Don’t Let Fear Hold You Hostage

Hey what’s up all you beautiful people here is a transcription of my latest podcast episode, “Don’t Let Fear Hold You Hostage.” This is all about getting you out of your comfort zone and trying new things as it relates to Sales outreach – basically opening yourself up to new ways to connect your customers. 

Gone are the days where you can rely solely on phone, or email, or snail mail.. To be successful in today’s sales environment you need to be able to read the room so to speak and go to where your customers are most receptive. Think of it this way you are in the business of trading attention for services and it’s your job to figure out how best to gain the attention of your customers. If fear has been holding you back from connecting with your customers effectively here are my Top 3 ways that you can get out of your comfort zone to see if it’s possible to be more effective.

  1. Write down what you are most afraid of and steer right into it. Is that video, is it voice, is it connecting with your leads in person. Where are your blind spots and what can you do to address them? What is holding you back from what you want to achieve? You’re not alone, we all have blind spots. There was a time when I absolutely hated the phone, and as a result would spend all of my energy trying to find other ways to connect with customers. It took serious effort to get over my fear of the phone and that same may be true for you. If what you are fearful of is where your customers are most receptive you need to find a way to get over it. Otherwise you will be wasting all of your time trying to connect with customers in ways they don’t care about – and guess what if you’re not reaching out to your customers in the right way your competitors most definitely are!
  2. Visualize the success you’ll receive when you conquer your fear.  Once you’re aware of the most appropriate way to reach your customers, reach out to them that way. If your customers are old school they may appreciate the phone or a handwritten letter. Or you may find you have customers who hate the phone and would rather receive a text message or DM (direct message) through social media. Regardless of how they want you to connect with them the most important thing for you is to realize that one size does not fit all when reaching out. In fact a one size fits all approach may be turning a lot of your customers off which is exactly the opposite of what you want to have happen. If you take into account that each of your customers is different you’ll soon discover the most appropriate way to reach out to each of them. As a result your activities will be more effective and you’ll get more done and ultimately sell more.  
  3. Try try try again… One way to force yourself out of your comfort zone is to not just steer into the fear but to try it over and over again until you feel comfortable. Sometimes you just have to accept that it’s going to be scary and it may take time but if you trust the process eventually it won’t be something you’re afraid.

Here are a few more ways you can help conquer your fears:

  • Get help from friends, coworkers
  • Follow a recipe, find others who have gotten over similar fears and follow their lead
  • Stay positive, you’d be amazed at just how important it is to have the right attitude when breaking beyond your comfort zone
  • Focus on others as your motivation. Look at the success others are having and let that fuel you to get beyond what’s holding you back
  • Be willing to pivot, while I do stress, if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again you also need to realize that if you’re not getting any closer to breaking through your fear you may need to try something different before you give up all together

I hope these tips help, while there is no way to shortcut to getting over any fear I guarantee if you take your time and put in the effort it will be worth it and you may even surprise yourself with what you’re capable of.

For more tips follow my Twitter @DanSaso or join my personal network by connecting with me on LinkedIn

My 14-Day SDR Onboarding Plan

Available for download here

This plan is designed to help Sales Development reps hit and exceed quota by giving them an immediate path to success.

  • Product
  • Process
  • People 
  • Proficiency

#1 Product knowledge –  Seek to fully understand how your product integrates into the lives of your customers.  This will help you articulate why your product is worth your customer’s time

  • Problems your product solves 
  • How is your company positioning your product
  • What are the features and benefits 
  • Pricing structure
  • How your product fits into the life of your customer 

Search for the above by using the following

  • Industry articles
  • Company blogs
  • Customer case studies
  • Company press releases
  • Social media profiles of people in your industry
  • Podcasts

#2 People – Get to know who are you selling to and why.  The buyer persona matters because it will help your outreach to be more relevant.  The better you are at determining who you’re reaching out to and why the faster you can start setting meetings.

  • What titles do they hold
  • What is their role and responsibilities
  • What are their typical pain points
  • How do they interact with your product or products similar to yours

What the following places to find this information

  • Company case studies
  • Competitor case studies
  • LinkedIn
  • Industry events / conferences 

#3  Process – Includes everything your job entails, all of your day-to-day activities and the tools you can use to be successful.  Consider the following

  • Time management
  • Goal setting
  • Content curation
  • Content creation
  • Outreach campaigns
  • Role playing
  • Negotiations 
  • Objection handling
  • Customer service

Some of my favorite tools and software are the following

  • Trello – Project management
  • Evernote – Note taking
  • Mailtester – To test email validity
  • –  Uncover accounts, create prospect lists and account mapping, gain valuable insight into the strength of relationships with customers
  • LinkedIn / Sales Navigator – Fantastic for prospecting
  • Twitter, and other social networks can a goldmine of real time conversations. Inject yourself into the conversation your customers are already having
  • Pocket Save and share your favorite content
  • Feedly – Quickly curate written content from top producers
  • Time Blocking – Become more efficient and effective in your day-to-day activities 

#4 Proficiency – Integrate everything above into a cohesive, repeatable, effective process. Repetition is key

  • Clarify your mission – how do you approach your prospects
  • Determine the goals you can hold yourself accountable to (activity per day, per month, # of meetings generated)Be creative in  your approach to Sales and marketingSell to your customers needsFollow through. Goals focus your attention and help to increase performance 
  • Customer service
  • Follow through – warm handoff
  • Probing questions
  • Listening skills and note taking
  • The basics – prospecting, fact finding, presentation skills
  • Story telling
  • Maximizing your time

Map for SDR onboarding success – Initial 14 days 

Week 1Week 2
MondayCompanyOnboardingMeet the teamLearn the cultureProcessOverview of sales processCold call trainingRole Play cold calls
TuesdayProductAttend 2 AE demosRead through Customer case studiesProspectListen in on customer support callsResearch training (prospecting, case studies, must have bookmarks for your success)
WednesdayProductAttend 2 AE demosWatch product videosProficiencyCreate list of 200 prospectsPractice call cadence and lead handoff
ThursdayProductAttend 2 AE demosAttend 1 SE demoRead through Company blog and support siteShadow SDR callProficiencyCall script overviewVoicemail trainingBrush-off training / objection handlingCold call role play
FridayProductAttend 2 AE demosRead through Customer case studies
ProficiencyTrainingCRM Report training

If your organization would benefit from reading this please share it. For additional sales tips and tactics follow my Twitter and consider adding me to your professional network on LinkedIn.