Sales Hustle is now Sales Transformation
March 2, 2022

#256 S2 Episode 125 - What It Takes To Be Successful In Sales With Kevin Hopp

In this episode of The Sales Transformation with Collin Mitchell podcast, Collin talks to outbound sales consultant and podcaster Kevin Hopp. Kevin, who has helped over 70 different early-stage SaaS businesses with their sales process and strategy, is also the host of the Sales Career podcast.

Kevin gives actionable steps for salespeople of every kind, but particularly focuses on cold-calling and list-building as the foundation of any sales activity. Master these two areas, and you’re set to be the best salesperson you can be.

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  • A discussion about current events 
  • An obsession with creating a new pipeline 
  • Cold-calling is an extreme sport 
  • It takes all kinds of people to be successful in sales 
  • The list is the strategy
  • When cold-texting is acceptable
  • Nobody does their best work when they hate their job
  • A personalized video for reach outs will do wonders


Kevin: "What am I obsessed with? Three things: technology, process, and people. You blend the three of them, outbound suddenly becomes a formulaic machine just like the Model T. You crank it up, you get it going, and once it's running you can drive anywhere you want. But you got to blend the three the right way."

Kevin: "There's so many really technical products out there and really technical buyers that it's not really about the gift of the gab. It's a much more consultative and technical sale, and that takes a lot of documentation, a lot of explanation, a lot of demo stuff."

Kevin: "There's more opportunity out there than ever before for salespeople, for SDRs, for AEs, for anyone who's like in SaaS sales. Now is the time to get an awesome job, an awesome offer. Every company is hiring, venture capital is flowing like water."

Kevin: "What are salespeople for? You're hiring a salesperson to fuss around the CRM, and build lists all day and write emails that never get opened? That's now why you hire salespeople. Salespeople are in the job because they like talking to people, they like solving people for people, and they want to communicate with people. Nothing about sales, even if you're an inbound rep, nothing about sales is just sitting, alone in your desk."

Learn more about Kevin in the links below:

Learn more about Collin in the link below: 

Also, you can join our community by checking out If you're a sales professional looking to take your career to greater heights, please visit us at and set a call with Collin and Chris.

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[00:00:00] In the world of sales, you either sink or swim or breakthrough to the next level. My name's Colin Mitchell. And this is sales transformation, a new kind of sales show designed to bring you through the epic life-changing moments of elite sellers. So you can experience your own sales transformation.

[00:00:24] All right, what's happening. Welcome to another episode of sales transformation. Today, we've got the first person ever to be on the pod. Not once, not twice, but three times. My man, Kevin hop here, you know, we're going to talk about outbound. You know, we're probably going to talk about cold calling and you know that we're going to have a ton of fun.

[00:00:47] So if you don't know who Kevin is, you should be following him on LinkedIn. You should be checking out his pod, the sales career podcast, where they get into some really interesting stuff, things that you don't see on the resume, things that you don't see on a LinkedIn profile. And my favorite question that he asks every host is what is your biggest commission check?

[00:01:06] It makes a little people makes people a little bit uncomfortable, but that's why it's such a great question. Uh, Kevin, welcome back to the pod, man. How you doing? Ah, thanks for having me. It's a, a glorious day in America. Uh, it's nice to not be under invasion and not, not have war on our doorstep, but, you know, shout out to all of our brothers and Ukraine.

[00:01:27] Yeah. Yeah. I mean, crazy times, man. Um, you know, you know, ed, he's not that far from all the, uh, uh, ed on my team is not too far from all this. He's in Latvia, um, which is not too far. Right. And depending on how things go, you know, I don't know. Russia could keep on moving along to the next, uh, the next day entry.

[00:01:49] We'll see. So yeah. Well, even if they're not going to invade, they, they just like drive through all the other S like former south. Get to Ukraine, you know, just peacefully drive it through, which is just crazy times. Crazy times I saw a meme yesterday, which I thought was so apropos. It's like, I'm, I'm comfortable if like I can stop living through all these, like once in a lifetime events, you know, how many once-in-a-lifetime events have we had happened?

