Two dreaded words. Cold Calls.
Sellers don’t like making them.
Buyers don’t like receiving them.
Cold calling has received such a bad rep over the years that people are starting to believe that it’s a dead sales art form.
Cold calling expert, Kevin Hopp, has a different outlook: Cold calling is not dead. You’re just doing it wrong.
On this episode of Evolved Sales LIVE, host Jonathan Fischer sits down with Kevin, outbound sales guru and sales trainer, to uncover a specific action plan you can test the next time you pick up the phone that proves cold calling, in fact, still works.
Don't forget to follow us on LinkedIn for more engaging sales insights and discussions! Happy watching!
Kevin is an outbound sales guru, a podcaster. As a sales trainer, he's made it his mission to not only prove the cold calling still works, but he's helped dozens of businesses learn to profit from it.
Check out the transcription of this webinar episode below!
Jonathan Fischer 0:00
Hey welcome back. Thanks for joining us. I'm Jonathan Fisher, cold calling. Whether you're a buyer or a seller, nobody seems to like it. And as difficult as it's become, is it even profitable today is cold calling dead? Well, Kevin hop says no cold calling is not dead. You're just doing it wrong.
Kevin is an outbound sales guru, a podcaster. He's a great trainer, he's made it his mission to not only prove the cold calling still works, but he's helped dozens of businesses learn to profit from it. Big time. And he's going to do the same for us today. Right here on the show. Kevin, fantastic to have you. Welcome to the Evolve sales leader.
Kevin Hopp 0:42
Thank you for having me.
every piece of outbound sales is trying to accomplish the same thing, which is just trying to get a response from a prospect have that conversation that the definition of call and response, the fastest way to do that is to talk to somebody, I just want to talk to them, I'm gonna send an email hoping they reply, DM them on LinkedIn hoping they reply, I'm gonna call them hoping they pick up so that I can have that conversation very quickly that so how did I get into it is the question here. I started my career, the first job I had out of high school or a college out of college was UC Santa Barbara, shut up. Go Gauchos. We made the tournament this year, last first round when we made the tournament. first job out of college was being the first hire at a tech startup, first hired a company. So very, very unique job out the gate, I did a lot of different things. But I identified that, hey, I don't care about sales. Like I'm not I don't have this, like ego weird feeling about sales. And a lot of people told me in my life, like, Hey, if you're not scared of sales, like you should go into sales. So when that startup fizzled out, I went and became a sales development rep. So that was my first real sales job at a tech startup here in San Diego, California, which is where I live where I'm standing today. From there, I went from being a SDR to an AE to a senior AE to a different company. Well, everywhere I went, including my first job, I had the same problem, which is, I wish I could be having more conversations with people in my market. I've never worked at like a big, well funded company that has like, Hey, Kevin, your job is to close deals. And I'm going to give you all these relationships. So I'm going to give you a pipeline for people who are interested. And your job is just to talk to people and do the actual selling part. I thought that's when I was getting a lot of these jobs and you change jobs thinking the grass is greener, you're like, oh, cool, I'll be an account executive here. I had to do a lot of outbound, but all change here and they have inbound. They never really do, man. So I always had to figure it out. I always had to say to myself, well, how do I build my pipeline. And I am sort of impatient. And I don't know if you can tell I'm kind of outgoing, kind of loud, and gregarious. And my wife jokes, I make friends in light of the supermarket, which I do, I've met some really cool people there. But that nature lends itself to being someone who would be very good on the phone. So cold calling is just what I kept doing, and doing and doing and doing. And eventually, I decided to pick the path of hey, I'm gonna get, you know, really, really good at this one thing and try to become the guy for cold calling, as opposed to, you know, doing cold calling as part of my sales job. So fast forward. Now I'm a cold calling consultant. That's that's kind of what I do. I'm launching a new venture here real shortly that we'll talk about later. But yeah, so all about cool gone.
Jonathan Fischer 4:34
Well, with a background like that you're in very good company. We have a lot of scrappy startup members, whether they're the founders or the business development team, our faithful listeners of the show, so it's great background, and I'd love you to share maybe first of all, you know, the premise of the program today is that folks are doing it wrong. That may be one of the main reasons why they run from it. Obviously, there's some difficulties around doing cold calling even in the best environment, but what are would you say the key mistakes being made by most companies in cold calling.
