Sales Prospecting Perspectives is pleased to bring you a guest post from one of our BDR’s, Eric Vindigni.
Since the Los Angeles Kings took home the Stanley Cup back in June, there has been only one thing on my mind: hockey and how much I miss it. I have personally been involved with the sport in all aspects and levels since a very young age. About six months ago, I began my career in teleprospecting and inside sales, and have come to realize teleprospecting and hockey bear striking similarities. A typical month in teleprospecting follows an almost identical path as your 60 minute hockey game, and many of the same methods for achieving victory (or success) can be applied to both. Here are 5 steps to winning in both arenas.
Get a Good Warm Up In
One of the biggest keys to success in a hockey game is to get a good warm up in. This is designed to boost heart rate and loosen up muscles with an ultimate goal of avoiding a sluggish start. The same goes for teleprospecting, where being prepared and ready to go is extremely important. One of the worst things to do is coming into work tired and unenthusiastic. You will be much more successful if you can get on the phone feeling energetic and upbeat, trust me, your prospects can tell by the way you are on the phone. We have seen that prospects are more willing to engage with you if you are passionate and animated rather than monotone and lethargic.
Come Out Strong
A good, strong start is essential in any endeavor. In hockey, every coach and analyst will tell you that coming out strong and getting that first, early goal will set the tone for the rest of the game. Getting ahead early boosts confidence and will relieve any pressure for the rest of the game (in most cases). In my experience teleprospecting, I have seen both individually and with my colleagues, that being able to get a few leads in the first few days of the month puts you in a place to meet and exceed goals. Getting those few early leads takes some weight off your shoulders early on, and sets the pace for the entire month.
Play As a Team
Hockey, as well as inside sales, is not an individual effort, and working as a team is the best way to make sure you have everything you need to win. Coaches and managers alike will tell you to come to them with any questions or concerns, no matter what the topic may be. Whenever I have any questions or need something to succeed, I go straight into my Director’s office and come up with a solution. Whether it is to have a question answered or put together an email campaign to stir up some dust in my pipeline.
Keep Your Stick on the Ice
The most important rule in hockey is to keep your stick on the ice. I honestly cannot think of a phrase I have heard more often than those six words. The reason this rule is so important is that having your stick on the ice at all times will allow you to be prepared for any situation at any given time. Whether you are camping out in front of the net and a rebound finds your stick, deflecting an opponent’s pass, or simply creating a distraction for your opponent, having your stick on the ice will let you react positively to any situation that may arise. When on the phone with prospects and clients alike, it is extremely important to be ready for whatever off-handed comment may be thrown your way. Learn from every conversation you have, so you can be ready to push back on any objection a prospect gives you.
Leave It All on the Ice
There are many ways to get this point across. In hockey, we like to use the words “leave it on the ice” and “keep your head up” to motivate the team to work hard and put forth their best effort without getting discouraged. In teleprospecting, it takes a lot of will power and determination to attain your goals. It is important not to get down on yourself when dealing with rude people (we all do it every day in this line of work). Everyone is going to have a bad day or two every month, or shift in a hockey game, but it is paramount not to dwell on the negatives. Just let it go and move on; keep your head up. Work hard and push through thinking about the ultimate goal, winning by having a great month/game.
It took me months of working in this business to relate the two aspects of my life I spend most of my time involved in. Initially, I thought teleprospecting and hockey couldn’t be more removed from each other, but clearly I was mistaken. The two require many of the same personal attributes in order to achieve success. So get warmed up, come out strong and strike early, play as a team, keep your stick on the ice, and keep your head up. Do all of that and you will have no problem succeeding in teleprospecting.