Getting Past the Gatekeeper
We’ve gathered expert tips from across the sales spectrum to help you to get past the gatekeeper, to reach more prospects and to enable you to engage in many, many more valuable sales conversations – maximizing your productivity, reducing frustrating unconnected time, and boosting your sales revenues (and your commission!).
Webinar topic detail
During this 30 minute virtual-live session, we cover the seven essential tactics you need to skyrocket your sales opportunities and give you expert hints and tips to maximize the return from your sales outreach.
This webinar, presented by Matthew Hall, a highly experienced B2B Sales Leader with over 10 years’ experience in the field, will provide you with actionable tips and practical techniques to overcome the common sticking points cited by almost all B2B sales professionals.
You will discover:
1. How to leverage all of the information at your disposal – even the information you didn’t know you had.
2. Methods of differentiating your message, and how to try things a little differently.
3. Ways to reach your decision-maker in the shortest possible time.
4. How to handle objections like a pro!
Lilah: Good morning, good afternoon, good evening wherever you are in the world. I hope you are either having a good start to your day or you've had a good day so far. First of all, I wanted to say thank you for joining us today. I'm really excited about this particular webinar because it's one of our most popular. So today we are talking about accelerating your sales and getting past the gatekeeper. First of all, I will do a couple of introductions.....my name is Lilah Waite and I'm the Group Chief Marketing Officer here at Lead Forensics. I would like to introduce and welcome Matt, Matthew Hall who is a Senior Sales Leader. I think Matt and I have worked together for about 4 years now, something like that and if there's anything about sales that Matt doesn't know, it's basically not worth knowing. I'm really excited to have Matt here today and he'll be sharing his insights and tips with you on the subject of Getting Past the Gatekeeper, so welcome Matt.
Matt: Thank you very much Lilah, I thought that when you welcomed everyone it sounded like The Truman Show.....like Good Morning, Good Afternoon, its great. It's a pleasure to be here so thank you very much for inviting me.
Lilah: The pleasure is all mine. Before we get started I wanted to just let everybody know that if you have any questions for Matt as we go through, do just pop them into the question box and I'll be keeping an eye on that and I'll pose them to Matt as we go. Please do join in the conversation and if you think of anything afterwards, feel free to get in touch with us as well. We are recording this webinar so if you want the recording afterwards to show your colleagues or anything like that then that will be coming over to you by email after the session.
So let's get started, I think we'll start with a basic question.......So Matt, What do we mean by the term 'gatekeeper'?
Matt: Quite interesting, here Lilah. I spent a little time thinking and doing a bit of prep for this and I did some research offline which hopefully is a good thing to do and from many different sales coaches out there, loads of people have different terms for the 'gatekeeper'. I've tried to string together my own little version because I'm trying to give my own view on gatekeepers today rather than just string together what other content is out there online. From that point of view, the definition of a 'gatekeeper' is an individual that stands between you and the prospect you're trying to reach.
Now I thought that, as someone mentioned to me, they also can be an influencer within a buying decision and they can also be a buyer. So we have to treat them with the utmost respect. If we are rude, I believe that this can be passed on to the decision maker we're trying to speak to so we must treat them very, very well. So that's my view of what a 'gatekeeper' is.
Lilah: Yes, I have a number of 'gatekeepers' in my team but they are actually influencers. They come and tell me who's called for me and what the tone was.......you're actually right Matt, if it's not the right tone or they were a little bit upset by the person on the other side then that message gets to me as well. So you're absolutely right, they can be an influencer just as much as a little bit of a barrier we need to overcome.
So in that regard, how important are 'gatekeepers' in the sales process?
Matt: Yeah, 'gatekeepers' are super important and I think over my sales career I've learned that a lot more. I'd love to say I get through a 'gatekeeper' every time but that's just not true. The 'gatekeeper' is there to serve a purpose, to almost block any unwanted calls for the decision maker that we are looking to speak to. Through speaking to 'gatekeepers', they are a library of information that they can pass on to us. Things like, email address, decision makers hobbies or they can let us know what their company is doing at the moment. We can really build relationships with people, with these 'gatekeepers'. My thought is that every time I call and speak to one of these 'gatekeepers', I go on with the mentality that they are there to help me upgrade the data that I currently have on that business. So whether it's getting an email address or phone number or the next availability slot that the decision maker has for me, I'm using every single call possible purely to either book the demonstration .............that's my number one goal, I'm here to book the demonstration. I'm not looking to become friends with the 'gatekeeper' themselves...... or number two, my priority is to upgrade the data set that I have for that organisation. So they are super crucial, yeah absolutely super crucial.
