676: A Huge Announcement (and How to Win with Cold Calling) w/ Rex Biberston

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode we talk to Rex Biberston, Co-Founder of The Sales Developers and Co-Author of Outbound Sales, No Fluff.

Click here to connect with this guest on LinkedIn.

... company. So what if you could reverse engineer these relationships at a moment's notice, start a podcast, invite potential referral partners to be guests on your show and grow your referral network faster than ever? Learn more at sweet fish Mediacom. You're listening to the be tob growth show, a podcast dedicated to helping be to be executives achieve explosive growth. Whether you're looking for techniques and strategies or tools and resources, you've come to the right place. I'm James Carberry and I'm Jonathan Green. Let's get into the show. Welcome back to a very special episode of BB growth. We are here today with REX Biverston. Rex, are you doing today? I'm doing great, James. So so, rex, you are the CO author of outbound sales, no fluff, which is a book that I read in probably less than an hour. It was an extremely sort read and and really, really good. You're they also you're also the CO founder of the sales developers. Tell us a little about the book and then also the company. Yeah, Ryan Rey sort my co author and I came together, if you can believe it, over linkedin like true millennials and we wrote a book in forty five days and published it without ever shaken hands. So we're for the true modern generation. Yeah, but the book is all about how to establish best practices for outbound sales at a very basic level, just the fundamentals that a lot of people have moved away from and forgotten because of technology, because of confusion about best practices, and we just brought it back to like what's the simple math of sales? How does this all work? What are you forgetting? And it is a short read because we've both read a lot of sales books round much more so than I. He has a huge stack, but I always got bored. I was in English major and I got board reading books, if you can believe it. And so we wrote the short guide to outbound selling a pretty quick...

...hit and we loved being able to kind of pass it out as our business card and people have enjoyed reading it. So we found that there was certainly some value to what we had to say about the topic. Absolutely, and then that that ended up leading into you guys building out the company, the sales developers. Yeah, yeah, and the effort there was kind of from a very high level. We want to help to up level the sales profession in general. So when you look at all the content that Ryan I produce, our goal is always to help sales people become better sellers, to become more human sellers, right to improve those skills that are going to make them money and also help the people that they work with through their products and services. But from a practical like, how do we fund that mission? How do we kind of how do we make it? We're spending so much time sharing all of our knowledge for Free Online. We are working with be to be SASS companies that are pre venture but are funded, and we're helping them to go to market within about ninety days. We build a whole program for them that makes them extremely scalable, versus the standard method of kind of figuring things out as they go and then adding a bunch of the fire and they realize they've scaled it without nailing it. HMM, love it. I love it, and so, rex, I mentioned at the very top of the episode that this is this is an extremely special episode of BB growth, and not just because I like you a lot, but you're actually, you're actually going to be coming on board as a third cohost of BB growth. You and I've been interacting again, like true millennials, on Linkedin for the last for the last few months. I've been loving the content that you've been putting out. We think, we've had calls, we've gone back and forth, emails, you've given us, you know, tons of ideas for different things we can do and I just thought, man like, I would love to have this guy hosting the show. And so you agree to it a few weeks ago and and you're going to be stepping into to a cohost roll,...

...and so I'm extremely honored and excited to have a to have you a part of the show. It is only been Jonathan and I for the last over two years now, and so to bring in someone else, I think it's going to add any enormous amount of value to the show. In your perspective, your background and sales, I just think will will allow a level of depth to the episodes that we just haven't had before. So thank you. I could not be more excited. And I remember it was over a year ago, sitting in my car listening to one of your episodes thinking, man they've got some incredible guests and these people give some great takeaways and I just I loved it. So going from there to meet you online to becoming a cohost of the show is just it's kind of a dream come true for somebody who just listened to you online. I love it. I love it, man. So I wanted to and we were going back and forth like, Oh, do we just do it an announcement episode or do we actually turn this into a piece of content? And I think in true kind of BB growth style, we always want to be adding value and I think are you are going to add an enormous amount of value. But I wanted your first episode to actually add value in and of itself. And so we are going to be talking about something that you are extremely passionate about, which is cold calling. And I've seen you talk about this on, you know, on Linkedin all the time and your you get an enormous amount of engagement on your stuff because this is just such a hot topic. Right, you've got the social seller saying cold calling's dead and then you've got the old school cold call guys saying will you, you're stupid. Like cold calling's not dead, it's working for me all the time, and then you sit over here in the middle, because you look like a social seller and you you act like a so like you are a social seller, but then you're also advocating for this thing that, you know, most people in our kind of demographic would say is this archaic technique. So before where we dive into kind of we've got...

