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Hello Session

20 minutes. Telephone

Let's see if we 'click'. A quick chat about Seinfeld? Surfing? Movies? or Music? (to know the real you). Then about what you've tried (what worked, what didn't). Then I'll outline how I can help


Image by Anika Huizinga

One Session

In-Person is best / or phone

Self employed ? I'll explain how to get more sales.

Want to be self employed ? We'll look at 3 Businesses that suit your skills and style with 'real world' sales plans


Upward Curve


In-Person / phone

You'll be having confident sales conversation and getting sales in 1-3 months. 4 sessions per month. (No 3/6/12 month lock-ins. No contracts or worksheets).


  • You'll decide the focus of the training because your needs come first

  • If you can't afford it. I'll still help you

  • or DiY, it's all here

Step 1.




Reduce customer effort

Be easy to understand, talk to and buy from

Clarity creates loyalty

  • Clarity means being consistently good, not delightful. 'Delightful' takes a lot of effort, is difficult to repeat and may mean 'annoying' or 'fake' to someone else

Be easy to understand

Your Website

  • Does your website answer - Who? What? Where? When? Why? How? and How Much?

  • It starts with YOU, not your customer. If you start with the customer you'll fall into the trap of trying to please everybody and you'll become a wishy-washy bland mess.

    • Stories are the oldest form of entertainment and marketing. So what's your story? People want to know the real, authentic YOU, so they can trust you

    • What's your 'origin story' (why you started your business).

    • People do not trust the internet or websites. However, they want to trust you. So make it easy for them with; a photo / video / backgrounder and interests

    • Choosing between a few suppliers? What if one had the same interests as you

    • When people read your website they are imagining you talking to them. Does your website sound like you? Don't write things you wouldn't say in-person

    • Can you share your unique Point of View? One-third will disagree, one-third won't care and one-third will become your fans. If you try to please everybody, 90% will ignore you and the other 10% may be interested

    • Specialising or Niching makes it easy for people to understand you

  • Are your articles easy to read?

    • Readers on the internet prefer to 'scan' articles. Short helps, as do (sub) headings, bolding and chunking​

    • Numbers in titles. '7 ways to surf better' is more scanable than 'How to surf better'.

    • Rare information is very valuable. You are seen as an expert

  • Next focus on the customer.  Selling creates anxiety, so focus on helping. Use short articles and 'grabs' of information so it's easy to read. Solve their problems. Leave 'selling' to your competitors.

  • After reading your website the customer should be 80% ready to buy.

  • Then they contact you ...

Be easy to talk to

  • Are you easy to contact via phone, email and social media with a friendly conversation

  • Do you respond quickly


Be easy to buy from

Example - Here's how I reduce your risk, if you buy my coaching services 

  1. Free helpful articles and 4 Step Method = no risk

  2. Free helpful consult. Up to 20 minutes. No pressure, no strings = no risk

  3. We have 1 paid session. You pay the next day = Low-risk

  4. Then monthly for as long as you need. No 3,6 or 12 month lock-ins Low-risk


How to Stand Out

If you sell a product, provide a service that your competitors don't

Example - Pizza Shop - "Delivered in 1 hour or it's free"

If you sell a service, 'package' it like a product

Example - Phone Company

How they package it$39 for 6 Gigs /  $69 for 15 Gigs / $89 for 45 Gigs

Who they package it to - Gamers, Families, Sports Fans, Students and Businesses ...

Stand Out by Niche. WHO you serve and HOW you serve...

Example - A small Law Firm finds it hard to compete so they Niche by ...

Who they serve - the IT industry

How they serve - Networking Events - held monthly to build a reputation as an Industry Leader. Their website content has, tips, case studies and market trends for the IT Industry

Their office is in a IT Startup co-working space.

Stand Out by Specialisation.

You're a Real Estate Agent and you only do Residential Rentals. (perceived as an expert)

Beware of 'Value'. It's everywhere. People can find 'value' in 5 minutes on the internet. Value is constantly changing and customers think you will try and persuade them to see the 'value' in what YOU are selling. Instead, build trust by helping. 