Kevin Hopp 5:05
Yeah, great question. So a lot of people think that cold calling is dead. And that's obviously the purpose, the topic here. I love that term cold calling is dead, because that's going to, you know, create teams that don't cold call, which is just going to open up calls to be made for other people. Cold calling is not dead, you're just doing it wrong. Now, what I mean by that is cold calling in general and outbound sales in general has changed dramatically, even since I've been in my career. And I've only been in the professional world for barely even, not even 10 years, almost going on 10 years. So but things have changed really dramatically, since a lot of the, you know, for lack of a better term, gray haired sales leaders, since they were doing outbound sales, the numbers have changed dramatically. Now what do I mean by that? There's a little thing called caller ID. Now, caller ID was the worst thing that ever happened. Back in the day, when the phone was ringing, you picked it up the phone, it's ringing, it's like, oh, shoot, well, you know, back in the day day, so back before caller ID, you could, you know, get a connect one every three dials, you know, every time, every other time you're calling very, very quickly. Nowadays, that can be up to in some markets 20 to 25 calls in a row you need to make before a live human will pick up the phone, like, boom, cold calling is dead, right? Like it's ineffective. It's clearly like I don't my reps don't have time to listen to the phone ringing all day? Well, I'm here to challenge that and say that if you have the right people in place with the right training process, on how to use the people, and then technology people process and technology, you can actually cold call very effectively at a small scale or a very large scale. And I have experienced doing everything in between. So it's not dead, but it is getting way way harder. Like it's getting hard.
Jonathan Fischer 7:10
Well, one of the most difficult risks for business leaders to to grapple with are the unknowns. What are the unknown costs of trying to adopt a strategy that seems like it's not profitable? Maybe that's where you can be the most valuable to the listener today? Is LSP, a little bit more certain about what is a good framework once you start to lay out the groundwork of what actually is effective when cold calling?
Kevin Hopp 7:30
Sure thing? Sure thing. So the most common concerns that I hear are, number one, we can't find the right contact information for the people we want to call. It's a real problem. Okay, I'll be real with you. It's a very real problem, that most of the databases that sell lead data sell lead data on a grand scale, and they're selling, hey, you know, come by zoominfo or whatever big database and it's 15 million records, all in your ICP on your territory, right? There's a big problem with contact data, you need to be able to find a data source and I have a Rolodex of about 15 to 20 Different companies, I recommend based on who you're looking at what ICP you're going after, what type of buyer, is it? Is it an executive? Is it a lower level person? So one problem is I can't find the contact data of who I'm going to call. The next one is I can't call them fast enough, because I know that they don't pick up the phone very often, that 125 number. Now, that comes from a variety things. One of the things that comes from is on your iPhone or your Android or whatever that caller ID is now starting to say underneath it, if you make repeated short calls, it'll start saying spam likely. That's an algorithm. Right? That's actually the government has put in place rules for telecommunication carriers that they have to follow in the telecommunication carriers don't all agree on how to apply the rules, which makes this even more complicated. Because a lot of times, you know, companies will say to me, Hey, Kevin, I think all of our numbers are coming up at spam. How can we you know, get rid of that so that we can actually have a better connect tree? Because I'm just like everyone else if it says telemarketers, spam likely I don't pick it up. Right? And I don't expect your prospects to either. So that's a real real challenge as well. But the fact that the carriers don't agree like the same phone number, if you call a T Mobile if I'm calling a T mobile carrier, someone who asked me mobile, it'll show up as spam likely, but if I call it for AT and T, a different number, it won't show up. My number will not show up as spam likely and I've been called Verizon it will not. It will Fatima. So the two big problems are I can't find the contact data and I can't get through to the people right. So this is a bit of the process we have to find the contact Need a carrier that has enough direct and mobile lines? There's no if you're if you're listening, if you're out there and saying man Kevin's about to give us you know the answer here. The sad news is there is no one data provider that crushes it every single time across every industry, there's really not right. The other side of that coin is there is not one dialing technology solution that fits every single mold. And every single customer should be using it every every every company should be using one dialer. But when it comes to dialing technology, there are basically three tiers to the market. Now, this is a piece of the pie that, you know, people do paint off and explain, but I'm gonna give it to your audience today, for free. So this is how the auto dialer market kind of breaks down. I'm gonna use my whiteboard real quick, check this out. So you can basically call it three distinct tiers of the market, the top tier is going to be agent assisted. The middle is parallel and the bottom is power. So these are the three levels of the auto dialing market. So when you see dialers out there dialing technology, you can say to yourself, Okay, I'm curious, Kevin laid out this three tiered model, where do they fit in here? Now this is the dialer market, not the telephony market. That's another thing to consider. Right? A lot of people say I asked a company, I'm like, are you guys using a dialer? They're like, yeah, yeah, we have Verizon for business. We've got Cox for business, we've you know, we've got a, you know, air call or a number of these other telephony providers, where it's a company number, and someone can call you and you can route the call internally, it's a phone system. I used to work for Vonage, that's one of them, right? This that's