In this episode of P is for Profit, we sit down with the Queen of Cold Calling, Wendy Weiss. Wendy is an expert on prospecting, including lead generation, cold calling, and new business development. You’re in for an exciting episode with lots of information!
“I work with business owners that want to double or triple their revenue… So, they’re doubling and tripling the number of qualified opportunities that they can uncover. And then with a corresponding increase in revenue down the line, and they’re also shortening their sales cycles by 30% to 40%” says Wendy about how she helps entrepreneurs.
We’ll chat with Wendy about what prospecting truly is, how the cold calling strategy changes based on your industry, as well as…
- How to establish systems for cold calling
- Honing your cold calling skills
- Training your team to cold call effectively
- The Importance of Being Aware of What You Don’t Know
Mentioned in this episode:
Start setting appointments with highly qualified prospects in the next 24 hours! Download your complimentary copy of The Cold Calling Survival Guide, by Wendy Weiss, The Queen of Cold Calling™ (a $27 value). Soon you’ll be wondering how you ever survived without it!
Adam Lean: In this episode, we’re going to talk about how to generate leads from new customers. We’re going to talk to a marketing expert who calls herself the queen of cold calling. This is P is for Profit.
Adam: Welcome to P is for Profit. My name is Adam Lean and I along with the rest of the team at The CFO Project are passionate about helping business owners improve the profitability of their business. My guest today is Wendy Weiss. She’s an expert on prospecting, which includes lead generation, cold calling, and new business development. Wendy, welcome to the show.
Wendy Weiss: Well, thank you for inviting me to be here.
Adam: Yeah, I’m really excited because of course, marketing and sales are the lifeblood of a business and you’re an expert at that. So I can’t wait to dive in. But tell us about yourself. How did you get into this business?
From Ballerina to Cold Calling Queen
Wendy: Well, Adam, that’s a very funny story because I will share with you I was never ever ever supposed to be a sales trainer. I was actually supposed to be a ballerina. I grew up in Pittsburgh Yeah, I grew up in Pittsburgh. I started dancing as a small child. I moved to New York City when I was 17. And I moved here to dance. I still live and work in New York City. I studied at the Joffrey Ballet School.
And then eventually, like every artist in New York City, I needed a day job. And I got tired of waiting on tables really quickly. So then I got a job with a telemarketing agency that did business to business, business development. And it turned out I was good at it which was a complete surprise because ballet dancers don’t talk. We just dance. And so I did that day job for a while. And then I started my own business where I had clients that I’d represent.
And I did the business development for them. It was actually one of those first clients that dubbed me the queen of cold calling because I made, I found too many opportunities for him. And then from there, I segued into the business that I have today, which is working with business owners that want to double or triple their revenue. Folks that have gone through our programs, so they’re doubling and tripling the number of qualified opportunities that they can uncover and then with a corresponding increase in revenue down the line and they’re also shortening their sales cycles by 30, 33 to about 40%.
Adam: Okay, Wow. So let’s just to make sure that I understand, prospecting is what?
Wendy: Prospecting is different from marketing. Let me start there because marketing is one too many communication. In other words, you might be doing some email marketing and you write up the email and you have an email list. It could be a few hundred people or a few thousand people. And you hit send, and you send out that one email to many, many people. And those people might be the right contacts, they may not be the right contacts, but you’re, it’s one too many communication.
Prospecting is one to one communication that you, either you, the business owner, you or a member of your sales team might be reaching out to marketing leads, people that have contacted you, but it’s still it’s one to one communication. Or you could put together your wish list of companies you’re interested in doing business with. Give them a call and introduce yourself. But again, it’s one to one communication. So that’s what prospecting is. That’s you are a member of your sales team reaching out to one other human being, a prospect at a company that you’re interested in potentially doing some business with.
Adam: So as a business owner, marketing is one too many and then prospecting is one to one. How does that fit in, you know, when a business owner is creating their systems, their sales and marketing systems, how should they think of prospecting? How should they build that into their systems?
Direct Communication is Key
Wendy: The reality is, and that’s a great question by the way. The reality is that no matter where someone finds a lead, you probably have to talk to that other human being at some point. And I think that a big mistake that business owners make is they think that because they have a system to create inbound leads, that a lead is the same thing as somebody that is going to buy or hire them. And it’s not. A lead is a lead. You still have to have the conversation. And if the next step once you have that lead is then reaching out to have the conversation that you need to have to turn that lead into a customer or into a client.
Adam: Okay. So when it comes to prospecting, or just really sales and marketing in general, what separates successful business owners who do well from those that either them or their sales teams just always seem to struggle?
Wendy: Well, it really starts with identifying the target. Whether, and marketing 101 is identified the target. So what we do with our clients is, we actually help them micro-target. Because, just because even if somebody goes to your website and fills out the form on your website, that does not mean that they’re necessarily a good fit for you. They could be, but maybe they’re not. So the business owner has to have very specific criteria of what makes a good lead for you, for your business.
