7 Lessons Learned from Doing 50 Sales Calls

Over the past few months, I’ve done close to 50 sales calls. That’s 50 hours on the phone (a little more than one full work week), listening to people I don’t know who have found content I posted on the internet. Most of them watch a 30-minute free webinar first, where they sign up for a free call with me. It’s been an interesting, profitable, challenging, and fairly tiring process. I’m definitely not great at this, but I’m learning and I’m much better than when I started. Here are the top 6 lessons I’ve learned so far…

1. It’s easy to avoid sounding like a slick used car salesman; all you have to do is LISTEN.

Just ask the person questions, for like 30 minutes straight (at least). Find out what’s super important to them, and why. Be the doctor who’s trying to properly diagnose the problem. What’s wrong? What’s not working? What is that costing you? Where do you want to go in the near future? Why’s that so important? What will happen if you don’t get it? Repeat their answers back to them to show you understand.

2. If you get a bad feeling in your gut…

Redirect them to a free solution that they can implement on their own and get off the phone. Your gut is almost always right.

3. When you understand their situation completely, provide your solution.

This takes at least 30 minutes. When you understand that they’re ready to get this solved now, state the price matter-of-factly. Don’t shove it down their throat, just say what it is. Some people are ready, some people aren’t. Just understand that if they try to walk, or say “Maybe later…” they will NEVER come back. That means they WILL stay stuck, they won’t solve their problem (or they won’t do it quickly), and they will keep spinning their wheels. That’s mostly on you if they don’t see that.

4. Most people are scared to spend a lot of money, because they’re not certain it will work for them.

They are scared they will invest in something that doesn’t help them, and it will feel like they’ve been conned. Therefore, almost everyone will resist your offer, and that’s when your job really begins. DON’T ARGUE (this is very difficult not to do), just keep asking questions when they resist you. “Now, you said you’ll lose your job that pays $250,000 per year and your wife and kids are going to leave you if you don’t get this handled… Why are you so worried about the short term cost?” (Yes, I have said this.) Some aren’t convinced you can help them. Don’t get frustrated; calmly turn it back to them by asking challenging questions. “So, when do you think your current plan is going to start working? We’re on this call for a reason, right?” “Do professional athletes make it to the big leagues all on their own? Do they rely exclusively on themselves to do all the hard work that’s necessary to get in? Or do they have coaches who help them get there?”

5. If they don’t take you up on your offer, reflect.

Did you mess up somehow, or were they never going to buy in the first place? This is about assuring people they’re in good hands, that you’re there for them 100% and you will get them the result they desire. If you do a good job, expect 1 out of 4 people to dish out a lot of money for what you’re offering. Still, that means 3 out of 4 will take the bait and walk away. They are gone for good.

6. Clients who are ready to dish out a lot of money are 100X easier and more pleasant to work with.

Even when you make mistakes, they’re more understanding and sympathetic. But over and over and over, the most painful clients are ALWAYS the ones expecting free services and negotiating more out of the deal. They become entitled and there is almost nothing you can do to make them happy. Set boundaries and have respect for yourself. Only work directly with people who pay a premium. They are more appreciative, respectful, and kind. It’s no wonder that the people who earn the most spend the most, and they continue to pay you with their gratitude.

Bonus: #7 – Hire Chris Schelzi to set up your online advertising system.

He set mine up within one week, and generated dozens of leads (which, so far, get a 20X return). Also, look up ClientsOnDemand.com. They’re the ones who teach this system better than anyone, and their program got me up to speed faster than all of the sales books I’ve read.

Sign up and get Charlie’s latest books — free.

Fill in your email below to instantly get my best work. You’ll learn how I landed my dream job with Tim Ferriss, and how I overcame burnout and anxiety in one month.

Charlie Hoehn is the author of Play It Away, Play for a Living and Recession Proof Graduate. His work has been featured on NPR's TED Radio Hour, Forbes, Fast Company, and Harvard Business Review. Previously, he was the Director of Special Projects for Tim Ferriss. Currently, he is the Head of Author Marketing at Book In A Box. He lives in Austin, Texas.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. chris

    Just curious if you still recommend the clients on demand system?

Leave a comment