Don’t Make Another Cold Call …

Brrrr...… until all of your inactive customers have been contacted.

Inactive customers – accounts who purchased something from you in the past – are often forgotten about or neglected.

A True Fact

An encouraging fact about this valuable group of people is that they are (usually) very receptive to your phone calls.

Calls made to these accounts are NOT cold calls.  They are warm calls and sometimes HOT calls.

These businesses know your company’s name.

They trusted you enough to buy from you at least once.

They are the easiest people to sell to.

Ask yourself three questions:

1.  Have all of your inactive customers been contacted during the past three months?

2.  Are all of your current and past customers aware of ALL of the products you have to offer?

3.  Do ALL of your customers buy everything they could possibly buy from you?

If you answered “no” to any of these questions – think about it:

Do you really want to start making cold calls before all of your inactive customers have been contacted?

If your focus is on bringing in new customers by cold calling BEFORE contacting inactive customers, you are leaving money on the table.

Begin Here

You can start contacting inactive (or “lost“) customers by snail mailing or emailing a good re-introductory letter.

There is an excellent win back the lost customer letter in this best-selling e-book containing 63 marketing and business letters you can copy and paste and send immediately.

Cold-calling Tips

After you have contacted all of your inactive customers, there are very effective ways to begin cold calling.

Take a look:

The scariest thing about cold calling


Are they listening to you?


Solving the gate-keeper dilemma


Use these 4 words and your clients will love you


How to avoid 3 costly mistakes that kill sales and waste time.

One-to-one Help and Coaching

The next one-to-one sales training e-Course begins on Wednesday. If you have questions or would like to enroll, please send me a message. I’ll get back to you ASAP.  Your BTA educational discount applies to this course!

The Secret to Building Confidence

possible-text“You have to expect things of yourself before you can do them.” ~Michael Jordan

Think about this:

What would your life be like if you shaped your days with the true understanding of what you really bring to those you serve?

But you may be so busy with day-to-day activities that you don’t have time to stop and think about how you affect the lives of your clients.

Your products may be improving their office productivity, or

Your services might be saving them time.

When you think about and understand the value you provide, you can be more confident when you reach out to new prospects.

How to Build Confidence and Motivate Yourself

Begin creating your own Success File.

Three things to put into your Success File

1.) The prospect you left 4 voicemail messages for, who – much later – returned your call and

2.) The prospect who finally made the decision to buy from you and

3.) Positive comments you have received from your happy customers.

You deserve to give yourself credit and include these accomplishments in your Success File.

Keep the file up to date and look at it whenever you need positive motivation.

You will be surprised at how this can change your attitude and increase your confidence.

Paul Cleveland is someone who has recently experienced an improvement in confidence:

“Ann Barr’s e-Course was clear and easy to understand.  The course motivated me to focus on my goals and I’ve  had a tremendous improvement in technique and confidence.”  Thank you, Ann!

           Paul Cleveland, Business Development Manager,
Repro Products, Smyrna, GA

If you would like to be part of my next 4-week one-to-one e-Course, it begins on Wednesday and 4 spots are still available.

Click Here to see an outline and overview of the course.

If you would have questions or would like to enroll, send me a message and I’ll get back to you ASAP.

Here’s wishing you a happy and productive day!

PS:  Your BTA Educational Discount applies for this e-Course!

Solving the Gate-Keeper Dilemma

The screener.  woman-working-on-phoneThe gate keeper.

Those words can strike fear in the heart of anyone who has ever made a cold call.

Strike out with this person and you’re a goner.

She (sometimes he) is usually efficient and organized.

Her/his job is to keep people away from the boss – people the boss doesn’t want to – or doesn’t have time to – talk to.

Often that means you – the sales person.


The screener is not always treated with respect by callers, especially callers who become annoyed when they are not immediately put through to the boss.

What does not treating the screener with respect do?

Annoys and irritates this employee.

Is this person important to you?


S/he can make your job easier or shut you out of the company you are trying to get into.