not what I'm talking about. Here. I'm talk about the auto dialer market, that I want to call a lot of people in a short period of time. So these three distinct levels in the market, the cost goes up and down, right. But then the ease of use also goes up and down. So let's talk about what these three tiers are and what might be right for you. The top end of the market is Agent assisted. What does that mean? It means that I'm going to take a list of prospects. So keep in mind, what we're trying to do here is take a list of prospects, this is our prospect list. prospects? How do I call this list in the most efficient way possible? Right? So part one was we need to find the contact list contact data. So we found the contact data cool. Now, how do I take action to that contact data? A variety of different ways, right? And this is where, you know, reach out to me if you have a really specific question around this. But in general, the dialer market is going to go in these three tiers, Agent assisted is I'm going to take this list, I'm gonna plug it into a software platform, the software platform is sitting in front of a call center, that call center has actual humans that are going to call prospect number one, and prospect number two, and prospect number three on your behalf. And they only connect you and they say, Hey, is this Jonathan? And Jonathan says yeah, this is Jonathan, live transfer to me, I'm sitting here, in my in my home office, knowing I'm calling this list, but I'm not sure exactly who I'm gonna get connected to. So there's a bit of a process you have to follow for any of these, any of these technologies. And that's creating a monothematic list, meaning everyone on this list has a similar business challenge. And I'm only going to have conversations with everyone on this list about business challenges, and the valuable solutions I might have to them. So we're not doing them kind of pre research of, Oh, I know, everyone on here went to, you know, Yale, or everyone on here attended a conference. I mean, maybe you can do that sort of thing if you have that kind of list, but I'm gonna have a conversation with this person about a business challenge. Agent assistant does all the work for you. All you do is wait. And they it beeps here and you say hey, it's Kevin with the call, guys, how you doing today? And you know, it's someone on your list this specific list so you know exactly what to say, you know, the value that you provide to that person. Agent system does all that work for you of like calling and going through dial trees and everything. It's like magic. It's awesome. I love it. It's expensive. Okay, so in general, if you're selling expensive stuff, let's talk talk to me about that. I'll point you to some really good providers for that save you a ton of time, the middle tier of the market is going to be parallel.
Jonathan Fischer 14:48
But imagine the agent assisted might do a little bit better at defeating some of the technology barriers as well. Some of the spam filter issues you might have is that is that true? I'm not being the non expert. What would you say to that? it,
Kevin Hopp 15:00
it does a little bit. But you can also think of this in terms of the amount of control you have. Right? Like, think of that, right? So agent assisted is like Tesla, like getting into a Tesla and putting it on autopilot. Like you're not like down here in power, we're driving that, you know, 1967 Mustang manual, manual drive, the car metaphor in parallel is my Ford F 150 that I get, and I turn it and it has a manual transmission. So there's levels of control you have across all of it. So there might be a little bit of a blackbox effects going on here where you're not sure what they did to get this person on the line. You just know they call they went through the Dollar Tree. So the answer to your question is, yeah, it does better. But parallel does a great job. What is parallel parallel parallel is the idea of calling more than one number at once. So if I'm calling all three of these numbers at once, parallel dollars, use artificial intelligence, chat, GP chat, GTP, open AI, that type of thing to listen live. And what they're listening for is simply any human to pick up the phone. It's kind of genius, because it solves for the number one problem, one of the number one problems if you remember to what I was saying earlier, which is man 122 People pick up I don't have time cold calling is dead. Right? Right, this solves for that, because you never hit a voicemail. Every time he hits a voicemail, you reach Jonathan, thankfully, it auto skips that pulls up someone else that it's calling. So you have massive efficiency, I mean, you're going so much faster than if you were to call one by one. Now, what's one step lower than that. And also one step significantly cheaper than that, that would be power dialing power is the concept of calling one person. phone ringing on recurring, then if that goes to voicemail, it simply starts calling one more person, the next person on the list, and you're going one by one by one by one down your list. So the price and the effort involved, and the time all go up and down very linear linearly in this market. Not all these are the same. So a big determining factor on how you use a dialer should be your existing technology stack today, right? One of the things that people get sold on right with these dialing companies is like, Hey, I love this too. Oh, well, the technology I'm going to I'm going to use I'm bringing it into our company, and it's going to be great. But it doesn't integrate with your existing sales technology stack. Right? So it's a very typical stack that 99% of my customers have. And I recommend basically everyone to have is you got the CRM at the bottom, right? And you're gonna plug in data into the CRM. But on top of that, you're gonna have a sales engagement platform, SCP, what does that outreach SalesLoft Zant, outplay Apollo stop me, you know, somebody stopped me, you know, there's a million of these, right? This is controlling when you take actions to prospects, if you're a modern tech company, and you're not using a sales engagement platform, I don't know what you're doing. Everybody should be using this. Sales, engaging platforms came out, like sales in general took 100 year leap. This is incredible, incredible technology. And then on top of this, you click to dial, right. And because they all integrate the data flows up and down the stack to and that's beautiful.
