Back to basics - 14 pro tips to succeeding in online cold Sales

Even though a sales funnel can easily be translated into a numbers game – here are a few tips i’ve learned over the years of doing cold calling and selling to people I’ve never met or spoken to before:

  1. Understand your market & audience – This tip is pretty trivial but more often than not is not practiced in full. In order to really succeed in selling any product I really dig deep into the market to get a very thorough understanding of my target audience. I put myself in my customers shoes, try to understand the marketplace, my competition, where I provide a superior solution and where I am lacking. I try to envision the buying decision making process my customer has to go through. For example – am I selling directly to the business owner / an employee that needs to get approval from his superior. Is my customer able to pay right away, does he need to get approval, does he have access to the payment method, will he need financing or will he be able to pay right away.
  2. Sell to yourself – When formulating a pitch I typically come up with a convincing enough spiel that makes me personally willing to buy into the product or service I’m promoting. Chances are – if I can’t convince myself to buy I will have an extremely hard time (nearly impossible) convincing someone else to buy my product / service.
  3. Focus on the benefits not the features – nobody gives a shit about features. Everyone cares about the benefits. The sooner you learn what your benefits are – the easier it will be to emphasize the right ones that are most compelling to your customers.
  4. Find your own leads – sure I can buy leads or build an inbound marketing funnel that will collect leads for me, but neither of these sources will provide me with highly qualified leads. The best way to actually close a high value deal is to put in the time and effort into researching and qualifying my own leads. I prioritize and focus on the ones I feel are the most relevant to my business and would be the most impactful for my bottom line. When I research your own leads 2 things happen:
    1. I build a guesstimation of their pain points so that when I am ready to approach them I already have a proposed direction for the discussion I am initiating.
    2. I can quickly eliminate prospects that are not a match.
  5. Follow up on your leads – this tip is rather straight forward – a lot of research has been done that proving that the vast majority of any deals closed happen only on the 5th (or above) communication with the client. If you think about it from a psychological perspective – it makes a lot of sense. It takes time to build trust and get all of the questions answered to

  6. Communicate clear call to actions – whenever I engage with a client (wether by email / phone / meeting) always start with setting expectations of what you want to get out of the engagement. For example – when i write an email (or sequence) each email I begin drafting i ALWAYS start by first writing my call to action line. Once I have that I can then choose if to send only it (yes, i’ve done that before and it worked) or beef up the email with some fluff to make it look more natural and full of sweet talking.
  7. Learn to Listen! – learning to listen (and asking the right questions) are probably the most important skill I’ve learned and employ in my discussions. It enables me to gather more information, nail the major paint points and discover bottlenecks in the flow that allow me to better navigate the discussion and lead to a sale.
  8. Keep communication short and simple – we live in the world of chat and messaging. Most people:
    1. Are bombarded with tons of emails, chats and texts on a daily basis
    2. Don’t have the time or patience to read your long email or listen to your pitch
      1. Thus – don’t use fancy language and over complicate things. People love easy to understand, clear communication. The shorter and easier I’ve made it to communicate with me and understand my product / service – the easier it was for my customer to make a buying decision.
  9. Answer with reason – Typically, when I am making progress in a discussion with a potential client more sophisticated objections arise. The only way to truly
  10. Direct communication hierarchy: Chat/Video > Phone > Email – The highest level of communication is live video or text chat with a client. After that comes phone, followed by email. Reason being – when you get an opportunity to have a video or text chat with your prospect you know that you have their undivided attention. Scheduling a phone call is difficult and even when I reach them by phone – I have no idea what else they are engaged in at that moment. For all intents and purpose they can be doing something else online, driving, watching their kids or sitting on a toilet while listening to your pitch not really absorbing what I have to say. Needless to say – relying on email communication results in sporadic communication which is hard to predict, control and bank on. (Bonus – personally I try to avoid meeting in person in the initial stages of the communication since it typically wastes both of our time. Only after the discussion has become very serious that a physical meeting is required I will then offer or agree to meet in person).
  11. Remember its just a game– sales funnels are a strategy game that follow a very defined formula. When looking at my sales flow I build a decision tree with possible rejections and rebuttals. I always try to anticipate what my customer’s move may be and be ready with a counter offer / move that progresses the discussion towards the closing line.
  12. Stay authentic – simply put – be yourself & don’t lie. Keeping up lies is much harder than staying honest and truthful. When getting closer to closing the deal customer tend to trust their instinct (a lot of it is based on the relationship I was able to build with them) and make the decision to move forward because of the manner of conduct I was able to provide.
  13. Underpromise, Over deliver. I try to commit to the least amount of risk in order to be able to over deliver on my promise. Doing so goes a long way – especially for followup conversations and customer retention efforts.
  14. Measure your funnel – last but not least – the best way to improve your deal flow is by measuring your funnel. In order to successfully do this i try to measure and experiment with every step of the flowchart to identify bottlenecks and underperforming conversion points. For example if I’m sending a lot of emails and they are not getting any open rates I immediately know that my subject line needs to be improved. If i’m getting good open rates but no responses or low click through rates then i might be killing in on the subject line copy but the actual content is not useful or my call to action is not clear. Analyzing my flow helps me think up new ways to tackle the flow and figure out ways to improve my overall conversion rates and bottom line.