Extreme sales makeover: cold call into sizzling hot sales

The thought of having to make cold calls to prospects to generate sales may excite some people, but leaves many of us frozen in our tracks.  This next edition of Extreme Sales Makeover is all about building power, passion and persuasion into cold calls.

Let’s work together on a real-life scenario to improve our skills.

1. Building sales by cold calling

Meet my friend, Kathleen Crone.  She’s a gutsy and talented entrepreneur who runs Broadcast Builder – a business that provides educational services to builders.

A key part of her business model is to provide a free educational program to builders called Broadcast Builder Audio.  Kathleen funds this program by selling advertising/sponsorship to companies who also target builders – cold calling them!

2. Kathleen has asked for our help

“I need your assistance to improve my cold calling and sales skills – to get in front of potential clients. To make it easier for you to help me, I have provided a mock cold call on video with the transcription as well.”

Assume the following for this cold call:

  • I have called a potential sponsor;
  • They know nothing about Broadcast Builder or me;
  • I have been given a couple of minutes to explain Broadcast Builder Audio and its benefits;
  • My goal is to achieve a sales meeting.

How can you assist Kathleen?

Kathleen has specifically asked that we:

  1. Tell her how she can be more concise, persuasive and powerful;
  2. Help her learn how to engage the listener in a conversation;
  3. Tell her how to improve her voice and actions so that she can speak more effectively over the phone.

Related video  –  http://www.youtube.com/user/broadcastbuilder

Website – www.broadcastbuilder.com.au

Let’s help Kathleen succeed

You don’t need to be a master persuader or sales trainer to contribute. A key lesson from the Sharewords workshop (that is still ‘live’) is that every idea, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant, helps the group succeed. No ideas? Then leave some encouragement or words of support. This will fuel the efforts of others.

Simply write your suggestions, questions and or ideas in the comments below and both Kathleen and I will respond where appropriate.

3. BEFORE the extreme sales makeover

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Transcript of the video

Broadcast Builder is an audio program that makes it easy for home builders to stay up to date with new products and trends

Each edition has 6 to 8 sponsored interviews that are delivered free to subscribers and they can be delivered, each edition can be delivered as a CD in the post, as podcasts or subscribers can listen online. What that means for our builder, the reason they love it, is because they can listen when and where they choose and what that means for you is they are listening at a time when they are most receptive to learning about your product.

In addition to the audio program, we also link all of our interviews to an online quiz.  So not only can you engage builders in discussions about your products, you can also measure the uptake and understanding of the messages you present to them.  So, that’s something that is just not available in print advertising.

Look I’m going to be in your area next week and I would really like the opportunity to show you how Broadcast Builder could work for you. And to demonstrate, show you some of the results that we have achieved for companies like yours.  Would you be available to meet next Tuesday or Thursday afternoon?

4. AFTER the extreme sales makeover

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Transcript of the video

Hi Robin, this is Kathleen from Broadcast Builder. I’d love to talk to you about your green door solutions when you have a quick moment, would now be okay?

Thank you very much. Look, we provide online training for residential builders and we’ve had requests for more information on green building products.

I’ve got a program and a bunchy of really good ideas of how we can do this in a mutually beneficial way.  So it’s a short punchy presentation I would love to make to you, pending your availability.

I‘m in your area Thursday and Friday next week.  How does that sounds to you?

5. Kathleen’s key lessons for sales success

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Kathleen has kindly prepared an excellent sales resource that lists all of the key sales distinctions, skills, techniques and tips that she has learned through this Extreme Sales Makeover process to help her increase her sales: [download id=”28″]

What do you think?


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Share your opinion by commenting on an ILLUSTRATED discussion


  1. Claire Lane on August 24, 2010 at 8:58 am

    Hello Robin and Kathleen,

    This is so exciting, I have been waiting for this… Let’s do it.

    I’m no expert but here are my thoughts:

    1. Well done, a solid starting point and you obviously know your stuff.

    2. Re the voice – have you met Tim Noonan on Twitter or #nscm ? He is a voice expert and am sure he could provide some guidance here. Find him at @timnoonan

    3. You don’t specifically say in the call what you want from the person – you allude to sponsored interviews and that builders will listen at a time when they are receptive about the product. But nothing clearly or specifically stating what it is you want from them, ie sponsorship, advertising, money. To me, this sounds more like an explanation of why Broadcast Builder is great for the builder – not so much about why it’s great for the sponsor.

    4. Do you have any stats about previous sponsors and how advertising with you has helped their business? That would be very powerful. If not, just some stats on how many builders subscribe etc. They want to know how many people they can touch with this. If you can say something like “your product will be presented to 5000 local builders, is that something you’d be interested in?” how can they say no?

    That’s just a few thoughts from me, hope they help.


    • Kathleen Crone on August 24, 2010 at 12:58 pm

      Hi Claire,

      Sorry the reply to your comments is in the wrong spot (see comment below Linda’s). I lost it the first time and made a mistake the second time. I am feeling very glad that I wrote in Word first 🙂


    • Tony Hollingsworth on August 24, 2010 at 11:17 pm

      Wow – you’ve got some terrific insights there for someone who is “no expert” as you say – I say you are pure sales with those comments! Your point 3 is telling: I agree you need to state at the outset why you’re calling. On a cold call the prospect is busy and needs to know that this call is about seeking sponsorship, and that (per your point 4) that this is going to be MUTUALLY BENEFICIAL because of the stats that Kathleen will have to hand. WIN-WIN. Don’t be afraid to mention this up front – it gains trust.

      I’m enjoying this comment trail already and I’m just getting started!

      Tony Black Dog Ride 😉

      • Kathleen Crone on August 25, 2010 at 9:12 am

        Hi Tony,

        Thank you for joining this discussion.

        I agree with you. Claire kicked off the conversation with some terrific insights.

        I like your “Mutually beneficial” build. I have not approached the call this way before.

        I am not a numbers girl. The comments I have been receiving have helped to reinforce the fact that I need to have current stats at hand every time I speak to someone. I am sure I have been doing myself a big injustice using words like “about” when I talk the numbers.

        New resolution:
        Before every call and meeting get the latest statistics and have them clearly written and in front of me to avoid hesitation, be more impressive and build greater trust.


        PS All the best for the Black Dog Ride. Congratulations on your successful fundraising efforts.

        • Claire Lane on August 25, 2010 at 2:34 pm

          Yes, mutually beneficial is a good one – not only do they need to know it’ll be beneficial for them, but they also need to know it’s beneficial to you, to maintain the relationship and the results. Good one Tony.

          Kathleen, I also dislike numbers but a few key ‘headline grabbers’ near the phone would help. If you’re going to #nscm tomorrow you could try out your new lines on us all?


          • Kathleen Crone on August 25, 2010 at 10:52 pm

            Thank you Claire.

            I will be at #nscm tomorrow. Hope to see you there 🙂

            I will bring some feedback for your great book so that this process is “mutually beneficial” 🙂

            Good news:
            I have been practising some of the suggestions I have given in this forum and my Sharewords, “Build business the easy way” at a mock expo for a Department of Industry and Investment Women In Business course that I have been completing. They worked a treat!

