Storytelling in Sales: Notes from Prezi Podcast “The Narrative”

My friends at Prezi invited me to join them for an episode of The Narrative. It’s a podcast aimed to expose the power of storytelling in business.

I sat down with host David Hooker to share my approach to storytelling in sales and sales development.

This piece is not a transcript of the episode. Instead, it’s a supplement filled with insights and actions to get you thinking about narratives and how to better craft them. It’s incredible how often stories are needed.

Consider these examples:

  • How well does your LinkedIn profile complement (not repeat) your resume? What’s your story for how you add value to an organization?
  • How do you, or how does your team, broadcast its results? How do you highlight the journey of going from x to y?
  • Why would a live audience, especially one comprised of prospects, want to listen to your presentation? How can they relate to your theme? What’s in it for them and how can they apply what you’re telling them?
  • How do you tell prospects – in a fast, brief phone conversation – it’s worth their time to keep talking with you?

Like it or not, you’re always telling a story. The question is, are you good at it? If you are, how do you stay sharp? If you’re not, how do you improve? 

David and I chat about what I’ve seen work in my career. Take a listen. If you like the episode (it’s Episode #2, by the way) share it with others.

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Show notes from Episode #2 of The Narrative

00:51 Introduction from host David Hooker.

01:37 David asks about selling for United Parcel Service (UPS), where I started my sales career in 1994.

At UPS, I was a “back door salesman” for close to six years. Most sales calls happened in the shipping area, which is typically located in the back of the building.

My learning experience at UPS was rich. It became the bedrock for my understanding of sales, management, customer service, and leadership.

While I was at UPS, the company continually raised the standards of the sales force in many ways. From how we dressed (women and men wore business suits) to how we communicated (daily huddles), we illustrated a high-caliber operation.

We opened team meetings by reading and reflecting on excerpts from the UPS Policy Book. Reading aloud our commitment to integrity, values, and management philosophies really set the tone for serving the marketplace. What does your company or team’s policy book say? What’s your mission?

The entire sales team received subscriptions to Selling Power magazine. Issues simply arrived in my mailbox each month. I could’ve thrown them out or read them from cover to cover: I chose the latter. I read and applied tips from Editor-in-Chief Gerhard Gschwandtner and contributor Jeffrey Gitomer, both of whom I later met (and keep learning from).

Covers from the now legendary Selling Power magazine.

As UPS salespeople, we were also immersed in Neil Rackham’s SPIN Selling methodology. We applied lessons from the book, from classes, and from exercises that earned us certifications.

Finally, we were given a series of books titled Our Partnership Legacy. The books (I still own three of the five) captured talks given by UPS founders and executives at management conferences. The transcripts underscored the obligation leaders have to serve their customers, people, and communities. Pure gold for students of business, leadership, and storytelling.

02:23 Has storytelling been present throughout my career? Was I telling stories as I walked through the back door?

Storytelling has been around since the dawn of humankind. It’s not going anywhere either.  Of course, I’d have stories for my customer visits, but the story was about the customer, not me or my company.

For example, I might have said:

“Remember my last visit, when you were telling me about that band you liked? Well, I just read they’re releasing a new record this summer. The second it’s out, I’m bringing you a copy. In a Rolling Stone article, the lead vocalist felt they showed grace under pressure by finishing the record before going way over budget. The last time I visited, you were dealing with tight deadlines for that shipment to New York. I drew up a few options for streamlining it next time. Let’s grab a few minutes to walk through them.”    

Kevin Avery from Sales Benchmark Index (SBI) suggests we “tell stories that compel your customers to act by answering the key question, “Why change?” Sometimes buyers will change just so they can work with you. When you establish rapport and credibility, become a trusted advisor, and they like you, it could serve as the catalyst for them to move forward with your offering.

Check out SBI’s Guide to Better Storytelling.

Frame stories using the Guide to Better Storytelling

03:01 Has the need to tell stories to prospects changed over the past two decades?

No. There are just different ways to tell stories today. In fact, two decades ago, we were sowing the seeds for how we tell stories today.

Channels for storytelling have evolved since the 1990’s when you think about the internet, reality television, and 24/7 news becoming mainstream. Watch this discussion with Vanity Fair’s editor, David Friend. He talks with former White House Press Secretary, Dee Dee Myers, and filmmaker, Judd Apatow, about how storytelling has grown over the past two decades.