...three specific takeaways that we're going to go go over. But why is cold calling for you? Why is it a tactic or a strategy that you think so many people have kind of thrown out of of their I guess, like they're there go to market strategy. And then we're going to dive into to those three specific takeaways. I think there's two key reasons. One, because it's really hard, right, it's really hard. It's getting harder. There's more noise in the market place, so people don't want to do it because it's difficult and that that's discouraging. Obviously I totally get that. I'd been there before. I was in a new sales or of trying to learn how to cold call, and it is extremely difficult. Requires a great deal of knowledge and coaching and practice, especially, especially practice. I think the second reason is people will make sweeping generalizations about topics like cold calling and say it's alive, it's dead, it's the best, it's the worst. We use such hyperbole that it's like, really, guys, most things work sometimes for some people and some circumstances, and let's figure out who that applies to. I certainly don't advocate cold calling for everyone with every market in every given set of circumstances, but for me, the idea that something is dead just because it's not fun, it's not popular, it's not easy, I mean it works for me. I generate tons of, you know, leads and qualified opportunities. I have in the past. Lots of my friends and people I've helped have done that and it's kind of nonsense to think that any one thing is dead for all people in all circumstances. I love so this first thing we're going to talk about, rex is the first fifteen seconds of a code call. You put an enormous amount of thoughtful consideration into this first fifteen seconds because you know, in your opinion, the first fifteen seconds is more important than than any other part of the call. Can you talk to us about is there a formula for making that first fifteen seconds really effective. Yeah, I think the the first thing to remember is why it's so important, is...

...that it's the gateway to the rest of the conversation. It's the gateway to what you're asking for. I mean it's it's a gateway to them caring about you at all, which in fifteen seconds they can decide whether they do what they don't write. Yep, there's a bunch of different strategies that I have tried, applied, failed at, succeeded at. One of my favorites that you know, works in some circumstances for some people. Get putting that caveat out there is something I learned from connecting cell especially Chris Beale. They talked a lot about this, this kind of script that they put together where it's it's kind of a funny little intro. It's you know, I realize I'm an interruption. Do you have twenty seven seconds for me to explain why I called? Right? That is one way of going about it. There are two thousand others. Right, my my Goto strategy back in the day when I was working inside salescom trying to figure this thing out for myself, was, hey, this is rex with inside salescom. I wanted to see if what we do for sales team efficiency can benefit your team. That I catch you two minutes right. So I didn't ask for twenty seven seconds. I didn't. I gave a value prop ahead of time, sort of, and then I would break it down further if they gave me the two minutes. You know whether you ask for time, whether you say how are you doing? And there's so much debate over these inane little topics that you have to practice, you have to test, you have to try it. You can't just say it does or does not work. And that's the biggest thing I want people to understand about this first fifteen seconds is that you must figure it out. You cannot just say what works without testing it. And and does that mean you know you're doing fifty calls, a hundred calls, two hundred calls before you switch it up? I know the one the one thing I love about your approach is you're very systematic in your approach to this, in documenting, like okay, I did, your disciplined in in saying, okay, I'm going to try this and then I'm going to try this and then...

I'm just going to look at the data. What are some best practices around, like how much do you need to test of a certain variable before moving on to the next variable? Yeah, and I'm sure I'll get some economists will beat me up over my answer here. But for me, one it's not about dials. It has nothing to do with the number of phone calls you place. It has a lot more to do with the conversation. So in terms of the conversations I'm having, I'll regularly check at about ten conversations deep and say, okay, how far did I get? What was the general reaction? You know, if I used a certain script and I feel like the value prop was strong, but I'm noticing that that's where they drop off or they say no, I'm good or no, I'm not interested. You know, consistently getting the same reply. I noticed okay, I need to start testing something new there, but I'd say bye about ten you have some and we won't say statistically relevant data, but you've got data. You can really kind of into it. All right, this is working, this isn't working, and you can start to test and if you notice your test goes worst, so you switch it back to the original and figure out what else you're doing wrong. Maybe as your intonation, maybe it was your timing. I could be a whole bunch of different things. Okay, so this other this other piece we're going to talk about rex is the way that you point the conversation and there two two schools of thought here, two styles of kind of how to direct the conversation. Walk us through both of those styles. Yeah, so the first is the like quick, go for the throat style, I like to call it. The idea is you're going to present your value proposition and, as quickly as possible, ask for the meeting. Right. You're asking for their time, you're you're saying something. It's and it's got to be something that is exciting to them, that hits on a key point that they're interested in. You can't just say hey, we do this, I'd like to show you how that works. You've I mean if you said we show you a way to save millions of dollars, maybe that's big enough me, that's exciting enough, but it's got to be something that really catches their interests and then you immediately say when do you have you know, I know I'm an interruption. I know this is breaking up your day?...