            Tomorrow night I will be at the National Association of Women in Construction Awards night, another great opportunity to experiment. I’ll keep you posted on my success there.


            • Robin Dickinson on August 26, 2010 at 7:26 pm

              Kathleen, congratulations on using your sharewords so successfully. Well done! 🙂

          • Robin Dickinson on August 26, 2010 at 7:59 pm

            Great input, Claire. Thank you. 🙂

      • Robin Dickinson on August 26, 2010 at 7:28 pm

        Excellent point, Tony. Mutual benefit is the critical underpinning of every customer or potential customer interaction.

        I really appreciate your input to this makeover.

        Best, Robin 🙂

  2. Kate Groom on August 24, 2010 at 9:23 am

    Hi Kathleen,

    Great idea to use this forum for feedback. Well done for stepping out!

    Your points about BB are concise and clear and I understood the benefits. However, I tuned out long before you got to the request, so you might want to ask a question of the listener right at the front end of the call; perhaps ask them how they promote their business now.

    To get more impact on the call, you might consider sending the info via an email and then call to follow up. So, maybe the first call is just to get permission to send info about a cost effective way (or whatever is the right language) to promote product/service to builders. Then call for feedback and if they are interested you can set up an appointment.

    This approach takes some of the ‘cold’ away from cold calls. It gives people a chance to call you if they are interested and puts them in control. Some people may not even *need* you to visit them and could become buyers by phone, so this maxised your return on your time.

    In terms of your voice, my suggestion is to try and lift the energy level and excitement. You want to have people believing this is The.Best.Way to promote their business and your voice can help with that.

    I agree with Claire about testimonials and stats.

    Hope this helps!

    • Claire Lane on August 24, 2010 at 10:16 am

      Oooh yes, I agree. I am doing some work for a charity where they have to get donors to give products/services away as part of an auction night. The other day, the head of the charity was saying how it is MUCH more effective to email first, let them absorb it in their own time, and then call. If they haven’t got to your email, then your phone call is a prompt. If they have and they are not interested in the slightest, they’ll tell you upfront and won’t waste your time. I think this would work very well for you Kathleen.

    • Kathleen Crone on August 24, 2010 at 12:55 pm

      Hi Kate (and Claire),

      Thank you for your suggestions.

      The email idea works well for me (I am more comfortable approaching sales calls this way), however, my target market get a lot of emails about a lot of great advertising opportunities and newbies often don’t get opened. If I am truthful, it is also something I prefer to do because I find calls difficult and avoid them.

      One client provided valuable feedback about email communication. He only considered the initial email I sent and agreed to meet because by coincidence, the same day I left a message and sent an email, an acquaintance recommended me/Broadcast Builder.

      I would really like to use this make-over opportunity to develop a strong, persuasive and interesting cold call script that will lead to a meeting to explain the product and advertising benefits or an email with similar information.

      In the case of an email, I am also interested to know your opinion regarding when and how is the best time to follow up (next day, three days, week?). I tend to get stuck in a cycle of warm lead going no where.

      At a recent sales seminar, I was told I should be following up the next day. I have not been doing this. However, I do try to negotiate a suitable time to call them back. This does help to qualify the lead further.

      Thank you for your feedback about the yawn 🙂 I agree. I would like to ask questions first but I lack confidence – they often end up in a chat which is good for market research and rapport building. In other words I lose the sales focus. I am happy to receive your suggestions on how I can improve these skills.


    • Robin Dickinson on August 26, 2010 at 8:22 pm

      Excellent input, Kate. Thank you. 🙂

  3. Leanne Berry on August 24, 2010 at 11:29 am

    Hi Kathleen

    Well done on going under the knife this week!!!

    You need to get them interested and excited –

    Id like to give you a solid example of how BB is hitting your target market, we are rapidly growing a subscriber base who are embracing our delivery methods to keep current on whats happening in the building industry. To date the weekly increase in subscriber numbers is xxxx this translates into a reach of xxx in xx months

    This is an exciting marketing opportunity for your business to hit the mark!!! – no more keeping databases up to date, no more administration spend time and money on your message – we’ll take care of the packaging and delivery for you!

    BB is becoming the premier education tool for builders all around Australia – our reach particularly into Regional Australia, which traditionally has been a hard audience to reach due to distance is providing xx new subscribers per week

    There’s a great testimonial from Bob The Builder on our website on the value he has received from becoming a subsciber to BB – once you land on our virtual home you’ll also see how other businesses are leveraging the power of our platform to get their message out!

    I will send you an email with the link to our website and also my availability to meet up with you next week when Im in your area – but you’ll need to act quickly to secure some time with me

    Its been great talking with you today and thank you so much for your time

    Hope this might help spark some further debate 🙂



    • Kathleen Crone on August 24, 2010 at 1:59 pm

      Dear Leanne,

      Thank you for your support and your “solid example”.
      It is very helpful and exciting to be given new words and a fresh approach. I can’t believe I have not considered some of these ideas before.

      I really like the use of words like “rapidly”, “hit the mark”, “powerful platform”, “leveraging”

      I agree with your suggestion to include information on the benefits of using Broadcast Builder to engage regional builders. It is a pain point for a lot of my potential clients.

      Thank you for providing clear examples of how I can weave statistics into the discussion. I found most marketing managers very keen to hear about the numbers.

      I would also like to include the Return On Investment data that we provide 3 months after advertising is distributed.

      Problem 1:
      How do I fit all this into a really concise call? There are loads of benefits associated with sponsoring segments on Broadcast Builder.

      Problem 2:
      I would feel uncomfortable being so “salesperson” like in my discussion. I need to play with these words and reflect.

      Thanks again for your support and interest in helping me succeed.


      • Leanne Berry on August 24, 2010 at 2:51 pm

        Hi Kathleen

        I think the initial call needs to be hook – simple, exciting and packed with the benefits to them as a sponsor of BB – its not a cold call – its an opportunity to connect! using words like developing partnerships, keeping in touch to see what great new products and services we might help you promote – focus the conversation on them!

        Email follow up is important and should be part of the call – you are *qualifying the lead* – this is where you send them to your website – you have invested a great deal in this marketing platform – let it speak to them – let it do its job – I know I spent a while browsing to get a feel for what you do

        The email is also where you start to provide your package details, benefits, requirements and call to action – here you could also include a pdf example of your ROI reporting tool

        Speak to Helen about setting up something like TUNGLE for booking immediate appointments with you to take it further – give them a selection of connection methods, face-to-face, skype, email etc – this is also part of your call to action

        You are providing a valuable service, make them want it, make them feel special, be proud of what you offer and dont wither under the details!



        • Myriam @ Detours on August 25, 2010 at 10:43 am

          Wow, fantastic feedback from Leanne, Claire and Tony so far – I’m really enjoying this discussion!

          Well done Kathleen, you’re definitely on the right track!


        • Kathleen Crone on August 25, 2010 at 11:25 pm

          Thanks Leanne.

          Note to self: After this make-over is finished refer to cold calls as opportunities to connect. I think it will be a lot easier, and even motivating to call a list of people that I want to connect with. This should also assist me to relax and ask questions, just like I do when I am meeting and connecting with people in other contexts.