Beware of Creativity. Solving Problems, beats CleverBig Business has time and money to create luscious TV advertisements so they can attend Gala Events and give awards to each other. Creativity may be useful later, but let's stick to the fundamentals first. 

Stand Out with answers not questions

Example; If I'm in the supermarket and I ask "Hi. where's the milk please?"

Good answer = "the long-life milk is here and the cold milk is down the back"

Bad answer = "which milk?"

Build trust by helping - 2 examples

Your Service - Explain the downside of what you sell AND how to avoid it

Instead of telling people how good you are, like all your competitors. Help them by explaining  typical problems they may encounter when they use your product / service. Then explain why they won't have these problems because of your, unique built-in solutions or training or support or ...

Here's an example of an article you could write to prove this. Article Title; The 3 pros and cons of CRM software AND how we help you avoid the cons


Your Industry - Forget Boundaries.

Speaking freely about other businesses helps make you an Industry Expert. People will seek you out for your help.

If you mention a competitor, you might lose 1 sale but will SHOCK the customer and be remembered forever as trustworthy. And gain a customer-for-life. Trust is the rarest commodity in Sales and Marketing.

After you have helped them, ask for something in return

  • Customers-for-life = repeat sales. Meaning less time & money spent on advertising

  • Customers-for-life = being remembered - this is the goal of marketing

  • Result - Sales increase and a community is created

Step 2.

Referral Marketing

Partner with Customers


  • Thank You Call - Keep them with care. A Courtesy Phone Call post-purchase to thank them and get feedback. You will be remembered forever - powerful stuff. Then call every 3/6 or 12 months. Because your customers will leave if they feel underappreciated

  • Reward Loyal Customers. "Put your money where your mouth is". 

    • B2C Example - Coffee Cards (every 8th coffee free).

    • B2B Example - Parties

  • Feedback - grow stronger. Don't ask for a review - It implies you only want praise. Ask for feedback because it's neutral.

    • Negative feedback is important because it's how you improve. Apologise and make-it-up-to-them (you'll have a customer for life). Then call them a few days later to show how their feedback has helped you, to further deepen the relationship.

    • Maybe you should reward people for their feedback - Consultants get paid Big Bucks for giving negative feedback. Mystery Shoppers get paid to give negative feedback

    • Vague feedback like "yeah good", means there's something they're not telling you. Here's what to say, "I'm really keen to improve my Car Mechanic Business, if you could give me any constructive feedback, no matter how small, that could help me improve, I would be really grateful?

    • Positive feedback - great, now ask for a review...

  • Reviews - 1 quirky (specific) thing.

    • Ask if there is one-specific-thing they liked (specifics are more believable). 'Specifics' are your strengths, you may be surprised what they say.

    • Feedback can be a new business direction for you or a new additional service?

    • If they forget remind them 2 more times

    • When you receive the review, do not correct their grammar or spelling because authenticity is important.

    • Video reviews are more powerful

  • Case Studies - Powerful 'Social Proof'. Ask the customer if you can record / write about, their journey (words / photos / video).

    • A Case Study is also free advertising for them, they'll be flattered and your relationship will be strengthened.

    • If the Case Study is long include a 1 paragraph summary introduction.

    • Case Studies are not only for Professional Service Businesses. If you sell doughnuts you could make a video or photographic documentary of how a customer made a DoughnutManCake for her sons 8th birthday. The final scene is the boys reaction when doughnut man is revealed. Problem - Need an inexpensive crazy fun cakeSolution - Enterrr DoughnutMan! Outcome - A birthday party he will ALWAYS remember

  • Referrals - reward bothResearch shows MOST businesses don't ask for referrals AND that MOST happy customers are happy to give referrals. This is a really powerful easy way to sell more. If possible, you should contact their friend (don't leave it to them). Promise your customer you will not annoy their friend. And if their friend 'buys' they will both be rewarded with a movie pass, gift card, charity donation ... (don't skimp)


Step 3.