03:28 As a sales leader, how do you get the importance of storytelling through to a large-scale, global team?

People learn differently. Delivering a message to a team of people located across the globe requires mindfulness of geography, language, culture, and learning styles. The Memletics Learning Style (Memory + Athletics = Memletics) trains your brain, like athletes train for competition. 

Accommodate people’s learning styles by delivering messages in different formats. For example, while you listen (aural) to this podcast episode, you’re reading (verbal) my detailed show notes, clicking the links I’ve shared, looking at images (visual) in this post, and sharing your comments (social) below. 🙂

There are seven Memletic Styles of learning.

Gary Vaynerchuk calls this “content on content on content.” The next time an update is sent to your team, especially a critical one, perhaps it’s broadcasted on an All Hands call + by email + in a video clip + from a laminated 3×5 card left on everyone’s desk + by text or WhatsApp.

One time our marketing operations (MOPs) team updated our inbound lead statuses and service level agreements (SLAs). To ensure the change was communicated and adopted by our global team of sales development reps (SDRs), the MOPs team made the announcement at our company’s annual sales kickoff (SKO) meeting. It was an opportune time since every SDR was attending SKO.

As part of the announcement, the MOPs team slipped a laminated 8×10 of the new lead statuses and SLAs into large red envelopes. An envelope was then slid under the hotel room door of every SDR.

An effective way to deliver news to your team is to hand deliver it.

News of the lead status updates traveled fast, was seen by all stakeholders, and was memorable. It was a tangible, physical way of delivering the story.

04:32 Are new hires, especially ones just starting their sales careers, aware of the power of storytelling?

It depends. Whether new hires are aware or not, their sales leader must integrate storytelling into the experience.

Effective leaders direct teams by starting with the why. “The company is on a healthy trajectory towards an IPO. A healthy IPO places us prominently in the market, enables the public to invest in our (and our customers’) success, and expands our ecosystem so we help a broader audience.”

Leaders then tell how it’ll get done. “Let’s aim to produce 2x the opportunities currently in the pipeline by end-of-year. We’ll tweak the qualification criteria, implement a deliberate prospecting campaign against specific target accounts, involve several different teams, and add one hour to each workday to execute our plan.”

Finally, leaders will explain what is happening. “Everyone, our team is hyper-focused on creating 2x the opportunities we have in our pipeline. Unless you’re working with them to accomplish this goal, let them do their thing.”

An easy way to consider this approach is by learning about Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle:

Hey Salesperson: WHY go with you? HOW does it help me? WHAT changes for me?

05:29 What does “learning the hard way” look like when getting storytelling wrong?

Telling a story goes wrong when it’s not persuasive, doesn’t have a proper beginning-middle-end, doesn’t have a conflict that’s resolved (or on its way to resolution), or doesn’t introduce a protagonist and antagonist.

Another way stories go wrong, especially in business, is when data is improperly used or misrepresented. As this Harvard Business Review article explains, “quantitative information is uniquely able to capture attention, convey a story visually and bolster your credibility.”

Say you’re a sales development leader, presenting year-over-year (YoY) pipeline contribution figures to your company’s sales leaders (your #1 customers). It’s assumed you own your business within the business and are fully aware of key performance indicators. Yet, you often rely on your operations team to “check the math” and provide the actual figures.

Now it’s time for the final QBR of the year, where you present in front of the sales leaders. If you mistakenly tell the sales leaders your team grew pipeline 88% YoY, but it was really HALF that, you’ve got a problem. In an instant, you risk losing credibility, rapport, and respect. The damage could be systemic, too, as your team’s credibility is also in question.

That’s how storytelling can go wrong.

Former Dell executive, Jim Stikeleather, shares tips for mitigating this risk. When using data to tell a story, it’s important to:

  1. Find the compelling narrative. Ask yourself, “Is there really a story to tell?”
  2. Think about your audience. What does the audience know about the topic, and how well do they know it?
  3. Be objective and offer balance. This comes from alternative representations and showing visualizations devoid of bias.
  4. Don’t censor. Don’t be selective about the data you include or exclude.
  5. Edit, edit, edit! Really work to explain the data, not decorate it.

06:09 What’s the worst story I’ve told or heard told?

I tell the story of a phone call I got at work one day. A sales development rep called to thank me for attending his company’s conference and sell me on his product offering.

