Cold Calling with Dave Tester

Reading Time: 35 Minutes

About Dave Tester

Dave has a long career as a Director of Sales, Director of Marketing, reporter, TV anchor, and CEO. Today he focuses on helping sales teams succeed. He offers 1-on-1 coaching, accountability, and full-scale team training.

Dave Tester is the author of Dialing Strangers. In this interview, he’ll answer tough questions to help you add value to your clients during your calls, extract critical information, troubleshoot common problems, and collect high quality feedback.

After the Interview

Read the Transcript

This transcript was auto-generated from the original video recording using Otter Voice Meeting Notes.

While the transcript has not been human edited, we hope it will still help you to quickly find or reference useful information from the interview.

0:05 

Hi, welcome to Deliberate Leaders. I am your host, Allison Dunn and it is my pleasure to have on the show our guest David Tester. He is the author of Dialing Strangers, Overcoming Hang Ups and Producing Calls That Sell. He has a long career of a Director of Sales Director of Marketing. He is a former reporter, a rock star TV anchor, as well as a CEO. And today he focuses on helping sales teams succeed through one to one coaching accountability, as well as a full scale team training. David, welcome to the show.

0:45 

Wow, Allison, what an honor to be here. And you and I get to talk face to face a handful of times. But I was so excited when you said come on. I said absolutely. So what an honor to visit with you and your audience.

0:57 

Fantastic. Well, I appreciate your time today. You are the master of cold calling. And I’m hoping we can spend some time to help out my audience dispel the challenges that we have around just smiling and dialing and picking up the phone. Is that okay? Because that’s your that’s kind of your thing. Right?

1:17 

Well, and part of the part of the secret of my book, I always say, Chapter One is the best chapter because it was my first cold call in sixth grade. I asked a girl to the county fair in Coeur d’Alene. So my first cold call was pretty tough because I was scared to death in sixth grade.

1:36 

So first chapter, sixth grade, did she say yes?

1:41 

No, I hung up the phone when she said hello. I was so scared. And the irony was when I got into sales, and her name was Chanel, and I paced back and forth thinking about what would she say what you think about me? Would she think I’m dumb? What you think I’m stupid, and I really hope that the phone would just ringing ring so I could tell my friends, I called her or I was hoping maybe she wouldn’t be home so I could tell them, I gave it a shot. And ironically enough palace and later on when I became an accidental salesperson, I had a sales manager and he told me just make calls. And so when I picked up that phone, and I remember picking it up and grabbing it and calling Chanel only at that time, I guess it was Chanel number five, but I made the phone call. And I started thinking of things like, Oh, I hope I get voicemail. I hope no one answers they’ll think I’m dumb, bothering them and all those type of things. So it’s wired into us, Allison, as you know, don’t talk to strangers and certainly don’t ask them for money or in our case, ask for an appointment.

2:47 

Yeah. And, you know, in today’s society, we just get a deluge of so many robo calls and the fake numbers and I think even from like now it’s not you’re afraid to make cold calls. But now I’m afraid to even answer the phone not knowing who’s going to be on the other side, right? How do you help people overcome that challenge? Because it’s, it’s got to be a huge challenge.

3:12 

Yeah. And I guess full disclosure, my uncle, his name is john tester and he’s a US senator. And one of his goal was to get rid of robo calls. And I said, Uncle john, you’re killing my business here. What are you going to do? But as soon as you know, perception is not always reality when we say we get a ton of robo calls, and I counted them one day, I get one, maybe two. Now I’m sure there’s people out there. Oh, I get them all the time. We do coach and train how to deal with that. So I want to make sure that your viewers your listeners, get a tip. So the first tip is when we make a phone call, and no one answers we hang up and we dial right back again. Now here’s what goes on in that head. Remember, we’re going back to Hey, what if I What if I bother Chanel or what if I upset Typically they’ll pick it up because they do kind of like what you and I do. Allison, we see it now they’re getting really smart. We go, huh, Parma, Idaho or New Hampshire, or, yeah, New Hampshire, or something like that. And then it’ll ring again and we go, Well, maybe it is important. Hello. So the first thing that I would do as far as the coaching is, you need to hang up and dial again, because robo calls, Don’t hang up and dial again. Now, eventually, they will. Now here’s the scary part. Allison, be prepared. Because when you hang up and call again, they’re going to say hello. So you must be prepared and so many people. When that happens, they’re like, I’m a salesperson, and I work for XYZ company and they don’t say, hey, Allie, it’s me. Dave. Did I catch you at a bad time? And you’re thinking yourself? How does he know me called me by alley? know him. I’m a little lost here. I was wondering if you can help me out. Well, I’ll try who in charge of generating leads for your company, I assume that you because our goal is to have a conversation. And most people when we coach them up, they say, Well, I don’t want to sound like a salesperson. So then I asked you follow a script? Nope. Well, then you sound like a salesperson because the worst time to think of it is when it comes out of your mouth. Now people will say to me, Well, Dave, you sound like you’ve done this 1000 times. It’s kind of like in the movie when you say, you had me at hello, or you want to make me a better man. I don’t think Tom Cruise goes, You know what, Mr. Director, I’m going to wing this. I’ve been doing it. I did Top Gun. did a couple other movies you heard about I’m going to wing this one. No, he owns his script. You make me want to be a better man, Jack Nicholson. He owns the script. So it’s not about reading a script that says, You complete me. It’s running the script. We’re going to look at somebody and say hey, Alli it’s Dave, I catch you at a bad time? Because my job is to have a conversation. And when I have a conversation, I’m going to determine your personality style. And it’s going to be what’s a clear next step what needs to happen? The reason phone calls work is so many people don’t do it. They say things like well, I get robo calls. And now let me text and email. It’s amazing when we do our live cold call seminars. They go well Dave, how come so many people answering your call and Ali, here’s what I tell them. I must get lucky.

