Sales Podcast post

Making Sales Calls with Jeremy Chen

George Grombacher December 30, 2022

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Making Sales Calls with Jeremy Chen

LifeBlood: We talked about making better sales calls, overcoming call reluctance, the reasons some sales people fail, and what to do about it, with Jeremy Chen, Sales Expert working to help companies increase net new business conversion rates.

Listen to learn what to do if your company doesn’t have a defined sales process!

You can learn more about Jeremy at and LinkedIn.

Thanks, as always for listening! If you got some value and enjoyed the show, please leave us a review here:


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Our Guests

George Grombacher

Jeremy Chen

Episode Transcript

Unknown Speaker 0:00

Unknown Speaker 0:15
what’s up? It’s George G. And the time is right welcome today’s guest strong and powerful. Jimmy Chen. Jeremy, are you ready to do this? I’m ready. All right, let’s go. Jeremy has recognized sales expert helping b2b tech companies perfect their sales teams go to market strategy and increase net new business conversion rates by 15%. Jeremy, tell us a little about your personal lives more about your work, why you do what you do. My personal life well, my personal life is not that exciting. Unfortunately, here in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, we’re just starting winter. So

Unknown Speaker 0:50
while I’d like to be somewhere warm, this is where I am for now. So I’ll stick with it.

Unknown Speaker 0:56
You know, my work is these days, a lot of mentorship to boards, individuals who

Unknown Speaker 1:05
probably fell into sales through another career path somehow, some way.

Unknown Speaker 1:11
And they know they can be successful, however, it’s just not working out the way they would hope. And so

Unknown Speaker 1:21
a lot of times, I get invited into companies that

Unknown Speaker 1:25
have a team of all stars, and then you have sometimes a few people who aren’t, you know, where they should be in their career. And I get tasked with helping those guys over achieve. So it’s been great, it’s been a great ride. Nice.

Unknown Speaker 1:42
It’s just not working out the way that they had hoped. And that’s probably true for the person in the organization that hired them. And for the salesperson, it’s probably impossible to say why that is definitively but what are some of the common reasons?

Unknown Speaker 1:59
You know, a lot of times a salesperson gets hired,

Unknown Speaker 2:05
they sort of get the book thrown at them. And that literally means, you know, here’s a list contact information, go make some money to get,

Unknown Speaker 2:16
you know, go after it. And the salesperson is like, great, and then sits down at the desk and goes,

Unknown Speaker 2:21
what does that mean? Right? So you leave somebody like that,

Unknown Speaker 2:28
unattended for weeks on end, and then it turns into months. And then all of a sudden you see their motivation drop, all of a sudden you see their focus dwindle. And then it turns into I’m not telling you this, but I’m going to apply for other jobs during my lunch break. Right. So it’s very typical to see that while they have salespeople within the organization, and you know, other sales managers and that kind of stuff, the newer people to these companies, they just don’t get the seat time that they need to be successful.

Unknown Speaker 3:06
So seat time, that means they’re not getting the support development. Oh, I think both. Especially nowadays, where everything is so automated. I mean, you can set up an email campaign with three clicks of a button, right? Who wants to pick up the phone and do the hard work and call people all day long? Right? So when you don’t have that direct mentorship to say, Hey, George, I had a hard day today. And here’s my activities. And let’s Can we go through that?

Unknown Speaker 3:39
It’s it’s difficult unless you really, really want to be there. You really want to be successful at this company with this product or service. It’s hard to make it in that environment. It really is. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker 3:51
No doubt.

Unknown Speaker 3:54

Unknown Speaker 3:56
how do you look at the state of of sales and marketing today? You mentioned we can, you know, create these wonderful automated programs and its ads, and it’s very different than when I started a sales career 20 years ago? Yeah. You know,

Unknown Speaker 4:15
I love the tools that people have built, you know, all of the ad campaigns and marketing and all of that stuff is a wonderful. In my mind, I think it’s a passive activity. Because your audience can choose whether they want to deal with it or not. Meaning they can choose to open your email. They can choose to read your marketing material, they can make these choices and you have no control over

Unknown Speaker 4:46
the phone is the oldest sales weapon.