          Your feedback about the website is appreciated. I do provide links to relevant parts of my website in the email I send after phone calls and also, a media kit when requested. However, I think there is room for a more snappy way to present an example of my ROI report. I will get my thinking cap on.

          Tungle could be a good idea. Do you think busy people will respond to choosing a time or would it be more effective for me to do all of the organising? I am not sure I would get a great result from this even though I like the concept of providing choice (being respectful of peoples time).

          What do you think?

          On another note, I am glad you suggested the You Grow CRM http://www.yougrow.com.au/ I have started to look into the benefits of using it to better manage the sales process.


    • Robin Dickinson on August 26, 2010 at 8:24 pm

      I love this tangible example you give, Leanne. Thank you. 🙂

  4. Lindy Asimus on August 24, 2010 at 11:57 am

    Very courageous sharing this. I’m not entirely sure it is fair representation, but lets work with what we have.

    Calling cold can be a tough gig. Getting people to engage isn’t easy – we contact them out of the blue, and we’re probably interrupting them, so that interruption needs to add something to their day. First rule when calling someone like this, for me is always to check that they are able to talk right now before going any further. This is particularly so for builders as they may be on the roof or anywhere when you call!

    You want to be engaging them, so you need to know what their worries are and the ‘hot buttons’ that concern them or are an issue that causes them some pain, that your product can help to solve. You want them to tell you their pain, before you tell them about what you have for them to see.

    If they are not engaging, then there is no point going through a full spiel. If you sense that they are distracted, or not engaging, try for a compromise and live to speak to them another day, when they are more open. Have a range of options as objectives for the call. If you aren’t able to get the appointment first up, get their permission to send them more information and follow that up with another call. Understand, this is not a means to duck going for the appointment – it is about calibrating their engagement and maximising your chance to make a good connection with the person on the other end of the phone.

    TIP: Keep details of everyone you reach, and use this as a prospect database for future follow-up. If you are working in a set market then that market is going to be the same people you’ll call next time around. Make the most of anything you can glean from them in the first exchange. It pays off.

    • Kathleen Crone on August 24, 2010 at 4:10 pm

      Dear Lindy,

      Thank you for your valuable feedback.

      I appreciate your comment about ‘fair representation’. You are right. I do not think that the video is a true representation of how I go about a cold call. However, the opportunity to receive feedback and coaching from Robin, yourself and the rest of the people that actively participate in these workshops sounded like too good an opportunity to miss out on.

      I am sure that Robin would appreciate any ideas you have on how we could improve this process/workshop format in the future.

      Regarding your suggestions for starting the call, what do you think about the following example?

      “Hi my name is Kathleen, I am calling from Broadcast Builder. Congratulations on the launch of the interactive x on your website. I had a go at using it and I think our subscribers would find it really valuable. Do you have a minute to talk Broadcast Builder and how we can help you engage builders in discussions about your products?”

      Would you weave something about the “advertising/sales opportunity” right from the start?

      Would you ask if they have a minute to talk before you provide any information about the purpose of the call?

      I appreciate the tip about record keeping. I need to improve this as well!

      I have tried recording details in notebooks, excel and outlook. I have not developed a good system yet. Someone recently suggested using both Outlook and Excel. Do you have any suggestions?


      PS I am also thinking about introducing a B2B/potential sponsor e-newsletter to keep in front of leads and clients in a light way.

      • Linda Fairbairn on August 24, 2010 at 5:37 pm

        Following on from Lindy’s tip a database of all the people you contact and what they say is crucial from day 1 –
        Having a record of the name of the person you spoke with and what you/they said is so important for relationship building
        You may find some organisations are hesitant this time around but if you try them again a year later their circumstances or even staff may have changed and you’ll get a different response!!
        We use a bespoke database and it is pivotal for ensuring we call back on the day we say we’d call back – and for knowingly being able to ask how their holiday to x was!
        I’ve heard good things about Highrise that I believe also has a ‘follow up’ alert (I’ve not used it personally) but I’m sure someone here could suggest something way way better than making do with Excel 🙁
        Apologies for the digress… 😉

        • Kathleen Crone on August 28, 2010 at 10:31 am

          Hi Linda,

          I apologise for the delay in replying to your suggestions. They are most helpful. I will look into Highrise and Leanne’s suggestion as well.

          I have definitely missed a fair few relationship opportunities due to ineffective record keeping. I am developing and committing a system to paper now. I will place it on the wall at my desk as a visual reminder to do things the right way the first time. I am also going to spend time updating / consolidating my previous efforts while I do my research on better software and systems. I am sure this process will also remind me of some great conversations I have had with potential clients and present a whole raft of people to contact again.

          I cannot believe how many times I have spoken to someone and thought “there is no way I will ever forget …” and promptly forgotten it or busied my head more than I needed to trying to keep it front of mind.

          Note to self:
          Record all conversations in one systematic way.

          On calling back. I whole heartedly agree with you. Someone once said to me that it is a good idea in business to keep people up to date on your progress. I have had positive experiences re contacting some of the first people I talked to and sharing what’s changed and how we have grown.

          Thanks again for your contributions. They are most helpful


        • Robin Dickinson on August 30, 2010 at 11:07 am

          Thank you, Linda. This is a useful build. 🙂

      • Robin Dickinson on August 30, 2010 at 11:03 am

        I agree. Lindy’s feedback is excellent. I’m sure we can improve the process in future and I’m glad you had the courage to get started, Kathleen.

  5. Linda Fairbairn on August 24, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    I agree with Kate, that a quick introductory call first to attain permission to email is important so they’re familiar with the name, know that its coming, so you don’t get off on the wrong foot as being a spammer.
    Sit forward on on chair, alert and smile ~ You can hear a smile!!! Your voice will then sound upbeat ~
    Introduce yourself briefly… and then find out who it is that oversees their advertising/marketing so you get to talk to the person who can make the decision.
    “Hi, I’m Kathleen from Broadcast Builders ~ We offer a FREE service to builders that keeps them up to date with their mandatory xxxxxxxxx. We offer this product free to the builder, your customer, through sponsorship ~
    Who oversees your advertising and marketing?
    May I speak with them?”
    Next conversation is essentially the same except, the Q at the end is
    “Can I send you an email outlining how our product is a must have for all builders to stay compliant and is therefore a great opportunity for you to get your name in front of your primary target market?” [Smile!!]
    2 days later follow up email to embellish any queries…

    • Kathleen Crone on August 24, 2010 at 2:31 pm

      Dear Linda,

      Thank you for this valuable contribution.

      I like your suggestions for the call, particularly the reference to mandatory CPD points and sponsorship right from the start.

      I actually used to approach them like this. Now I look back, it worked a lot better. I think I have started to over complicate a lot of things.

      Perhaps I should have done a mock of an entire cold call and not just the part after I have qualified and been given an opportunity to explain Broadcast Builder. I think Robin and I have set a hard task for you to help with without this content.

      I have been approaching the call in three separate sections:

      1.Engaging potential sponsors in a discussion about their new products/service/resource and why I think builders/ my subscribers could benefit from learning more about it.