Jonathan Fischer 18:40
That's a beautiful thing to get your tech stack all in line like that. So we've also got those elements of the right people in the right process. I got some great listeners, already chomping at the bit to have the our q&a session at the end, I'm gonna take that as a reminder to the remainder of our audience. Hey, go ahead and hit us up with your additional questions in the chat. We're going to bank those for right now. And we'll circle back and cover those here at the bottom of this half hour. So topics about process if you wouldn't, Kevin, if you've got a tech stack and order, we got to know how to use it give us some insights we do.
Kevin Hopp 19:11
For sure, for sure. So there are many different takes on this in terms of okay, if I have something like this, I've, I've worked in consulting with companies that have all three of these. And they're not actually integrated. They're not on top of each other. They're their own little silos of data. And they say, oh, yeah, so we we call call over here and then when we get somebody or we connect with them one time, then we put them into outreach or sales loft. And then when we then we move or they do the the old fashioned the oldest trick in the book, stop me if you heard this one. We call people who open and click on emails that shows some form of intent. So a lot of sales leaders like to think that my strategy is to make sure people open emails and then that warms up the cold call. No it doesn't. Right. I've I've built and run to outbound as a service agencies. So I've done campaigns for more than 50 Different companies, which is very, very unique experience. And I can tell you, scientifically, it does not matter, right? The most interesting and I'll give your audience this the most interesting finding, one of the studies that I did while I was running sales gig, which is an outbound a service agency, and I had 12 reps running 40 campaigns at one time, right? We did an experiment where we would connect with someone on LinkedIn, a prospect, right? Take your prospect list, go connect with them on LinkedIn. And we had them into a calling cadence and called them within 24 hours. And we thought that was warming up the cold call, right? The odds of the cold call converting to something would obviously be higher, because they connected with you on LinkedIn, zero change, zero change or affect, zero change or affect? So
Jonathan Fischer 20:59
I'm very surprised by that. Yeah, I mean, just intuitively, you would assume that that would have a positive impact?
Kevin Hopp 21:06
Well, here's, here's, here's the takeaway, right? That I want everyone to like, fight me on, if you want to fight me on it, I will talk about all that. You can't warm up a cold call. It's cold call, like there is no warming up cold calls, it's a fallacy to make you feel better, and to make it so you don't have to call as much and to make it so you can wait longer to call, like reps and managers that get in this argument and say like, well, we should warming up our cold calls before we call we don't believe in cold calling. Dude, people don't care. They don't give a crap. If you connected with them on LinkedIn, or they opened an email, or they went to your website one time, they only care about two things. And that's business problems that you might have valuable solutions to. Like, they don't care about any of that other stuff. And I've ran so many campaigns, trying to warm up these cold calls and trying to get better results from cold calling, the better you get at building lists of people that have similar business problems, and then teach your reps to be little conversational ninjas on how to talk to somebody about a business problem. That is what makes phone calls convert. It's not email opening. It's not, you know, oh, they all attended a webinar. It's all gonna be great. Like no, right. It's it's really, really hard to warm up cold calls. I mean, we have cold calls is inbound. Yeah, we'll give you that. If you got a list of people who Hey, Kevin, I got this list. People came to my website and requested a demo. Yeah. Okay. Yeah. That's, that's, that's,
Jonathan Fischer 22:38
that's warm. That's more than that makes sense. That makes sense. So the other efforts would actually be down the funnel somewhere, now that you lay it out. I mean, it really does make a lot of sense. When you when you figure out just what an interruption to call is perceived to be, we've almost got maybe even hypersensitive about it, I think, in today's day and age, but if you can do it, right. And as you as you say, it's got a very firmly planted target of a business problem, and you got a solution for that. Double Double tap that target, then you can make that cold call very powerful. Talk to us about people we're breezing through. We're gonna have to have you back. Kevin. I mean, right now I'm gonna, I'm gonna invite you back. You have to sorry. But so what would you say about the people portion of a good process for for cold calling?
Kevin Hopp 23:23
So this is a really interesting one, right? And this is where this is where I make my money, to be honest with you, right? This is a lot of what I've done a lot of in the in the past few years here, which is how can you build a cold calling program? And yeah, we can have all this but who operates it? Right? Just before we got on here, I was on LinkedIn, I saw two sales, two dialing platforms that both do this. They both do parallel dialing, they were arguing with each other publicly about who's better. And I'm like, This is silly, because both of your your tech works. Okay, you hit go and it calls more than one person at once. The tech is the same. Basically, it's all about who is picking up that call. Right? And this is where you know, I have a podcast right? In a live show that I actually do it live and I'm one of the only if there's there's a very small handful of us out there in general that will actually take their techniques and go show you live you guys listen to podcasts Go anywhere you listen to podcasts and search hop on calls. You can hear live recordings of me cold calling people I do it all the time I've done over 50 episodes.