What’s the best way to get to the decision maker (DM)?

First:  Get the Name

Your job will be more difficult if you don’t have the name of the DM.

Call first (before you intend to talk with the DM) and ask for the name because you are “updating your files.” After you have the name, wait a few days before calling back. If you are unsuccessful at getting the name of the DM this way, there are other ways to find out.

How to Find the Name of the Decision Maker

  1. Look through the prospect’s web site. Often you will find several different contact names you can use.
  2. Call the company and ask to be put through to the sales department. Sales reps are usually willing to help other sales people – and will often give you the name of the DM you are looking for.

It’s amazing what happens with the right words and a respectful tone of voice.

Four Tips:

  • “Can you help me out?”
  • “Can you point me in the right direction?”
  • “I’d like to be of some help to your company. Could you tell me who I would talk with to introduce the benefits of [insert your product or service.]”
  • If the screener is not sure who the decision maker is (for your particular product or service) and puts you through to someone’s assistant or secretary, it’s very important not to assume that person is not a decision maker.

One Respectful Way to Ask the Question

“Are you the person who makes the decision regarding your [product/service] needs, or do you have someone who does that for you?”

When you convey an attitude of respect to the screener or the assistant to the boss, you may make a friend who can help you get to the DM.

Get more sales-building tips and ideas when you join my exclusive one-to-one e-Course.

Send me a message or phone me at 757-463-0924 if you’d like more info or want to register for the course.

Here’s wishing you a happy and productive day!

PS:  Your BTA Educational Discount applies for this course.

The Scariest Thing about Cold Calling

Cold-Calling-Fear-tinyThis was an unfortunate and compelling email I received last year:

“When I took this job I didn’t realized at the beginning but it turns out that to be successful at this I need to do a lot of cold calling . It also turns our I suck at it. Maybe because of my fear of rejection.”

Yes, the fear of rejection is a scary feeling and it is a primary cause of the end of many sales careers.

The Good News:

There are ways you can reduce the fear and feel comfortable reaching out to prospects.


It is actually easier than you think.

The Key: the First 9 Seconds

What you DON’T want to do is immediately use a pitch that sounds like you want to SELL them something.

Because when the prospect feels s/he is being pitched during the first few seconds of a cold call s/he begins to think of ways to end the call, or worse . . .

. . . the prospect hangs up, because . . .

.                                      . . we all like to buy but we hate to be sold..

There goes that first impression.

Why use “hard sell” words if – instead – you can grab the prospect’s attention with something of interest to her or him?

Use words that answer the prospect’s mental question: “What’s in it for me?”

You can begin building trust in the first call.

Three Ways to Gain Trust and Avoid Rejection in the First Call

1. IMPORTANT: Use the first 9 seconds of a cold call to gain trust and build credibility.

Gaining trust:

“Using what I learned in Ann Barr’s e-class, I have actually changed my initial greeting. I really feel like this has helped me gain more trust in the eyes of my prospect and has given me more credibility.”

Venetta Diesel, Managed Print Services Manager
Millennium Business Systems, Cincinnati, Ohio

2.  Instead of making every statement about you and nothing about them, talk about how THEY will benefit.


“In the Ann Barr e-Course I’ve learned a lot about how to approach my work. I now have a much clearer idea of how to approach prospects and what they want to hear from me versus what I want to say.”

Felipe Hernandez, Zeno Office Solutions,
Midland, Texas

3.  Ask questions in a way that gives you the information you need to gain trust and develop a relationship:


“Ann, your e-Course helped me become more successful as a sales rep because I now know how to acquire the information needed to develop a relationship with potential customers and how to be successful in increasing my personal sales.”

Christina Tolea, First Phase Data
Winnipeg, Manitoba

Here is how YOU can develop a relationship with potential customers and increase your personal sales:

Be a part of my one-to-one telephone success e-Course starting on Wednesday.