      2.Explaining what Broadcast Builder is and how it works

      3.Asking for a meeting and or feedback/thoughts

      I have presented Part 2 for this sales make-over. I am beginning to think that the spiel on the video should only be used on the phone if I do not get the meeting. If I get the meeting, I should use it there.

      What do you think?

      If I re focus and keep it simple, cold-calling might not be such a daunting task after all!



    • Kathleen Crone on August 24, 2010 at 4:31 pm

      PS Thank you for the 2 day guidelines for follow-up

  6. Kathleen Crone on August 24, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    Dear Claire,

    Thank you for your considered and very helpful suggestions.

    The tip about Tim Noonan is particularly interesting. I will follow it up this week.

    I agree with you re the establish the reason for the call first. I do this in emails but stumble over my words in calls.


    “Broadcast Builder connects builders with industry experts and keeps them up to date with new products. Our subscribers are really keen to learn more about products that can help them build more energy efficient homes. Your new x products look like just the thing they want to know about.

    Does that sound like something that might interest you?”

    I know I still have not clearly asked for sponsorship but, do you think I have addressed some of your suggestions in the above example?

    I do have great stats I could weave in.

    I will keep thinking about your feedback and see what I can come up with.

    Thank you for your continued support.


  7. Annabel Candy, Get In the Hot Spot on August 24, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    Quick thoughts. At the beginning ask a question that gets a yes answer:

    Would you like to get more builders interested in your products?

    Tell a success story with those stats. This one has some social proof too:

    Bob from Big Bricks was struggling to find new buyers for his bricks and he’d tried everything – the yellow pages, Google adwords, and industry magazines but that was getting expensive. He was worried about trying Broadcast Builder because he’d never heard of it but decided to give it a go. After his interview was broadcast 80 builders did our online quiz about Big Bricks and 20 of them called Bob to place an order saying they liked the sound of his bricks after hearing about them on Broadcast Builder. Bob loved that because he could actually see that partnering with Broadcast Builder helped him win new business and now he uses our service regularly.

    Good luck Kathleen:)

    • Kathleen Crone on August 24, 2010 at 4:19 pm

      Hi Annabel,

      Thank you for your contribution.

      I like your suggestion to ask a question to get a ‘yes’ answer.

      What about:

      “We can help you engage builders in discussions about X and provide you with feedback on the uptake and understanding of the messages you present. Is that something you might be interested in?”
      I love your success story.

      I think it would be valuable to incorporate a compelling story into the information I present about Broadcast Builder.

      I will use your example to develop a few story ideas to present back to you.


      • Annabel Candy, Get In the Hot Spot on August 26, 2010 at 9:04 pm

        Hi Kathleen, that’s great. So good you are working on this. If you have a script you want to practice you can call me and we’ll do a role play. I’ll be the builder:) Look forward to hearing the story!

        • Kathleen Crone on August 28, 2010 at 12:44 pm

          Hi Annabel,

          Thank you for your generous offer. It is very empowering and exciting to have you on my side !

          You are a great story teller. I enjoy reading your blog posts.


        • Robin Dickinson on August 30, 2010 at 11:09 am

          Thank you, Annnabel. That’s really helpful of you. 🙂

  8. Linda Fairbairn on August 24, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    Hi Kathleen ~ Yes, I hadn’t realised this was a follow up call example!
    I actually think getting that initial hook in is the hard part!
    Once their interest is piqued they are more open to spend the time with you to hear the details.

    I think Leanne has laid it out very succinctly above ~ (Good job Leanne 😉
    Benefits to the sponsors is #1, which having their target market listening virtually as a sitting target is huge!

    Also, if you are calling a building firm I don’t believe it is a “cold call” its a ‘warm call’ as you calling them to do them the favour of informing them about this brilliant way of reaching their customers and passively wooing them 😉
    You wouldn’t be wasting your time calling them if you didn’t think you could help them would you? LOL
    You’re not selling anything ~ You, out of the goodness in your heart are helping them build their business 😉

    • Kathleen Crone on August 24, 2010 at 4:30 pm

      Hi Linda,

      Thanks for building on your previous suggestions.

      I agree with you about Leanne’s suggestions. She has a great knack with words.

      Your comment about the “warm call” is particularly helpful. You are right. I do believe Broadcast Builder presents them with a fantastic opportunity to connect with builders. Thinking about the call as a “warm call” definitely makes it seem like an easier task.

      I am sure this kind of attitude and confidence would also improve my voice / presentation skills. In other contexts I can speak with enthusiasm and be persuasive. I think it’s about time I applied the same skills to my sales!


  9. Radhika on August 24, 2010 at 9:28 pm

    Kathleen – kudos for ponying up and really being committed to changing the dynamic of your sales call. Loving the feedback you have been given by this fabulous audience. I feel for you! Being an ex B2B account manager, I remember the challenges all too well and you have been given some fantastic advice. Others that always kept me in good stead were
    a) Build rapport – the call is the opportunity to implant critical recall information – your name, your business or your service;
    b) appreciate they are busy people and its ok to ask when they’re relaxed and thinking about the future of their business;
    and what has been really wonderfully captured so far c) understand their business – you have ‘cut through’ the moment you mention some endeavour they have taken to promote their business (they want to know it’s working too!). You will also be speaking to alot more people in the industry so you have insights to share with them. Let them see you as a ‘partner’ to their business.

    Getting them to talk to you and take the next step in establishing a relationship with you is all that you are attempting to achieve in the call so take away some the pressure of a “sales call” – after all you aren’t “getting to close” at that moment so go easy on yourself by speaking with passion about the service you know could help them! 🙂

    Best of luck!

    • Kathleen Crone on August 25, 2010 at 9:46 am

      Dear Radhika,

      Thank you very much for your kind words and helpful advice

      You are right about the fabulous feedback that I have been given and I am delighted to have your advice added to the mix.

      It’s helpful to know that I “cut through” when I mention and provide positive feedback on the endeavours a potential client has made to connect with and provide services for builders. In the past I have complimented and provided feedback on their website, media releases, new products, display at a trade show etc. I do a lot of research before I make a call (probably too much).

      Actually, I research a lot about potential clients. I identify great things they do for builders and how Broadcast Builder could assist them to engage builders in learning about their products.

      My audio program presents a great opportunity to talk about products that make it easier to comply with building codes and regulations, assist builders to understand new and/or building concepts, build trust and address frequently asked questions about products and systems to this niche market. Therefore with a bit of internet research, I can easily identify specific topic ideas for potential clients for example, new energy efficiency provisions are difficult to meet without the use of high performance windows, a perfect opportunity for Viridian Glass to explain the new provisions and how their Low E and ComfortPlus can help builders achieve compliance.

      I often do the research and do not follow through with the call and when I make the call, I often do not follow through with the second call!

      Embarrassing to admit and frustrating to do but let’s face it, if I am not honest about it, how will I solve the problem!

      Do you have any tips on how I can overcome this problem? Is it fear, procrastination? I don’t understand why I do it.


    • Robin Dickinson on August 30, 2010 at 11:11 am

      Thank you, Radhika. This is top-shelf and generous input.