Lilah: So even if you actually don't get the results that you want initially, you leverage the information you're able to obtain from the gatekeeper to then help with future calls and future conversations. So you are actually looking to build a profile from every single conversation that you have with them, is that right?
Matt: That's absolutely true, the reason being.........if you think about call one, in call one we may be confronted by this 'gatekeeper', which by the way they're not monsters, they're people, we're just here to have a conversation with them to try to help them leverage our way through to this decision maker what we want to speak to. By upgrading bits of data, whether it's as I say a phone number or email address, that will support our way through to eventually getting hold of someone that we want to speak to. They may be blocking us because the decision maker is busy, maybe they are blocking us because the decision maker has actually said 'look, I do not accept any calls that are unsolicited or I've had no previous correspondence with'. So by getting that little bit of extra information, like an email address, maybe we can start using some tools that we have available to us ........whether it's a video email, whether its an email or a testimonial of a business that we work with which is very similar. We can send that information directly to the person we want to speak to, which helps our next call. Because on the next call we can say we sent an email to the decision maker, they responded and I just want to have a follow up with them. So it's really, really crucial that they are part of that sales process to help us upgrade data or put us through to that right person.
Lilah: Okay, so it's not just a case of trying to get past the 'gatekeeper', it's also trying to leverage that 'gatekeeper' for your longer term success as well. I do know that the 'gatekeepers' I have, particularly on the phone will message me sometimes and say ' Lilah, this person has called for you 6 times now, I'm fed up of taking this message for you' and I will get pressure from my 'gatekeeper' to actually take that call as well. So, tenacity as well...... I know we'll come on to that a little bit later but I know that my 'gatekeepers' get annoyed with me as well.
Matt: Just another thought on that as well, is if we do speak to and form some form of relationship with that 'gatekeeper' over a period of time.....we maybe trying to pitch to the owner of a company because we feel that's the right person we need to speak to, but over a period of questioning and speaking to this 'gatekeeper', we actually may find out that its someone else we need to speak to in the organisation. Having a good relationship, speaking with authority and asking the right questions they may be able to support us to get to that right person we need to speak to, which in the long run will save us a lot of time.
Lilah: So you're actually asking for this person but if you build a good relationship they might give you insight that's like..... well even though you're after this person, actually this is who you want to be speaking to because that's the decision maker on that particular thing and not them. So actually they could help you to realign your target according to the feedback they provide you with, yeah?
Matt: Absolutely, yep.
Lilah: Mmmm, interesting. Okay. So, why is it that 'gatekeepers' present a hurdle to sales professionals so often? The term 'gatekeepers' doesn't really do these people justice because they are humans, it's their job and a lot of the time they are fielding calls and various other things for very busy people. So why is it that they present the hurdle, what is that objective they're given and why is it so frustrating for sales professionals?
Matt: From my own perspective, I've found it frustrating in that I have a very important message to deliver to a decision maker in an organisation of why, in our example, Lead Forensics is so important to them. In my gut I know why Lead Forensics is so important for any business to business company out there. If we think through a 'gatekeepers' role, they have been requested by their boss to basically filter out anyone who has not been given authority to call and book a meeting or whatever with that individual. Really, it's quite simple. They actually have been told I do not accept calls from unsolicited people. So, yes it's a hurdle. We need to think of smart ways to train ourselves, like an athlete would if they were looking to do hurdles themselves. If we stumble at them, we will fall. We need to train on how to overcome them, think of different approaches, try different approaches and keep going, keep persevering. It's too easy to give up too early on and persistence is really key but not persistence that we are going to annoy the person that we're speaking to. Just persistence in maybe trying different avenues or different ways of getting through to that decision maker.
Lilah: Okay, super, let's move on. So, in terms of that then how can sales professionals understand those motivators of the 'gatekeeper' and use that to gain a greater understanding to then be able to build upon those relationships? So, how can they understand, walk a mile in their shoes to figure out the things that are going to help them be put through to their decision maker ?
