Communication Skills are Required For Cold Calling

A few days ago, I got a call from someone trying to enroll me  in one of their online educational programs.  Typically, I don’t have problem with this.  After all, a week before the call, I had clicked on a web page advertisement indicating I was looking for information about online universities.
By now, everyone knows this is a marketing play.  It’s a way for organizations to get your information into their CRM and nurture people who are interested in their products and services.  In today’s environment, if you aren’t incorporating this into your marketing process you are behind the times.  It’s a cost-effective way to get prospects to select themselves and show their interest in what you are offering.

Sales Call Review – 3 Sales Ideas For Your Next Sales Call

“…you’re looking too closely. And what have I been telling you all night? The closer you look, the less you see.” -J. Daniel Atlas, Now You See Me
Here’s a review of a sales call where I was a customer and a sales coach. As we review this sales call, look for similarities in your own sales process and determine if you can use the 3 sales ideas listed below.

Professional Development Prevents Workforce Automation Obsolescence

“You know, I have… I have never felt this way before – at odds with… the ship. I sat there and watched my ship perform for a mass of circuits and relays, and felt… useless. Unneeded.” -Captain James T. Kirk, Star Trek: The Ultimate Computer
 
I found this article at the end of November discussing how workforce automation is changing the employment landscape.
The article is a CNN review of a McKinsey report on learning, jobs, and technology. In this report, the author states that by 2030, automation will take over about 375 million jobs. This means in 12 years, a machine will probably have replace you and you’ll have to change jobs or maybe even change careers.

Tips To Make Your Next Team Presentation Run Smoothly

“The concept of waiting bewilders me. There are always deadlines. There are always ticking clocks.” -Whiterose, Mr Robot
I’ve been a long-standing member of Toastmasters, using my time there to practice various presentation styles and techniques. In fact, if you want to practice your communication skills, Toastmasters is a great place to do so.
Toastmasters is also an organization where beginners can learn to overcome one of the biggest fears plaguing professionals – public speaking.
So, if you visit a Toastmasters meeting, you’ll see speakers perform a variety of presentations, including the team presentation.

Windows 10 Update – Create an Environment That Supports You

“Their operating system is a mess. Thank goodness I remember DOS.” -Dr. Rodney McKay, Stargate: Atlantis
 
It’s time, Honey!
Yep! The Windows 10 Fall Creators update (1709) is now available and is being pushed out to all Windows 10 installs. Of course, not all at the same time. So, if you want to get this thing done as soon as possible, you’ll have to take matters into your own hands.

Is Digital Automation Erasing Your Communication Skills

“I like to be reminded this city survives because of these machines. These machines keep us alive, while other machines are coming to kill us. Interesting, isn’t it? The power to give life, and the power to end it.” -Councillor Harmann, The Matrix Reloaded
Digital Automation Has Benefits And Detriments
I had an interesting revelation the other morning.
There I was, standing near the checkout in the Giant Eagle in Dublin. I was picking up some breakfast croissants and coffee before heading in to continue packing up our office equipment.

Create a Customer Profile To Boost Your Sales

“The 21st century is a digital book. Zola told HYDRA how to read it. Your bank records, medical histories, voting patterns, emails, phone calls, your damn SAT scores! Zola’s algorithm evaluates people’s past to predict their future.” -Jasper Sitwell, Captain America: The Winter Soldier
 
Back in 2010, I partnered with two of my tech associates to provide hosted VoIP services to SOHO businesses. One afternoon, my sales partner, Mike, and I performed a service review with a small business owner providing local IT consulting. Like any sales meeting, we discussed his office environment and his current business issues.  We also looked at what he wanted for the future growth of his company and how it would impact his team.

10 Tips to Increase Your Learning Power

“It took us centuries to learn that it doesn’t have to take centuries to learn.” -Anij, Star Trek: Insurrection
The Mind-Body Connection: Boosting your Learning Ability Through Physical Exercise
When I was doing sales for a tech storage company, sales gurus were constantly telling us to be lifelong learners. They said things like our earning power was directly tied to our learning power. And that we should commit ourselves to lifelong learning because the most valuable asset we possess is our minds.