He hadn’t done any research prior to the call. Hence, he missed that I was a speaker at the conference and was also connected to several of the company’s executives. If he invested time to learn about me the call would’ve gone well. Alas, that wasn’t the case. I ended up writing about it here.

An effective way to make phone calls conversational is by asking great questions. While yes/no questions are powerful when used at the right time, open-ended questions are the way to go.

Remember to “create space” in your conversations, for the other person to process the dialogue and respond in kind. The best conversation starters and open-ended questions come from Barry Rhein’s Selling Through Curiosity program.

07:37 A good story, then, is a two-way street? Where questions are asked and there’s a conversation? And preparation is key?

Get good at writing. Outline sales conversations before they happen. The better acquainted you are with when you’re at the beginning, middle, and end, the easier it is to navigate and establish conversation flow.

Let’s go back to the sales rep who called me after his company’s conference. If he outlined how he wanted the conversation to go, but also kept in mind how it could go, the call would’ve likely gone well.

See the conversation first in your mind. Guide the prospect through it like a sherpa, knowing where the key questions will surface, knowing how it will likely play out.

10:38 A big portion of a salesperson’s work is preparation, right? From lead qualification to putting the right person on the right account in the right territory, isn’t preparation something good salespeople have done for a long time?

Preparation is imperative, but here’s the catch: Don’t spend too much time preparing and not executing or taking action.

11:25 What kind of impact are you seeing with sales reps that have a good conversation flow?

The best sales reps actually have a story to tell. Take a face-to-face meeting, for example. Reps who establish flow keep things simple. They may mirror and match the person they’re speaking with by tilting their head in the same direction or crossing their arms at the same time.

Looking people in the eyes will never get old, in terms of authenticity. Author Leil Lowndes, in her book How to Talk to Anyone, suggests the “Sticky Eyes” technique:

“Pretend your eyes are glued to your conversation partner’s with sticky warm taffy. Don’t break eye contact, even after he or she has finished speaking. When you must look away, do it ever so slowly, reluctantly, stretching the gooey taffy until the tiny string finally breaks.”

Address people by their name. In his classic book How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie wrote: “Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”

13:05 Tell us about the five barriers.

Throughout my career, I’ve seen salespeople at all levels fail because of one or all of these obstacles. I’ve even experienced it myself. Not fun.

The five barriers are:

  1. Obscurity
  2. Lack of Focus
  3. Inactivity
  4. No Conversation Flow
  5. Failure to Keep Improving

Lack of conversation flow (and storytelling) can have serious consequences. For salespeople, it can stunt career growth, damage relationships with field reps, and prevent your company from landing new customers.

16:19 What’s your advice for salespeople on what tools to use at pivotal points in the sales process, when they must transfer their idea to the prospect?

Sooner rather than later, salespeople need to stop talking and start showing. Most feel limited in how to show their offering or sell their idea.

The traditional slide presentation can put people to sleep. It comes with monotonous bullet points, old school bar charts and graphs, and poorly combined color schemes. A-player reps leverage the strengths of their marketing colleagues or become architects in building killer, compelling presentations.

There’s a number of tools to use in addition to Prezi and other presentation programs. None will work well for you until you embrace all components of a great presentation:

  • Keep things simple: font, text, bullets
  • Use high-resolution, crisp images
  • Create flow with transitions
  • Empower color schemes and palettes

There is a science and an art to selling – this is the art part. Consider your presentation’s aesthetics! For example, let’s talk about colors.

Use a color scheme generator or the color wheel as a guide for complementing colors and setting the mood.

Smart color choices are potent. Choose wisely. (Graphic: Bull Marketing)

Effective sales reps help prospects engineer a vision of the Promised Land (what GREAT looks like). Visual presentations serve as an extension of the sales rep, as a conduit for conveying the rep’s offering or idea. When you’ve got your prospect’s attention, take advantage of it by keeping things simple, tending to the details, and making the presentation pop.

18:22 Companies invest millions of dollars in lead generation, account intelligence, tools, and technology. However, there’s always a reliance on salespeople to produce the magic in the moment. Shouldn’t companies invest more in enabling the salespeople in those moments?

Last I checked, businesses were comprised of people. Therefore, companies must ensure their salespeople develop people skills. Tap into the power of influence to create win-win situations.