Jonathan Fischer 24:33
I love that by the way and I it takes away the mystique that the the fear factor because it's actually pretty fun. I that's one thing that you'll see. I could just say to the to the listener on your behalf, watching you work shows that it's not something to be stressing about. It really isn't. It's kind of fun. It's funny, when it works well. It's a lot of fun. Even when it doesn't work. It's at least funny, and there's no reason to get uptight about it. Especially when you have a We'll design process just for what it's worth, I've watched your work, I think it's good stuff. I love it. I love cold calling myself too, by the way, because it is it's a game, right? You know what you can do exactly. In terms of the outcome, all you know, what you're gonna get is out of yourself, you control that part. And then the the outcomes are going to add up by just sheer volume of activity. Hopefully your activity is well designed and well executed.
Kevin Hopp 25:21
That's right, that's right. But to round out the point on on people, you have to create a process that allows people to be themselves now, the number one problem that everyone watching right now, if you've made a cold call the first, you know, 300 calls you ever made you had that? Are they going to pick up the phone? I don't know if this? Oh my god, right. And like the cat gets your tone. Right? That's because of the way you're calling right one by one calling in personifying your percent, like your prospects and overthinking it and doing a ton of research. And knowing everything about Jonathan, before I call Jonathan actually makes it harder. Right? It makes it way harder to have that cold conversation, when I remember that I figured out empirically, that it doesn't matter. None of that matters. All that matters is business challenges, valuable solutions. That's what actually does work. So with your people, it's all about trying to create a process that allows them to be themselves now, good cold callers do have some very key traits, right? cold callers look a little bit like me, not physically, but they sound a little bit like me. Am I sitting down right now? Am I Am I, you know, sitting here like this and talking about this? No, the tone of my voice is projecting. I'm going up and down. I'm making good points and talking with my hands. Right? People who are good on the phone have what's called the gift of the gab. Right. And the best cold callers I've ever coached are people that are naturally talkative. Now, does that mean that if you're not a natural, talkative person, and you don't have the gift of the gab, and you're a little bit more reserved that you can't be a good cold? Caller? Absolutely not. Right? The beauty of this is that it's also very process driven. So I've seen some very introverted people lean into the process, and follow the scripts, and just crush it. Right? Now, they're not going to be the ones that get like the style points that I call it, like, where you can get a prospect on a cold call to laugh, that's always a gem. But it's definitely possible. And that's also a big part of what I do is train cold callers train people to be badass cold callers. And I have an online course, if you go to my LinkedIn, you can find a link to my course and become a badass blue collar.
Jonathan Fischer 27:38
Well, thank you for that segue, because I was gonna ask, you know, how can the listener take the conversation further on cold calling in terms of your resources, and what you're bringing to bear?
Kevin Hopp 27:48
For sure, for sure. So if you go to my LinkedIn page, that's the number one way to connect with me. To learn from me to follow me, I'm launching a new venture very shortly here. And Jonathan, if you if you have that link, you can put it in there people can book time to talk to me, if you have a, if you have something going on when it comes to your business that you want to talk about. Let's try to keep that like business stuff only. If you have a personal question, one off thing, whatever, you can always DM me on LinkedIn, happy to go back and forth there with you. But I'm launching a business called the call guys. It's another pretty big, cold calling influencer guy they've run in. And then our business partners. We're launching here next week, really, really excited about it. So stay tuned for that. You'll see it all over my LinkedIn and stuff. But I mainly work in cold calling and outbound sales consulting for b2b tech companies.
Jonathan Fischer 28:37
That's very exciting. Let me congratulate you on the launch. I wish you the best of success on that. We definitely have that link here on the screen. And it'll also be in the show notes for the listener. Well, it's time let's go to the q&a session. We got a lot of activity over here. And now this is an interesting question. Let's see here. This is from Anthony Joseph. He's so you depends on what your exact dialing technology is going to be. But it seems like if I'm not mistaken, you are going to get in front of some gatekeepers occasionally, right? What is your advice on handling that challenge?