You can:

  • Learn how to create your own unique opening statement which will allow the prospect to become more comfortable and will end up in more sales for you.
  • Use authentic words that will cause the prospect to trust you and feel that you are there to help her rather than “just get the sale.”
  • Find out exactly how to create trust during the first call.
  • Discover specific questions to ask the prospect that will motivate her to think and share important information you need to move forward with the sale.

So what exactly is this e-course?

It is a self-paced study training program that shows you step-by-step how to feel more comfortable making outbound calls in a way that’s authentically “you” and irresistible to your prospects.

Click here to see feedback from successful reps who have completed this course.

Why do you need this e-Course?

Boring and self-promoting wording in a sales call or voice mail message can lead to rejection and is a fully reversible condition. But if left untreated, it can kill your business.

With this e-Course you can learn how to write your own scripts that sound genuinely like you and motivate people to want to buy what you sell.

And what makes this e-Course the best online sales training course?

You’ll Find Your Voice

Rather than just tell you to “make phone calls,” I actually show you how . . . with our one-to-one phone conversations, fill-in-the-blanks worksheets, brainstorming techniques, and one-of-a-kind workbook exercises.

Get Rejection-Proof Skills

Whether you’re a beginner or polished sales professional, everything you say will become more compelling and effective.

Work At Your Own Pace

Work on it whenever and wherever you can.

Revisit and review as much as you like: The materials are yours to keep for life.

How it Works

As soon as you register, we will schedule a time to talk so you can describe your situation and I will let you know how the course works and answer any questions.

Then I’ll send you the Week One workbook in a pdf document and assignment pages in a Word document.

After you review the workbook and complete the assignment pages, email your completed assignment pages to me.

I’ll review your assignments and send you an email to set up a date and time to talk and give you my ideas and suggestions and answer any questions you may have.

Click here to see more about my e-Course and how it can work for you.


Send me a message and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible because I would love to work with you and help you achieve your goals.

And good news  . . .
. . .  BTA member discounts apply for this course.


3 Reasons to Hate Cold Calling

Woman-eyes-fear-tnYou know that horrible dream where something bad is happening and you can’t stop it?

Or where you’re trying to talk but can’t?

This will all make sense in a minute.

Okay, back to cold calling.

Three reasons to hate it.

1.)  If you’re the victim (excuse me . . . the prospect) and the caller is obviously reading a boring script and drones on and on without even pausing or asking you a question.

Or –

2.)  When you are a newly hired telesales person who has been handed a script and told to “just make calls” (without any training.)

Or –

3.)  When you are making a cold call and the prospect suddenly asks you a question you are totally not prepared to answer.

The horrible dream is coming true.

The prospect is asking a question and – like in the dream – you can’t answer.

What to do

1.) As the prospect you can choose to either politely use a reason to end the call or just (sorry cold caller) hang up.

2.) As the newly hired telesales rep, prepare yourself BEFORE starting to “just make calls.” Read your employer’s website. The entire website. Find out as much as you can about the company, products and services you will be calling about. Ask about the objectives your manager wants to achieve – in addition to making a sale.

Does your manager want you to find out from the prospect:

  • Updated contact information?    Necessary.
  • Name of the decision maker?    Necessary.
  • Info about products the prospect is currently using or buying?    Necessary.

3.)  Be prepared with the magic “all-purpose response” in case the prospect asks you an unexpected question.

If you have been part of my one-to-one e-Course you know what the “all-purpose response” is.

More info about cold calling:

5 Cold Calling Mistakes


Drop these 4 Words and Get Less Rejection


3 Ways to Avoid the Price Quote Trap.


What NOT to do after a Brush-Off

And –

You are invited to register for my one-to-one private 4-week e-Course. (see feedback from my favorite clients on this page.)

This course includes 4 weeks of once-a-week private telephone sales training and coaching where I will work personally with you.

You can see a description of the e-Course + tuition investment on this page or on my blog at

If you are tired of not getting to decision-makers, not grabbing interest when you do reach them and having voice mail messages ignored, phone me at 757.463.0924 or send me a private message.

I would love to work with you and help you achieve your goals!

- Ann