Inbound Marketing



Replying to Inquiries

Articles, Videos and Case Studies create inquiries

Sometimes paid advertising creates inquiries

Answer ALL these 7 questions in the Advertisement

Who? What? Where? When? Why? How? and How Much?

Then imagine and remove, all the physical and mental barriers (risks),

in your customers mind that are stopping them from buying.

Focus on TRUST. What would YOU have to read in an advertisement

to trust a stranger?

When you receive an Inquiry...

  • Get close. Research to understand them. Research them online for 2-10 minutes. The more you know about them, the better you can help them.

  • Call back quick, 1st responder wins. They have copied and pasted their inquiry to your competitors, so the first to respond usually gets the sale. Every minute matters.

  • Call-back until you connect. Most customers want you to try a few times. And a few even want you to just keep calling until you connect. You won't annoy because of your warm, conversational, helpful manner. Use a phone / email / social-media follow-up combo. REMEMBER, they contacted you first. Meaning; they are interested, so your follow-up timetable is ... Let's start in January. Offer a different kind of help each time and be casual not clinical

    • January

    • week 1 - Monday - phone & emailWednesday - phone 

    • week 3 - phone

    • February - phone & email

    • April - phone & email

    • July and Octoberphone & email

    • Every year phone & email - If you think this timetable is too pushy, you either; shouldn't be in sales or don't know how to really HELP others or aren't good at having conversations. Be casual and conversational NOT clinical

    • If the sale is 'time critical' you can contact as often as you like as long as it's easy for them to tell you to stop

  • Be slow to say "no" Have a conversation before you say "no".

    • Can you recommend something, instead of just saying "no"?

    • Having a conversation means you will learn something about your Business / customers / competition and grow stronger.

    • Wrong answer = "No sorry we don't have any strawberry cheesecakes left"

    • Right answer = "Yes we make 8 every morning, can I hold one for you tomorrow?"

    • Then ad value - "I can box it for you with a ribbon and card and we have a glitter pen to use, no charge."

  • Don't be an 'order taker'. Even if they are keen to buy, don't just take an order.

    • Engage them in conversation. Having a conversation means you will learn something about your business, customers or competition and grow stronger.

    • Let them tell you their stories because your 'Big Business' competitors won't listen - listening is your strength.

  • Build trust. The 'tone' you set in the first 7 seconds is crucial.

    • If you sound like you're working-through-a-list they won't be impressed.

    • There MUST be some type of WARMTH in your voice. 

    • Do you understand your industry so you can give advice? Placing you as a helpful expert, to be remembered forever!

    • Don't Blab. If you don't understand a question, seek clarity. Rephrase and repeat it back to them, this builds trust. If you guess an answer you have eroded trust.

    • There is absolutley NOTHING WRONG with saying you don't know and asking to research it and get back to them. In fact doing this, builds even more trust.

  • Be Curious (and courteous). Ask questions to uncover problems

    • When we were children we used to ask a lot of questions. In response we got "stop asking so many questions!' So we became 'rugged individuals' that don't ask questions or ask for help. This is a huge problem in so many ways. Too many of us think that asking questions is a sign of weakness. The opposite is true. Train yourself to be more curious. 

  • Social Media - Be social not salesy.

    • When someone comments on your Social Media page (a question, comment, disagrees, supports - anything) always use it as a conversation starter. Different people communicate in many different ways, a comment could be a disguised question. Always be social on 'Social'.

  • Vulnerable not Clinical.

    • Being warm and open (vulnerable) to others is the best way to build rapport.

    • Cold and clinical can be mistaken for 'professional' (be careful)

  • What to say on a warm-call; (returning the call).

    • Customer - "Hello?"

    • "Hello, James calling from ABC Software". You are a stranger to this customer, announcing your name and company helps place the customer at ease. If you don't announce yourself the customer will feel nervous about who is calling. This is unacceptable. They may not remember what you said but they will remember how you made them FEEL

    • "Is that David?"