Robert Cialdini introduced six principles for us to reference when persuading others:

  1. Reciprocation – be the first to give, give to get
  2. Scarcity – the rule of the rare, exclusive features and offers
  3. Authority – showing and knowing, illustrating credibility and rapport
  4. Consistency – the starting point, sequential success
  5. Liking – making friends to influence people
  6. Consensus – people proof, people power

Draw on these principles when telling your story, especially about how your offering will solve your prospects’ problems. Ideally, you’ll arrive at a point where your presentation accomplishes these six principles on its own.

19:50 The stereotypical sales presentation connotes a drab, dry vibe, unless the salesperson is on.

Craft presentations that resonate, whether you’re presenting them yourself or they’re doing it on their own. One of the best guides to achieving high level presenting is the book Resonate by Nancy Duarte (download it here for free).

In it, Nancy implores you to ask “How badly do I want my idea to live?” Answer that question and you’ll light a fire within yourself to frame-up – and deliver – a presentation that’s nails.

When presenting in front of an audience, never fail from the front of the room. Break the fourth wall by walking into and among the audience members. Put your hand on the presentation screen, place deliberate inflections in your speech to emphasize points, and make it conversational.

Engaging your audience is tougher to do online, which puts more weight on the presentation to live on its own. Video is an exceptional alternative. No matter what channel you choose, preparation is imperative and the aim is to resonate.

21:35 The role of visuals is getting more important. What are examples of staying coherent, compelling, and interesting in a digital world?

Geofilters are overlays on Snapchat and Instagram Stories that allow viewers to feel like they’re there with you. Filters enable story creators to add the outdoor temperature, or the location, or an emoji to give depth and emotion to their visuals.

Did you see the Opening Ceremony of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio? While the bossa nova classic, “Girl from Ipanema” played, model Gisele Bundchen dazzled the crowd with a catwalk across the entire stadium.

As she walked to the soundtrack of the song, the audience cheered and sang the lyrics. Each of Gisele’s steps left a fluid, trace of light beneath her, giving millions of viewers at home a sharp impression of the country’s spirit.

So, what’s your story?

Stories often follow arcs. A theme is exposed, which lifts towards a climax and tumbles downward to resolution. The same applies to your own storytelling evolution. Keep that 5th barrier in mind and never stop learning. All the resources are there if you just look for them.

Thanks to the team at Prezi for having me on The Narrative and waving the storytelling flag.

How to Prepare for a Sales Development QBR

“The general who wins a battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought.” Sun Tzu

It is common practice in business to have field sales reps (those in a closing role) present Quarterly Business Reviews (QBRs). The reviews are held just before a new quarter begins.

Sales Development Reps (SDRs), however, usually participate in the QBR presentation vs. prepare one themselves.

Two reasons why SDRs must learn to prepare a QBR:

(1) They learn to plan their work and work their plan and

(2) elevate their competencies, for when they are in a closing role.

Whether or not you’re asked to prepare and present a QBR, prepare one anyway – for yourself and the field sales reps you serve.

QBR’s are typically created in PowerPoint or Prezi, but can take on a variety of forms. Download this template.

The following suggestions assume the SDR is in a business-to-business (B2B) selling environment. They support field sales reps in a given territory, and are responsible for inbound lead qualification, outbound prospecting, or both.

Questions You Should Consider While Preparing

Thought-provoking questions (of yourself) will ensure you’ve thoroughly planned through the upcoming quarter. They’ll also open-up your mind, allowing you to approach your QBR creatively and with confidence.

  • How well does my QBR align with the overarching goals of the entire sales team?
  • How closely have I looked at the data in my CRM?
  • Can I articulate the milestones and trends in this territory?
  • Have I reviewed this with the field sales rep(s) I support?
  • Is this QBR insightful, informative, and concise?
  • How well have I anticipated and prepared for questions that may come up?
  • Is this the best I can do?

Most QBR presentations last one hour, so plan to build no more than five, maybe six slides. Tell a tight story for each slide, stick to the agenda, and you won’t need more slides.

For example, when reviewing the previous quarter, you could talk about the challenges you faced at the start of the quarter, and how you planned to address them. Then show the results of your efforts, and what insights you now have, heading into a brand new quarter.

Agenda Items to Include in Your QBR

When considering the agenda, think past, present, future. Use a tone of ownership, accountability, and leadership – telling things like they are, and no worse than they are; with an action plan you’re excited to execute.

The QBR summarizes your most current 30-60-90 day plan for the territory.

