How to Be an Effective Seller #2: Embrace the Power of the Hustle

If you sell for a living, making calls on qualified strangers is a must. And a lack of doing it effectively (and frequently) is typically the reason for failure. 

When I was selling advertising in my college newspaper, it was easy as long I made enough sales calls.

There was intrinsic demand for newspaper advertising, because they held a monopolistic advantage.

That’s why I stayed in the ad selling business and joined The Indianapolis Star, the largest daily newspaper in Indiana. 

The hustle ethic I developed in college served me well because nobody at The Star worked very hard.  It was like unionized labor for salespeople. 

I once overheard the Director of Sales proclaim just by answering the telephone the paper would take in over $100 million dollars per year. 

I was not deterred, and spent each day calling as many prospects as possible.  By sheer volume I was guaranteed to outsell everyone else. 

And it became a reality when I won salesperson of the year twice in just four years on the job.

Business Owners are Busy

Embracing the hustle means optimizing your time and making that extra effort to get a potential client’s attention.

Most salespeople give up after just a few attempts, and put little thought into their outreach.

But here’s a fact, people who have the power to buy products and services – the decision makers, or economic buyers, or owners of businesses etc. – they are inundated by bad salespeople every day. 

And the only way to get their attention is through repetitive yet thoughtful outreach.

What I mean by repetitive is it may take a dozen or more different attempts per client.

What I mean by thoughtful is doing some research and providing rationale for why anyone should meet with you.

Over the years I developed a strategy for how much activity I needed each day to be successful; I call it The Power of Ten, and it gave me a benchmark to achieve selling success. 

Why the Power of Ten Works

Because 10 is a good number for just about any type of sales position, unless you’re a telemarketer.     

Your 10 daily touches can be a combination of meetings with new or existing clients, and cold outreach efforts like phone calls, emails, letters, and canvassing (stopping into a business). 

There are 3 primary reasons why you should have a set number in mind for your daily activity. 

First, one day, you will feel like you’ve run out of people to call on.  And when this happens, you look back and find new ways to creatively reach out to the people you’ve already called on

Very rarely will you land an appointment with a highly qualified prospect in just one attempt.  It should take multiple attempts to get their attention. If it’s too easy, then you should be worried.   

Remember, you are 1 of 30 or more salespeople trying to get a client’s attention on any given day.    

Secondly, any more than 10 calls per day turns you into a telemarketer.

The Power of Ten is not for telemarketers. It’s for outside salespeople who should embrace their creative freedom to use multiple media to influence prospective clients.

For instance, sending a cold email – with no research or rationale, to someone who’s never heard of you – doesn’t count. 

However, if that email contains rationale, based on research you’ve conducted on that business, on why they should consider meeting with you, then its worthy.  

Below is an example of an email I sent to a high-ranking executive who gets hundreds of emails a day from salespeople, he’s never met me or heard of me, and he responded the same day:

Hello Rick,

I’m the new XXXXX @XXXX.  XXX just took over XXX – we are now part of the same team who helps you @ XX and XXX.  Jerry XXX suggested I reach out to you. 

XXX has zero partners in the XXX category.  There is a real opportunity here to establish a foothold and possibly even own the category for a relatively small investment.

From what I can see you have 6 maybe 7 offices where XXX has influence, here is a link to a recent study on the Economic Impact of XXX and surrounding counties:  http://www.examplelink

We would love to develop some ideas for this upcoming XXXX – but If budgets are long allocated would you mind visiting with me in January? 

Thanks for your consideration XXX – and have a great weekend.

Shane, thank you for your email and it good to hear that you have partnered with XXX. 

We would absolutely entertain an opportunity to work together!  Let me reach out to my Advertising team and have them reach out to you. Hopefully, we can get something set up in the near future to talk through 2019 and what opportunities might be available for both of us.
Thanks for your email and we will be in touch.

Since you’re only doing 10 touches per day, spend time making each one thoughtful and creative. 

Some days you’ll run out of time developing your creative approaches – it’s OK – quality over quantity is the point. 

After a while you can use the same language in all of your outreach. And start developing scripts and automating your processes increasing your efficiency.

At the end of this post I’ll share with you an opportunity to download proven materials, scripts, and tactics that help me increase my response to emails and phone calls. 

And thirdly, there is a psychological benefit to limiting your efforts to 10 calls per day.

At some point you need a break.  And If you spent the time to do 10 meaningful outreaches – regardless of the results – you’ve done a good days’ work.

To summarize the Power of Ten:

  1. Make 10 outreaches per day, every day, Monday – Friday.
  2. These outreaches are a combination of appointments, calls, emails, canvassing and are either related new business development, up selling and/or retention. 
  3. The primary goal of outreaches is to secure appointments to present solutions and close sales.