Kevin Hopp 29:13
For sure. So agent assistant will handle gatekeepers for you. Beautiful, expensive, beautiful, right? Parallel and power just gonna get you to the gatekeeper faster. If you call mostly gatekeepers. You don't need parallel, right? Because you don't need to call your pick up rates can be really high. So you just need power. Right? But you shouldn't be calling most gatekeepers, but it could be out of control, right? If you're calling a small business, if you're like selling to restaurants, or you're selling to like repair shops or whatever. Yeah, you don't you don't need parallel. That would be my argument. How you handle the gatekeeper. It's difficult. I've never liked calling gatekeepers. Let's be real, right? Because selling the gatekeepers is not selling. Right. There are two schools of thought that I always talk about when it comes to handling gatekeepers. One is the friendly approach. I'm going to become your friend That means personifying them. The first time you connect is hey, oh yeah. Oh man, I was actually trying to reach John is talking about available. No, he's not you know, he's he's in and out. He's always busy. They always say the same shit, right? Okay, can you? Can you can you leave a note for me? Do you? Do you write notes? You guys have paper and pen anymore? He does everything digital. Oh, no, no, I write notes. Awesome cuticle? No for me. Oh, sure. Yeah, let me know the Kevin from the call. And he said to call back again tomorrow. Okay, I'll do that. I'll let him know. Awesome. Awesome. I'm going to send John an email, asking about the paper on his desk. You see what I just did there. I just created a physical thing happening in their universe in their office that I can then follow up on and point to, and dude, there's nothing like physical objects. It's nothing like a piece of paper with your name on it. That's awesome. Right? Yeah, that'll stick out. That's one thing but then the way you end that call is you say what was your Neeraj? Sarah? Awesome. Last name was Sarah. P believe that? Oh, yeah. Awesome. All right, Sarah, I'll talk to you later. Hi, John. Get back to me sooner or later. All right. I want to know by right, because what happens two days go by you don't hear it fun. Hey, is it Sarah? Yeah, it is. Who is this? Oh, it's Kevin. Remember? I called you wrote the note for John. Oh, yeah, I did. Oh, yeah. Right. Now all the sudden we're on this great level. Why? Because I I'm friends with Sarah. I talked to Sarah. I know her name series used to just take an order. I mean, bitch that right? So it's really nice for Sarah to have someone hop into her year. That's super friendly, super friendly tone. And I'm pointing back to the specific action that she committed to taking for me. Now what will probably happen and she's gonna say I did leave that note for John and you know, he'll, he'll get back to you as soon as he's busy guy. What can I say? He's busy guy. Ah, Sarah. totally get it. Now. I recommend you do one more iteration of this meeting. All right. I'll talk to you later. Boom. Now, two days go by you call Sarah. Sarah. How are you, Ben? I'm alright. Yeah. What can I do for you today? Sarah, still trying to get in touch with John. I thought that maybe he had Woodford responded by now. And she was she's gonna say the same thing. Because that's her job is to say the same thing. She's gonna say, oh, no, he's just so busy. You know, thought about the day? To which you respond, Sarah? You know, I'm a little different. I'm, I'm a I'm what? What my mother calls persistent. Would you mind being real with me for a minute here? Wait, let her answer. Yeah, of course. Is John ever gonna respond? Or should I like, stop by the office? Should I send him cookies? How can I get just 10 minutes of John's attention? Be real with me. And Sarah is gonna say he's never taken a meeting with a sales rep. And you're gonna say, Great. Exit stage, right? Just kidding. She'll probably tell you exactly how to get a response from John. Right? Why? Because you've built a bit of rapport, you've been really friendly. Now. That was a long drawn out thing that I just explained there. But being super friendly. And point specific actions that gatekeepers take for you is how to get a gatekeeper to do things where I've had magic happen. Magic, like John calling me back 30 minutes after that call saying, hey, yeah, sir. You know, Sarah doesn't usually do this. But she really recommended I'll give you a call. What was that about? And I'm like, yeah, like, awesome, right. The other way to deal gatekeepers, is to be very important. It's kind of the opposite tone of friendly. There's friendly and warm, then they're serious. Imagine you're John's lawyer. Do you think John's lawyer calls John and get Sarah and says, Hey, Sarah, how you doing today? My mom? My aunt's name is Sarah. Hell no, no, he's serious. This dude is on the clock for $900 an hour. And he wants to get to another client who's charging $12 an hour. So he says, Hey, Sarah, it's Kevin for John. That's it. A guy says, And if Sarah doesn't know who Kevin is, she has a bit of a second one. She does. sound serious? Let me see if he's available. Right. And she doesn't want to have that silly moment of going to John saying Do we know Kennedy? Sounds right. And Paul, don't take the time to be all flowery and say, hey, it's Kevin with Acme Corporation. Will you change the world one step at a time because people don't like they don't do that. They come in and they're all business. Right and as an SDR as an early stage sales rep. It might be hard for you to understand that. If you have someone in your family that has somehow or an influence in a company or they're very busy, what they do try to pay attention to how they handle work calls like that from time to time, right? My uncle is the CFO for real parts, for instance, right. And I've learned a lot from talking to him at family gatherings about how he handled sales reps and how he deals with things and how people deal with him. So always try to learn from everyone in your family, they'll help you you better your game. But those are the two ways right?
