Have you seen the Wolf of Wall Street movie where the room is buzzing, hundreds of professionals are on the phone, dialing for dollars and making money with confidence?
That seems like a perfect world for a manager doesn’t it? However, the reality for me was an open office with nobody on the phone and the majority of the folks too nervous about being the first one to pick up the phone!
Unfortunately, that is all you can do as a rookie, so I picked up the phone, called a contact, and started my pitch. As I was scrambling around to find the resume for my candidate and doing a horrible job at small talk, the contact stopped me and said,
“You need to go back to your desk and practice your script before hanging up on me.”
Nobody in the room could hear the other end of the conversation, but in my head, the whole thing was on a loudspeaker! My worst fears of making cold calls had come true, and so the last thing I wanted to do was get back on the phone.
The sad reality is that if you are new to the industry:
The fact is your future clients have no idea who you are. The phone is not going to ring. You will spin your wheels for a while, collect your small salary or draw, and then eventually look for a different job—if you aren’t fired first.
I knew early on in my career that cold calls, scripts, and hard sales were not going to work for me, so I had to create a different plan and hope for the best. This is where the creative, strategic, and consistent hard work came into play.
In my past life, I held an executive role, and receiving cold calls was not something I enjoyed. To be frank, I couldn’t stand them. Why in the world would I begin my long-term business relationship with this contact by doing something neither of us would appreciate?
I also knew that we were dealing with a multigenerational workforce. Some of my contacts might only talk with me on the phone, and those at the other end of the spectrum might only respond to a text, email, or social media. I had to devise a plan that could potentially cover the bases and still allow me to feel the confidence needed to enjoy my job.
I first needed to know the known users, which are the businesses and hiring managers that are known to pay for our service. At Spartan Capital Group, we have created a system to expedite that process. If you know who the known users are, you increase your chances of making a sale.
At the time, I knew that our recruiting team was meeting with world-class, industry-specific candidates, and that is what my future clients needed. Our elite team of recruiters interviewed candidates daily that had the skills the clients needed, which put us in a unique position to help them augment their staff.
Now that I knew the known users, I followed this process:
You might ask how I knew it would be a voicemail. That is because I got up early & left the message for the contact before they arrived at the office. I didn’t want to put them in the uncomfortable position of responding to my pitch on the spot. Some might say I was trying to avoid the awkward conversation as well. I would put that in the 50/50 bucket. The fact is, I was 0-30 dials into my 60-dial call plan before my colleagues even poured their first cup of coffee.
Many of the contacts at those known users:
But ... some of them responded by opening the door of communication. Together, consistency and determination were the key. I followed this process day after day after day. I was never going to let someone in the office beat me on dials, and I was never going to let another team member send more emails than me or make more LinkedIn connections.
That tedious and time-consuming process was all designed to develop my own organic leads. My past professional life had prepared me for the rest of the process, concierge-level customer service.
In my career, the number of live cold calls that I have made I can count on my two hands.
I realize that cold-calling and aggressive sales pitches have worked out for so many in their careers. The Wolf of Wall Street story mentioned above is a perfect example. The problem was that it was not for me. My encouragement is that it is possible to carve out a plan different from the decades-old process of stressful cold calls all day long. The process that worked for me was not some special or unique system. There is nothing new under the sun. Ultimately, I ended up taking ownership of my failures and successes. No longer would I blame the things that went wrong on others on my team. I sought advice and mentorship from veterans and top performers to help me determine the best path for me.
To win in this business, keep it simple.
Establish a process that keeps the fundamentals of our industry in mind; establish daily, monthly, and yearly attainable goals; remove distractions; stay consistent; work hard; and finish strong.