6:36 

I, I love that. I am. I think in today’s society, like we do, go to just the comfortable email, right? I think we send it I’m just going to use an example. I’ve been working with a service provider of my business for all six years that I’ve been here in the valley and this year. That person has not picked up the phone to actually call me, but has sent me 10 emails asking for my stuff, and has never actually called. And I’m just so dismayed by it. And so I guess from the encouragement standpoint is it’s okay to call your clients and your prospective clients. That’s how they’re going to know you, right.

7:22 

Yeah, Alison, I think my business now has grown from it and you shared the book Dialing Strangers. Our new book now that is coming out. It’s called the follow up call. Oh, because someone said to me, Well, whoa, what about dialing friends and I have a system in the morning, where I call three of my current customers before nine o’clock I call it the love letter. And I call and say things like, thank you. I appreciate you. Anything I can do better, but the quintessential thing to remember is Who do you know that I should know? Or Alli, what’s your biggest challenge? Maybe me sending you a book or anything like that. So our company provides a service. It’s called customer intelligence reporting. And you would be a perfect example whoever this vendor is that you’re working with, I call and I’d say, hey, Alil, what do you like best about working with this company? Well, I like that. I’ve been with them for six years. And typically, they do what they’re supposed to if you were to recommend them, what would you say, Alli? Is there anything we could do better? And then you would say, Well, no, they’ve sent me 10 emails, and I can’t get anybody to pick up the phone. Because we treat people out. We like to be treated. And the challenge is whoever sending you emails, they like emails because they quote, want a paper trail. And I always remind people, we don’t fix machines, we fix people, so they can fix your machine alley is outstanding, but they can’t fix you. Remember, 81% of our customers leave us because they don’t feel appreciated, or they think we’ve forgotten about them, and you’re a perfect kid. Look how hard it was to get you as a customer. And now they’ve just kind of said, well, we’ll send her 10 emails and will keeper.

9:08 

I giggled as you were going through your customer intelligence call. And after I sent him an email and said, I’ve decided to go with another provider this year, he, he or she, I won’t send back an email with those questions via email.

9:25 

Either they called you right away, but they sent an email now it was, you know, what did you like a better service? Would you recommend this to other people? What could we have done differently? You know, how much time I’m going to spend responding to that?

9:39 

Yeah, zero. hourly, our philosophy is nothing happens until the unspoken is said if you think about, we call them your director of first impressions, the people that answer the phone at your company, they talk to 99% of your prospects and your clients and we usually give them maybe 1% of the coaching and their two biggest fears are number one, what if I’m asked question I don’t know the answer to. And number two is, what if they’re mad? And you know, we give them tools for that. But in the same situation here, I would say, hey, let’s call up Miss Dunn. Now let’s call up Mrs. Spear and see what she says, Let’s make the phone call and ask her and they would say, Well, what if she’s mad? And I would say, well, what would you rather have her be mad and tell everybody or be mad and tell you and find out how to solve the problem? Because, as you know, Allison, if they would have called you before you decided to go a different direction. You could have let them know, Hey, here’s what’s going on. How can we fix it? Because bad news isn’t like wine. It doesn’t get better with time.

10:43 

I’ve discovered a very wise advice. So in it, knowing that cold calling and cold calling is a very powerful strategy. Who do you find that it’s working best for what types of companies or is it company?

11:03 

Well, I know this probably isn’t the answer for you, because people ask me when’s the best and they want to know when’s the best time to make calls, everybody’s getting ready to get ready. I just pick up the phone and call. I mean, that’s how I’ll pick up the phone and call and you would be amazed Alison, when I’m in a group and I say, well, who somebody can’t get ahold of just happened an hour before this. I was training an automotive group. You know. And Allison the great thing they said what you did Oh, robo calls and this I go, well, who is it you can’t get ahold of. So they gave me the name of the company. And I said, Alright, let’s call them up. And the cool thing about your phone now you can just say, call the guru and it brings up Allison Dunn, and it puts on there and and dials it automatically. And, and, whoa, whoa, whoa, you can’t call him. Well, how come? Well, they might get mad. Have you ever talk to him? Well, no, I haven’t but we don’t want to rush him into this. So you have to Have a daily behavior. Now, Allison, you’ll get kind of a chuckle out of this, or at least I do I coach a call center in the Philippines. And the interesting thing about the call center in the Philippines, they make 120 dials every day and they don’t even think twice about it. They’ll call on Saturday they call, I’ve discovered the average salesperson. Now they’ll all tell us something different. If I can get one, maybe two cold calls out of them a week. I’m pretty I’m pretty happy. And when I say cold calls, please don’t confuse this with. Let’s start at the A’s and let’s call all the tire kickers. So let’s start with Les Schwab tire I heard they’re for sale, let’s call them up or they’ve been sold. I have a system and there’s leads and we follow up on leads. And then when we pick up the phone, there’s a system we use and we follow up because as I discovered the second time I tried to call Chanel was when I became that accidental salesperson and I started it was called a cold call report and I started writing fiction and I started calling my friends and family members and the two or three clients that I had, and I called them all the time. Hey, what’s going on? And I thought, Wait a minute, there has to be a better way. What if I made it fun? And I started thinking back when I was, you know, I started out in broadcasting A long time ago, but I used to do prank calls with my grandparents about the horses got out and it was when I was in fifth or sixth grade, but I call it like a Halloween. Is that you? Yeah. Hey, I see a couple of quarter horses out here. And I know, and I’d hear yell at my granddad. Go, Dave. Dave, the horses are out. And of course, later on, I would get in trouble. But what if we can make it fun? And what if we have a system because Allison the number one motto I have back to when you asked is is making these calls, the call ends when I say it’s open? And I don’t say that as a CEO. I say it is I have a script. So somebody says I’m not interested. So I’ll say Was there anything I could have done better on this call? No, no, no. I’m just in a hurry. Well, real quick, who do you know that I should know? I remember not all of a sudden they’re going to give me leads or anything like that. And then I might say, just for fun. Allison, you’re in the great state of Idaho. And Boise, I might say, Allison, real quick before you go, is it true? You have blue turf and Boise?