    • "Yes."

    • "Hi David, I’m calling about the inquiry you made on our website ABC Software, a couple of minutes ago". You have just answered all the What, Who, Where, When and Why questions that are buzzing around in his head, and placed him at ease. Do not assume they know why you are calling. 

    • "Is this a good time to talk?" You are asking permission for their time, a respectful request that places the customer at ease.

    • "No."

    • "No problem David." Places the customer at ease.

    • "What are some good times to call back?" Do not ask for a specific time, nobody likes to be locked-in. Calling back is a positive, relationship building technique, because trust is built over time. Commit to call-back with a friendly manner. 

    • "Weekday mornings between 7 and 9."

    • "Great David (be positive and upbeat). I’ll call you back soon. Have a good day."Never hang up first. Wait until they hang up

  • Stay in touch and convert 80%. Using the above method will allow you to convert 80% of inquiries into sales, in the next few months

It's hard for customers to find you through all 'the noise', and they will fear contacting you because they don't want to be ignored (no return contact) or rejected ("NO we don't sell that!"). SO if they do contact you it's IMPORTANT to 'work-it', for all it's worth

People don't have to buy from you to have a relationship. If you help someone, then ask for something in return. An email address? Ask if they have friends you can help? Ask for a review?

Step 4.

Outbound Marketing

Talking to Strangers

Targeted, local B2B cold-calling with helpful follow-up

B2B cold-calling is also possible for B2C Businesses (read on)

The D.T.E.R.M. method

  • Deliver by Hand (optional)-  an in-person cold-call, for serious cut-thru. Deliver a Letter or Presentation Folder.  A hand-delivery that informs and/or entertains cuts through the 'noise' and signals your serious intention to serve. You are no longer hiding behind advertising, you have become the advertising. Do not try to engage (you're a stranger). Smile. 'Read the room'. Maybe a one-liner. "Thank you." Exit. Your phone follow-up is when you engage. 

  • Telephone - No selling. No questions. 15 second calls. The first phone call is simply a short and sweet request to introduce your Business to theirs with an email. Nothing more, because, you are a stranger. At this stage their response is unimportant. Voicemail? No problem - intro and email, stick to the plan

  • Emails - They get to know you 'in their own time'. 15 second read. The email is a balancing act - short yet comprehensive. Confident not 'salesy'. Memorable not sensational. With an invitation that's hard to resist

  • Repeat - because humans forget. Your phone/email/social follow-up will not annoy if you are constantly helping, keen to learn and looking for conversation not conversion. Your follow-up alone (emails and voicemails) may result in sales without ever talking to them, it did for me. Most sales take 5 - 20 'touches' and half of all salespeople give up after one call. And prospects secretly love being 'pleasantly pursued'

  • Meet - Events -  What better reason to phone, than an invitation to an event. No need to push, the event should be irresistible.  Attracting people to an Event is easier than chasing meetings. Casual conversations at Events are sales conversations without being 'sales conversations'. Don't try to qualify, close or control people at the event. Events should build trust and position you as an industry leader to increase inquiries. Team-up with allied industries and hold an event. It's a lot easier than you think. It just requires systematic effort

Deliver /



Get Attention








Emails Written

 Create Trust


& Events

Be Remembered









  • Commit a minimum of 1 hour a week to this method and you will see results. (5 calls with 5 emails in 15 minutes) on Tues, Wed, Thurs and Friday = 1 hour weekly. Meaning 80 personal ads monthly

Step 4. continued

Outbound Marketing

Targeted, local B2B cold-calling with helpful follow-up

Selling to Strangers

Effective cold-calling in a nutshell

  • Cold-calling is not about selling or calling people at home.

  • Cold-calling is not about trying to control a conversation.

  • It's simply one business saying hello to another business (B2B).

    • "Hi, what's the best way to introduce my business to yours?"

It can be done 2 ways

  1. In-Person (the best way) delivering printed material.

  2. Phone.

7 cold-calling myths busted

  1. I don't have the mindset - When you were 5 you'd talk to anyone. You don't need to learn a 'mindset', it's in you. Just remove the years of 'learned fear'.