Unknown Speaker 4:51
And while it’s a little bit more challenging, it’s still the easiest way in my opinion, to get a hold of somebody. Right

Unknown Speaker 5:00

Unknown Speaker 5:02
I think that sometimes we forget that, you know, we have a lot of noise. And our job as salespeople is to cut through the noise in the most effective way.

Unknown Speaker 5:15
In the sales, you know,

Unknown Speaker 5:18
a lot of times in organizations that I get invited to, is done over the phone, despite having every tool known to man to avoid doing it on the phone. So I want people to recognize, I guess my message is, the phone is still effective as it’s always been. Right? It’s just that we’re trying to wean off of it for some reason.

Unknown Speaker 5:41
Yeah, that’s interesting, right? It does seem like and that’s, that’s, I imagine a negative thing for the salesperson who maybe doesn’t have great training. And they’re in there. They’re, they’re not, uh, they’re younger, in life, to then all of a sudden be told pick up the telephone and start calling people.

Unknown Speaker 6:08
Well, it’s interesting. I mean,

Unknown Speaker 6:11
one of the things that often hits a nerve with people is sales, reluctance and call reluctance.

Unknown Speaker 6:23
You I can’t tell you how many times I get invited somewhere and they go, can you just talk to us about call reluctance? What is it why people don’t want to pick up the phone? Right? And it all boils down to in at least in my opinion.

Unknown Speaker 6:39
You know, this feeling of you’re bothering somebody, you’re not supposed to be there. You know, it’s a, it’s a dirty word to say that this is a sales call, and you’re calling to solicit them potentially, right.

Unknown Speaker 6:53
But if you think about it, the reverse way, you have no problem picking up the phone and calling in ordering a pizza, do you and you don’t know that person either. And technically, you’re disturbing what they were doing. Right? So it, it’s just a it’s a mindset thing. And all you have to do is put yourself in the right mindset to be able to achieve exactly what your goal is, which is pick up the phone, so.

Unknown Speaker 7:19
So I think that that’s a great reframe of it like, Yeah, have you ever pick up the telephone and order pizza? And the answer for a lot of people might be No, I just push button on the app. But of course, I’d be joking. But yeah, that’s totally comfortable. It’s no problem picking up the phone and calling your mom or whatever it might be. So.

Unknown Speaker 7:39
So it’s it’s making sure that you do make that shift. But that’s easier said than done. So how do you how do you walk people through that? Or how do you help make that shift?

Unknown Speaker 7:50
You know, a couple things. I think the main one is, you cannot be tied to any sort of outcome.

Unknown Speaker 8:00
Right? You can’t have these preconceived expectations that

Unknown Speaker 8:06
and I have it all the time where you know, somebody’s making their rounds of calls, they call me, I pick up the phone, and they say something like, I’m glad to talk to a real human because I’ve been talking to nothing but voicemails.

Unknown Speaker 8:20
So I think that, you know, going in and having the expectation that you’re going to be successful is a good mindset to have, but also not being attached to whether or not somebody picks up the phone, or whether or not, they reject you, because there’s they don’t know you to reject you. They’re simply rejecting whatever the offer is, even if you don’t get past the first 30 seconds of your call, telling them that you’re from XYZ company. And this is in fact, a solicitation call. Right? That, and that alone is the most difficult thing

Unknown Speaker 8:58
to do.

Unknown Speaker 9:00
And the key here is, once you because it’s really a seven second thing once you get past it.

Unknown Speaker 9:07
People can talk about their products and their services and their company all day long. They have no issues about that. It’s the it’s the seven seconds that says, you know, George, I’m calling and hoping you’d listen to me I got a better mousetrap, or they don’t want to. They can’t get through that part. So it’s interesting. Yeah. Yeah. And that’s it’s a very real thing, if you’ve never experienced call reluctance, or called strangers or mid sales calls like that. I know, I’ve certainly experienced that. And it’s, you know, I think you’d be lying if you said if you wake up on a Monday morning after not having done it for a couple of days that the first call might still be an awkward thing, even if you’ve been doing it for a long time. So the more you can lean into that and embrace it and then overcome it. I feel like that’s probably a smart thing.