14:21 

So kind of talking again about something they’re interested in?

14:24 

talking. And then then I would end the call and say, Ma’am, I sure appreciate your time. Thank you so much. Then when I hang up the phone, I don’t go, Oh, this is the worst job I’ve ever had. And then we make up stories like people hang up on us and they do this. And now I’ve only had two hang ups in my career. I mean, I have a lot more hang ups when talking about phone hang ups.

14:45 

I pick up the phone and I call them back. And I say we must have got disconnected. No, we didn’t. I didn’t like that you call me. What could I have done better and one I set an appointment with so Remember this do one thing every day that scares you to death. Now I’d like to say I stole that or stole that I’d like to say that’s my quote. But it’s Eleanor Roosevelt said that one thing every day that scares you to death. Now for me, I’m afraid of heights. So one of the challenges that I didn’t it wasn’t anybody. But he challenged me. It was a day we’re taking you to dinner. And I went with this group of clients and we got an elevator and I saw there was just two buttons, one and 51 and 50. I’m going to the 50th floor and I mean, I was scared to death. But I got to the 50th floor and don’t get me wrong I was I said, we’re not sitting by the window, but I made myself walk out on the deck not to zip line but to look at it. And as if you can make the phone line or pick up the phone and make it work. It can be a great tool. The late Steve Jobs said when he was 13 years old, he called up bill Hewlett and you don’t know Bill, heal it. You might remember a name of a company called Hewlett and Packard now it’s called HP P and HP and I don’t know, but when I was 13 years old, he picked him up and he called them picked up the telephone and called him said, Do you have any frequency counters? I don’t know what a frequency counter is. But he said, Do you have any of that? He said, Sure. The founder of Spanx, she says I made 300 cold calls. That’s why when I brought Spanx up, and everybody told me no, I went no big deal. Here in our Valley, there’s a company. It’s called XAMPP xos. And it is a company that does lawn care. And in the founder while he’s not the founder, but his name is Jim Sam’s. Oh, and some of our listeners may know who JR Simplot is, and if you don’t know who JR Simplot is, he put french fries in McDonald’s. So there you have it. He called JR Simplot and said hey, JR. How do I become a billionaire? And they had this long conversation. So my whole point to that is it people pick up the phone and make calls every single day but you have  something to say you have to have a script. And Allison the most the most valuable pieces to add value. So I don’t want to just call and say, Hey, do you want to buy Do you want to buy? I want to say, What’s your biggest challenge? If I were to recommend you to someone, what would I tell them about? Who’s your ideal client questions they’ve never been asked before. But now they feel like they’re adding value. I may not be a fit. I talked to a lady today that asked me for help with her team, and we call it the director of first impressions training their intake. She’s in the middle of tax season. She said, Dave, can we go to work in May? Sure. Well, between now and may I’m going to give her a ton of value. Now Allison, make sure you know I’m going to call her every month like clockwork, I’m not Allison’s my sales manager. Allison. We’re going to call her name, we’re going to get the deal done. That’s not how it’s going to work. So Alison, I think the biggest thing is, pick up the phone, find the script. There’s lots of scripts in and I’ll provide This for your listeners if they go to go, Dave tester pockets, it’s go Dave tester.com. I think it’s slash free stuff and just put on there, Dave, I want your book, I’ll give you the audio copies. So I’m not going to give you the hard copy. You have to go to Amazon to get that. Probably if you emailed me, I’d send that to you. But I’ll send you the audio copy. So there’s the scripts in there right now. You can Google any script. So it’s not necessarily that case. The thing we’ve discovered, Allison is it’s now funds. So when we pick up the phone, it’s fun. How many calls Can we make? Let’s make one more call before the end of the day. That’s where we get our most we get most appointments between five and six. Because most decision makers are still in the office. Everybody else is left and they’re like, my darn phone is ringing and they pick up the phone and go Hello. And that’s the beginning of it. All we need is somebody to say hello. We want to have a conversation. We determined their purpose. personality style. And then a clear next step, you got to make those dials to make it happen. And the biggest challenge Tony Robbins once told me if you get in your head, you’re dead. If you start saying things like, nobody uses phones, everybody tends, all they do is email. Now. They’ll think I’m a Robocop all this kind of stuff, then you’re okay. Don’t do it. But nothing happens until a sale is made and a sale can’t be made until you have a conversation. And you have to have the conversation either face to face or on the phone. And as Allison said, and if you’re not staying in touch with your current customers, you’re going to lose them. Allison, you’ve been with that vendor for six years. They just lost you. And all you got was an email that said, Hey, could we have done anything better?