[00:02:15] Like, like a guy like Donald Trump becoming president was, I'm pretty sure going to be like a once in a lifetime thing. Then a pandemic hits that's once in a lifetime, that's once in a century now, now we've got. Uh, Russia potentially will world war three, maybe. I don't know. Uh let's I, I really hope not, you know, it's a, you know, the best analogy I heard for, or the actually came up with this analogy.

[00:02:40] I came up with this analogy yesterday to someone, the best analogy for what Russia just. Is like getting punched by a girl. Now, if you're a man and you get punched by a woman, what are you going to do? You gonna punch her back? You can't punch it. Girl. Why? Why are you going to punch her back? Oh, well, you're not going to punch her back.

[00:02:58] So you just got beat up by a girl. Well, shoot, you lose. If you do, you lose. If you don't like it, if we go in there and we decide to back up, you create. Then all of a sudden we're at world war with a superpower. If we don't, then it's like, Ukraine's looking at us like what's up guys, like we're, we're democratic, Republican.

[00:03:16] You should come support your fellow democratic republics. So you're wondering this is the sales transformation podcast. We're just, we just got a little political there for a hot second there's first time for everything. First time we ever talked politics on the sales trends. Podcasts of course, brought to you by your man.

[00:03:37] Kevin hop let's let's, let's dive into something sales related here. So before we jump in, all right, cause we've got some topics. We're gonna talk about future of outbound. Um, Just give us the, give us the short version. Like what's the Kevin hop story. Like why should people even listen to you? Oh, I don't know.

[00:03:56] Um, so my story is, uh, I I've worked in, in venture backed startups for basically my entire career. But in consulting for a minute here. And the reason I went into consulting is I got really obsessed with solving one problem, which is how do you get new business? So when I was a sales rep, my number one problem was exactly the same every company I went to and like a typical millennial, I had a new job every year for the first five years of my career, moving up in salary.

[00:04:25] If that wasn't the case, right. You stuck around too long would be like, are you sure? Are you sure? That's right. That's right. I mean, it's the, it's the. You know, uh, every time I saw the grass was remotely greener, I'd jump and I'd get a base pay raise, I'd get a responsibility, raise, I'd get a title, raise.

[00:04:42] It was all, it was all fun, but everywhere I went, I had the same problem, which is shoot. I'm the new guy. How do I build pipeline? So I got obsessed with outbound. And then when it got obsessed with outbound, I figured it out. Every channel works, but some channels resonate better with other people. And it turns out I like talking turns out I'm really good at talking to strangers and I leveraged my natural ability.

[00:05:05] God given, I don't know why I'm so good at it or why I enjoy it, or why it comes easily to me to become a cold calling kind of freak. Right. For lack of a better term. Um, so that's what I do. Um, I'm all about outbound. I have a little consulting firm. I help companies go from zero to one or I help an existing team.

[00:05:24] Just get better specifically at cold calling. Was it two, two things I do help you go from zero to one in terms of outbound and then cold calling coaching with existing teams. So that's me, uh, live here in San Diego with my wife year, our dog. It's good time. Well, I mean, I like the fact that you just went all in on cold calling specifically, right?

[00:05:51] It's like some people respond better to certain channels from the prospect perspective. Some people Excel better as a seller on certain channels. Somebody, some, some people might crush it on social. Others might, you know, be good at email, which is getting harder. And I think. Talk about that a little bit today.

[00:06:10] Um, but you're just a total phone geek in, in, and I have a ton of respect for that because the phone that I still believe is the most powerful tool. Um, I dare anybody to come on here and convince me otherwise. Right? So the, the reason that I really leaned into phones specifically is because I found that when it came to, okay, Kevin, you graduated school.

[00:06:33] Now go get a job. I would get really bored. Like really bored. And then I, then I had these, you know, when, when you're like 23, 24, right after school, you have these moments where like, maybe I need to take a gap year and like travel the United States and get a van. And like I thought about that, I'm like, do I need to get a van?