      Best, Robin 🙂

  10. Suellen Hughes on August 24, 2010 at 10:05 pm


    Sorry I’m late joining this workshop – missed it somehow – better late than never 😉 Firstly well done on putting yourself out there.

    You’ve had some great feedback from others already, particularly around how to be concise and persuasive.

    I just want to add a couple of things:

    1. Are you able to get a referral from a builder, another sponsor, and industry contact before making the cold call? In my experience, it’s much easier to say “Hi [name] suggested that I give you a call” rather than calling cold. If you can’t get the actual referral, you can use association e.g “X is a client/sponsor of BB and I know your business is similar, so thought I’d share with you…..”

    2. I almost always send an email first with the background information and something to intrigue or interest them. Even if they haven’t read the email, they usually listen to what I’ve got to say (as they’re searching for the email!). It often also makes it easier to get through the PA if I say “I’m calling to follow-up on an email”. I also tell them in the email when I’ll call and then make sure I call then, even if I have to leave a message or two or three. Given your product – MP3 recording, you could even put a relevant link in of the recordings as a taster & to demonstrate the benefit to the sponsor as Leanne suggested.

    3. As for the actual call, building on Linda’s suggestions about re-framing your thinking. Your ultimate goal is to get them to agree to be sponsors. Your immediate goal, is to share the benefits of BB for them. If you think of this as a conversation, rather than a “sales call”, and think about how you would naturally speak to the person, this might help your confidence and presence.

    4. Finally from me. Real cold calling is a numbers game. Remember, every no, moves you one call closer to a yes! So, when you get the no, hang up, high-five yourself and say “Yes, one call closer to a yes!.

    Looking forward to seeing your next iteration.

    • Kathleen Crone on August 25, 2010 at 10:36 am

      Dear Suellen,

      Thank you for joining in this discussion.

      I like your first point. I have also found it much easier to make head way when I have a referral. In fact, I think all of my sales have resulted from some kind of referral!

      I have been thinking a lot about this in recent weeks.

      I have gained a well known industry leader as an advocate. He has enabled connections with decisions makers that I have been unable to make until now 🙂

      Not only is it helpful for starting a discussion, it also provides me with a lot more confidence to make the call (it’s easier to put a smile in my voice and tell my story). I have received quite a lot of referrals over time. I have not followed them all up. I will address this weakness.

      I am planning to involve myself in more industry specific events. Industry trade nights, expos etc. are good, however, a lot of building supply companies use media agencies. Where can I meet and connect with the people looking after these accounts at advertising and PR agencies? How is the best way to communicate/pitch to them?

      Second point:
      This was interesting. The CD version of Broadcast Builder looks great. I am proud of what it looks like and I have found it to be a good sales tool. Until now, I have been sending them after the initial (cold) call. This has significantly slowed down the sales process. It takes time for them to receive it, listen to it etc. and it often takes me time to catch them in their office again. The second and third calls do not tend to move much further forward than the first.

      The email I send is better suited for use after the initial call. It has detail about the product and links to the website so I don’t think it sizzles enough for use before the call. However, I don’t know why I had not thought to develop two emails. One that grabs attention and one with the details once the prospect has been qualified.

      I think I should start working on a new “intriguing and succinct” email and send CD’s prior to the call.

      Do you agree? Do you have any content ideas or rules? I will definitely include a link to the MP3 files and parts of the website. Would you do it in plain text or include images / use a template?

      Point 3
      “ Re-framing my thinking” – this is a very helpful way for me to think about this process. Your suggestions help me visualise a less painful experience. All of the comments I am receiving are boosting my confidence and helping me put a more positive spin on this stage of the sales process. I am sure a changed attitude will be reflected in my voice and enable a more natural conversation.

      Point 4
      I recently participated in a sales webinar hosted by SmartCompany. It was presented by Sue Barrett and titled Planning Your Sales Week http://www.smartcompany.com.au/upcoming-webinars/planning-your-sales-week.html I found it very helpful.

      Thanks again for your contribution. I appreciate your interest in helping me succeed.



      • Myriam @ Detours on August 25, 2010 at 8:53 pm

        Hi Kathleen,

        Being an ex-PR girl myself, I think I may be able to help you with regards to point #1 – how to connect with the advertising and PR agencies of these building supply companies and how to pitch to / communicate with them. There are specific tricks that are useful to find out who their PR with, and what they’re working on 😉

        I’ve previously worked on PR projects in the building industry such as the National Carpenters Day, and was up to date with PR actions around green building when I was working with Forest and Wood Products of Australia, the industry association behind Carpenters Day. I saw you’ve written about the event earlier this year, were you involved with them in any way? I may have useful insight for you on similar events.

        Just to make sure I can help you properly, would you be able to give me a list of 5-10 major prospects for you in this industry? I understand the list may be confidential so you can email them to me at myriam@mytinerary.com.au and I’ll look at it in confidence, see if I can point you in the right direction 😉

        • Myriam @ Detours on August 25, 2010 at 8:57 pm

          PS: while we’re talking about PR, Kathleen, do you mind if I ask you what you’ve already done in terms of PR to help promote Broadcast Builder? Have you already sent out a media release to launch your service? There’s a number of trade mags in your category that would be really interested in what you have to say.

          Let me know, I’m happy to work with you on this if required 😉

          • Robin Dickinson on August 30, 2010 at 11:17 am

            That’s a very generous offer, Myriam. Thank you. 🙂

        • Kathleen Crone on August 25, 2010 at 11:41 pm

          Dear Myriam,

          Thank you for joining this discussion and assisting me to make-over my sales calls.

          What a small world. Yes, I hosted a National Carpenters Day event with Gymea TAFE earlier in the year and copies of my CD were included in the promotional packs that were sent out to the BBQ’s. It is such a great initiative and I hope to be actively involved in future events.

          Forest Wood Products Australia has been a great supporter of my work in fact, the timber industry have been the easiest to talk to and very open to what I do.

          I am especially excited by your offer to give me some tips for pitching to media agencies. I will email you some more information. This is a most generous offer.

          I have not tackled PR yet. Let’s talk about this too. Like my sales activity, I see a lot of opportunities but am too slow on the action.

          Thanks again.


    • Robin Dickinson on August 30, 2010 at 11:12 am

      That’s excellent, Suellen. Thank you. 🙂

  11. Roger Lawrence on August 24, 2010 at 11:46 pm

    Hey Kathleen,

    +1 (well probably +100) on going “under the knife” this week. Love your commitment, and enthusiasm. Always have, you inspire me.

    Couple of thoughts:
    * Think of the conversation process.

    Whether you have a 2 min conversation or deliver a 3 hour speech, there’s always a process to get to “Add Value” (Step 7) More on this in my “Roger That” vidcast series coming soon to a computer near you – but in brief
    1. Personal Ecology – are you in the best state to perform your best?
    2. Get Attention – Phonecalls do this by nature, but what is separating yours from all of the tele-marketers?
    3. Build Rapport – Find common ground, unless you’ve done your research you’ll need to ask questions
    4. Gain Permission – This step is crucial. If the person you’re speaking to is worried about their budget, or lunch, or their tax, they won’t be listening to a word you say.
    5. Client Ecology – are they in the best state to receive your message
    6. Gather information – note this is shared information, as well as what you understand about the particular scenario – again on the phone this is about asking questions
    7. Add Value – note the “what I can do for you” is number SEVEN on the list.