19:49 

Yep, unfortunately.

19:52 

In the outreach calls, are you trying to close the sale? Dude, I think people going in think that they’re trying to make the sale right on the on the on the phone. And I think that’s somewhat of a misconception or just I believe trying to move, move it to the next step. Right?

20:11 

Yeah, Allison, you’re absolutely right. Number one, I just have three goals. It’s easy to remember my first goal is a conversation. Hey, Allison, is that you? Yeah, it’s me, Dave. I catch you at a bad time. No, and they might say, Dave, who are thinking, remember, I’m still not telling them the name of my business. I have a script. There’s not a lot of words that you have. But I’m having a conversation and I’m able to tell your personality so if you a lot of times I’ll call Hey, it’s me, Dave. I can’t you know, Dave, how you doing? And they’ll start talking today but and I know that they have a personality kind of like a parrot. They like to talk and they’ve got lots of colors and they want to talk and I’ll ask them about the weather. And people in the audience are like, well, if that were me, well, if it were you, I would probably be talking to you differently because others might answer the phone. What bill is that? You it’s me day, I catch it a bad time. While I’m busy. Well, I’m busy too. So Allison, you’re absolutely right. Number one is conversation. So your first goal when you pick up the phone is conversation. second goal is to find out what is the personality type? Do they need to win? Do they need love? Do they need three choices or they just want the facts? And then the last item is a clear next step. And Allison, if anybody takes one thing away from your podcast today, it’s when people say no, three things should happen. So hopefully this is the one thing say what’s the one thing I got to write down when they say no? Number one is try harder. Number two is no for now. Three or a plus is practice. That’s why I’m honing my skill is I get a lot of nose and I practice. Well, could you page him? We don’t have a pager. Oh, okay. Um Would you walk up to their office and see if they’re in? All those type things? People are laughing and they think I can’t believe the guy said and pretty soon they go. Alright, I’ll go up and see if he’s in. Next thing you know, the guy answers now be prepared, prepared because when the decision maker answers the phone, I’ve seen this happened where we have a voicemail training that we do so Allison, the four secrets to getting your voicemails returned. And when we use it, somebody will say Jim never answers. So I make the call on Jim’s phone. I listened to his personality Leave it. And I had a guy one time go. Jim’s calling back. I said answer it and he threw his phone at me. And they didn’t throw it like you. And so I took the phone call and it was Jim and we had the conversation and when we were good to go, which tells me that we have to fight our biggest battle is fighting our head. And if you make it fun and say, Hey look, my only goal is a conversation. I want to find out whether there are a lover a winner. If they don’t like change or if they follow the rules, and then I’m going to have a clear next step, the clear next step, maybe no. So if I hear no, is it true you really have blue turf? What’s the weather like? Okay, well, I sure appreciate your time. Our motto is, if you like what we do tell others if we can do anything better, please tell me goodbye. And the call ended when I said it was Oh, there’s call number one, call number two. So you should follow a script, Allison, because typically when I get on an airplane, and again, I’m afraid of heights. The pilot always has a flight plan. And I know he’s flown to Dallas numerous times. But he looks at that flight plan and the main reason he does so he doesn’t make any mistakes. He doesn’t get back to us and go, hold on. I’m going to try something. We don’t hear that over the PA because we don’t want to be on that flight. Same for a doctor. He’s done surgeries numerous times. He looks at the X rays. There’s things he’s going through. So why on earth do we have to wing it because we’ve been doing it for a long time. Be a professional, be a trusted adviser, follow your scripts and be somebody people want to be around and they want to be around somebody that follows the script. And is a professional and wants to add value and values defined. Are you better off after I met with you than before and if you’re better off after you met with me Same for this podcast, I hope you got two or three things you got my book if nothing else, you’re better off after you met with me than before. Same for working with Allison she’s providing this for you is value. You’re better off after you met with Alison than before she added value and that’s the key.

24:43 

I love the fact that it the phone call is over when you decide it’s over and to end it in a way that you feel you feel good and you’ve provided value and I think that’s such a powerful way to think about an actual cold call is that you are going to give and leave them better. are off. So that’s fantastic. So, can we talk about like the things that go wrong with cold calls, obviously not having a script, lots of things can go wrong with that. What? How so without a script, obviously, some of the things that you can do is you can basically head way off topic and not move anything forward. So how, or your prospect can take you off topic, like the person you’re speaking to. So how do you get the conversation back on track?