Matt: So again, listening. Over the past few days, purely based on this webinar, I didn't realise how much resource there is out there to get this real understanding. Within two podcasts that I did listen to, literally over the past two days I spent about two hours listening to it. I feel here, many sales people have that fear or put that fear in that 'gatekeepers' are monsters, I think it's been said on many different websites and things. They are literally monsters and we should be scared or worried about talking to them, which is crazy! They are human beings, they are doing their day-to-day job like I'm doing my day-to-day job trying to position Lead Forensics to all these companies. We need to think of them as an influencer with potential to become a buyer. So if we just take our focus off.........ooo it's a cold call, what am I going to do, how am I going to pitch this, what script am I going to read. Actually, if we just think through every call that I make, I'm going to be speaking to someone that can help me influence this buying decision. We suddenly change our mindset in the calls that we make, so we just need to change our focus I think on a day-to-day basis from 'monster' to 'influencer'. Now, these people who are taking calls, they may be taking 10's of calls per day from maybe robot sounding, scripted sales people and probably 99% of sales people can come across in that way. Because they are going on with the wrong mindset, they're going on with the wrong script, they're going on unprepared. There is so much resource and facility for us all out there to actually go on to a call with some real stronger determination that I'm going to use this call to understand this 'gatekeeper', to get them on my side, to help me get the buyer on my side. We just need to change our approach, change the mindset that every time we speak to someone, we need to make sure that we are helping them become an influencer for this buying decision.
Lilah: You know that's really interesting. Yesterday I was having a call particularly relating to the US market and just the amount of noise that is in the market from various organisations. There's so much email, there's so many people trying to get through. You're exactly right when you say that there are 10's of calls to that decision maker every single day. This comes on to my next question, you've got to stand out, you've got to stand out from the crowd. As you say, if you just have that scripted piece...... 'can you put me through to so and so please' 'what's it about?' 'it's about this.....', you know......you're just going to get the same robotic response that every other person that has called that day. I guess you've got to find what makes you unique, what makes your pitch unique, what makes your offering unique but also what makes your pitch unique to that 'gatekeeper' so that they actually consider that they want to put you through to the decision maker. Because either they know it's going to be really interesting, or you've been relatively humorous or you've given them the time of day. How can you get that quick and immediate rapport built to stand out above the 10's of other calls that are happening every day. I think that the business landscape is so busy now, there is so much noise that if you want your little voice to be heard, it's got to be different. I think that's a really good point and like I say that segues quite nicely on to my next question which is.... Matt, have you got any hints or tips with regard to building that rapport? How do you stand out? I know you've done a lot of reading about this sort of subject, what have you learned about ways to build that rapport quickly, because you haven't got long, right?
Matt: Yeah, for sure. If we think through this whole sales process that we're doing on a day-to-day basis, I'm thinking the first call I'm going to make I've never spoken to the 'gatekeeper' and never spoken to this decision maker before. Now, my number one goal when I get on to the phone is to book the demonstration or book a meeting with this decision maker, that's my number one goal. Something I tend to lean towards is yes, I can try and build some rapport on that first call with the 'gatekeeper' but what I don't want to do is spend too long talking to them. Because it will come across that I'm here to sell a product or service to that company and I haven't spoken to that decision maker before. So what I try to do is, to position my first call as "I'd like to speak to John" (I've done my homework or Sarah, the decision maker) "could you pop me through". That's my first positioning. Now if they are not comfortable or they cannot put me through, my rapport is built at this point. If they say that the decision maker is busy, I may push once more but I'm not going to ruin my relationship built with the 'gatekeeper' at that point. I will trust them and I will say "great, what time are they available" and I will build my rapport in that way. I will give them the respect that they deserve. Now asking the 'gatekeeper's' name, so I have that for my next call in a week's time or whenever that decision maker is available, I can then talk to them......"Hey James, Hey Sarah, thanks very much. You said that I could call back in a week and speak to John, is he available".........that's how we build rapport. Remember we need to be focused on not really trying to build huge amounts of rapport in the first call with the 'gatekeeper', our main and number one goal is to get through to that decision maker. We want to book an appointment, we want to book a meeting but for me, it's just my personal experience....for me it's about booking the appointments in stage 2, getting some really good information so that we can start building some fantastic rapport on our second call. That's from my experience and it seems to work. I seem to have good first and second stage calls with organisations.
Lilah: So you're almost building a pipeline then. So you're almost using that first conversation as literally you've just opened the door and not trying to shove your way through the door and barge past everyone to get there. You're just opening door and saying "oh is it a convenient time right now?" but you're building your pipeline for later on. How does that work because I know that there are a lot of people who come into sales particularly in an SDR capacity for example, where there is pressure on dials and call connections and that sort of thing. Obviously, if you are saying use your first call to just politely open that door and the second call you can leverage your first call as a hook to try and help you. Do you find then that actually by using that double pronged approach you get maybe less connections on that first call but actually you're boosting your number of connections further on down the pipeline. Would that be right?