    Here’s how to combine that into a few short paragraphs.

    1. (Personal Ecology) You have your resources to hand. You’re using a landline or are in a guaranteed signal area so your call won’t drop. You’re relaxed with plenty of time. Not stressed about customers you need, or calls you must make, but ready to perform your best and provide value to the next person you speak to. You’re smiling 🙂
    2. “Hi, thanks for taking my call, I wonder if you can help me?” (grabs attention, invokes curiosity) [wait for response]
    “who would be the best person to talk to about building your customer base/marketing and sales/advertising?” [wait for response]
    “Bob, thanks. Great, could you put me through to him please?”
    2. “Hi Bob, thanks for taking my call, is this a good time to talk/have you got 5 minutes to talk?” [No – take number, set time, and call back punctually]
    3. “My name is Kathleen, and I deliver training to x demographic of builders. I couldn’t help but notice how well Bobco is doing with the same guys. You’re doing a great job, I know just how hard it is to [mention specific challenge for specific target here] e.g. find time with builders always on the road. [wait for response, agree as you build rapport]
    4. & 5. As I mentioned, y% of my audience are your customers, and I’d love to chat about how I already reach these guys, I’m convinced we can help you reach even more customers. Would you like to learn more?/chat about it?
    6. Great, thanks for that, before I do go on, what challenges are you experiencing in reaching new customers? [response] Right – paraphrase. Yep, that certainly is a challenge. What have you found that works? Yellow pages, radio advertising, web? Is there anything else right now that’s a pressing burden?
    7. Here’s how I believe Broadcast Builder can help you. This is what the program is about, and as you know builders need to keep up with OH&S information, so they’re a captive market. Specifically x demographic. Of course it’s free to them, and they can get it in a number of formats. Our other clients include SallyCo and they’ve resolved challenge x and challenge y [mentioned by the client in 6.] in this way… I’d love to have a coffee and chat further, how are you placed for tomorrow?

    * Second thought – note it’s not about you talking to them, it’s about you letting them talk to you. Open questions, genuine listening, followed by shorter questions to check you understand their perspective. Once they’re agreeing with you, then and only then share your value.

    Even then there is power in continuing to drop back to points 5. and 6., and keep dialogue open.

    So you’re not “selling” you’re facilitating them to solve their problems. By buying.

    hope that helps.


    • Kathleen Crone on August 25, 2010 at 10:59 am

      Hi Roger,

      So wonderful to receive your contribution. Thank you for taking the time to help me.

      Firstly, I admire your ability to make others feel good and I am looking forward to the “Roger That” vidcast series. It sounds great, and very relevant to me.

      You have provided me with some great new words/sentences. I particularly, like the conversational and friendly tone.

      I noticed in Point 2 in the second section of your post, that you suggest asking if the person has time to talk before explaining what the call is about.

      There appears to be a divide in this part of the advice that people are giving me.

      What is best practice in the sales industry? I do care if I am interrupting someone. I do not want to make people feel uncomfortable or pressured, however, I do not want to waste an opportunity to explain the purpose of the call, especially once I’ve nailed the words after this make-over 🙂

      On your suggestion to find out what advertising currently works for potential clients, I have been successful in asking this kind of question when I am initially rejected. I have been finding it very useful for building rapport with people that are currently uninterested in my product. However, I have not used it at the beginning of a conversation.

      I know your suggestion to use more open ended questions and facilitate them to talk about their needs, experiences etc is important. I used to do this on a daily basis in my role as a teacher. I am not sure why I find the phone (and videos with Robin :))such a difficult medium to apply / demonstrate my skills. Actually, I do know a couple of reasons:

      1. I am new to sales
      2. I am a new player on the block in the building industry

      These two factors do impact my self confidence. I am very aware that I have a naive understanding of how it all works. This means I tend to tip-toe, hold back and worry.

      Saying that, I am quickly getting the hang of it. I have experience a very steep learning curve over the past 18 months. I am ready to step forward with confidence, hence my participation in this make-over.

      I have also noted your suggestion to use numbers from the beginning 🙂

      Thanks again for your contribution Roger.



    • Robin Dickinson on August 30, 2010 at 11:14 am

      That’s a mighty generous response, Roger. So good. Thank you.

      Best, Robin 🙂

  12. Tony Hollingsworth on August 25, 2010 at 12:18 am

    This is a great discussion! There is a lot I want to add but first of all: Kathleen I don’t want to sound condescending but I am so proud of you! You are someone who walks the talk, and this is going to serve you well! Let me explain:
    – we met at a training course in November 2009
    – we talked about Twitter (you’d joined in July 2009 and still curious about it)
    – we talked about the tweetups/coffee mornings, I mentioned Mosman’s #nscm
    – your curiosity got the better of you and you did what many don’t, and turned up! (I love the quote: “80% of success is turning up” – it reminds me of Coolidge’s Persistence and Determination gem of a quote and one of my favourites)
    – you’ve since connected with Robin and this great community of support
    – now we’re going to shape you into an uber-successful sales machine.

    First of all, some resource:
    – Tim Noonan (as Claire mentions) is phenomenal. His recent talk at Social Innovation BarCamp had EVERYONE riveted to his every word. What struck me was Tim’s discussion about the power of voice versus words because voice carries emotion, and EMOTION is the key to successful SELLING. Which is why I am hesitant to support the email/call that Kate offers up, and would suggest call/email/call over and over again as a strategy, until DEAL CLOSED, or you are asked to stop. (Remember: there are plenty of educated derelicts, and persistence and determination are omnipotent – hat tip to Coolidge 🙂

    Have a listen to Tim and Robin discussing VOICE, where the conversation turns into Tim and his fascination and passion about voice, vocal authenticity, openness and trust:

    – cold calling specialist Shaun Gisbourne talks about what he does and how to be better at it, on this podcast from a few years ago.

    Now, to your questions specifically:
    Q: How can you be more concise, persuasive and powerful?
    A: stand up when you are making calls – get a headset and wander around while you ate talking. It affects your voice and makes you sound more relaxed, authoritative and emotionally enageged. Look at the YouTube video http://www.youtube.com/user/broadcastbuilder where you are being interviewed: you sound great! Much better than the role play test with Robin, IMHO.

    Q: How you can enagage the listener in a conversation.
    A: Others commented similarly, but its worth reiterating:
    1. respect the time of the listener: “It’s Kathleen from Broadcast Builder. Do you have a minute to speak” Usually “Yes” comes next, say “Thanks…” breathe, pause and off you go. If “No” say “Of course: may I call you back later today, or tomorrow morning?” This gives choices and keeps things warm. Follow up as promised (CRITICAL for credibility)
    2. After introducing yourself, in the first sentence explain what you are selling “I’m seeking sponsorship from the building community – I’d like to tell you why I think this is mutually beneficial, is that ok? (wait, then after they say “Yes”, continue. Space it out, relax, and build rapport. It’s ok to add light conversation at this point. It’s a fantastic day isn’t it? Where are you working today? Oh, Coogee, my grandmother was born there….yada yada (just for 30 secs or less) then back on point/focus….
    3. You’re building trust and relationships now…keep going. Ask them for their email or offer to send them a follow up. Send them that YouTube video of you being interviewed: you look fantastic! You sound brilliant and real. Builders will want to meet you!