And if you have a sales team, they need to know. They need to know those criteria so that they don’t waste their time. I can’t tell you how much time salespeople and business owners waste chasing after leads that are really, in sales jargon, nonqualified. They’re just not good leads even if they went to the website and filled out a form. And actually, one of the things that I love about cold calling, which I know a lot of people think is a really scary idea, but the way I think about it is you get to identify your wish list.
Whose, what companies are a great fit for you? Who would you like to do business with? Because a lot of businesses are very reactive. They just whatever comes in the door, that’s what I’m going to do, great fit or not. And, but if you think about it another way, the question is not who wants to work with me. The question is, who do I want to work with? So you identify your wish list and then you go introduce yourself, which I think is a very powerful concept.
Adam: So let’s, yeah, let’s talk about cold calling then. So, I mean, you’re the queen of cold calling. So talk to us a little bit about this because I think a lot of people have this negative connotation of cold calling there. You’re just, you know, whether it’s physically knocking on doors to people that may not want your service or product or calling people on the phone or sending, you know, spam type email or physical mail. Talk to us about cold calling. What it is and how it should be thought of. And then some sort of tips that business owners can use.
Cold Calling Isn’t What You Might Think
Wendy: Absolutely because one of the things about cold calling is that you open up the phone book, and you just call anyone and you just kind of wing it. And you think your goal is to get them to buy, like give me your credit card right now. Or, you know, hire you over the phone and a really short conversation. And if that’s what you’re doing, it’s probably not working. But that’s not what cold calling is.
That’s what people think it is. What cold calling is a very precise way of if you want to micro-target the best fit companies that you think you want to do business with and then create the messaging that’s going to resonate with that particular market. And you have to have a system in place to reach out over time and you have a very, have to have a very reasonable goal. And what we tell our clients is the goal is to get an appointment. And the definition of an appointment is that the prospect agrees to have an in-depth conversation with you.
Now that conversation a month ago might have, you know, been you get in your car and you go see them. That’s not happening much right now. So maybe you have a Zoom meeting, or you’re going to have the entire conversation over the telephone. But the idea of getting an appointment is that the prospect says, Yes, I want to talk to you. Yes, I want to hear more. And if you do that, if you do the setup well, if you do the micro-targeting and the messaging, if you do the execution well, then it is completely amazing how many people want to hear more.
And I want to say something about what’s going on right now with the Coronavirus pandemic. And this is just as I was sharing with you earlier, Adam, this is just anecdotal. For myself, I’ve heard it from my two business development people. I’ve also heard it from colleagues. People are actually more accessible by phone now than they were a few weeks ago because people that are used to working in offices and are now working from home, it’s very isolating if they’re not used to it.
And they’re either having their calls forwarded from the office. Their outgoing message says, if you need to reach me, call me on and they give another number, probably their cell. And if you call them that, they pick up much more frequently and they’re much more willing to engage. People are very chatty these days. And if you don’t have a, if you get a voicemail, you call the office line, you get a voicemail, people that are working remotely are checking their voicemail a lot and you’re more likely to get a return phone call because they’re feeling isolated. So this is actually a great time to be picking up the phone and talking to people.
Adam: Yeah. That makes sense. And unfortunately, we are in this environment with Coronavirus but I like what you said that the cold calling is not, it’s not a just blast everybody with spam, whether it’s spam email spam physical mail or spam calls. It’s coming up with a target of who you want to, who would be an ideal client and then giving them a message that they would want to hear. And then if they indicate that they want to hear it, then you set up an appointment. Did I get that right?
Wendy: That’s exactly right.
Adam: Okay. So let me ask you this. Obviously, there’s, you know, cold calling the way we just described it, obviously works. I mean, that’s what you do. So how does it work for, or let me rephrase it this way. Does cold calling or the strategy change for different types of businesses? So for example, a restaurant versus a service-based business, like a heating and air, plumbing company versus an ecommerce store.
How the Cold Calling Process Changes Per Business Type
Wendy: Absolutely, because, I mean, the basic rule here is what you say has to be relevant to the person you’re going to say it to. That’s just like real life. So if you’re calling a restaurant, they probably have one set of challenges and if you’re calling ecommerce, they probably have another set of challenges. And even if they, you know, what you do as a business owner, or your sales team, what your sales team may do to, you know, your company may do to fulfill when you actually get the client or get the customer, you may do the same thing for everyone but they all think it’s different.
For example, I work with a lot of people in commercial real estate. And pretty much what they do, doesn’t matter what kind of business, their client is, they pretty much do the same thing for all of them. But all their clients think what they’re doing is different. I work with a lot of people in insurance. They may have clients in many different industries. What they do is pretty much the same. Doesn’t necessarily matter what industry the client is in. The clients all think it’s different. So that’s why we micro-target. And if you’re part of your customer base is restaurants and another part is ecommerce, then you probably need two different sets of messaging for them.
Adam: So the same question but reversed. What if you, somebody listening owns a trade business like a heating and air or roofing or plumbing business, how would they go about establishing systems for cold calling?
Wendy: Well, this is the basic system. And this is what we teach. We actually call it three x appointments. And the reason we call our program three x appointments is that people that do this program, if they’re already doing some form of business development, typically their numbers triple. They triple the number of appointments, meaning, you know, meaning opportunities, prospects that are willing to engage, and then they have a corresponding increase in revenue down the line.