  2. I will get rejected - No, they are just 'protecting' themselves.

  3. It's too much talking - Most times you won't get through. And when you do it will mostly be very short exchanges

  4. It annoys people - Not if you are helping and make it easy for them to 'opt out'.

  5. They're not interested - So what, I'm not interested in groceries, but i buy them.

  6. Most won't buy - So what, do you buy pizza every time you see an ad?

  7. B2C businesses can't call B2B - Yes they can, here's 3 examples.

  • A Cafe calls local businesses to provide catering.

  • Fashion store invites local businesses to Fashion Shows.

  • Surf Shop calls HR departments to sell Surf Lessons as Team Building Days.

Which businesses to call?

  • Call all businesses close to you (you don't know who they know).

  • Call your targets - you know these.

  • Call to create alliances  - Real Estate Agents calling Home Loan businesses.

When to call?

  • Not Monday (they're too busy).

  • 5 calls with 5 emails in 15 minutes on Tues, Wed, Thurs and Friday.

  • 10am or 2/3pm whichever suits your lifestyle and customers better.

Scripts are important (be warm, not a robot) especially for voicemails.

Never call just once - that's for dodgy telemarketers.

Follow-up because trust is built over time. Maximum 6 times over a few months.

Why should you cold call?

Because if they haven't heard of you they cannot buy from you.

Cold calling - the details

Contents of this page...

First let's understand cold-calling

  • What it isn't 

  • How it starts

  • How B2C businesses can do it

  • Why do it

How to target Businesses

  • Targeting individuals in Businesses

Preparing to 'call'

  • Call In-Person ​or Call by Phone 

  • Researching

  • Phone Scripts

  • Rejection

The first phone call.

  • What NOT to say

  • What to say

  • Voicemail

  • How to reply when they say...

  • Don't answer the phone

Helpful lines

  • Ending the call

The second call +

Record everything



First let's understand cold-calling

Effective B2B cold-calling is not - selling or being pushy, tricky or desperate

It's just telling other businesses you exist, helping and following-up

B2B cold-calling means a Business contacting another Business

B2C cold-calling means a Business contacting a Consumer (only do this if you have permission)

B2B cold-calling can be initiated 2 ways;

  1. by telephone (followed with an email)

  2. or a hand delivery that informs and/or entertains (hard-copy cuts through the noise). Deliver a letter or Presentation Folder. There's no need to 'engage' because you will follow-up to engage. Dress-up and have fun with it?

B2B cold-calling is also possible for B2C businesses, here's 3 examples

  1. A Cake Shop phones local businesses and speaks to the Social Club Organiser

  2. A Surf Shop phones local businesses and speaks to HR to sell surfing lessons as Team Building

  3. A Fashion Shop invites local businesses to monthly Fashion Shows

  4. A high-risk Investment Broker targets Extreme Sports Clubs 

  5. A Careers Coach targets libraries to hold free seminars


Why cold-call?

  1. If they haven't heard about you they cannot buy from you

  2. If you take the initiative, they know you're keen to do business!

  3. It's personal, not digital

  4. You'll stand-out because your competition won't do it

  5. It's free

  6. If they contact you first; you're on their 'research list' (with your competitors)

  7. If you can conquer cold-calling everything else is easy

Targeting local Businesses

  • Demographics, firmographics (different businesses) and psychographics (Interests and lifestyle) are all good places to stat

  • However you probably already know your target market. So focus on solving problems (see Step 1. - top of this page)

  • Although targeting is important, every business is a prospect, because you may never really know what a business does, how it does it or who it's customers are. That's a LOT of Businesses, this is why local businesses are important to approach.

  • Local businesses should be high on your list - especially with covid. We all like to know 'what's going on' in the local area.

  • Find businesses that want or have what you sell. Example - You make websites. A business with a website that needs an upgrade is a better target than a business without a website because they are 'in the market' i.e. they have already purchased. Example. A Careers Counselor gets client referrals from a psychologist because the patients have already 'asked for help'. meaning the patients are already 'in the market' for 'help'.