    This is all too easy now…go get them!

    Q: How you can improve your voice and actions so that you can speak more effectively over the phone.
    A: listen to Tim, stand up when speaking, listen to the podcast, oh, and that CPD lingo, I gather that is commonly known? (I don’t know it) but that is your sales angle up front: I help builders get their CPDs conveniently – by sponsoring this you will have their attention…etc…

    That is all for now. Good luck and speak soon!

    Tony Hollingsworth

    • Robin Dickinson on August 30, 2010 at 11:13 am

      Thank you, Tony. Following on from our many discussions, we have much to learn from your experience in sales. 🙂

  13. Kathleen Crone on August 25, 2010 at 11:06 am

    Dear Tony,

    What can I say? Thank you for your compliments, advice and links to resources.

    I have a detailed response on the way for you.

    Unfortunately / fortunately, I have to make a couple of calls. While they are not direct sales calls, I am going to practise your voice tips.

    I will let you know how I go.

    Kind regards,


    • Robin Dickinson on August 30, 2010 at 11:18 am

      Tim Noonan is a vocal superstar and I’m sure he will be very helpful here. 🙂

  14. Myriam @ Detours on August 25, 2010 at 11:11 am

    Awesome comments and feedback from Linda, Suellen, Roger, Annabel and Tony! I’m learning so much out of this discussion, I couldn’t thank you enough for putting yourself out there Kathleen, we’re all benefitting from this…

    I really don’t have much to add, I’m afraid I’m not the expert on this 😉

    I really like Annabel’s point about starting early in the conversation with a question that will lead to a YES answer.

    Kathleen, I also love how you’re conducting extensive research on your prospect before the call. From my experience, showing the person you’re approaching that you actually know about their products / services and that you took the time to research them does make a difference.

    You see, PR is really not dissimilar to cold-calling. We actually spend a lot of time cold-calling journalists to see if they’re interested in story / product X (that’s a part of the job many people dread). If I called journos to ask if they’ve received my release, it usually didn’t work. However, if I opened the conversation by referring to a specific article they wrote recently, explained why I really liked the article, and why I think they could be interested in more info on product / service x for a potential follow-up story, it usually worked much better. But you already know all of this so you should be fine, Kathleen!

    Lastly, one of the tips I’ve learnt from Robin whenever I need to cold call someone, or when I’m meeting face to face with a new prospect for the 1st time, is to arrive with 3 to 5 ideas of things you (or your business) could do for them NOW if you got the job TODAY. Having specific examples in mind really does help highlight that you have their best interest in mind, and that you’ve already given some thought to their business challenges.

    Hope this helps 😉

    • Kathleen Crone on August 26, 2010 at 12:07 am

      Hi Myriam,

      It’s my guess that if you took a minute to re read the valuable feedback and advice you have provided in your posts, you would quickly realise your expertise. It most definitely belongs under the awesome list with all of the other contributors 🙂

      Your examples of how you approach cold-calling are helpful. I really relate to your approach.

      In relation to “3 to 5 ideas to do NOW if I got the job TODAY”, I love this strategy. It really builds and extends on what I currently do. It is a tangible thing that I can easily add to my sales tool kit. As I already spend time identifying what I can do for potential clients in the future, it would be a cinch to do this extra step. It will be a great way to build a positive relationship from the start, especially because signing-up for a segment on Broadcast Builder currently involves a decent amount of waiting around / patience until they receive their result.

      I am in the middle of implementing a strong social media strategy with the assistance of Jodi Gibson, Ace Virtual Assistants. I could work with her to develop some specific strategies to impress new clients. What else could I do TODAY?

      Media release, image / logo and links on website, post of blog (when I finally get one)???

      Thanks again Myriam.


      • Robin Dickinson on August 30, 2010 at 11:19 am

        Let’s work on this together, Kathleen. It’s a great way of building the conversation.

  15. Cat Matson on August 26, 2010 at 5:06 pm

    Hello Kathleen and crew,

    Wow, what another great example of people helping people 🙂

    I like Annabel’s suggestion of starting with a ‘yes’ question … it helps to build rapport and also gives you a quick win … generating momentum.

    I also like Suellen’s idea of sending a brief email prior to the call – it means at least your name is familiar and they can start looking for the email while you’re introducing yourself. And Annabel’s suggestion of a testimonial style story to provide social proof is fantastic.

    I agree with earlier comments – a clear benefit to the prospect is required – based on a genuine interest in helping the prospect achieve their marketing efforts.

    And finally, yes, remember any marketing is a numbers game … so celebrate the ‘no’s’ – when Edison was asked about how many times he ‘failed’ when inventing the light bulb he reportedly said “I didn’t fail, I successfully learned 900-odd times how ‘not’ to make a light-bulb”.

    I look forward to hearing more about not only this process but also the final results … 🙂


    • Kathleen Crone on August 28, 2010 at 10:46 am

      Dear Cat,

      Thank you for your contribution. I love the reference to Edison. Approaching cold-calls with this in mind helps me to reframe my thinking. It is a great way to think about a call that I could have done better.

      Your concept of ‘generating momentum’ is great. I am sure that ‘Yes’ questions from the start will help get the conversation rolling in a more natural and easy way.

      On the topic of the brief email before a call: Someone recently suggested doing a B2B postcard mail out and then following them with a call. What do you think about direct mail versus email?

      I agree with you about the wonderful feedback and suggestions that have been posted. I am delighted and humbled by the generosity extended to me by everyone that has contributed. It has been an invaluable experience.

      Kind regards,

      • Robin Dickinson on August 30, 2010 at 11:22 am

        Well, Kathleen, I love all of the generous and detailed help you’ve received. Now, it’s time to apply it. Let’s go! 🙂

    • Robin Dickinson on August 30, 2010 at 11:20 am

      That’s such an important lesson, Cat. Thank you. 🙂

  16. Michael on August 30, 2010 at 10:22 pm

    Hi Robin and Kathleen

    This is great. Here’s how I make appointments everyday as a BDM. Before I do I would like to point out that this script is selling to the customer; when I cold call I focus on selling the appointment not the product. OK here we go: “Mr. Prospect Michael from XYZ.” (note I didn’t say ‘How are you?’ As soon as a prospect hears that they almost always think ‘What are you selling?’) ” We are experts in the area of new product trends. Mr. Prospect when I say staying up to date with new products and trends’ what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Prospect gives examples. N.B this is an ideal opportunity to build rapport by getting the prospect to laugh. For example, a lot of the times the prospect will say two or more things. That’s when you say ‘Mr. Prospect that’s two words; I only asked for one!” And this is where I sell the appointment – I never say ‘I’m in the area on such and such.’ Why? The customer will sense it’s a sales call and besides it’s been done to death – with something like “Mr. Prospect in addition to x what are you doing to ensure your staying up to date with new products and trends? Oh, I see. Well, if I can show you a way which will not only add value to your business but is also hassle free is there any reason why we can’t get together to see if we can help each other out? 9 times out of 10 they will say “yeah, come out and see me.”