[00:06:51] Like go be outside every day and like, get a GoPro and like go to Utah in like the, the canyons and stuff and be like, look at my life. Like, this is fun. And I'm like, no, I just need to find a way to get my heart rate up during the. Like, I need to have a little bit of that. Okay. Like I feel it right now, I have some energy and cold calling.

[00:07:14] Is that energy that, that when you, when you dial those digits and you hear that ring and you're like, oh geez, oh, geez, they're going to pay the phone. What are they going to say? It's that little moment of chaos where you, where you never know what's going to happen, that you just don't get in the corporate world.

[00:07:32] You don't get that. Like, ah, like most of the time you're just answering emails or working on a spreadsheet or whatever people do that aren't in sales. I don't really know. Right. Like. Do you a book calls with them that are customers and saying, hello? Oh, I like to do better with my stuff. Oh, okay. Cool.

[00:07:47] Let's next steps and circle back on the future state, current state of operations. I love the energy, right? I live for the energy and that's why phone. Yeah. Yeah. Uh, I'm curious. I, I was talking to somebody the other day about, you know, early in the cold calling days, you know, especially without a good list and without like the technology that we have today.

[00:08:11] Right. Um, uh, so you know, you, you, you maybe. Three five people in a day, if you're lucky, right? Like actual conversations, like if you won, you had to be good enough to one, they had to pick up the phone to you. Like maybe you were calling the right person. Maybe not. Right. Maybe the data was good, maybe it wasn't.

[00:08:29] Um, and then, and then you had like to be good enough to potentially get through the gatekeeper, right. Uh, to then actually get the person that. Intended to reach on the phone. They could actually decide on whatever it is that you're doing. Um, and I know for me early on, I was like, sometimes, you know, you just, you're just expecting another voicemail now, their voicemail, and then they pick up and you're like, I would just say, sometimes you just hang up the next a hundred percent, a hundred percent.

[00:08:55] I mean, this was a, this was the, that was my life. Right? Once I figured out that I liked phone, I had one of these seminal moments where I'm like, there has to be up at our way. It's probably the same light bulb that went off when Henry Ford was in his horse and buggy. And you know, one of the wooden wheels broke and he went, gosh, darn it.

[00:09:15] There has to be a better way. And guess what there is technology, right? So now, you know, what am I obsessed with? Three things, technology process and people you blend. The three of them outbound suddenly becomes a formulaic machine, just like the model T you crank it up and get it going. And once it's running, you can drive anywhere you want, but you got to blend the three the right way.

[00:09:38] Mm. Hmm. And we've clearly come a long way since then. Right. So, um, talk to me about like, you know, what was, what did outbound or using the phone look like when you first get started and obsessed with it? Um, and, and what has sort of changed, um, from then to now? Sure. So like the first cold calling I ever did was cold calling real estate agents.

[00:10:05] So my first job out of school, I was the first employee at a startup. Like there's no one else except for the founder and me for an entire year and a half. It was a wild ride. Um, and uh, we figured out that real estate agents put their cell phone number on every list. And we are trying to sell white label mobile app platform to them like, Hey, I'll build you the column Mitchell app.

[00:10:27] So cold calling real estate agents was a great start because they pick up the phone. Like they actually answer the phone a lot. So my pickup rate was really high. So we used to have a, we used to use tout app, which is an email sending system. And we would wait for email open notifications. When someone opened an email and clicked on a link, I would call them right then and there and have a conversation.

[00:10:51] Um, that was really fun, but it also spoiled me because I thought, oh yeah, he know cold calling you just call someone's cell phone. They pick up. Right. And then my next gig was, was an SDR calling normal B2B, SAS, and manufacturing companies, you know, executives and VPs and directors. Holy cow, no one picked up the phone.

[00:11:12] Right. That's where it's like, you know, 10 digits.

[00:11:19] Leaving voicemails. I used to leave voicemails. Um, were you so excited when voicemail drop came out? Dude, I didn't even know that existed. Right. Like I, I seriously, I, it was so, so old school when I was in SDR and this. You know, everyone out there is rolling their eyes saying, yeah, Kevin, whatever. But like, I really did March uphill, both ways in the snow.