Common Sense Quotes and Past Corporate Wisdom

Man may be able to evolve a thousand-fold through this technology, but the rush must be tempered with wisdom.  –Dr. Lawrence Angelo, The Lawnmower Man
I was going through some old documents from my time in a high tech corporate environment when I came across these quotes of wisdom my engineering colleagues and I circulated among ourselves.  I’m sure these quotes are still making the rounds today in some form in other companies.
Use what you can…

Memory Recall – More Dale Carnegie Course Mind Hacks

“I can carry nearly eighty gigs of data in my head.” -Johnny Mnemonic, Johnny Mnemonic

Session 1 in the Dale Carnegie Course Develops Self Confidence Through Memory Recall
There I was, driving along I-275 in Cincinnati at 8:30 in the morning. “Jimmy”, one of my partners in a small VoIP consultancy, was finishing up a phone call in the shotgun seat. We drove for about a minute in silence, watching the hills pass. Suddenly, “Jimmy” turns to me and says, “Remind me to call Bob at ABC Company today.”
Now, I had both hands on the wheel and my attention was on the road.  On the other hand, “Jimmy” had both hands free and could focus his attention on anything he wanted. So why was he asking me to remind him to do something when he could simply write it down?

Zyxel NAS540 Quick Fix For Operational Hum

Mr. Scott, I understand you’re having difficulty with the warp drive. How much time do you require for repair? -Captain Spock, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
While writing my next sales process post for PRSPX, I was feeling a little un-directed and unmotivated. For me, that typically means it’s time to build or fix something. So, I opted for a quick fix for the Zyxel NAS540.

Productivity Hacks For Effective Problem Solving Meetings

“Yeah, yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn’t stop to think if they should.”  -Dr. Ian Malcolm, Jurassic Park
Leading Problem Solving Meetings
Back when I was training to instruct the Dale Carnegie Course,  I attended the graduation of our Leadership Training for Managers program. During that program, I picked up one of the booklets on the table entitled “Effective Problem Solving Meetings.”
Feeling a bit nostalgic, I reminisced about the days of the “old” Dale Carnegie Course which was 12 weeks long. In that version, we reviewed tactics and strategies for conducting effective problem solving meetings.

Communication Strategy for Opening a Sales Call

“No, no, no, no. You gotta listen to the way people talk. You don’t say ‘affirmative,’ or some shit like that. You say ‘no problemo.’ And if someone comes on to you with an attitude you say ‘eat me.’ And if you want to shine them on it’s ‘hasta la vista, baby’ .”  -John Connor, Terminator 2: Judgement Day
 
As some of you know, I spent some time in a call center selling training solutions to companies in the Ohio Valley area. During that time, I had a chance to observe the behaviors of new sales reps as they developed their sales skills.
If you’ve read any of my past entries, you’ll know that my focus is on developing multiple communication strategies. I believe people should be have the resources, and be flexible enough, to use a communication strategy that fits the situation.

5 Public Speaking Tips From The Dale Carnegie Course

 “You’re tip-toeing, big man. You need to strut.” -Tony Stark, The Avengers

Session 5 In The Dale Carnegie Course Is About Unleashing Our Communication Potential
 
Just last week, I participated in Session 5 of the Dale Carnegie Course. We started the session with a warm up exercise called The Box Factory. Then we coached participants on delivering a presentation where they had to exaggerate their gestures.
In fact, they had to go beyond exaggerated gestures and show us what they were talking about. They had to physically act out the experience rather than just tell us about it.

