by Joe Bonura, CSP
There Is Gold In Them There Hills
I did a sales training session for a group of media sales reps
in New Mexico. They blitzed the market for four days and brought
in over $48,000 in new business.
The Blitz Blizzard
The business would have been out there even if they had not blitzed
the market; it simply would not have translated to money in their
Stop The Wait
It is your job as a sales person to find the business and not to
wait for the business to find you. I like being proactive, and not
reactive to market conditions.
Don't Be A Scavenger
When I was in media sales years ago, we had a system that whoever
was in the office would get the call-in. We had one sales person
that we called "The Vulture." He would perch by his phone,
waiting for the phone to ring. It did ring sometimes, but not enough
for him to keep his job.
Grab A Shovel And Dig
My good friend Fred Reno and I were out digging up business, while
"The Vulture" was waiting for business to dig him up.
It was not long before the vulture was buried in poor sales performance
and looking for a new job.
Not only did Fred and I keep our jobs, but we made a nice income
in the process. Fred went on to become the sales manager of a large
media property in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
During a sales training session, I did a tongue-in-cheek demonstration
to reveal how futile it is to wait for the phone to ring in order
to create more business. I put my cell phone on the table in front
of the room and invited five audience members to join me around
The Power Of Suggestion
I told them that I had tried what we were about to do on my own,
but it did not seem to work. I suggested that we all stand around
and stare at the phone to make it ring. I said that, with the power
of all six of us staring at it, the phone would surely ring.
Not So Funny
They all chuckled at my ridiculous proposal, but I insisted that
we give it a try. Sure enough, the phone rang. I answered it, and
I stated that it was the competition on the line, making sales calls.
I kidded, "At least somebody is out there trying to get new
business." (Actually, I had the sales manager go in the other
room and call in.)
The lesson was well received, and within the next hour, I had everyone
on the phone making ten dials each, using my suggested telephone
script (see below). We had forty people in the room, and the calls
resulted in over eighty appointments.
OK, so you believe me, but what do you say when you make the call?
You: Hi, my name is _____________. Whom am I speaking
(If you are calling a business number, the person on the other
end may think that you are a customer at this point, so don't
worry; they will treat you with respect.)
You: Mary, I need your help!
(It is important for you to repeat her name back to her at this
Mary: How can I help you?
(She will say that, or something like that, in response to your
You: Mary, we work with businesses that want to (your key
benefit here). Does that make sense to you?
(Notice that you have not yet identified your company. The benefit
is more important than your company name. Asking does that make
sense gets the person on the other end to respond. It sure beats,
"How are you today?")
Mary: I guess so?
(She might say, "How can I help you?" or "What
can I do for you?" or something in that vein.)
You: Mary, what do we have to do to speak with Mike?
(Notice that you used the word we, and not I. You want her to
be on your team, and not just a lackey you are sending to fetch
Mary: Uh, who are you with?
You: I'm sorry; I'm with ABC Company. Is Mike in today?
Mary: Let me get him on the phone for
(Ring, Ring . . .)
Mike: Hello, Mike speaking.
You: Hello, Mike, this is Joe Bonura; we work with companies
that want to (insert benefit here). Does that make sense to you?
Mike: It might.
You: Great! I'm with ABC Company, and I will be across
the street from your office tomorrow at 2:00 pm. I would like
only ten minutes of your time. Is two OK with you?
Mike: Two sounds fine.
You: See you then.
If he is not interested, hang up, and go to the next call. It
is more productive to be making the next call, than it is to convince
someone, who is not interested, to change his mind. That is what
makes the phone so productive. Just like the Energizer Bunny, you
can keep going, and going, and going.
Note: Joe Bonura's article containing this script may be found
A Little Time Equals Big Bucks
For less than thirty minutes of effort, we had enough appointments
to bring in over $250,000 in new business, based on their typical
The Wow Factor
My next question to the group was, "What if you made those
ten dials every day?" WOW! The potential results are mind boggling.
Why is it that even though you know what to do, you don't want
to do it? It is called fear: fear of rejection, fear of failure,
fear of success.
The Worst Thing
When you are having trouble making cold (warm) calls, ask yourself
the following question, "What is the worst thing that can happen
to me if I make this call?" Once you have answered that question,
go for it. Pick up the phone and start panning for gold.
© 2008 Joe Bonura & Associates, Inc.