Matt: Absolutely, true yeah. If we think generally speaking, if we are talking or trying to get hold of a decision maker.....maybe they are busy on the phone or they're in a meeting that day or they're on holiday for a week, whatever that reason is........so all we're doing is pushing that booking meeting within a one to two week timespan. But we just have to understand, if we start really pushing the 'gatekeeper' we are losing rapport and we are being like the 99% of other people who have that goal in mind every day to hit 5 demonstrations booked and just pushing so hard that you are actually losing more opportunities than you are gaining. Absolutely! So my answer is we need to push, we need to know where that balance is, that is done with time and experience. Listening back to our calls, maybe those opportunities where we don't get the second call booked in, we should go back and listen to that.... Did we push too hard, did we come across slightly rude, did we not listen to the 'gatekeeper' and say "well they said call back in a week" and we take that as gospel. Here's another thought on that Lilah, we do need to make sure that we do follow up on that at the right time that they ask for. If they say in a week or two week's time, make sure we do it. From my experience of managing teams, managing individuals...in a lot of cases we don't follow up at the right time we've been requested to, so it's very important.
Lilah: I think that is really important because everyone is so busy now that everything can seem immediate especially if you're in sales and your are questing after the right now, it can be really easy to be short-term focused, so just focusing on your dials that day, your connections that day, conversations that you've had that day and the next day it actually becomes a new day. I guess if you can have really solid pipeline management in terms of being able to build up your follow up calls overtime and keeping robust notes about when is the right time to follow up with that opportunity you are much more likely to get the result that you want. Pipeline management is really hard, you're not going to be able to do that just on a spreadsheet, well not for very long are you. I guess you have to be using tech to help with that. I haven't worked in sales myself but I'm guessing you wouldn't be able to do pipeline management on a spreadsheet ?
Matt: It's a struggle! As soon as we get into making 100's of calls every single day, a spreadsheet is really not going to suffice. Just as another thought here, organisation is really key in cold calling, it really is. Whether it's the start of our day where we're prepping our data or whether it is booking a call in and then following up with it. I think the mindsets of a lot of salespeople out there, we'll always try and get the quick win. How do get that really quick win, do we just send 100's of emails, do we just put 100's of linkedin requests out there and hope for the best that someone at some point will engage and say "oh by the way my product just broke so your timing is perfect"........that doesn't happen every single day. Sales would be far easier if it did. We need to make sure we are building those relationships on these calls so we don't hinder the opportunity and also burn data, Lilah as well. If we are too harsh on the first calls, we're too scripted, we're not building any rapport on call one or call two, we will burn through our data and it can be hard to come by.
Lilah: So what you're saying is rather than do a spray and pray approach, is to intelligently build your pipeline and that it becomes almost like a flywheel. It might take time to build at first but once you've got it running it rumbles on under its own steam, is that right?
Matt: Absolutely, right, yes. Spot on.
Lilah: Let's move on. What's the best way to enter that conversation? Is there any particular research that should be conducted beforehand, any essential information that can help you with that conversation?
Matt: Yes, really interesting thought in this one and this is quite a big conversation point in a lot of webinar and coaching companies out there that talk about this conversation we're supposed to have with 'gatekeepers' and if you spend $199 today you will learn the best 'one liner' ever and if you do the 5 stringed sales approach to this and you'll........to be honest my personal preference and what I've learned and been successful at this.......is actually do some research, find the person you want to speak to, speak with authority that you want to speak to that person and almost expect to be put through. From the way it has worked for me and as I say I have made good sales and spoken to many 'gatekeepers' and I've got through multiple times. Named terms speaking to a decision maker is where you want to be, we have the time, we have the manpower, we have the technology out there to be able to get decision makers' names. Linkedin is super straightforward, getting CEO's names, even if you don't have a Linkedin account you can go to Companies House and find people's names. There are so many different ways you can get decision makers' names that you want to speak to and you should be asking for them. We need to do our research, absolutely. My suggestion to everyone listening on the call today, is in your mornings your preparation and research is absolutely critical. You should be thinking about how many calls you're going to make in a day. For some businesses it's 100, for some people 200....you need to make 100 in the morning and 100 in the afternoon. Whatever your number is before you start you should be cleansing and you should be finding out 50-100 opportunities - name, job title. That's what you should be doing every single day, morning and afternoon, two stints. Because you're going to have a great batch of data asking for named individuals, that will give you authority when you speak to these 'gatekeepers'. So the conversation is going to be fairly small and that's what you are hoping for because again your number one goal is to book a demonstration or book a meeting with this decision maker that has the influence to buy. For me, it's keeping the conversation small but being quite direct in what I say.