Jonathan Fischer 35:26
Yeah, get some inside baseball. I love it. Yeah. And playing with that tone. That's pretty powerful. Would you after a quarter or six months, come back? And maybe be the other versions of yourself?
Kevin Hopp 35:38
Um, no, I pretty much abandoned the channel, right? I find a different way to get in front of John, like, definition of insanity. What's the definition of insanity, doing the exact same thing and expecting a different result. So I don't have a lot of patience for this. By the way, here's another nugget for Anthony. And for everybody else out there. Real nugget, you're ready for this? The sweetspot amount of times you want to call one number in succession, before giving up is 1212 times you want to do that over at least 12 business days. Here's the I'll give you the magic behind it right? People take vacations, holidays happen. Most reps are calling once, maybe twice. And that once they call might be Monday morning, and be like, Oh, John doesn't pick up his phone. Dude, call every day for 12 business days. The magic is vacations happen. In the business world, it's very rare for somebody to take up a vacation longer than two weeks, right? If you call on the Monday, when they start their two week vacation, you'll catch them when they come back. But if they happen to take a week and a half long vacation in the middle of that you have time on the front that you're calling them, you're obviously not going to get them here and you're not getting them, you might get them here. But the magic number that I have found is 12 times in a row now and they don't pick up after 12 times in a row. You don't throw it away forever. As long as it's ringing through to a voicemail that says, hey, reached on leave a message at the beep. If you're reaching that every time, you can be pretty confident it's John's number. Change your call from number right call from a different number. And then call that put that number back in cycle 45 days later. Give it give it time. Kick it out there. Let it go to pasture don't keep going and going and going. But don't give up after three, four or five attempts. You know, most reps give up after way less than that. Yeah, so 12
Jonathan Fischer 37:48
aironet a little bit. Come back. I love it. 12 over 12. You mentioned voicemail, Kevin Bilson asked the question. Do you ever utilize leaving voicemails in your efforts? Is that fruitful at all?
Kevin Hopp 38:01
Good question. I load voicemail. Now why do I love voicemail because a lot of reps like to think that leaving voicemails is productive, like reps will. Like there's a there's a weird I've watched this happen because I trained sales reps for a living right? There's a weird sense of accomplishment. And well, I was doing good work today if you like talk a lot, but you're not talking to somebody. So reps that leave a lot of voicemails feel productive and therefore feel a bit more upset about their cold calling results. Long story short, I don't like voicemails now. I do like voicemails in follow ups. Meaning I've spoken to you already on cold calls. Don't leave a voicemail. Because if I am getting cold calling for the very first time, and I did this I meant to show you on my iPhone. I can probably show you I did this yesterday. Okay, I did this yesterday. I got a cold call. You see what this says? says it says white glove guys. Right? That's a business. I know what they do. I see their ad on television. Every time I'm trying to watch the Padres. It's an AC Heating and Cooling business. Right? But I figured out it was business they left me a voicemail saying Hey, Kevin, you know we're in your area. We're going to call you again tomorrow. See if we can't stop I'll give you go. I already have a C and heating in my house. I don't want to talk to another vendor. Do you know what I did? And look how easy this is on the iPhone. You know what I did? On this very bottom it says unblock caller. I'm not gonna unlock the caller I blocked their number. I'm not gonna let him call me again. And your your prospects are gonna do the exact same thing. If this number comes it's like, you know, 710 or three one hour whenever they're like, oh said voicemail, and the voicemail is Hey, Steve, Jim over here from Acme Corporation. We're helping sales leaders like you did really love 30 minutes of your time. Call me back Okay, they are not going, Oh man, I need to call him back. No, they're going okay, cool block, not wasting my time with your sales rep. Because it's not about the sales stuff and like who you are what you do. It's about business problems, and you can't figure out the bits, Romsey have a conversation with them. So the reason I don't like voicemails to wrap this up and not to shit all over people, but leave voicemails, I just have never seen net better results than putting the emphasis on the conversation. The goal is not to leave them a voicemail to which they take action. The goal is to have a conversation with them. If you leave voicemails the chance of them picking up your cold call next time you call drops by a lot, right, the white glove guys can never call my cell phone again, ever. I'm a homeowner in San Diego, that's a big L for them. They just like, that sucks. Yeah,
Jonathan Fischer 40:52
that kind of sucks for them. Yeah.
