How to 2x results from your sales calls and emails

Is cold calling dead?


Pundits like Geoffrey James state emphatically that cold calling is dead and buried. Research from Baylor University seems to back James up. In their experiment, 50 sellers made 6,264 cold calls. Only 28 percent (1,774) of these calls were answered. Only 19 appointments were set out of these answered calls (that’s less than 1%).


So that’s it then.


Not so fast, sellers like Deb Calvert state just as passionately that cold calling is not dead. Many sellers argue that cold calling has simply changed or ‘matured.’


Who’s right?


It doesn’t actually matter; none of these pundits are buyers.

When it comes to sales calls, only one opinion matters

It’s your customer’s opinion.


Okay then, how do customers feel about sales calls and cold calling? Research shows that 92% of all customer interactions take place over the phone; 85% of customers state that they’re unhappy with their phone experience.


Where do customer interactions take place?


They still take place over the phone. Customers are still interested, they still want to talk to salespeople, they’ve just gotten smarter about it. Sales calls used to be coercive — sellers could interrupt customers during dinner, and manipulate their way into a meeting with decision-makers.


Not anymore.


Today’s sales calls are voluntary — customers can screen, block, opt-out, or ban you from their presence. Prospect engagement is not a right.


So how do you get prospects to talk to you?

Step #01: Lead with value

What does a worthless sales pitch sound like?


This sounds bizarre.


How is it possible that a sales pitch has a ‘worthless sound?’ Sellers tell prospects their pitch is worthless. They communicate this via:




  1. Their tone of voice
  2. The words they choose
  3. A tendency to ramble
  4. Their self-serving nature


What does this look like?


A seller reaches out to you via email or phone, and they use the following phrases in a weak tone:


  • ‘Touch Base’ — This phrase lacks confidence. You don’t want to sound wishy-washy when you’re trying to promote your product or company.
  • ‘Great Deal’ — This phrase is both vague and overused. It does not inspire confidence.
  • ‘Honestly’ — This makes your prospects feel like you haven’t been honest about anything else.
  • ‘Obviously’ or ‘Does That Make Sense?’ Try to avoid anything that sounds condescending in your emails.
  • ‘Competitor’ — Don’t talk about your competitors. Mentioning them makes your prospects think about your competitors instead of your product.
  • ‘You Need To’ — People hate it when you tell them what to do. Don’t do it in your emails or sales calls.
  • ‘How Are You?’ — Don’t rely on generic greetings when you’re talking to your prospects.


See what I mean?


Phrases like these immediately scream ‘worthless offer.’


This is no good.


If we want this to change, we’ll need to create high-value offers. What sort of presentation screams value?


Value can be quantified.


You can hit prospects (figuratively) between the eyes with an offer that immediately provides quantitative or qualitative value. What does this look like?


  • An app that accurately estimates loss, savings, growth, traffic, etc.
  • A checklist that solves a specific problem
  • Lining prospects up for an interview
  • An irresistible offer that prevents loss, creates revenue, boosts savings, etc.
  • Research that provides prospects with insider information
  • Access to tools that improve productivity, reduce cost, improve influence, etc.


See what I mean?


Elite salespeople work to create value first. They understand that the value you create has a specific dollar amount in your prospect’s mind.

If you’re familiar with my posts you’ve seen this formula before. It’s a formula created by Peter Thiel, founder of PayPal. This is the formula that elite, top performers use in every industry:


  1. Create X dollars of value.
  2. Capture Y percent of X.


How does this work in a pitch?


Let’s say you’re running a marketing firm and you’re looking to win new contracting leads. Here’s a pitch that immediately communicates value.


Hi [Prospect],


12 of your recent customers posted a 2-star review of your business online. In 48 hrs, this will be picked up by Google; in 72 to 96 hrs, you can expect to see a decrease in website traffic as these reviews begin appearing with your listings.


I can fix this for you in 24 hrs.


I’ll do this free of charge. Are you interested?

[First Name. Last Name]

[Direct: 412-555-0000]




See what I mean?


This pitch is quantifiable, it makes dollars and cents. If you pitched this to a prospect, a small business owner, who has just watched these reviews come in, you’d have their attention.


Now you’re ready for the next step.

Step #02: Expect Quid Pro Quo

If you make a concession, your prospect should make one too. If you offer your prospect a discount, they should be willing to offer a concession in return (e.g., they’ll order today, sign-up for auto-bill, etc.).


This is obvious for most sellers.


Here’s the problem. Most salespeople break this cardinal rule, and they do it in a way that screams desperation. What do I mean by that?


Here’s a real-life example.