Lilah: Mmmmm, I think that's really good. I get lots of emails and calls that come in, that kind of say can you put me through to whoever heads up your marketing function. I am super easy to find on Linkedin, in fact I'm super easy to find if you Google me. So the fact that I'm getting these people trying to reach out to me without having done any research at all, I'm just the person who heads up the marketing function.........straightaway they're on the back foot compared with those people who have done some research to find out at least my name, even if they don't necessarily spell or say it right, at least they found it out. Extra kudos for those people who put in little snippets of information about me or the business that are quite topical or might be high on my agenda because that just attracts my attention straightaway. Everything else just filters through straight away.
Matt: Sure. Here's just a thought on that, I've to at some point plug Lead Forensics.......I'm going to, so callers beware. Conversation with the 'gatekeeper' ......... so I don't know if everyone on the call today knows what Lead Forensics can do but something I have found if in the morning, I'm doing my normal calling session, where I pick out 50 businesses that I've never spoken to before and I'm pitching out to a 'gatekeeper' to say 'put me through to John or Jane, Head of Sales....I'd like to talk to them about new business' or whatever your sales pitch is. We have no idea that company needs our service at the moment, we don't know their issues, we don't know what they are looking for, we are literally going in cold, hence the name 'cold call'. Introduce Lead Forensics into the mix.......... an example I've got is, if a business that sells commercial furniture had a visitor to their website and they had Lead Forensics tracking on that website, I don't believe that someone would be looking for commercial furniture for fun. There's no real reason to visit a commercial furniture website unless they had a need or requirement. If I knew that information and then I spoke to the 'gatekeeper' and said 'Hi there, I'm ringing from ABC Furniture. You guys have got a requirement at the moment, can you put me through to (researched name, insert here)". Do you know what, they have a need at the moment and you're going to get through to that person because you can help them, you can fulfil their requirements, you can fulfil their needs. So by introducing a product like Lead Forensics it's going to help your cold calling abilities 10 fold, absolutely 10 fold. I think at the end of this call today you're going to give people the ability to look more into Lead Forensics, is that right ?
Lilah: Yep, absolutely. Everyone on the webinar can have the opportunity to have a 2 week trial for free, of Lead Forensics. I'll come on to that in a little bit more detail later. Let's move on, so what if you get stonewalled by the 'gatekeeper'? What do you try? Do you try to build a rapport? Should you give up, should you just move on? Is it a numbers game? Or should you persist?
Matt: If you get physically stonewalled, my question would be have you tried all routes? So whether it's phone calls, emails, Linkedin requests, videos. Have you tried all routes to get hold of someone you need to? Have you tried different times of day? This is quite good as well. If we think about this 'gatekeeper' we're talking about, I'm sure at some point in the day they would be allowed off their desk to go and have lunch. So it might be worth trying at a different time of day because we could get someone else to speak to, maybe someone not as trained as much to fend off these sales people that are calling. So we may get better hit rates if we call at different periods of the day. We just need to make sure that we are trying all these things. With regards to giving up, if we get to that point where we've tried every single avenue we'll need to weigh up whether the time we're spending is bringing us a return. If not, we must move on. We can't be scared of losing one or two bits of data because there are other businesses that we won't be speaking to when we are trying to chase this one up. I did have a thought for you for this. When you first asked me to come and talk about 'getting past the gatekeeper', I was actually going to ask you if we could change the title. Because what I thought about and this is how I spend more time....... rather than getting through the 'gatekeeper', is actually how to avoid the 'gatekeeper'. That's my go to. We have so much technology and there are so many different companies out there that are able to facilitate phone numbers, names, email addresses with direct contact to decision makers. If our time is better spent using those technologies to get hold of those decision makers, we hopefully won't need to get stonewalled because we'll be speaking to the right person on the first call. So my number one go to would be, let's not even speak to the 'gatekeeper'.
Lilah: Avoid the 'gatekeeper'. I think that's fair. Okay, so how important is mindset? I think that's a massive thing in sales. Sales is relentless, you have one good day and you've got to repeat that over and over again.........it can be tough. So how important is mindset?