(1) Review of the Previous Quarter

Wins. For SDR’s, wins could mean a few things. Show the results, and also highlight how well you did against quota.  

  • # of opportunities created from inbound leads or target accounts
  • # of completed meetings
  • % of completed meetings with decision makers
  • # of completed online demos

Losses. For SDR’s, losses are defined by opportunities NOT added to the pipeline…or added, but removed, within a specific timeframe.

  • # of opportunities created that fell through (Closed Canceled or Closed Lost)
  • # of leads or contacts that have not responded
  • # of competitive takeaways
  • % of target accounts not yet contacted
  • % of meetings booked that have not yet occurred

Findings. Tell the organization what you’re seeing in the territory or in the role. Are people taking your calls? Have you run into the same competitors over and over again? Is your product offering resonating in the territory? Is Marketing supportive of your efforts?

  • The territory is comprised of only two verticals (oil & gas and manufacturing). We sell very little to those verticals.
  • There are two potential channel partners in the territory that we should contact.
  • In 80% of my conversations, these 3 features drove the whole discussion.
  • The competition will continue winning these RFP’s if we can’t update this particular piece of our product.

(2) Approach for the Current Quarter

When qualifying accounts or prospecting in a territory, you DON’T want to wake up and learn your high-value prospects went with a competitor. That news stings even more when you never even had a conversation with them.

Approach the quarter proactively – get started on the action plan, meet with key stakeholders (territory managers, counterparts from other departments, colleagues from your Sales Development team, your sales leader), and manage risk.

  • Key logos you have targeted, plan to engage, and intend to convert to pipeline
  • Competitive landscape (incumbents, FUD they’re spreading in your territory, relevant news)
  • Action plan (demand generation efforts, upcoming industry events, referrals, outreach cadence)

(3) Recommendations

This is your chance to suggest where help is needed and from what resources. Perhaps Sales Engineers can get involved in more initial calls; or maybe Marketing can craft relevant case studies to align with your territory; or the Sales Enablement team can invest in a tool to help automate and track your emails?

Whatever the need, backup your observations, suggestions, and requests with data. And socialize the need with the respective department, prior to raising the issue in the QBR.

One More Thing

Start preparing your QBR 2-4 weeks in advance of the new quarter. If Q1 begins on January 1, for example, then start framing-up your QBR around December 7.

If you’re NOT in Sales Development, and want to see what QBR’s look like for other roles, check out these articles:

 

Zen-of-Thank-You-Cards

The Zen of Thank You Cards

You are blessed.  If you’re a professional reading this article, you represent the Top 1% of the world’s wealthiest people.  You are surrounded by opportunity and should take none of it for granted.

1734958Living with an attitude of gratitude, and acting on it, will infuse more joy, respect, and awareness into the business world, and into your life.

When is the last time you sent a thank you card to someone?

Keep a box of blank thank you cards nearby; in a desk drawer, in your bag or purse, or your car.

When to Send Thank You Cards

There’s rarely an unacceptable, inappropriate time to send a thank you card.  However, make sure to send one after:

  • Face-to-face interviews (every person that interviews you should receive one)
  • Productive sales calls (that are in-person, by phone, or online)
  • Successful chats with an exec admin or anyone that puts you in touch with a targeted contact
  • Events sponsored by a business or person (send it to the sponsor, as well as the host)
  • Acquiring new customers (start that long relationship now, on a positive note – pun intended)
  • Losing a customer (thank them for their business, then make things better so they’ll return)

 

What to Say

It’s the gesture that counts, so write a brief note.  Think about slipping a gift card in there, too.  It always brings a little excitement when the gift card falls out of the thank you card.

In just three lines, you can say something like:

  • Thanks for this opportunity.  I appreciate your time.  Look forward to working with you.
  • Powerful advice & feedback.  I brought it right to my team.  Thanks for sharing with me.
  • The event was fantastic!  Met a ton of great people.  Thanks for hosting (or sponsoring).
  • Thanks for your business!  Here’s to many years together.  I’ll talk with you soon.
  • Such a fun time.  Thanks for including me.  Next time, dinner’s on me!

Where to Buy Thank You Cards

It takes minutes of your time, but leaves a lasting impression on the recipient.  It also demonstrates that you’re mindful of others and on top of your game.  A handwritten thank you note makes everyone feel good.

