling the right contacts/targets.  Simply ask the prospects.  Ask admins and operators.  Don’t waste time calling the wrong people! 

Aaron - Don't let failure stop you from pressing on. Cold calling is a numbers game and you are going to fail.  And because it is a numbers game you have to press on to get to the success.  Every dial is a new dial, and every smart dial is a better dial.

Bill - Make sure you let the prospect know that an admin referred you.  This is a great way to add credibility to your call.

Tim - Remember, don't get discouraged with hang-ups! Everyone has a bad day once in a while!  Give them some time, and try them back.

Andy - Your job is to make each prospect that picks up the phone want to learn more about your product.  Your job is not to teach them about your product -- that's the sales guy's job.  In otherwords, listen to their needs, and focus accordingly. No one cares about the technology you're hawking if it doesn't make their life easier, or make them more money.

Coleman - Be yourself. Though you may be selling something, if you push through the call not treating the prospect as a person, you might as well hang up the call.  When you are yourself, you are able to meet the prospect at their level, and can guide the conversation.

Some good stuff, right!?  What about you?  What outbound calling tips can you share with the rest of the Smashmouth crowd?

Topics: inside sales, b2b marketing, lead gen, appointment setting, tips, outbound calling, tv