Targeting non-local, by Industry 

A prospect in another city can be targeted if they have no (or few) suppliers nearby Example. A lawyer that specialises in only helping IT Startups, should call those Businesses in other cities to share their Blog because it's worth the drive / flight

Targeting individuals within Businesses

  • The person that answers the phone is always a prospect, until proven otherwise. Do not try and get through them. Work with them. Treat them as a player and they'll become a player. Everybody's a prospect

  • Sometimes 'the Boss' is hard to reach. And often others, may have 'influence' or may have 'interest' in what you are selling. Everybody's a prospect

  • When you email 'the Boss' cc the person you spoke to. Everybody's a prospect

  • If you sell e.g. software, maybe the 'end users' within the business are your target not 'the Boss'? Everybody's a prospect

Preparing to 'call'

  • Do not worry about what you cannot control. You cannot control what others do and say. You can control what you do and say. Concentrate on improving what and how you communicate. What other people say is your guide not your concern

  • Never call once (scammers and lazy salespeople call once). If you call once, your reputation could be tarnished. Calling again means you are creating trust.

  • Around half of all salespeople don't call a 2nd time. Not many call a 3rd time. And it takes 6-20 'touches' (Phone, Email, Social ...) to sell. Do you see where this is going? Be pleasantly persistent and you will succeed.

  • Cold-calling is not easy. Easy is worthless. However it gets easier every time you do it. Like riding a bike.

  • Cold-calling is talking to strangers. Once you get OK at it, you will have a skill that few possess

  • You are about to enter the realm of Serious Selling. These guidelines are not only for your success. They are also to protect you from giving out too much of your energy and time to 'non-connects'

Calling In-Person

  • Hand deliver a letter or Presentation Folder, that informs / entertains

Calling by Phone 

  • A headset will 'free' you, to be physically expressive (more confident). Dance if you want.

  • Have a pen and large writing pad (typing will sound like you're disinterested)

  • Have your go-to icebreakers ready (rapport). Mine are coffee and surfing

  • There must be warmth in your voice. People don't want to talk to robots

  • Understand some people will never buy. Embrace this fact. It will release you from the stress of expectation

  • Objections are good. Solve their problem and they'll be a customer-for-life. Acknowledge and record their objection for later. Never argue or disagree on a cold-call.

  • Don’t raise your voice - there’s no need and it may sound pushy

  • Don't sound formal - this is Sales and Marketing NOT Mergers and Acquisitions

  • Don’t interrupt - the more they talk, the more you learn.

  • Don't winge, complain, tisk-tisk or make strange noises

  • Understand the there's a .00001% chance that if someone says "no", your head may explode. That was a joke - remember to NEVER lose your sense of humour. You are not about to call the flight-tower for permission to move onto the runway - this is sales and marketing - have fun!


The amount of time you research a prospect, before you call, depends on the size of your target market, how 'hot' you guess they are and how local. Take 30 seconds to 5 minutes on research. Here's the steps

  1. Website scan (what do you identify with?)

  2. Website Blog & Social Media scan (their vibe and their customers)

  3. Internet search with their name

  4. Internet search with their industry keywords for competitors

Phone Scripts

Which one of these statements from a Designer sounds better?

  • Unscripted - "Yeah we can get together and talk about what you want, sketch it up and make something" or...

  • Scripted - "We build with you, from concept to creation"

Phone Scripts allow you quickly and accurately, explain anything like an expert.

Customers like talking with experts. If the customer sees you as an expert they will allow you to ask them questions. Questioning to uncover problems is key. 

You won't sound like a robot if you make the script your own

  • Scripts allow you to focus on listening, not thinking about what to say next

  • Scripts allow new staff to become operational quickly

  • Scripts safeguard your Business. If your top salesperson leaves, you have a script

  • Scripts can be stuck on your wall, so you can quickly answer FAQs

  • Brainstorming is a great way to create scripts

  • Scripts should be constantly updated


When a prospect ‘rejects’ you on a sales call without listening to you they are protecting themselves. You are not being ‘rejected’.

