Cold calling scripts sound fake and create rejection... isn't it time for a change?

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    A few weeks ago, I was one of a handful of speakers who spoke to over 1,000 people at the Sydney Convention Center.

    The conference organizer gave me the 2nd day, Sunday morning slot at 8 a.m. -- a bit early, but surprisingly most of the 1,000 attendees showed up.

    An interesting thing happened during my talk that I think you might find quite insightful.
 
    As you probably know, these large seminar events (sometimes called "sell-a-thons") generate large numbers of sales of the speakers' products. In fact, there's a tremendous amount of pressure on the speakers to sell as much as they can by "closing" their audiences at the end of their talks.

    I really didn't feel that kind of pressure going into the weekend because, as you probably know, my mindset is focused on making a connection with people, building trust, and letting those who see the fit come forward, versus trying to persuade and "close" everyone in my path.

    So on Saturday I sat in on all of the speakers' talks so I could get a feel for what it was like being an attendee. And I have to say, from sitting in the audience, you could really feel that some of these speakers were hard-core, traditionally trained "salespeople."

    If you've ever been to one of these types of events, you can probably guess what happened. At the end of their talks, they all did the exact same thing.

    They put up a PowerPoint slide that offering the most expensive price for their program. Then the next slide showed a discounted price, then the next one gave an even deeper discount for the first 27 people who ran to the back of the room to order.

    And you could tell that some of their presentations were less about giving information to solve a problem and more about creating an emotional frenzy so that when the time came to "pitch" the audience, they would jump out of their seats to order.

    In other words, it was classic group persuasion.

    And if that's the only way these speakers haven been trained to sell, I can't fault them for doing it the only way they know how.

    But what really hit home was what I felt from the audience every time the sales pitches started. People all around me cringed. They squirmed. They shook their heads, saying, "I wish these speakers would just be real."

    Throughout that day, all I kept hearing in the hallways was chatter about what I started to think of as "the elephant in the room" -- the sales pressure. But most of the speakers didn’t seem to be sensitive to it.

    As I was driving home that night, I started thinking to myself, "Someone needs to have the courage to point out 'the elephant in the room' and do something about it"... and that's what I did the next morning in my talk.

Sunday Morning Before My Talk

    On my drive back to the convention center early Sunday, I centered myself in the Mindset, which I teach in my Unlock The Game Program and which so many people have now adopted, by remembering the 3 principles behind the Mindset:

    1. Diffuse pressure
    2. Be a problem solver
    3. Get to the truth

    When I was backstage listening to the attendees come in and take their seats, I said to myself, "Ari, just be yourself...relax...don't try to be someone you're not...and remember that people trust other people who are truly genuine." That's what I had in my mind as I was introduced and stepped onto the stage.

    The audience greeted me with warm applause, and I started sharing my story -- about how I met my wife online, and how we're now living in Sydney with our two little boys, Toby and Nathan and how I grew my online business with twice the traffic and 20 times the sales.

     I spent quite a bit of time talking about the Mindset -- about not focusing on the sale and instead focusing on the truth of what the other person is thinking.

    To my surprise, they applauded when I mentioned that. And every time I said things like "humanize," "build trust," and "let go of the end goal...because, oddly enough, that brings you more," they would applaud.

Going Live


    I then did something that none of the other speakers did...I went live onto the Internet on the big screen behind me, and I showed them what's it like to chat with my visitors on my website.

    Everyone was floored when they realized that by not talking with visitors on their site, they were losing a large segment of potential opportunity.

    I even had one audience member give me their cell phone number (they call them "mobile phones" here in Australia) during the talk. I typed their number into the "Talk With Ari Now" button on my site and their phone rang in the audience....they just couldn't believe that a real human being was behind the site.

    As my talk started to come to an end, I felt some tension brewing in the room, almost as if a lot of the people there were saying to themselves, "Uh-oh, here's comes the pitch."

    Well, because making a "pitch" is so foreign to who I am and how I was brought up, at the end of my talk, I simply said: "I'm not going to try and close you today. I'm not going to offer multiple discounts to get you to buy what I have. I'm not going to put pressure on you. What you've seen today will be a fit for some of you and not a fit for others. If this is a fit for you, you can simply see me at the end of my talk, and we can chat more about your business to see if I can help you."

    After I said that, people all over the room just got beaming smiles on their faces and got off their chairs and began clapping. It was as if a huge cloud of pressure in the room had immediately dissolved.

    It was an amazing moment, and what I think their applause really meant was, "Thank you for saying the truth about the 'elephant in the room.' We can all see it, but we were afraid to speak up and acknowledge it."

    After my talk, quite a few people came over to me with their order forms. They thanked me for not trying to pressure them to buy but instead letting them make the connection about whether they were a fit or not for how I could help them.

    Toward the end of the day, I ran into a couple of the other speakers in the hallway and started chatting with them. Oddly enough, they were very genuine and warm individuals -- yet on stage they were completely different, always in "pitch mode."

    I think the lesson I learned from this weekend was that the Mindset is like an anchor in a world that has lost touch with how to be human.

    And the more the Mindset becomes a natural and permanent way of thinking, the more I can be my natural self, without having to put on a "role" as a requirement to become successful.

   I'd love to hear your thoughts about my story... have you had an experience like this before?