25:32 

Yeah, and, and I think the first thing that we do, the biggest mistake is we tell them we’re a salesperson, we tell them that right away. So the first thing that you can and then if you follow a script, you keep them on track. You keep them on track. Now, we could call this person pontification, we could call it filibuster, a whole number of things and roughly 41% of the people we talked to Do that there are ways we get them. I call it expectation interrupted. I might say something like, Allison, did you hear that? And Hear what? Oh, Allison, I’m sorry. Real quick. Where were we? Oh, you were telling me who your ideal customer is. You said that they are a business from roughly 21 million to 27 million. Currently. How are you prospecting that client? So that’s how we get them back on track. But we always have a script so that we know when we’re done with the phone call one of four things happen I got a yes. Now I want to buy. I got to know now remember when I say no, just to reinforce the training. I practiced know for now. And try harder. I got a clear next step. And this is my goal. Allison, I want to be in your day planner. And I remember when I’m in your day planner, it’s imperative for you to know it’s in pin. So that’s part of our scripts. Allison shall I put that in pen or pencil? What do you mean? Well, pen means it sticks pencil means You’re probably not going to have an appointment when Oh, you put that in. Now you don’t see anything between now and then that will keep you from making that appointment. I know. Tuesday is the fourth of July and a lot of people tend to take Friday off. I’m not going to but are you? Oh, I forgot about that. So go ahead and reschedule. And then the last thing is a referral and recommendation. Who do you know that I should know? So when you hang up the phone and I go Allison, how’d that call go? Oh, it was pretty good. He was a he was a Vandal or he was a Bronco or, or he went to Mississippi State or he’s from Maine, or whatever it might be. It’s not that it’s, I got a clear. Next step. We’re going to meet Tuesday at three o’clock between now and then he’s going to tell me his four biggest challenges with time management and how to hold himself accountable. So I gave him homework to outstanding Alison did you put that in pen or pencil? Because if you just say I’m going to send you a day planner, reminder, whatever that is, and cross your fingers, they click on it. That’s not going to work. Shall I put that in pen or pencil? that eliminates cancellation by 64% of the time? Because here’s the other thing well pencil at it. What would be a time that we could put that in pan? Oh, you really because remember of an appointment is a form of an objection to Oh, yeah, come by next week. Sure. A. There’s somebody here to see at the front desk. They said, Oh, tell him I’m busy. So remember, just because they told you you’re then they’ll take a day planner appointment, doesn’t mean they’ll get that. The other thing is, I think, Allison is we think people are mad or we think they’re busy. We’re all busy. as business owners, we have 180 interruptions every day. 300 hours of unfinished work on our desk. So every but he’s busy. So one of the secrets, giving you one of my secrets again, and I only do this on Allison’s podcast, anybody else when you tell people you’re busy too. I’m busy too. What are you working on and they’ll tell you I’ve had People in the middle of conference calls I’ve had. Allison, my favorite story, I guess I need to get better at telling this. I call the guy up, was in front of a group of realtors. And it was a prospect and said, Hey, Jim, it’s me, Dave, I catch you at a bad time. Sort of, or what do you mean sort of I know. He said, He’s kind of busy. And I go on busy too. What are you doing? I just got pulled over by a policeman. Now normally, most people hang up the phone. Of course, Dave went, what were you doing? Well, I turned left, and it’s an illegal left hand turn. Okay, then I let him off. But I think that’s the biggest thing. As soon as somebody says they’re busy, or they’re at the movie, I want your mind to go when they say I met the movie, I want you to ask, What are you watching? If they’re busy, I want you to ask what they’re busy doing. If they’re in the airport, where are you going? And then you sneak your question. Well, I’m just getting ready to catch a plane right now. Oh, me too. Where are you going? I’m going to Boston. Well, let me ask you really quick. What are the three Biggest things right now that need to happen for you to move the needle in your sales department.

30:06 

Wow. Even if I get one or two of them, and then I’m going to sneak another quote. Do you mind if I walk with you while you’re bored? All right. Just a minute here. Are they going to what? airliner? Yeah, I’m on Delta. Okay, I’ll be really quick because they’ll want to close the door. So don’t allow tone and tempo to make you think that they’re mad. And then the last thing would be listening for what’s not being said, listening for what’s not being said. Things like that. So I could hear a baby in the background. I could hear somebody pouring coffee. I could hear him starting up a car. I’m listening for things like if they answer on speakerphone, Allison immediately I know they’re a dominant personality. If I hear them whispering things like that, so I’m trying to pick up elements like that. So they think I’m there with them. Remember in person, the advantage we have when we see each other 64% of communication is body language. So Alison dress is sharp all the time I try to keep up with her. But I pick that and I go, Oh, I have a thought on the phone 93% of communication is tone and tempo. Slow down on the phone. Like one of my mentors, Paul Harvey, you used to tell the rest of the story. So slow down, and then listen. So you’re able to hear Oh, Allison, I hear your blinker on Where are you going? And it’s this is he here in the car with me. And it’s not some version of I’m, I’m stalking you or anything like that. It just becomes I’m riding along and I get five or six more minutes. Because I’m listening. And I believe being listened to and being loved are so close together. Most people can’t tell the difference. So you’re talking kind of like what I’m doing today. You may not be listening. However, when I’m asking great questions and you’re talking that means you’re listening and feeling some version of whatever it is for you feeling love.

32:06 

I think one of the challenges that I would even say I have and it’s one of my many so it’s not just I don’t just have one but when you’ve had a great first initial conversation and you think you have it in pen, right and then all of a sudden they’ve ghosted you so what’s the appropriate now I assume oh my gosh, something terrible must have been happened. Are they okay? That’s my go to like, Oh, I hope you’re all right. I had us down for too. You know, you know, it’s everything. Okay. What is your go to?