And can you blame them, most salespeople are too PUSHY. So the prospect is 'playing the numbers' and saying NO immediately. Your job as a salesperson is to understand this dynamic and make a judgement call to disengage or continue.

Trust is built over time.

Most people are not comfortable talking to strangers.

It takes a couple of ‘contacts’ for them to be somewhat comfortable with you. Think about it from the customers Point of View.

The First Phone Call.

  • You're first call is almost irrelevant, get permission to email. You're just setting up the next call (one-off calls are for dodgy telemarketers)​. So ...

  • Never call once. 

  • You probably won't need to have a conversation because of voicemail and prospects not wanting a conversation - making it even easier​

  • They didn't answer the phone - so what! - TV Ads and Billboards don't get 'answered' either. Leave a great short voicemail, no problem

  • It doesn't matter if they are 'not interested'

    • I'm not interested in groceries, but I buy them

    • if they are interested they won't tell you because you're a stranger

    • how could they be interested without the details (in an email)

    • 'Interest' changes over time

The First Phone Call. What NOT to say

  • “How are you today?” Is inauthentic, you don’t care how they are. If you really want to say it, you must be specific - locate them in time and space by saying "How is your Tuesday morning in Smithville going?" AND you must be willing and able to have a authentic conversation about their response

  • “Is this a good time to talk?” On a cold-call, there’s never a ‘good time’ because you're a stranger.

  • “How have you been!?” Do not say this. It's a trick to pretend you are their long-lost-friend to get their attention. Do not trick people

  • "I'm sorry to interrupt ..." You're not interrupting! It's a business call. If they don't want to do business they should live in a tent on a beach. If you are polite and to-the-point you have nothing to apologize for.

  • “What did you say your name was?” It seems like a fair question to ask if someone mumbles their name. But they may interpret it as “can’t you even say your own name!?” Write down what you think they said, and clarify later.

  • Do not attempt to 'engage' unless you are already familiar or they engage first. Because you are a stranger and will make them uncomfortable

  • Don't go deep or talk for too long. You need reasons to call again

  • Do not 'qualify' them, see Article


Have a 10/15 second message ready. Do not leave your number unless you have a really good reason to (it pressures the prospect). Do not ask them to do anything. Why? Because you're a stranger

  1. Mention yourself

  2. Mention something about their e.g. website, to show you are familiar with them

  3. Offer specific, practical help

  4. Say you will email them now from (say your email) to (say their email)

Calls always going to voicemail? That's Ok. Don't give up! I've had customers buy without talking with them

Record what happened - Company Name. Suburb. Left standard voicemail with Lynne Smith 10:00am Tuesday 10/08/21. She said ...

The First Call. What to say

  • "Hi, what's the best way to introduce my business to yours?" Yes this is a soft approach. Hard approaches may work in the USA, not Australia

  • Then they may ask "What's your business?"

  • Then say the name of your business if you know that would appeal to them and the Industry (if appealing) and suburb (if close)

  • Prioritise local businesses. Because their propensity to TRUST is greater.

  • If you have the slightest doubt they can hear you, say "Hello can you hear me?" because it's difficult to recover from a bad start

  • Whatever happens, email and call-back another day

  • Do not try and control the conversation. Because you're a stranger 

  • Do not be placed on hold with a "I'll see if they're available." Be happy to email and call-back

  • Do not push for anything. The business you are calling is either 'open' to you or not (for good reasons). It's out of your control. Don't worry about what you can't control

  • End with an UPBEAT 'advertisement', "Thanks Elaine you'll get an email from in a few minutes, have a great day"

Record what happened - Company Name. Suburb. Spoke with Lynne Smith 10:00am Tuesday 10/08/21. She said ...

"They won't remember what you said, they will remember how you made them feel."

Maya Angelou


How to Email

  • Emailing is important because

    • they can review and understand you, in their own time.