  • A salesperson contacts me (cold) to sell a product
  • Their pitch is terrible and self-serving
  • They make the same pitch to me 16 more times; each pitch is worse than the last
  • When I don’t answer, they decide to follow up with me, indefinitely
  • They clutter my inbox with garbage, and they out themselves as needy and desperate
  • I wasn’t interested before, but now I’ll never buy from their company


See what I mean?


If I pitch clients an irresistible offer, I will give them time to respond. I’ll follow up once or twice to confirm that they’ve received it.




If they ghost me or they’re not interested, I move on. If they’re interested and they decide to engage, I can continue the conversation.


This is one of the 7 deadly sins of sales.


Only it’s not.


  1. If you meet someone in-person and you badger them, they won’t want to talk
  2. Harass a woman you don’t know for her number (after she says ‘not interested’), and you’ll be branded a creep
  3. Pester your boss for a raise or a promotion, and you’re (much) less likely to get one
  4. Beg people for money on the street after they’ve said no, and you’ll probably be arrested or attacked


Why would these norms suddenly disappear when you’re selling to a prospect?


They wouldn’t.


There’s a cadence, a rhythm to interpersonal communication. A certain amount of exchange has to take place for communication to happen.


It’s a kind of quid pro quo.


Here’s the good news. You already know this if you’re a reasonably intelligent, socially aware human being. So why is it a turn-off when salespeople ignore quid pro quo?

It shows that these salespeople are lacking and that they have no power.

Step #03: The willingness to walk away

The willingness to walk away isn’t an arbitrary thing. Elite sellers aren’t rejecting prospects left and right to show that they have power; that would be ridiculous.


No, these salespeople are enforcing standards.


A-player sellers have standards; they have expectations for themselves and their prospects. Typically, these sellers:


  • Expect good behavior from prospects
  • Demand respect
  • Give and expect transparency
  • Require honesty
  • Produce exceptional results


These sellers expect this from their prospects. If prospects fail to deliver, they’re fired. Their willingness to walk away from a bad deal sets them apart.


How do elite sellers have this confidence?


They have an abundance of leads.




Imagine you’re under a considerable amount of sales pressure. You need to make a sale in two days, but you only have one lead. You have to close that lead to keep your job.


How do you feel?


You’re anxious, stressed out, and full of fear, am I right?




Same scenario. You’re an elite seller, you have something your customers want. You need to make a sale in two days. You have 63 highly qualified leads. Fifteen of those people are working on signing your contract. Seven have signed your agreement and have sent you a deposit.


Now how do you feel?


See my point?


Your prospects have this unspoken belief about sellers.


“I have the money, so I make the rules.”


When you’re on the receiving end of a needy salesman, you can feel it, can’t you? You can feel his desperation and neediness. The fact that you know he needs this sale. You know he needs your money.


It’s painful.


The good news is your prospects only have two points of leverage over you.


  1. You want/need their money
  2. You’re afraid you’ll lose them


That’s it.


Buyers are looking for clear answers to three fundamental questions.


  1. Who are you?
  2. Can I trust you?
  3. Can/will you help me?


They use their belief, “I have the money, so I make the rules” mindset to identify top-performing sellers.


Your willingness to walk away breaks their belief.


It enables you to hold your prospects accountable for their behavior; this willingness to walk away gives you what you need to show prospects you can answer their three biggest questions.



How to 2x the results from your sales calls and emails?

I’m about the share a simple protocol with you. You’ll see better results from your sales calls and emails if you follow it.


Here’s how you do it.


  1. Make a list (2-5) of your best lead sources (i.e., more leads than you can handle)
  2. Work with your sales team to create 2-3 irresistible offers (e.g., your prospects want it, can’t get it anywhere else, understand it, and believe in you/the offer)
  3. Find the best communication platform to reach your prospect (e.g., mobile, email, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc.),
  4. Pitch your irresistible offer to your prospects
  5. Test these offers out on your prospects; find the best performing offer, then create 2-3 more offers. Repeat
  6. Audit every email before sending it to your prospect. (a.) does your pitch have quantifiable value? (b.) will prospects understand that value?


It’s that simple.


Follow these steps and you’ll 2x your conversions over time.

When it comes to sales calls, only one opinion matters

It’s your customer’s opinion.


Customers are interested; they want to hear from salespeople, they’ve just gotten smarter about it. Sales calls are no longer coercive — sellers can’t interrupt customers or manipulate their way into their lives as they did before.


Customers are in control. 


Today’s sales calls are voluntary — customers can screen, block, opt-out, or ban you from their presence. Prospect engagement is not a right.


The recipe is simple.


Lead with value, expect quid pro quo, and develop a willingness to walk away. Follow these steps consistently and find prospects eager to talk to you.

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