[00:11:46] When I was an SDR, like it was manual. I didn't even have click to dial. It was 10 to just set a time on the phone. It was like no outreach IO or anything. So I was going off of Salesforce. Um, it was tough. It was brutal. And I looked back on that. I'm like, geez, dude, if I knew what I knew now, like she codes baby cheat codes so much easier.

[00:12:11] Okay. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, when I first started it wasn't that the technology didn't exist. We just didn't have, I just didn't have just our leadership. Didn't didn't believe in investing in like my first, my first super formal. Highly valuable sales training was, uh, sounded kind of something like this. It was like, here's a list of names and the script.

[00:12:34] There's the phone and don't use the CRM because it doesn't work.

[00:12:40] Don't how many am I supposed to make a day? Shoot for a hundred. I'm like, alright, well, let's go, man. That's, that's, that's tough. That's real tough. Uh, but I, I did find that when I did get into conversations with people, uh, they would, I didn't have a script. We didn't have a script. We had, like, we had like 12 SDRs, all of us saying completely different things on the phone.

[00:13:05] And that was a, again, one of these moments where I'm looking around the room and yeah. Wow. Like everyone's saying something different. Some people are having success. Some people aren't, the number one rep on that team was a girl and she crushed it on the phones. And I still believe to this day females because of the pace tone, volume and an inflection in their voice will crush it on the phone.

[00:13:31] And I learned something interesting. It was an interesting perspective from a. That I was talking with like actually a while back a few years ago. And he said, look, most girls are raised on the phone. What is it? 15 and 16 year old girls do when they're getting ready to go to the school dance or whatever.

[00:13:50] They're on the phone. Yeah, they're there, they're talking to people they're comfortable. They're comfortable with Uber, comfortable on the phone and us dudes are just like, you know, grunting and farting and, and, you know, playing in the locker room. Like we didn't, I didn't talk to anybody on the phone. Like the closest I I did in high school to like talking to people on the phone was, uh, before, before I had a PlayStation, I would play at computer games.

[00:14:18] That was playing call of duty on computer. And I would call my buddy who was also playing and just put it on speaker phone right in front of me on my cell phone so that we can communicate while we were playing video games about where, you know, shoot the bad guys like that. That was the closest I got to like lots of conversations on the phone.

[00:14:35] So I don't know. I still got good at conversations anyways. And, uh, It is a natural, natural attitude that I have. And I think it's important for, for folks listening. Like, just because you're not. Like me and Collin and you don't love talking to people on the phone and you don't like live for that heartbeat.

[00:14:56] It doesn't mean you can't be a great SDR. It doesn't mean you can't be a great salesperson. It takes all types. Right. And especially if you live in California, the bay area, or look, you don't even have to live there anymore. There are so many really technical products out there and really technical buyers that it's not really about the gift of the gab.

[00:15:15] It's a much more consultative and technical. And that takes a lot of documentation, a lot of explanation, a lot of demo stuff. I, I have seen that more and more here that you can be successful as an introvert. You can be successful as someone who's naturally quiet. It's just a, you gotta find that right gig for you.

[00:15:34] Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Um, I think there used to be a lot of. Misconceptions that like, Hey, you had to be extroverted. You had to have the gift of the gab or sales was like, not for you, or if you had those things, like you clearly should get into sales. Right. And, uh, and that's not the case. I'm actually naturally a pretty introverted person.

[00:15:53] You wouldn't think so? Probably put, I actually am. Yeah. That's, that's weird. I don't think of you as an introvert that's for sure. All right. So I want to talk about. What are some of the things that you're seeing today in outbound or in using the phone specifically? Where are people making a lot of mistakes?

[00:16:10] Where do you see a lot of room for improvement? Um, or what type of work? What's kind of like the first order of business. When somebody like Kevin, we need your help. And what's the first thing that you start to work on with them. So the first thing that you have to work on that a lot of people overlook.

[00:16:28] It's the list. The list is the strategy, and I'm stealing that line directly from Ryan ricer. Who's a mentor of mine, friend of mine. He, he says it constantly all over and I believe it to my core, the list is the strategy. You can't take a great script and a great product and a great offering. And like we're changing the way that people are doing.