32:42 

Yeah, so I will use a couple of things. One is now this is a case where we can use texting, okay, so I’ll say bill is everything. Okay? That’s not like you to miss your point. So usually what happened, especially with my particular system. They did miss it and they did blow it. Okay, soon as they text back I dial right now because I know they’re there. Oh, I’m sorry I did this or that. If you’re going to email I always put in the subject line maybe still on your radar Have I done something to offend you? But the big one is, as Alison said, it is everything. Okay, so here’s how it would sound Alison let’s pretend and I know we have a tiny bit of a delay but I want people to be able to hear this phone call. You’ve ghosted me for a month. Okay, so, back then we used to say people hide now we use the terminology ghosting now remember after 31 days you forgotten about me so when I call you don’t you’re not going to go Oh, Dave tester. Oh, buddy. Oh, pal. You’re going to be thinking Dave Dave who so this script is called. I’m calling to apologize. So Allison, go ahead and answer the phone.

33:53 

Hi, this is Allison.

33:56 

Allison, is that you? It is yes. It’s me Dave. I catch you at a bad time?

34:02 

No, this is good.

34:04 

Hey Allison, I’m calling to apologize.

34:07 

For what?

34:10 

That’s what I was afraid of. I work for a company called Dialing Dtrangers and you and I talked last month actually we set an appointment up at the restaurant and I must have got my wires crossed, because when I got there, you weren’t there. And I haven’t heard from you and I know I screwed up and Allison I’m better than that. I’m sorry. Now what are you going to say Allison? See, you blown it now? You have to protect me. So Allison, and I’m letting everybody know I’m making Allison feel bad. I’m letting you all I’m making her feel bad. Allison, I’m better than that. What did I do wrong?

34:49 

Oh, Dave. I actually had it on my calendar. I totally wouldn’t even be able to lie to you.

34:55 

So then I go, oh, I remember I still have a script. Yeah, I go. Oh, Allison. Thank heaven. I mean, I’ve been just beating myself up thinking about this didn’t happen. Allison, off the record, is that code for Dave go away?

35:11 

No, no, I’m sorry, I blah, blah, blah, right?

35:16 

Because yeah, remember my goal. And if you want to jot this down, you can but I always say, purpose process payoff. So when I pick up the phone, the purpose of that call with Allison, the purpose of picking up the phone is to reengage her the process is my script. And in this case, the script I use now, folks, make sure you know, I’m not making these up. I own my scripts, but I’m not making them up. So the script is I’m calling to apologize. And then the payoff is, I’ve got a new appointment. I’ve got a new appointment. So I never pick up the phone without a plan. And when I pick up the phone, Dave, what’s the purpose of this call? What’s the process or what’s the script that you’re going to use? And what’s the payoff? Because even if Alison says, Yeah, Dave, we probably don’t need your product. That’s okay. When do I give up on a prospect? It depends on who dies first, me or them. So I’m still going to stay in touch with you, whether it’s a newsletter or my book, whatever it might be. But that’s the system. So that would be a tool I use for ghosting. And I want everybody to know, hey, you’re manipulating them. Well, how did you feel when you drove Claire to four hours away to some hinterland to meet with somebody you sat in a restaurant for two hours, and they no showed you and then you send them an email. You’re more valuable than that. And you’ve got to say, I believe in myself, I believe in my product and I believe in my company, so I’m going to pick up the phone I always say if you had the cure to some horrible disease, would you go I don’t want to interrupt them right now. Or would you pick it up and say, Dr. Welby? I’ve got it right here.

36:57 

That’s good stuff.

36:59 

From um, the standpoint like I don’t want you to disclose what’s in your new book, but you have piqued my interest about, about the follow up game. So, what? Like set aside, ghosting is a challenge. Not a challenge, but like, you know that that was a great example of how to follow up when the first intersecting point hasn’t connected. What? Give me one other follow up tip if you don’t mind.

37:27 

Yeah, I mean, I just think it needs to be on a regular basis. Says and you part of you know, somebody says, Well, what if I don’t have that many customers, you’ve got to follow up and it’s not just on the phone. As much as I’d like to have braggadocio about the phone. The best tool for me is a handwritten thank you card. And we know this for a fact that a person gets one piece of personal mail. Now I’m not referring to bills. I’m not referring to anything else. I’m talking about a card that I I’ve written It’s got your name on it. It says thank you, Alison, for having me on your podcast, what is it I can do to offer value. So that’s part of your process. But the biggest thing is, I’m calling to check in. Now I don’t check in. I say, Allison. So this would be a call that I do for my client, customer intelligence. And I’m trying to think if we can protect your client, but first of all, I would say, Hey, what do you like best about working with us? So you’re not your client, but your former vendor? That’s no longer a vendor? What do you like best about working? So that’d be my first question. What do you like best about working with us?

38:38 

Oh, you want me to ask you to answer that? Okay. Yes, ma’am. In that guy. So we’re role playing right now. Fantastic. I appreciated the personality of the person that I worked with. They’re different. They’re not that not the typical personality of that type of person in industry. So I like the person.

38:58 

So the person you like Jim, we hear that a lot. So then I’m going to add tell me more. So you’re going to tell me more and go from there. Now Allison, we have a policy at our company, we always say nothing happens until the unspoken is said, is there anything we could do better?