Matt: Mindset is so important. We're in sales, there are easier jobs out there than sales. Especially with peaks and troughs that we all go through, whether it's pitching out a large value contract and we get a yes or a no or whether it's our day-to-day role booking demonstrations for people. We go through peaks and troughs of excitement and also of very sad times when we're not reaching decision makers that we'd like to. For me it's about starting your morning well, starting each day fresh and again it comes back to this starting well by cleansing our data. What we should be doing when we get into the office, having that mindset of..... I'm going to make sure that I have the best dataset in front of me for every single call that I make because I know I'm going to have better conversations with key decision makers that I want to speak to. So going in every single morning is absolutely key. I believe that we need to listen to podcasts, we need to go on to Youtube.....there is so much resource out there to help us with our day-to-day job. The good news is we've got 110 people on here at the moment. So my thoughts are, we've got 110 people that are wanting to upskill themselves, they want to be better at this getting through the 'gatekeeper' and they are willing to commit an hour of their time to become better. Which is fantastic, so I'm saying that you guys are wanting good mindsets to be able to jump on calls everyday and be the best versions of yourselves. Something that I do is, I've always got in my brain my best ever week or my best ever month and it's something that I can always fall back on. Knowing that I have and I always will have some really great results that I can just go...do you know what, I am good at this job. I've done it before and I can do it again. So just knowing that your data stats day-to-day is key, it's absolutely crucial because it's something you can fall back on. It's like someone who has won a gold medal. In a few years time if they think I'm no good at running or no good at this sport or this sport, they can always fall back and go do you know what I absolutely am, I've been the best in my field in this. I think it's quite key to build in small victories day-to-day so we can always focus on the big victories in cold calling. Getting past the 'gatekeeper' and booking the demonstration, it can be actually booking the demonstration that makes a victory on the board that we work in the team or environment but I've taught my teams to make small victories of even upgrading the dataset that you've got. So the calls that you make, even upgrading your data should be a victory for you because what you're doing is progressing each opportunity further forward. That really helps with mindset, so even if you get a 'no' on that call, you know you've got positivity out of it because you've increased your dataset.
Lilah: So you celebrate to keep that mindset in tact. Don't let yourself get bogged down and actually statistically it takes a lot of calls to actually connect. A lot of sales people will give up....there's loads of stats out there, just Google Sales Stats and things like that. There are loads of stats out there about just how many times it takes to connect and how many calls you have to make before you get connected and actually the disconnect of how many times a sales person will actually do those calls. So if you can be that 1 or 2% of sales people who are really, really tenacious because you've got your mindset in the right place, you're then going to be streets ahead than everyone else. Like you say Matt, everyone on this webinar today is willing to learn, open to hearing new ideas and hopefully some of the points here will be useful but that's the first step, isn't it? Getting that mindset right and understanding you've got to set your expectations in the right place, is that correct?
Matt: Correct, absolutely. We can end our day and we can say..... Do you know what? I booked 2 appointments and I got 50 'no's' or 100 'no's' or whatever that is. But if we flip that mindset and we say ........do you know what, I booked 2 or 3 appointments and I've upgraded 50 or 60 bits of my contact data to make my next call even easier. It's exactly the same data but what you're doing is having a positive mindset in it, to say every call that you make you're pushing it further and closer towards booking that vital meeting and that's the reason why we make those calls.
Lilah: Good. I'm not sure everyone can see the right slide deck, I think it might be stuck but we're going to carry on in the hope that you can see the screen about tone of voice. So, tone of voice......what about tone of voice, why is that important?
Matt: Tone of voice is important. As I mentioned in previous slides, we talked about that first call and then a second call, having good tonality when we speak to a 'gatekeeper'. We really want to be coming across like we know the person that we're trying to be put through to, speak with authority. The second part of tonality is also portraying that you have something super important to explain to this business and explain to them why the product or service we are offering can absolutely change their business overnight. You should come across with heart and passion and a want to get through to someone because you need to share it with them. Every call that I make about Lead Forensics, I have a strong....... it's in my blood, that if I speak to someone, I have a need to speak to them and I'm going to explain how great Lead Forensics is. I believe that and that comes across in my tonality on every single call that I make because I believe it wholeheartedly. I'm going to throw it out there.......if people can't have that genuine tonality of this call could change the business, you're about to speak to, overnight.....my question would be do you actually believe in the service or product you're offering and do you believe in the company that you're working for. If not, there are many businesses out there that could support you but you need to believe that for the calls you are making, you have a reason to and you need to get that message across.