[00:16:51] Take that to a list that you just rip out of some database and just throw it right into the CRM. Call down it. Right. Um, it's, it's, it's a bit of the, the, the problem, the big problem is the shift or the difference between upper-level leadership, which loves to buy big databases because they think it checks the big box, which is like, okay, cool.

[00:17:12] I'll get ZoomInfo it's 5 million or 20 million cell phone numbers. My reps are going to have so much good stuff. And then the rep on the rep level, who's like, I got to make calls to. It's going to go rip that list. A small list, you know, 200 of the 5 million, 20000040% of it's going to be wrong. Number. I don't work here anymore.

[00:17:33] Janice will turn us. I was in Brent here since 2003. Well, honey, I retired two years ago. Well, why are you still in this database listed as the director of it? Right? Um, that Delta is why I exist. Right? That's that's part of why you would like talk to someone like me is because I come in. Look, here's the problem.

[00:17:52] And here's what we should do about it. The problem is the list is the strategy. Your data is way too big, all encompassing, not specific, not validated the solution is we need to use outside resources to validate this. And anytime they say it's expensive, that's a really cool. It's a really quick conversation.

[00:18:11] It's like, you want to know what's expensive. Let's add up what you're paying your American STRs with their salaries and everything in the cost of an ailment and tools. And then two weeks of them calling lists to try and figure out who picks up the phone and figure out who still works there, all that kind of jazz.

[00:18:26] And that that calculation takes about two minutes on a spreadsheet and the VPs CEOs always go, huh? Never thought of it that way. And it's like, ding, ding, light bulb moment, save their time, make their job better. Right. So Colin give me, it's a lot of people still that still believe like, Hey, sales is just a number game.

[00:18:46] Right? Okay. If we hire them this many reps and we have this database check that box and they make this many calls and then. Each rep, talking to three people a day is acceptable, right then out of those three people times how many reps you have, how many are going to turn to meetings? How many are going to turn to deals?

[00:19:06] Most of them probably are never going to close. And we only, we know that, you know, only 30% are going to hit quota anyway. So we just need to add more activity. Yeah. Yeah. And by the way, it isn't. Like there is a truth to the fact that it's numbers game. Is it only a numbers game? Absolutely not. Absolutely not.

[00:19:24] Right. So, so like give me a feedback on this. We think about this, like, um, I think I should redo my website to say I help salespeople love their job, because if you treat it like a numbers game and the CEO CRO VP make this spreadsheet and they go, yeah, you talked to three people there. Yeah, but have you ever tried calling 120 numbers to talk to three people?

[00:19:48] You hate your job. If you hate your job, you're going to quit. And guess what? The great resignation, like there is more opportunity out there than ever before for salespeople, for SDRs, for AEs or anyone who's like in SAS sales, like now is like the time to go get an awesome job in. Every company's hiring venture, capital's flowing like water.

[00:20:11] So build a better experience that keeps good people around and allows them to like their job. Cause if a rep talks to more prospects in a day, they're going to learn faster. They're going to set more meetings and they're gonna actually enjoy that talking because no one likes listening to the phone ring.

[00:20:27] Nobody. I don't care who you are. No one likes us in the phone right after voicemail, after voicemail. And then, and then let's go with the assumption, right? Checking the box, getting a big database, not having a good list, a K not having a good strategy. Um, then finally somebody does pick up the phone and guess what?

[00:20:48] It's the wrong person. They're no longer there anymore. It's not even who you should be talking to. Anyway. That's right. That's right. I had one the other day actually with a client that I, I was, I was like, this is a first and it was Mark Smith and, you know, made up name Mark Smith and the guy. Uh, the rep was like, yeah, mark.

[00:21:07] The reason for a couple of law, the guy listened to the whole time at the very end, he goes, do you know what I do? And then the rep's like, yeah, you're the blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And he's like, no, no, I run a trucking company and I was like, wait a minute, are you Mark Smith? And he's like, yeah, my name is Mark Smith.