Unknown Speaker 9:55
You know, you make a great point, and resetting

Unknown Speaker 10:00
After every call was huge, you know, I think that the quicker you can pick up the phone again is probably to your benefit, because I can tell you for sure that I used to stew over every single call, I mean, now it’s just picking up the phone, if it doesn’t work out, there’s another number to call and, you know, a microsecond kind of thing.

Unknown Speaker 10:20
And kind of circling back to

Unknown Speaker 10:23
the opposite of of

Unknown Speaker 10:26
the opposite of what probably ought to happen is you say, here’s a list of contacts, go get them, you know, check back in three months, and they’re left to their own devices feeling like they’re on an island, and the activity dwindles down and probably dwindles down, and the motivation, the feelings and everything else get bigger and bigger, bigger.

Unknown Speaker 10:45
How do you how do you think about role playing, and sort of practicing this?

Unknown Speaker 10:51
I think that, you know, if I look at my company, as an example, right?

Unknown Speaker 10:59
Every week, we take a random sample of calls from every single person that makes these sales calls for us. And we go through them line item by line item. And you can ask anybody on my team? Initially, there’s some type of Oh, no, he’s gonna put me in the hot seat. And, you know, I’m going to be in front of everybody, and I’m going to explain myself. Now, they look forward to it after some repetition. And the reason why is, you know, they’ve been to other organizations where you don’t get the opportunity to literally take your sales call and break it down, line by line. And, and now they can tell me what’s going on, which is the interesting thing, right? Whereas before, it was, oh, that call is no good. And they don’t really get the opportunity to,

Unknown Speaker 11:53
I guess, review and take that in and internalize it and actually get better the second time, or the third time or the fifth time, right. So you think that a lot of companies out there today?

Unknown Speaker 12:05
They don’t invest in their salespeople?

Unknown Speaker 12:11
Like, you know, bigger companies, the Xerox of the 80s. I mean, gosh, the amount of investment they made in personal training was crazy back then. Right? You don’t see that today. And I think that, you know, leads to attrition. Companies just don’t keep salespeople like they used to, and salespeople will hop from boat to boat, from company to company, when they see a better and bigger fit. Right.

Unknown Speaker 12:37
But that can be a trap as well. Yeah, yeah, there’s no doubt I mean, whenever we leave where we’re taking ourselves with us, so if we’ve never actually developed the skills to independently

Unknown Speaker 12:50
be able to manage through this, then we’re just going to take our inability to self manage to the next organization or the next organization.

Unknown Speaker 12:59
And at some level, I imagine the goal is to create a self managing salesperson who doesn’t need to sit on those calls, you know, I bet the best probably enjoy, just like Tom Brady loves probably to go through the game over and over again, after it’s played to figure out how you can get better. Yep. Well, it’s true. I mean, you know,

Unknown Speaker 13:24
when I started out, it was recording everything with a external microphone, and listening to myself over and over and over. And I used to tell people, listen, they will go, you must be sick. I mean, who in the room, but do this kind of thing.

Unknown Speaker 13:42
Now, with the phones, they have the software built right into them. So every time you pick up the phone, and here’s what you say, and here’s what the other side says. And it records the entire thing for you. And it even annotates it in some spots. You know, RingCentral not a free plug to them. But they they do this? That is what their software does. Right. So I think these are wonderful tools today that helps salespeople if they really want to get better to go out there. And, you know, use some of these software’s for very cheap or free and use that to help their skill set. Just augment that much more.

Unknown Speaker 14:20
Got it? Yeah. And why wouldn’t an organization

Unknown Speaker 14:27
Why wouldn’t they create a process around that?

Unknown Speaker 14:31
Why wouldn’t they? I don’t think it’s why wouldn’t they question I think that sometimes you have organizations just the other day, I got approached by a company that did nothing else, but sold like phone systems for offices. And what the owner told me was, they’ve just done things the same way for 20 years, and their biggest challenge now

Unknown Speaker 15:00
I was with COVID. You can’t just walk into an office building anymore, right? Because those gold plaques that say, no soliciting on the front doors actually mean something because they screened for COVID at the door. Right. So they kind of were forced to come up with a new sales process. Right.