Personal Branding Resources to Promote Your Name

“There’s one other name you might know me by… Star Lord.” -Peter Jason Quill, Guardians of the Galaxy
Here is a challenge that some members of our team ran into when they started their personal branding activity.  You may have a similar experience when you start building your own brand.
In an earlier post, I recounted a personal branding training seminar  I held for my team. During that seminar, a few members approached me and said, “Someone’s taken my name on LinkedIn. What do I do now?”  Or “There’s already a Twitter profile using my name. What now?”

7 Personal Branding Ideas to Boost Your Sales Credibility

“You know.  You all know exactly who I am.  Say my name.” -Walter White, Breaking Bad
A while back, I did a personal branding and promotion training seminar for our sales team. The ideas was simple – boost their prospecting efforts by expanding their online presence. Included in the list of technologies were Twitter, LinkedIn, Google, and Bing. I spent the first 15 minutes of the seminar telling them that they could expand their presence by completing their online profiles. And in doing so they could improve their prospecting efforts.
However, their reluctance was so strong I could feel it.

High Pressure Sales Tactics Give No Security

“And there is no such thing as a no sale call. A sale is made on every call you make. Either you sell the client some stock or he sells you a reason he can’t. Either way a sale is made, the only question is who is gonna close? You or him? Now be relentless, that’s it, I’m done.” -Jim Young, Boiler Room
Found this article while looking through the sales news and thought to myself, “Wow. I’ve had that experience twice so far this year!”
This news post deals with door-to-door sales of security systems. In particular, the article talks about the high pressure sales tactics and misinformation that door-to-door sales reps use to get the consumer to change their security system. None of the changes are in the interest of the consumer.
As I mentioned, I’ve had two such people come to my door. They claimed they were with my current provider and “for today only” they were offering an upgrade to a newer, better system.

The Instructor – Inside Secret of The Dale Carnegie Course

“I’d given up on my body. I thought my mind’s the only thing I have left. I should at least try to elevate that. So, I sat with gurus and sacred women. Strangers carried me to mountaintops to see holy men, and finally I found my teacher. And my mind was elevated, and my spirit deepened.” -Jonathan Pangborn, Doctor Strange
The Dale Carnegie Course Instructor
About a week ago I was speaking to a fellow instructor about a Dale Carnegie Course he’s about to start. During the course of that conversation, we started reminiscing about the good old days. Back then, I served as his graduate assistant and the program was 12 weeks long.
One thing that came up was how we don’t emphasize the importance of instructor training as we did in the past.  During my own instructor training, I remember the leadership team telling the sales reps to give more attention to the power of the course and less to the people delivering it. Yet instructors continue to undergo a grueling training process. During the course of the program, instructors become coaches, trainers, psychologists, motivational speakers, content creators, and subject matter experts.

Answering Questions With This Habit Will Kill Your Credibility

“He is intelligent, but not experienced. His pattern indicates two-dimensional thinking.” -Spock,  Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan
Before I became involved in the training and coaching field, I interviewed for a technical sales position about a year after the great Tech Wreck of 2001.  During the interview process, the interviewer asked me if I had any questions, a standard practice in any interview situation.
I told him that I did and I asked him my first question.  Without hesitation, his first words were, “That’s a very good question…” before giving his response.
I couldn’t explain it at the time, I felt that the opening was canned – a cheap way to buy himself time to think.

Sales Tip: Influencing The Sales Call With Your Words

Some thoughts have a certain sound, that being the equivalent to a form. Through sound and motion, you will be able to paralyze nerves, shatter bones, set fires, suffocate an enemy or burst his organs. We will kill until no Harkonnen breathes Arakeen air.  -Paul Atreides, Dune (1984)
In a sales call, client briefing, and even a technical review, we always need to know how our audience is responding to our words. One of my NLP mentors once told me that we can see the results of our communication through our audience’s responses.
In all cases, whoever is on the other end of our conversation is our audience. For a client briefing, technical review, and a public speaking gigs, our audience can be our client, a member of our team, a  vendor, or even a massive group. For now, let’s focus on the sales call where our audience is our prospect or client.

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