   To your success,

   

    P.S. When I got home on Sunday night and opened the envelope of receipts for the orders that had come in after my talk, I was surprised to see that so many attendees had felt comfortable with my approach and trusted me enough to order my program. Who says you have to put pressure on people to be successful?

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11 Comments     Add Your Comments Here Email to a Friend

Mike Sloan, Gainesville, Georgia USA
Approximately 3 years ago I was extremely frustrated with my business. I am in the retirement planning for business owner market place and was canvassing local business owners with minimal success.

I found unlock the game online and immediately signed up for the free introductory materials. I learned so much from that that 2 weeks later I ordered the UTG program.

The change in my business was dramatic. My income soared from approximately 60K USD to 285k USD in one year and it looks positive for that to continue to climb.

I was skeptical at first and it takes practice to unlearn old habits and create new ones but it is well worth the effort.

Thank you Ari and UTG!

Mike Sloan
Gainesville, GA
Janice Cowan, Melbourne Vic Australia
I totally understand. Have witnessed these "closes" so many times.
Have had great success in 2013-14 telemarketing assuming a very similar attitude - diffusing the pressure etc. Its worked well for me and I will continue this skill in 2015 to bring even
greater results. This is confirmation that I have been travelling down the right road. In 2013 I was "marketer of the year" using similar mindset, out of 80 other competing staff members. It works!
Richard, Wellington
Hey Ari,
Really good blog, you seem to have struck a cord with many people. I know traditional marketing talks about doing the hard pitch and not to wimp out but there is something wrong with it when people react so negatively. There must be a better way... probably your way. Looking forward to catching up with you in Bondi in December. Richard
Inga Drokina, Russia
Dear Ari, I am really grateful that I've come across with your humanistic approach in sales. I've never been trained as a salesperson, I'm an ESL teacher. Now that I've got an education company of my own I'm faced the big problem of selling my services. Subconsciously I hated this commonly taught approach of pressuring people when trying to sell to them, that's why finding your approach is amazing. Thank you so much Ari for delivering this new approach to the masses) and I look forward to becoming your client. God bless you and your family. Inga
Rex Randell, Australia
Hi Ari, Thank you for your insight into how we as attendees feel during those seminars. I have experienced many times and buckled under pressure to buy before I knew what had happened. The most disappointing thing I have found though that will all the programmes I bought into, very few gave what they said they would. Recently I attended another such seminar in Sydney and while the main speaker was excellent and delivered great insight, it was always about the further sale. However I bought into one programme his guest had promoted with great promises that it would pay for itself and instead I have had to cancel my agreement because he agreed he could not deliver. My guess is they rely on people signing up, becoming too busy to give it their best and just waking away waiting for the next seminar to buy again. Beating themselves up because they didn't realise the programme for themselves thinking it was their fault and not the presenters so rarely asking for a refund. I could talk at length even specific people but want to say thank you for your honesty and above all caring to meet your clients where they are at. I have every intention of joining your programme in the future because I believe you have some insights that will make me even a better person, not that you can even improve on perfection, but thank you.
Michelle Ellis, Austin, Texas, USA
Ari,

You spoke at a very small real estate event back in November, which I attended. I was so new to real estate that I was in overwhelm mode, but a few months ago I revisited my notes and was so impressed with your presentation. I began implementing a few of the things you teach, and suddenly my sales calls have become very warm. I don't dread them anymore. Thank you so much!
scott, chile
Hey Ari, your approach is refreshing. Im not a sales guy but I am trying to promote my visual effects business and found cold calling absolutely horrible.

Once i was able to focus on just trying to help people ive found it quite bareable to pick up the phone without trying one of those phony pressure techniques.

i listened alot to tony robbins who has some interesting things to say including caring about the prospect, but your angle really focuses on that.

ive found myself having long conversations with so called prospects on a first cold call. very surprising. however i still find i talk too much about myself and dont ask enough questions. need to practice more.

ok. thanks again. keep up the good work
Andrew Fraser, South Africa
Hi Ari - I find your approach to the whole sales process refreshing. I feel much better about helping and caring for others than I do about selling to them so I will continue to help and care because you showed its possible to do that and earn a decent living at the same time.
Joyce Marwick, York Western Australia
Hi Ari, thank you for your article on" The Elephant in the Room". What you have described is so true. You have an authenticity about you that goes straight to people's hearts and they trust you. I love the way you handle things with such integrity and hope that it is contagious throughout the world --- not just in sales.
You are an inspiration.
Thank you --- I am in awe.

Joyce Marwick
Ben Secomb, Queensland
Hey Ari,

Having been to a heap of seminars and having worked for a seminar company, I have felt and almost seen the Elephant in the room.
Having seen you speak not long ago I find your approach to offering your products and programs much more authentic and much more empowering to someone who is looking for different ways to solve different problems.

Love your work,

Ben
Hennie Swanepoel, Centurion,South Africa
HI Ari.
I recently had to help a friend start a call centre and made quite a number of calls to test the traditional call script.
After listening to some of your ideas I realized that years ago when I was marketing Life Assurance ,my success then came so easy because I unknowingly applied the principle of getting to know about my client and what was important for them.
I would sometimes spend 2 hours just finding out about the client and enjoying it so much that I almost forgot to do my business.
In any event we started applying the principle of just having a good "find out about the client and his circumstances" time with the customer and our closing ratio on sales went to almost 80% of all calls.

Thank you
Regards

Hennie Swanepoel

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