Unknown Speaker 15:22
And so,

Unknown Speaker 15:25
back to your original question, why wouldn’t they? I don’t think it’s it’s a, you know, I think that if they realized the opportunity, they certainly wouldn’t. A lot of them just had been doing stuff the same way for 40 plus years, and they don’t know any better, which is fine. Yeah. Yeah. It’s interesting, I guess, it’s doesn’t necessarily matter why, why we’re not doing something that’s this is a huge opportunity. And if you could improve your, your new business conversion rates by 5% 10% 15%? I mean, for a large organ for any organization, that’s a big deal. Yeah. Well, I mean, and part of it is just, you know, doing the activity.

Unknown Speaker 16:10
You know, when I look at people who come into our program, now, half the battle is just getting them to pick up the phone, right?

Unknown Speaker 16:19
We worry about the who’s in the what’s in the, you know, okay, this is what you do here in the technique, part of it, after the fact, way after the fact, it’s sort of like going to the gym for the first time, your forms never going to be perfect the first time you try to squat. And I bet if you hire a trainer, they’ll tell you the same thing. We’re simply looking for the activity, and then we can train it from there. Same thing with our programs. I love it. So how do how do organizations? What does a typical engagement look like? How does that process work for you?

Unknown Speaker 16:58
Typically, all engagement nowadays is a minimum of three months, we come in, we do a sales assessment, I’m really trying to get into the mind of the organization to understand what their sales process is, before we do anything, right. So you know, find out what the product is, who is sold to why they buy it, sort of the psychology behind that, then we go in and understand. Okay, how is it? Like? How is it being sold by what vehicle? Right? Are you using the telephone? Is it email? Is it inbound traffic? Are people walking by a sign and then ordering it online? Like what is it?

Unknown Speaker 17:39
And then we understand the company’s objectives to then work everything backwards. And then we put together a sales campaign, right? And then

Unknown Speaker 17:48
nine times out of 10 sales campaign is driven by a salesperson or a team of them,

Unknown Speaker 17:54
in which we’re training, mentoring coaching them to stand up to those, what a sales manager would call KPIs key performance.

Unknown Speaker 18:04

Unknown Speaker 18:07
Yeah, that makes sense.

Unknown Speaker 18:11
Need to figure out what’s what’s what’s going on and come up with a diagnosis because I imagine that sometimes there’s not even a sales process that’s in place. So that’s a whole different engagement than when there’s an existing process. A lot of times, it’s kind of, again, let’s throw it at the wall, see what sticks, which is fine, right? But when you’re trying to be scalable, repeatable,

Unknown Speaker 18:33
you need some type of process there. And a lot of companies unfortunately, at least in the small, medium space,

Unknown Speaker 18:41
they just don’t have that today. So Yeah, makes sense. Well, Jeremy, thank you so much for coming on. Where can people engage with you? Where can they learn more about you? Absolutely. So you can find me at Jeremy at Jeremy Chen, or the website simply as Jeremy Chen Go on there, drop me a note. Right now, you can actually invite us in to audit your sales process for absolutely free. So there’s absolutely no obligation. Invite us in for a day, a week, a month. Let us understand what your process is, who your product is being sold to or your service, and why they’re buying it. And we will give you a free roadmap to say here’s what we think. Here’s how you get there. And here’s what’s missing in between. So again, Jeremy at Jeremy Chen, or simply the website Jeremy Chen Excellent. Well, if you enjoyed as much as I did, show Jeremy your appreciation and share today’s show with a friend who also appreciates good ideas. If you’re running a company as a sales function, which think that that’s most companies or you’re part of a company that needs a more defined sales process or needs things

Unknown Speaker 20:00
up whatever it might be. Jeremy chin je r EMYCHEN And then Jeremy at Jeremy Chen Take advantage of that. Of that.

Unknown Speaker 20:12
No cost audit. I almost said free audit is free of bad sales where Jeremy said I’d say that. It depends on who you talk to. I love free. Sign me up.

Unknown Speaker 20:25
But thanks good, Jeremy. Thanks again. Thanks for having me. And until next time, remember, do your part by doing your best

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