Why Picking Up the Phone Is a More Successful Form of Customer Outreach Than You Might Think

by Janey Zitomer
October 18, 2019

Selling a product or service requires an in-depth knowledge of its deliverable, as well as passion for whatever problem it solves for consumers. That’s no secret. But what are some lesser-known sales tactics that work in a bind (or just, on regular calls)? We spoke with two NYC sales employees about how they’re playing the long game. 

Their advice might just surprise you. 

 

unacast sales team
unacast

Jon Torre, senior sales director at Unacast, isn’t afraid to pick up the phone. In fact, he sees it as a tool often more effective than cold emailing or LinkedIn messaging. In a day and age of Slack, social, Skype, and text, it’s often beneficial to do what potential customers least expect. 

Unacast’s datasets and insights allow businesses to access information regarding physical location they otherwise would be unable to see. Torre told us how he relays this information to prospects via out-of-the-box outreach strategies. 

 

What sales tactic have you learned since joining your team that has had a major impact on your performance?

You really have to immerse yourself in the product and develop an understanding of the business context in which the offering fits. The sales team is like an immediate family. We share the most, but I consider the other departments extended family. Bringing a product to market is truly a team effort and all departments have to be aligned for the best outcomes. Buyers have more information than ever before. Cohesive cross-departmental sharing will have a huge impact on client acquisition. 

Everyone relevant still has a direct line.’’

 

What’s another successful tactic that you’ve used throughout your career that some may find surprising?

While there are many surprising things, it can vary depending on the addressable marketplace, product/market maturity and offering. However, the starting point for outreach is universal, so let’s focus there. Cold outreach has been centered on email since I started in sales, and has increased in significance in the last seven years. As such, it is rightfully the centerpiece of any modern effective commercial effort. 

With that being said, cold calling can be very successful simply because it’s not as widely deployed by sales teams today. It’s fairly easy to call Fortune 500 companies. Everyone relevant still has a direct line. It may be surprising and old fashioned to some, but I think this has to be part of any successful sales outreach strategy. Over the last four years, a great deal of my clients at large companies began with a cold call. 

Prospective clients are now conditioned to emails. A cold call can be a productive, pleasant surprise for them. This is particularly true for older prospects, who may view it as a quaint vestige from the past.


 

Matt Macksamie
Abacus

As a child, you might remember playing with a wooden square frame encapsulating large beads strung to horizontal wires. Many elementary schools use this tool to help acquaint students with the fundamentals of arithmetic. It’s based on a numeric counting frame used in Eastern Europe, Russia and China called Abacus. 

With this in mind, it’s apropos that Sales Executive Matt Macksamie focuses on how he can realistically add value for prospects interested in the expense reporting software Abacus provides.

 

What sales tactic have you learned since joining your team that has had a major impact on your performance?

Since joining Abacus, I’ve focused on improving expectations surrounding what should be defined as next steps. The tactic that I’ve been using throughout each stage of the evaluation process is setting an upfront contract. This way, I’m establishing a mutual outcome plan that satisfies both parties and I’m adding more value to that next meeting. Ideally, the result is a partnership starting off on the right foot with both the buyer and seller collaborating closely. 

As a salesperson, I’ve learned that objections are not only uncomfortable for salespeople to address.’’

 

What’s another successful tactic that you’ve used throughout your career that some may find surprising?

As a salesperson, I’ve learned that objections are not only uncomfortable for salespeople to address. They are equally, if not more uncomfortable for prospects to articulate. While we may think we’ve heard every possible objection from the prospect, there is still an unknown danger that you may not have in fact heard every concern about your product. The tactic that I’ve introduced in my career is asking prospects “Do you feel comfortable telling me ‘no’?” That question and mentality helps us bring those hidden objections to the surface and reduces the risk of increasing the length of the sales cycles or potentially losing that deal altogether.

 

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