Will you have ten minutes? We can talk about that further. You know, you can go straight for the appointment, and this is working for some and not working for others. Had A big debate on linkedin recently about how to do that correctly, about what to ask for. But I think again, this this marriage testing. That's one style. The other style is one that I've been a huge fan of for a long time but doesn't work in all situations for all people, and that is the much slower open conversation route. Right. Okay, so asking more open ended questions, trying to get them to give you more feedback, not for qualification purposes, but to drive interest improve value right up front. Okay, so the idea of not just like throwing out this big pitch and asking for time, but opening with a great value proposition than asking open ended questions, getting them to give you some information about themselves kind of break down those walls, start to trust you a little bit more because you're proving that you know something about the topic. This doesn't work great, I would say, for very inexperience sellers. It doesn't work great if you're trying to drive the maximum number of appointments, but it can work very well in driving them also value in the conversation up front. So it's those are the two different styles. You really have to figure out for your market and for yourself what's working out. Okay, REX, this this last thing we're talking about offline. You you, you talked about you know, if you say it's not working, then you're just not doing it correctly. Can You? Can you talk to us about this idea? Yeah, I've had all kinds of people tell me that cold colling doesn't work for them and I'll say, well, how many calls did you make? Well, I probably, I mean who? I spent a week on this thing. I probably made a hundred calls. Like well, there's your problem. Right off the bat, you made a hundred calls. How many conversations you have? I don't know, like five or six. Okay, then you are judging whether or not a strategy, you know, a tactic, is valuable to your business based on five or six conversations. First let's talk about the people that you target in those conversations. Were they the right buyers? You know, did you have any previous knowledge about them? All kinds...

...of things that they didn't do right to set it up in the beginning, and the most critical thing you can do is to talk to the right people in the right companies, in what ran and I call your Swim Ling. If you're not doing that, you're not testing in a valid way. So volume is obviously a part of it as well. Like five or six conversations, you know, does not make an accurate outcome. So you've got to do a higher volume. Are you testing? The Times of the day you call? Are you getting stuck with gatekeepers? Are you? Do you have directile phone numbers? I mean, there's so many variable holes. And then there's the technology component, where a lot of people say, you know, it's just not worth the time. We ran the numbers, you know, we made projections based on a small amount of data and we decided this just ultimately wasn't worth it for us, so we went back to whatever the other strategy was, generally cold emailing, unfortunately. So this idea of low volume, making these assumptions then throwing those numbers up as if it was like all right, for the next year, what are we going to get? Well, you can incrementally improve your cold calling, both skills, your message, cold calling gives you that live feedback that you need to improve all of those things in a very short period of time. But you've got to use the right technology to get in front of it. So I use tools like connecting cell tools like outreach, things that increase dramatically the efficiency of my efforts so that I'm not spending time on the tedious activities. In fact, Ryan and I we built this bucketing system, it's really Ryan's brain child, that helps you to figure out which leads the talk to when, how to focus on the right people, and bucket one is basically people you've never spoken with, so it's like a brand new list and we have created for ourselves in efficiency where we send our leads to people, you know offshore and they're actually calling to verify the numbers are correct, they are emailing to make sure the emails don't bounce. So we don't spend any time on activities that aren't highly leveraged. So you know, saying that it doesn't work because you did it the wrong way does not mean that it doesn't really work. Yeah, no, that that that makes perfect sense and I think to your point earlier, it's...

...it's easy to say it didn't work because it's hard and it's not comfortable. Heck, I don't cold call because it's I'm just super uncomfortable with that kind of rejection all the time. So and I haven't but I haven't taken the time to figure out, Hey, is there a compelling like, is there something really compelling that I can say in those first fifteen seconds I would actually make somebody want to want to take a call? And and I don't think people think critically about the human psychology behind it and thinking about it from the perspective of how does this person how is this person on the other end of the phone receiving it? They just follow this standard playbook of okay, well, this is we obviously want to tell them about our thing. So we're going to open up by telling them about our you know, about whatever it is we're selling and and if it work, if it works great, and if it doesn't, then we'll just stop doing it or you know whatever. And so I think this idea of dissecting each piece of it is the market right? Is the time we're calling right? Is the messaging good? Are, you know, looking at the cold calling piece of the puzzle as is really a puzzle and going okay, you know, can we move this piece here? What if we did this piece here? What if we if we did this here instead of that? Until you find something that works for you. And so clearly it's working because you're making you're making it work for you and you guys have grown the sales developers rapidly and so I love, love of that. We talked about this. I don't know that we've we've may be, talked about cold calling hundreds of episodes ago. We haven't duked a pot that recently on the show at all. And I think a lot and I think this is going to be enormously valuable for folks. So thank you so much, rex. Dude, I'm so stuck for you to be the the new cohost of BB growth. It really excited for folks to continue to to hear your wisdom long after this episode is over. I appreciate a man looking forward to it. There are lots of ways to build a community and...

...we've chosen to build the BEDB growth community through this podcast. But because of the way podcasts work, it's really hard to engage with our listeners and without engagement it's tough to build a great community. So here's what we've decided to do. We're organizing small dinners across the country with our listeners and guests. No sales pitches, no agenda, just great conversations with likeminded people. Will Talk Business, will talk family, will talk goals and dreams, will build friendships. So if you'd like to be a part of a BB growth dinner in a sitting near you, go to be to be growth dinnerscom. That's be toob growth dinnerscom. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time.

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