Lilah: I think also when you're on the phone particularly, it can be really difficult to express emotion. I know within my marketing team, we call certain members of my team 'sunshine yellow people' because they just have positivity in spades. You can hear in their voice that they are happy today and that they are looking at everything positively and everyone wants to be around those 'sunshine yellow people'. I'm sure that everyone has heard the term 'mood hoovers' as well. Everyone probably knows a 'mood hoover' and you don't necessarily want to be around them, they can just be downbeat all the time. I think that if you can be a 'sunshine yellow person' on the call then you are going to build rapport really quickly. But I think you are absolutely right Matt, you have to be genuine and you've got to have a genuine belief in what you are selling is really important and it's really important to the decision maker and it's really important that they get the message, because actually it's going to make a difference to their business in one way or another. You're right Matt, tone of voice is so important.
Matt: Just on that point Lilah, the negative on tonality. We mentioned this previously, if you sound like a robot.....this is just another call, it's another tick box you're going to have to make.......if you come across in that way, these 'gatekeepers' receive 10's of calls everyday with that same tone. 'Hello, it's so and so calling from blah, blah, blah. Can put me through to whoever deals with blah, blah, blah'......they've heard it so many times !! You have to go on with every call like it's your first, like you're excited, like you are looking forward to making a change for their business. That clearly comes across on the calls you make, so mindset every single call, tonality every single call!
Lilah: I think particularly, if you are new to sales it can be really difficult to have that confidence in your tone of voice. Sometimes you can get a little bit lost, particularly if you've just had a rejection but in sales rejection is part of the course, isn't it. You've just got to scoop yourself back up again and treat every call as if it's a brand new call. So your last call of the day has just as much energy as your first and it's daunting if you're entry level sales to be speaking to senior decision makers. So do try and get that confidence across by knowing what you're selling, being confident in your pitch, by knowing your product inside out. If someone is trying to sell me some marketing software, I can probably run rings around them in terms of marketing knowledge and that sort of thing but I won't know their product, I won't know their product inside out and that's where the confidence is. Don't pretend to be something you're not because most decision makers can see right through that, so know your product.
Matt: Absolutely. Also with that knowing the product, knowing also what that product can do for the company. How it can be so transforming for their business. If you are new to sales and you don't know the ins and outs and you don't know how this works with this and deep down understand that this product could change their company...... it could help pay for new sales staff they're after, it could help pay for the new marketing software they're looking to buy, it could help them not go under. Do you go on with that authority every time you pick up the phone? That is the authority we should be going on the call with, even if we don't know everything about the product we're trying to sell, because we're new to the business. But knowing what the resource and the money could bring for that organisation should come across on those calls.
Lilah: I've got one last question here, that is .....How can you reach the most decision makers, in the shortest amount of time to maximise your results? I know that's a big question.
Matt: Okay, yeah. This will come back to that point of whether we label this 'How to avoid the gatekeepers'. Because there are, whether we go on to Linkedin, there are email tools out there, there are contact tools that are embedded with the Lead Forensics software that would give you named decision makers, their direct email addresses, their direct phone numbers and we should be using tools like Lead Forensics to obtain that data. As much as there is a cost to those tools, we will save money in the long term for the time it's going to save. Another thought that I had on another podcast that I listened to was don't be scared as sales people to invest in these resources yourself as well. If your business is not willing to do so, don't be scared to look at investing in yourself. Because if you were to invest in a product that's going to help you with your day-to-day job role and it's going to help you get the data you need to engage with these organisations, how much more value would each of those bits of data have if you've bought them yourself. We can be very quick to burn through data, to just call it if we don't get through to someone we just dead that bit of data off and we move on to the next one. That's very valuable to the company but it's of no value to us because we haven't invested the time and effort into it. So another thought is, there are again tools....please engage with Lilah or myself on Linkedin or email or however you want to engage with us but we can certainly point you in that direction as well, for sure. As I say, if we can avoid 'gatekeepers', number one, using the tools and resources out there, we should be speaking to them directly and engaging with the sales pitch, which I think is on a different webinar that we've got coming up.
Lilah: Absolutely! I'm conscious of time so I'm just going to come on with the final point here. I just wanted to do a bit of an intro to Lead Forensics, we do have an offer for everyone who is attending today. So Lead Forensics identifies your website visitors, it's perfect for sales because it's not cold data, it's not intent based data. What we're talking about with Lead Forensics is high quality, high value first party data. First party data is data that you have generated yourself, your website is generating that data for you and is generating those leads for you. If you don't have the ability to see who is visiting your website, you are going to have no idea those people are interested. We really want you guys to try Lead Forensics for free with no catch, no commitment. You can have the leads that are generated throughout the trial complete with contact information. You can see what they've looked at on your website, you can know instantly if one of your pipelines have visited your website with real time alerting and you can fuel your sales pipeline with high intent first party data. So people who have actually looked at your websites, actively looked at your product and services and you can see specifically what they have looked at. I'm just going to pop up a poll to see who would like to claim their free trial, so no catch, no commitment, no credit card. There's no pressure, you don't have to, you can say no thanks. Just choose one of the options.