    I hope this helps in some way.


    • Kathleen Crone on September 21, 2010 at 12:54 pm

      Hi Michael,

      It seems I missed your fantastic post. Thank you so much for providing this guidance. I am extremely sorry for the delay in responding to you.

      I’ve just shot another video with Robin to show everyone where I am up to. I’d love to get some feedback from you.

      I was particularly interested in your advice to focus on selling the appointment rather than the product/service because this is what I have tried to do in my new approach.

      I look forward to hearing from you.

      Thanks again for your contribution.


  17. Linda on September 21, 2010 at 11:59 am

    WooHoo ~ GO KATHLEEN 😀

    *highlights your holiday adventures*

    • Kathleen Crone on September 21, 2010 at 12:55 pm

      Thanks Linda. That was a very speedy response. I appreciate your continued support.

    • Robin Dickinson on September 22, 2010 at 7:32 pm

      Thank you for your support, Linda. 🙂

  18. Suellen Hughes on September 21, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    Hi Kathleen,
    Well done! Such a huge improvement on the first one. You were so much more confident and convincing. I’m sure once you’ve had a few successes, there’ll be no stopping you!

    • Robin Dickinson on September 22, 2010 at 7:32 pm

      Now I know you surely can empathise with Kathleen’s efforts. 😉

      Thank you, Suellen. 🙂

    • Kathleen Crone on September 23, 2010 at 1:13 pm

      Hi Suellen,

      Great to see you at #nscm this morning and congratulations on your marathon success.

      Thank you for this helpful feedback.

      One of the great things about participating in such a public workshop is that it has also made me more accountable to putting the things I have learnt into action. “I owe it to you all” to use my increased skills and knowledge to make more sales 🙂


  19. Sally on September 21, 2010 at 6:58 pm


    I have scanned through the above discussion (65 comments containing valuable, rich suggestions, offerings and insights – what a wonderful and giving framework of support). I do not believe I can add anything new/expert to what’s here.

    What I can add is a possible customer reaction:

    Cold Call 1: I could hear nervousness getting in the way of showing how knowledgeable you are about your service and product. I didn’t feel like you knew me (potential buyer) as there was no connection to what I do or who I am. I did cringe a little at the “I’m in your area, etc…” These were my reactions!

    Cold Call 2: Wow, connected with me and my business! Straight up you were looking to solve a problem for me or at the very least do something that would benefit me and not just be a ‘sale’ (of course it’s a sale, but it didn’t feel like it). I am more hooked from this call as it was much shorter, targeted at making time to discuss later rather than disturb me now, rather than trying to get it all in on the one call, etc.

    I am so impressed with you allowing this process to happen – you will see and (cash in) the improvements!!!

    You have mentioned above, you prefer the email approach. Yes, the great human avoider of our times! Remember, you want to stand out in front of the crowd! Why else did you be so brave and do this exercise! Think about how you can now take all this learning and get on the phone and skype and make it work for you.

    If you do skype with video on, may I suggest minimising (only slightly) the backward and forward motion. It’s great that you do move and that looks authentic and natural, I just get a little distracted when you move back and forth. This is just my view; I got caught up watching you move rather than listening to what you had to say.

    Watch both videos, over and over and over… this is where you’ll get the feedback for yourself and you will see new things (words, movements, phrases, even pauses) each time that you will want to stop, start and continue doing.

    You rock Kathleen, huge effort and thank you for sharing, we all learn in this!

    • Robin Dickinson on September 22, 2010 at 7:31 pm

      Well said, Sally. This is top-shelf feedback and we are lucky that you so willingly share it.

      Thank you! 🙂

  20. Tony Cosentino on September 21, 2010 at 11:04 pm

    Brillliant, brilliant, brilliant!

    Kathleen the transformation between the 2 videos is fantastic. You are so alive and engaging in the second and I am just blown away by how confident your delivery has become.

    So pleased for you and really impressed by the people giving help and advice on such a crucial part of your business.

    I second Sally’s comment you absolutely rock!

    • Robin Dickinson on September 22, 2010 at 7:30 pm

      Great feedback, Tony. Yes, it was a real team effort.

      Best, Robin 🙂

    • Kathleen Crone on September 23, 2010 at 12:23 pm

      Thanks for your feedback Tony.

      I do feel a lot more confident. This has been a most rewarding experience.

  21. Leanne Berry on September 22, 2010 at 7:41 pm

    Ive just had an opportunity to view the 2nd video – AND WOW WHAT A DIFFERENCE!

    Congratulations Kathleen you have taken oboard so many of the sessions but what I love the most is the stark difference in the approach from 1 to 2 – Vid 2 is all about the customer – immediately captures the attention, dangles the fishing line (we had so many enquiries about green door solutions – EXCELLENT!) and reels in the big fish with the offer saying look Ive done all the work all you have to do is listen to a short presentation – all said so succinctly with loads of confidence.

    I also believe (even though this is training) that your image transformation from 1 to 2 helps you to transmit that professional persona

    Overall I give this the big thumbs up – will be interested to hear your feedback from live calling with this approach!!

    Well done guys


    Maximising Your Business Profits

    • Kathleen Crone on September 23, 2010 at 12:00 pm

      Hi Leanne,

      Thank you for your feedback. Your continued support is greatly appreciated.

      I like how you picked up on the fact that my new “warm” call strategy is to pique interest and achieve a meeting.

      I’ve also developed a presentation that unfolds my offer in a much better way. Watch this space to see how I have used your advice to develop a flexible sales tool kit.

      Really sorry we missed seeing you on our travels through Bathurst on the weekend.

      Kind regards,

  22. Kathleen Crone on September 23, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    Hi Sally,

    I agree with you. I have received an amazing amount of valuable suggestions, offerings and insights. I love your description “framework of support”. What a great way to describe this workshop experience.

    I also appreciate the specific advice you have provided about both calls. In particular, the suggestions to improve my body language if I do I Skype call.


  23. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Robin Dickinson, Sally Foley-Lewis. Sally Foley-Lewis said: Warm up to ColdCalls> RT @Robin_Dickinson: UPDATE: key lssns 4 SalesSuccess by @KathleenCrone. Point 5 post http://bit.ly/axWVfQ #Centurions […]

  24. Leanne Berry on October 8, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    Robin & Kathleen

    So great to see the last chapter unfold with the key learning video
    Kathleen you are so much more comfortable in front of the camera and yes the lessons you have learned about voice, breathing etc are all coming through load and clear

    Well done guys – what a great resource for us all!!


    Maximising Your Business Profits

  25. Builder Mosman on February 21, 2012 at 9:13 am

    Loved the post but the point you make is a good one.

  26. Builder Mosman on March 5, 2012 at 7:08 am

    Wow….Thats impressive such a informative article thanks for it

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