    • they can remember you, to buy later

    • you can stay in touch

  • When they agree to receive an email say "Is OK because I have it here, on your website?" Strangely, a lot of people will give you a different address. This is a problem because it may bounce. When they spell-it-out, just write what you hear, then research to find the correct spelling. Don't waste your time asking them to spell it again because if they don't care, you can't change them

  • You have the email address. Now ask a question to better understand their business and know what information to send them.

How to reply when they say...

How to reply when they say 'no'

  • A 'no' is rare when you call another 'local' Business.

  • 'No' can mean "I don't trust you, you're a stranger" which is fair enough. Or it can mean "I'm moving to Hawaii tomorrow." Ask why, with a genuine tone of curiosity.

  • Getting a reason why they say 'no' is important. When you get a reason you will learn something. Learning about your industry is important, it's how you improve


How to reply when they say, "Sorry, what did you say?"

Do not repeat anything word-for-word. Switch-it-up to make it clearer. If they still don't GET IT there is a communication problem. Discontinue politely by saying you will send an email, (save your energy).Then call again another day

How to reply when they say, "We already have a supplier"

This is good news because now you know they BUY what you SELL. Suppliers come and go. Suppliers get lazy and slip-up. Most suppliers will eventually stop 'taking care' of their customers, it's human nature. That's where you come in. Stay in contact.

On a deeper level - you can research their supplier, what's their weakness? Customer service? Recontact the prospect and mention a concrete reason why you have great customer service.

Don't answer the phone

During your cold-calling don't answer the phone if it's a call-back. They need to listen to your crafted voicemail today or tomorrow to understand who you are. Then call again 2 days later. Stick with this plan. It's a progression of Gradual Exposure

Helpful lines for tricky First Calls

  • Be curious - "You're not interested in xxxx, I'm jealous, what's you're secret!"

  • TRUTH bombs. "It's OK if you need to hang-up on me" / "We have never spoken before"

Ending the call

  • Do not ask for a meeting on your first call, unless there's a really good reason

  • Do not push hard for a 'next step' (name / phone call / meeting). It should come organically. If you ask prematurely it could be seen as PUSHY 

  • Do not hang-up first (your 'slow' could be their 'fast')

The Second Call +

  • Follow-up is essential because trust is built over time

  • You will not annoy if you provide insights, tips, 'how to' articles, events, case studies or even something funny / entertaining

  • Most sales take 5 - 20 'touches' and half of all salespeople give up after one call

  • The number of follow-up calls will depend on conversations and the size of your target market. It will average 4-6 across weeks, with helpful information.

  • The second call is for 'setting up' the third call. Remembering this, will take the pressure off. As soon as the call gets tricky or the person gets flustered, look for ways to politely end the call. Because, once again, trust is built over time

  • If you speak to the same person on the second call say, "Hi Joan we spoke last Tuesday about ... ask about the sent email ... ask one or two questions ... learn ... help ... ask for help ...

  • If David (someone else) answers, do not refer to Joan (unless she is your sole contact) because this will shift focus from David. David is now your contact

Record - Company Name. Suburb. 2nd call. Spoke with David 10:00am Tuesday 10/08/21. He said ...

Helpful lines for follow-up calls

  • Don't talk / ask about the future (it's unknown). Talk about the past because the past is factual. For example ...

  • "What frustrates you about...?" Hopefully your solution can help

  • "What roadblocks do you experience when you...?"

  • "How are we travelling together so far?"

  • "Are you more interested in A or B?"

  • "Why do you say that?"

Record everything

  • Don't type and talk, because you need to focus on listening. And if they hear you typing they 'll think you don't care. Use pen and paper

  • Then transfer it to your in software (CRM), a calendar or spreadsheet ...

  • Your records will inform what you say on your next call

Generally speaking, SEO might be worth it

and Social Media rarely is;

(unless you have genuine, valuable conversations).

The information on this page is more important than both.

James Haldane

Selling by Helping since 2001



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