39:17 

I feel like maybe a connection between services so that I know that the right steps are being taken and I don’t have to question it.

39:29 

Okay, and when I hear more connection, because here, I want our listeners to pick up this the biggest complaint or the biggest customer dissatisfaction is, here’s what they say communication. Well, now what does that mean? I one of my hobbies when I was a little kid is I had my ham operator amateur radio license. So when I hear things like communication, I’m saying, so do you want us to use Morse code? Do you want us to use smoke signal? Do so you really got to dig into that and you got to Say that when I hear communication, tell me more. So those are the things. So the script is very simple. I’m calling to say thank you, Allison, thank you for your business. So hopefully you’re writing this down at home. This is I don’t know what chapter it is, but I’m calling to say thank you. Thank you, Alison, what do you like best about working with us? Then you follow up with? Tell me more, because remember, I’m also trying to get a testimonial, because I can also ask you for a five star. testimonial t str. testimonial.com. So I want to get a testimonial. The next thing I’m going to say is, is there anything I can do better because remember, oh, okay, and fine is a neutral experience. So whenever I hear customers say it’s okay or it’s fine. I’ll tell them this. I’ll say okay, and fine or good are the enemy of Great. Well, what could we do to become great. So Allison, there’s another example of listening for what’s not being said is when you hear things like, okay and fine, and then there’s a clear next step. I’m going to call you up in two weeks and see if we’ve taken care of the problem. Last but not least, if you like what we do tell others if we can ever do anything better, please tell me.

41:20 

Yeah, that’s good stuff. Thank you.

41:24 

Can we talk about managing a sales team? How do you keep the energy up in a call center? Knowing that, that that that’s the job at which I think someone like me goes, Oh, like I’d rather die. But how do you how do you keep it up? What are your tips for like making it competitive and fun?

41:52 

Yeah. So the first thing you have to ask your the team in your call center is how do you like to be rewarded? So that’s the first thing you have to ask because most sales managers or general managers, they like to be rewarded with money. That’s why they are where they are. Not everybody wants to be rewarded with money. So I always ask the question, how do you like to be rewarded? It could be we’re going bowling could be a gift card could be a day off a whole bunch of things. So first, we have to find out how they like to be rewarded. Now, I’m not a carrot and stick guy because again, the carrot can never get big enough. And once you hit somebody with the stick, you know how, but you still have to find those things. And then the other thing I would tell you is don’t be a manager be an encourager. In the Bible, there’s a character His name’s Barnabas and Barnabas. His job is to encourage people and I’ve gone from a coach trainer to now my number one job is to encourage somebody because especially the millennial which I’m now coach, I don’t use the word millennial. They’ve heard so long that they sleep in and they don’t want to come to work and all these things. I love Encouraging millennials because they don’t hear, look at what you’re doing. It’s awesome. It’s great. And that’s not false. That’s not false Braga, DC or something that I’m making up, it’s speaking the truth, to encourage them. And then the other thing, Allison is, you need to be able to pick up the phone and do it in front of them. And when they get stuck, you need to be able to coach them up again with millennials, which we work with micro feedback. So they want the feedback right away. Dave, what did I do incorrectly? And by the way, I didn’t know what micro feedback was. I just learned that. So when I go through and I listen to their calls, I’ll stop it right there and say, did you notice there you answered the question, and they didn’t really ask you a question, or did you notice there was pain there and you started educating them? And then they can go back and listen to those but I think the biggest thing is, and I think back to my coaches in when I was in, pretended I was an athlete. Sometimes I had coaches that would run lines with us and they’d go out and sit down screens and I’m like, Man, this guy knows what he’s doing. And I think that’s important. Important too is now don’t confuse that with war story training or story training goes like this. I’ve been doing this for a long time. And back in my day, what I used to do is I’d carry a roll of dimes with me, you never heard of the pay phone, but I put the dimes in, when the roll of dimes was done, I was done for the day, please do not or story train, say let’s go do it. Let’s give this a try. Let’s try the technique. We’ll put them on speakerphone I’ll make the first call I’ll let you hear out is then you do the second call. We’ll do it kind of as a team. And then the third call, we’ll do it with you and then just encourage them. But I think the best tool if it is a call center is the call ends when you say it’s old. And just give them tools every single day. That’s what’s important. Yeah, I love that.

44:49 

I think one of the most powerful things we can do. If it’s a habit that we need to practice is to actually listen to how we sound and how we’re responding to the to the caller. So if there’s any, you know, my big takeaway, and tip always is that if you’re having success doing cold calling, like, let’s listen to the way it sounds. And that’s an expertise that you give to clients that I work with. And I think that that’s just phenomenal.

45:19 

And the microphone it.