Kevin Hopp 40:54
But also like, this is the game your prospects for people to they don't want to get sold to they don't want to talk to the sales rep. You want to catch them on the off chance that they're open to a conversation and talk about business problems.
Jonathan Fischer 41:08
Yeah, that makes a world of sense. I'll do less a fantastic question here to kind of get into the process between school of thought are you willing when it comes to stick to the dadgum script? Or is there a lot of leeway on your team? How do you play?
Kevin Hopp 41:23
Man, a duel? Fantastic question. Thank you for bringing this up something that I didn't. We were very like process and like tech focused over here. But I am team script all day every day. Now. The metaphor that I use, and if you guys want, once again, I have an online course go check it out if you're really curious. But the metaphor that's basically perfect for what a script should be is, it is a handrail. Right, so this is down here. Hello. And this is meeting, set. Boom. My handrail here is my scripts. And this is the Convert session. So let's let's talk about this for a quick second, right. So a cold call starts with Hello, you can consider that the door opening. Now I have to go up and down and handle objections, do all stuff in the call to get to meeting set, which is the purpose of cool common purpose a cold calling is not to do discovery and sell someone something on the phone. It's to have a structured conversation with them at a time when you're not an interruption. They don't have all these other things going on. And what are you talking about business problems and valuable solutions, right? To get from point A to point B, you can run up those steps if you're really super coordinated, right. Like, you know, there was a time of my life when I never touched a handrail that was probably when I was like, like, I'm a big and tall guy. Like I'm six, almost six, six forehand shoes when I say, but like, I got very athletic when I was about 1617 years old. Dude, I didn't touch any handrails, uh, flying up steps everywhere I went trying to jump three, four or five steps at a time. Now that I'm 31 I'm not skipping a bunch of steps anymore, because I'm like, I'm gonna blow out my hip, like my ankles gonna break. But there was a period of time, from zero to 16 years, that I was not good enough to go up steps that I didn't know, without the handrail, you know? That's a bit like what being a cold caller is like, when you're young and you're new to it, you got to get through this conversation, you got to go from A to B, use the script as a handrail, the better you get, the less you need it. But the beauty of the handrail is that it's linear. The handrail doesn't go well, you will, the handrail doesn't make it harder for you. The handrail is designed to make it so you have a topic driven conversation that gets you from point A to point Z. Right? And what's the difference? The question, the hypothetical question that I will then answer. The rhetorical question is, what's the difference between a sales conversation and a normal conversation? Well, a sales conversation has an actual structured goal. normal conversations kind of do. You know, if you're one of my friends, every conversation I have hasn't been any guy and my wife knows this about me at this point that like, when I'm asking her questions, she's like, What do you really want? I'm like, here's what I want. My thank you for asking. Because I will phrase things in a certain way for her to, you know, always be selling, right. But, but so the script is designed to get you to where you need to go. And if you have no scripts, and you're 100% counting on all this knowledge that you have inside your head, which is going to make you worse at cold calling, which is all my projects, all these integrations and then we got this new feature set me a rolling carousel of icons and the color and this and that and the billing it's so flexible and affordable and like, everyone loves talking about them, them them them and what their what their stuff does. The hidden secret is your prospects don't care. They care about what it does for them. What can it do for me? Now encrypt helps you do that. So I am 100% Pro scripts, but you build your script in a way that just gets you from point A to point B without you having to think twice.
Jonathan Fischer 45:27
Well love it. Well, Kevin, what a value packed 45 minutes it's been today, thank you so much for adding value in these insights to the audience. I think we're all gonna be taking a run with it. By the way, we've put those couple of resources in the show notes and in the notes section to our chat section rather for a live audience. Both the book meeting and also the online course, please, listener, take full advantage. And Kevin, thanks for being a rock star here on the show today.
Kevin Hopp 45:53
Hey, thanks for having me on. I really do appreciate it, Jonathan, and I'll come back on anytime. Let me know your audience wants to talk cold calling. I'm a nerd about cold calling. So I'm there right.
Jonathan Fischer 46:03
I resemble that we'll do we'll see you soon. And to our live audience, thank you so much for being here and all of our many 1000s of listeners. Without you this show would not be possible. We also want to thank our fantastic sponsor, we are proudly powered by overpass overpass is the world's leading platform for getting pre vetted high quality phone based sales development talent, bar none. And it's simple and easy and very inexpensive to use. Check him email@example.com open a free account there and check them out. And if you love the guests that we're having and the quality insights we're providing here on the Evolve sales leader, go check out the podcast you can check out every single guest we've had over the years so far on the Evolve sales leader wherever you like to get your podcast. Well for the team here. Jonathan Fisher signing off you guys enjoy your weekend. We'll see y'all next time