I'm going to move on to a quick summary slide. For those people who have said they would like to see a demonstration, we'll get that set up for you over the coming few days. We'll get in touch with and get your code live. For those of you who have said can you send me more information, again we'll ping that out to you really shortly. For those of you who have said no thanks, I hope you are enjoying the webinar. We do have further webinars coming up that I really hope you'll join us for.
So what I'll do Matt, is I'll just allow you to wrap up because I know that you've got an acronym for everyone to takeaway.
Matt: Thank you very much. So again, listening to the podcasts that I do and the coaching that I've had in the past many, many years, I'm always given an acronym like the 5R's to this or the 5P's to this, so I thought I would come up with my own. I spent a little time thinking about the word COLD and what I've come up with is this here.
If we could take anything away today, the view is it's about this cold calling piece and looking at the word COLD from cold calling we need to know our CADENCE, we need to know what our matrix looks like. So how many calls or dials does it take to speak to a decision maker. How many calls does it take to get by the 'gatekeeper' or how many calls do I need to make to do this. By knowing those matrices we are then able to upskill in areas of weakness, it's crucial. There will probably be only one area that we'll need a small bit of coaching in that will make a huge amount of difference to us. so cadence is really important.
ORGANISATION, I've mentioned this a few times today. When the 'gatekeeper' says to call us back at a certain time we need to make sure that this happens because that's going to build that relationship that we're after with this 'gatekeeper'. We need to prepare our data on a daily basis, so we need to make sure that we are organised in the morning. Looking over our data, finding out names and job titles so we can speak to those decision makers immediately.
The LANGUAGE, are we talking with authority on these calls? Are we actually getting across the product or service that our company is offering?
DRIVE, do we have drive? Do we have drive every day that we get into the office? When we are about to make that first call, do we have the drive to get to that decision maker? When we make our 150th call, do we still have that same drive?
All these things are crucial, every time that we turn up to work. We make sure that we follow.....I don't know how to put this Lilah......I was going to say our COLD but that doesn't sound right does it. I should have role played that bit (laughter). COLD that's where it is. By the way, guys if you come across even just one of these you can upskill in, then I believe we've done our job right here today, Lilah. If it's just in CADENCE and you can start being better in learning your stats. Or if it's ORGANISATION, you go off and be more organised. Or LANGUAGE or DRIVE, it is just one thing that's great ........ you guys will be more successful but you need to do something. If you come off of this webinar and do nothing about it, you probably should have spent your time making more cold calls. So do something about it, upskill yourself, learn about it and you will become better versions of yourselves.
Lilah: I think that's really easy to remember. So Cadence, Organisation, Language and Drive. You just keep that front of mind on every single one of those calls. If it's different tech you can use, different tactics you can use. I do like the idea of analysing the time of day when you get the most success and then doing blitz calls through your pipeline. There's always data that you can leverage to give yourself further insight but to be able to do that you've got to get on top of your cadence and organisation. The language comes with time and learning. I know Matt that you're a really keen advocate on learning all the time. There's lots of podcasts that you subscribe to, aren't there? and you listen to those on the way into the office in the morning........forever learning, right!
Just to wrap up then, thank you Matt. I found that really useful, I actually took a page of notes myself so I'm hoping that anyone who works in sales was scribbling down notes frantically and there will be a few takeaways there.....so thank you so much for your time.
What's coming up next is just a poll to see if anybody wants to register for our upcoming webinars. We have another couple this side of Christmas, one in a couple of week's time and then one the week after that. One is about 'How to drive high value traffic to your website' and the other one is about 'Top tips for controlling successful sales calls'. So if you could express an interest in one or either or none, we'll get you registered if you are interested.
Thank you to everyone for tuning in today, we really appreciate your time. We hope you found it to be helpful. Matt do you have any closing thoughts at all?
Matt: Just remember COLD everyday,
Lilah: Okay, super. If any of you want to get in touch with either Matt or myself, then as Matt has said already that we are available on Linkedin should you wish to reach out.....we're quite easy to find. So I'm going to leave you with this poll and thank you and wish you a nice pleasant evening or a pleasant day ahead depending on where you are in the world.
Group Chief Marketing Officer