45:21 

Yeah. And Allison, I tell clients, if you’re not recording your phone calls, if you don’t have systems to record your phone calls, you’re not serious about it, because again, the breakfast of champions is feedback. And I’ll have probably 50 customer or not customers, they’re not customer MERS yet, but I’ll have 50 prospects that reach out to me a month that say, Dave, will you Secret Shop our business, then then that’s something we provide, then we play it back from the first thing I say, Do not go back and play this for your team. Do not go to your team and yell Intel. Do not fire anybody because they’ve never been coached on how to answer the telephone. And it’s no different on making cold calls. Because remember, my first cold call was to Chanel. And I paced back and forth and I was scared to death. I thought she was the most beautiful girl in the world. Sixth grade, I was going to ask her to the north Idaho fair. And I remember, what if she thinks I’m dumb? What if she thinks I’m stupid? Now, ironically enough, when we finished the book, some 40 years later, we tracked her down. And of course, she said, Dave, why on earth Didn’t you tell me I’d love to have gone with you. And that’s the scenario is that we always think we’re interrupting. But remember, that’s our job. We’re interrupters. We’re interrupting people. However, we want to have a system so we’re quote, not that guy. And that guy or that gal is somebody that doesn’t have a script that they follow over and over and over my system. I quote, get past the gatekeeper because I don’t think of them as a gatekeeper. They’re a friend that’s going to help me get to the next level. And I take interest in what they’re doing.

46:55 

Yeah, that’s super good. Is there anyone that you help people overcome the anxiety of it’s usually the first call right? So is there a go to tip?

47:10 

Yeah, it start your day by calling a current customer saying, Allison, thank you for being you. I really appreciate you. Hey, what do you like best about working with me? What do you like best? Man I like that you do this and I like that you do that and outstanding so that that’s why I say start out your first call of the day two or three, two or three warm calls or in this case calls of people that you know and same thing for when you’re in a slump. Okay, so when you’re in a slump, you call your best customers and say, Hey, what do you like best about working with me? Now the other side when you’re booking appointments, don’t run around with your fist in the air go and I booked an appointment, get back on the phone and book another appointment. You’re hot you’re cooking and go from there. So that would be the biggest thing Allison’s we kind of wrap up is start the day. With a friend, and maybe finish it with the friend, but what I would encourage you is make one more call at the end of the day and see if you can make that at 505 or whatever your work time is 605 or 405. I’m always on a mission just to make that one more call and nine times out of 10 somebody says hello, and our mission is You had me at hello.

48:23 

Love that.

48:25 

Is there any particular must read book other than obviously yours and that you would suggest about, you know, bold and cold calling, you have to go to resource for you?

48:40 

You know, Allison, I think the biggest thing is as long as you’re reading, whether it’s influencing friends and how you meet strangers, and we can, you know, a good degree, we can go down the list. If you don’t have books every day on your shelf that you’re that you’re reading or now listening to podcasts because I also interview people because our biggest challenge is finding great salespeople. And I’ll tell you, the number one question I ask and if I have an interview, here’s what I’m going to say is What are you reading? What are you listening to? And if the answer is I don’t read, and I don’t listen to podcasts, and there’s a problem. And then last piece, is to practice. So you start out by practicing on friends, I practice personality types, whether I’m going out to dinner, whatever it might be. The baristas are the people that were working because we have to study and practice all the time. The world’s greatest athletes have coaches and trainers and they practice but yet for some reason, we think because we’ve been doing it for a long time, we don’t need to practice anymore. And that’s not the case at all. So that would be the biggest thing. Allison rather than me say, by Daniel Pink selling or Mr. blondes book fanatical prospecting. Jeffrey Gitomer can go down the list, and I would say, just go, go get a book and read it, read it and get yourself in that practice to read it.

50:10 

Outstanding advice. So speaking about books, your book is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle. And you’ve got it at an awesome deal price of 4.49. Which I think is fantastic. And I think you said that someone emailed you, you’d send them the audio to that if you want the book.

50:27 

Well, we’ll just give you the book. It’s  davetester.com. Awesome. And yeah, go davetester.com. Just put backslash free stuff on there. And even if, if you can’t find it, there’s a place to put your name and just say, Hey, I was listening to Allison’s podcast and I want your book. And we’ll send you the audio book and you can listen to it and Allison, I’ll send it to you as well because I’ve had a lot of people go, Hey, we like the podcast a lot better than the book and I say to that way you see the movie?

51:02 

Well, I can’t wait to see the movie either. That’s great. So the best way for people to any of our followers to get in touch with you is that the go Dave tester com website fantastic.

51:16 

There’s one other if there’s something we missed and you say, hey, I want to be anonymous or whatever and whatever that might be, you can go to ask Dave tester calm and then there’s a field in there for you to ask a question or if you forgotten today where do I go to get the book it’s just ask Dave tester calm. And by the way, my phone numbers on the website, you can get ahold of me anyway or reach out to Allie. She can tell you how to get ahold of me but Alison, I always say the books we read and the people we meet, and just the fact that you’re one that when you when you learn you teach, I appreciate the you know, when you reached out said, hey, let’s do this. I appreciate just the fact that you’re if somebody takes one little nugget And it helps because I had a lady one day that was we made a live call for. And it was somebody she was in real estate and she thought she botched the deal. And the guy said, you know what I screwed up by letting her go. She was awesome. I should have stayed with her. She goes, Dave, that day, I was going to quit, it changed my life. So that’s the mission is just take one little thing today, even if it’s to say, I’m going to call three of my best clients in the morning or I’m going to practice or the call ends when I say it’s over. Allison, great job on your part to say, Hey, I’m going to be the verbal mortar between the bricks of knowledge. Well done, Alison.

52:36 

David, thank you so much. It is been such a pleasure having you here with us today. And I hope we run into each other in the downtown parts of Boise soon, okay.

52:48 

All right. Thank you. Thank you.

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Cold Calling with Dave Tester

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