7 Sales Tips for Prospecting & Cold Calling (Part 3 of 3)

A final excerpt from 21 Sales Tips for Prospecting, Cold Calling, & Social Selling – webinar presented on May 7, 2013.
Representing InsideView, Ralph presented with Steve Richard of Vorsight, & Jamie Shanks of Sales for Life.

TIP #7 is the most important:  To practice CANI!  It’s an acronym for Constant and Never-Ending Improvement.

Work On Your SELF Harder than You Work on Your Job  
The Japanese word for this exercise is kaizen; it’s called Six Sigma at successful companies like GE; and in life, it’s simply modeling the best at your craft, achieving small goals each day, and measuring your progress along the way.

7100310If you plan to bolster your sales career, and you’ve decided that THIS is your profession, then you must aspire to master it.

Awaken the student within you.  Absorb as much information as you can.  You have the same amount of time each day as the greatest minds — take advantage of it.

What Were the Last Five Books You Read?  The Last Two?

  • Were they books about sales, sales management, business processes, or personal development?  Attitude, creativity,  execution, and all that encompasses sales?
  • What podcasts are you listening to?
  • What YouTube videos are you watching?
  • What blogs are you following?
  • How active are you in your industry’s associations?

Here are some books to consider, that are all under $12:

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When You’re Not Training, Your Competitors Are
And when you ARE training, your competitors are.  Build your sweat equity, so that you can differentiate yourself.  Commit to CANI! — to Constant and Never-Ending Improvement.

7 Sales Tips for Prospecting & Cold Calling (Part 2 of 3)

A second excerpt from 21 Sales Tips for Prospecting, Cold Calling, & Social Selling – a webinar presented on May 7, 2013.  Representing InsideView, Ralph presented with Steve Richard of Vorsight, & Jamie Shanks of Sales for Life.

TIP #4 is to send pre-emptive emails.  Alerting your prospect that you plan to call them, during a stated window of time, increases your (and their) options.

YOUR PROSPECT’S OPTIONS

  • Prepare for your call, now that they know it’s coming.
  • Reach out to the exec whose name was mentioned in your email, to find out if you’re legit.
  • Visit Google and gather some intel on YOU.  (Googling your name yields value-added results, right?)
  • Respond with a better time for you to call.
  • Respond that they’re not interested in taking your call (hopefully explaining why).
  • Forward your message to a more appropriate person.
  • Ignore your message.  (This will happen if it’s poorly written, too long, or if it lacks relevant info.)

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YOUR OPTIONS

  • Prepare, prepare, prepare.
  • Find 3 points of research that you will actually use in the call.  Learn more about 3×3 research here.
  • Craft 2 brief emails:  One to (re)confirm the call, if they respond; one to offer more value, if they don’t.
  • Schedule the call on your calendar, so you don’t miss (or forget) the window of opportunity.
  • Save the email as a template for other prospects, especially if it’s successful.

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TIP #5 is to attract prospects to you.  The late Jim Rohn said that “success is something you attract by becoming an attractive person.”

If you bring value to the marketplace, you will become valuable.  Your prospects will seek you out vs. the other way around.  Your reputation will precede you.

Examples to consider:

  • Promote and host a webinar with industry experts and share best practices
  • Present a relevant topic at your industry association meetings
  • Start a blog and write useful articles
  • Film yourself discussing tips and techniques with your peers, and upload it to YouTube
  • Record a podcast and have your best customer join you on an episode
  • Tweet (and retweet) powerful articles, videos, or status updates

Jamie Shanks and Steve Richard, shown below, demonstrate these examples well.  Google them and you’ll see.

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TIP #6 is to make rapid-fire calls.  If your organization manages a large volume of inbound leads, you no longer need to manually dial them all.  Technologies offered by ConnectAndSell, ConnectLeader, InsideSales.com, and others manage the dialing for you.

There’s a scene in the film The Pursuit of Happyness where homeless stockbroker, Chris Gardner (played by Will Smith) finds a way to get through large lists of phone numbers — he never hangs up the phone!

He also calls CEOs and gets right through the gatekeeper.  Watch…

The days of crossing out names on a call list are over.  Check out one of the aforementioned solutions.  Note that you still need to research before calling.  You should also sort by title, industry, event, etc. which drives a consistent talk track.

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Part 3 will follow, but no need to wait.  Nothing should stop you from applying these tips today.