So step one is always micro-targeting. Step two is once you’ve done the micro-targeting, what is the challenge that that target has that you can help them with? And how do they talk about It? Not how do you talk about it because every industry, you know, your business, you’re a business owner, your business has a jargon.
It is unlikely that your prospects speak that language. So you have to speak there’s. So you identify the problem that you’re solving for your customers or for your clients and then you create, you have to create some messaging that’s going to resonate with that micro-targeted market that you’ve picked.
And the messaging needs to include how you’re going to introduce yourself, your elevator speech. How you’re going to ask for that appointment, responses to questions you might get asked or objections you might hear, and voicemails if you can’t reach the person directly. Voicemails that are compelling and relevant so that the prospect will return your phone call and email templates that are compelling and relevant so that the prospect will respond to your email.
And so that’s the system piece and the system includes for the voicemails and emails. I call it a voicemail campaign which is like a drip campaign for voicemail and email that you leave a, you create a series of messages to leave over time because it significantly increases response. So that is the basic system. And then the other component of this is skill. It is a communication skill. And but the good news about that is just like any communication skill, it can be learned and they can be improved on.
Adam: Yeah, absolutely. So you have a sort of a guide. You call it the Cold Calling Survival Guide. What is that?
Wendy: The Cold Calling Survival Guide, the subtitle of the Cold Calling Survival Guide is Start Setting Appointments in the Next 24 Hours. And so this guide is for anyone that is actually prospecting and the Cold Calling Survival Guide teaches this very step by step system to reach out to the best targets and, you know, I’ll actually get those people on the phone and enable the conversation so you get the appointment. And I believe you’re gonna post the link for that right below this.
Adam: I mean yeah, that sounds great. Yeah, I was gonna say can we, can our audience, where can audience find that? But you’ll send that to us and we’ll post it in the show notes.
Wendy: Cool. Yeah, I will have my director of operations send that to you.
Adam: Wow. Okay. Well, thanks. I mean, I think that will be, I’ll definitely check it out. I think that’ll be very, sounds great. Let me ask you this. If you could go back in time to when you first started your business, what’s one piece of advice that you would give your younger self?
What You Don’t Know Will Hurt You
Wendy: Well, you know, it’s so interesting, Adam, because when I started my business, I kind of thought that I was smart enough to figure out what I needed to know. And that was not a smart thing to think because you don’t know what you don’t know. And so, while I was very good on the sales, marketing, business development side, there are a lot of things about running a business that I just didn’t know. And one of the things that I really didn’t know is all the stuff that you do. You know, my dancer joke is that I count up to eight and I start over again. And that was not, that’s not far off from reality.
And so it took me a long time to figure out, you know, I made a lot of mistakes along the way just because I didn’t know what I didn’t know. And so I would say to any business owner that is just starting out, or even if you’ve been in business for a while, get advice. Put, you know, put together an advisory board or, you know, take courses, learn the things that you don’t know because if you don’t know it, it’s gonna come around and bite you. And so that would be my best advice.
Adam: So yeah, Wendy, that completely makes sense. So this is very fascinating information. I can’t wait to dive into the Cold Calling Survival Guide. Again, we’ll post that in the show notes. But anybody listening that wants to just find out more about you, how they can maybe either train their team to be better at sales or cold calling, or even them, you know, three if they own, if their solopreneur, if you will, and want to just hone their skills at cold calling. Where can they go to find more about, learn more about you and find you?
Wendy: Well, I’m going to give you a two-part answer, Adam, thank you for asking. And the first is for anyone that’s managing a team, I’m going to, Adam, we’re going to send you the link for The Practical Guide to Getting Sales Teams to Prospect because if you’re a business owner and you’re managing a sales team, you know how frustrating and stressful it is when you leave every sales meeting wondering if your team knows what they’re doing because they’re blaming the marketing and they’re saying you need a new website and they’re just not selling. And you know something’s wrong, but you don’t know what it is.
So we will send you the link to a practical guide to getting sales teams to prospect which outlines all the things that you as a business owner need to put in place to make your team effective. And especially now, because moving forward, it’s going to be that much more important for them to, if you have a sales team, for them to be able to find and convert good leads into customers or clients. And it’s gonna be harder for a while. So they need certain things in place and they need a certain skill level. Yeah. And you can also simply find me at coldcallingresults.com. That is our website.
Adam: Perfect. Okay, so we’ll put the coldcallingresults.com in the show notes as well as those two resources, links to those two resources, the Cold Calling Survival Guide and then the Practical Guide to Getting Your Sales Team to Prospect. Oh, perfect. Wow. Well Wendy, thank you so much for being here today.
Wendy: My pleasure. Thank you for inviting me.
Adam: Yeah, so anybody listening, if you would like to see if Wendy can help you or your teams with their prospecting or sales or marketing, please reach out and take advantage of one of those resources. And again, we’ll put that in the show notes. But thank you so much for listening. And remember, the goal of your business should be to make more profit than last year and turn that profit into cash that you get to keep. Thanks for listening.