[00:21:22] Um, and then the rep was like, I might have the wrong marks, but it's like, yeah, you got the wrong Mark Smith. I've never seen it be like the exact first and last name with a different number. Like, ah, geez. That's going to happen to you. I've seen it happen. I mean, I think, I think it's going to happen more often, um, with cell phone numbers.

[00:21:42] Yes. With cell phone numbers. Right? Cause it's a little bit harder to validate than like say company number of direct dial to count. You have more data points to like, you know, validated against, but I think with cell phone numbers, it gets a little bit trickier where like we've had it even on, I think we may even have ran into it on the cold call session, uh, with you where we call the guy.

[00:22:02] And like, it was same name. I mean, it was the same name. I don't know for sure if it was same first and last, but I'm just, I'm gonna assume it was. And the dude was a plumber. I mean, a podcast. She. So, I mean, that's a hard sell to kind of Vince him that, Hey, you should start the first and only plumber podcast.

[00:22:22] Cause you can own the space. That's right. That's right. That, that would be funny. So Colin, what's your take on this? Right. So I saw a post the other day of a LinkedIn influencer guy saying, have you implemented cold texting and do your outbound strategy? And it got it, got so many people going on it and people are like, oh, can you DM me your, your go-to playbook for this?

[00:22:46] And what step in the sequence do you use for cold texting? And I commented exactly what you just said, which is this is illegal. And then a lot of people chimed in there saying like, well, what are, you know, you're not a lawyer, but with all my. Yeah, but, but what do you think it's caught like wet? When is cold texting acceptable?

[00:23:02] Is it ever acceptable? Do you use texting in your sales process? Um, no. Uh, I use texting later in the sales process, once it's somebody we've established a relationship with, um, you know, uh, as just a short way to communicate. Um, but never cold, never cold, never. First of all, it's illegal. You've got to have permission to text, um, in.

[00:23:26] Do you have to ask like, Hey, is it cool to text? You don't have to, should you? Yes. All right. So, Hey, I know you get busy, like, you know, what's the best number to text you at for like, you know, we're going to spend the next X amount of time together in this deal. Right? Um, what's the best number to, you know, send you a quick message.

[00:23:42] I promise not to abuse it. So you really do have to get premiere. Um, some, you are going to be cool about it, but there's also people, you know, you called their cell phone and it pisses them off. Right. So it's a, it's a very personal thing and it depends on the other person that's receiving that and how they're going to feel.

[00:24:00] So when I was in AA, I got taught this line and I still use it to this day. It's my favorite line. And all you people out there that run pipeline. Here's a line for you at the end of your discovery call. If you don't have that person's cell phone number and you want their cell phone number, here's what you say.

[00:24:19] Hey, Colin. Uh, you got a pen. And they usually go, oh yeah, I got a pen. Awesome. Awesome. Take this down. (310) 941-8908. That's my cell phone number. You can reach me anytime. What's yours. Quid pro quo. They're not going to say no every single time I've ever dropped that line. They say, oh, uh, yeah. Uh, as far as that I have their cell phone number that I texted them right away.

[00:24:46] Hey, it's Kevin pink. Okay. Yeah. So that's my hot tip today. Yeah, it's it's um, and, and, and, and the thing is, is if you can get, if you can pull that off, it changes the trajectory of the relationship with that person, somebody that you're cool texting with, it's a much more casual relationship. It's like, you know, um, it's a different relationship than somebody who you have to send another email.

[00:25:16] Just checking in. Just wondering if you saw my last note. Uh, yeah, but to your point, don't abuse it like holy cow, don't abuse it. If you're a rep out there and you, you got someone's cell phone number and there you're on that texting level, I would not abuse. Right. I've closed many deals via text. I've closed many deals via text after getting permission, building the relationship, not over using it, using it when it was needed to bring deals to the finish line.

[00:25:46] Yeah. It's the last, like texting is the last hallowed ground. Right. And the FCC wants it that way. Like it's illegal to cold tax people, but it's, it's so interesting, right. Like right now, one of my clients that I'm consulting with, they do e-commerce tech. And they're seeing massive success because if you can get into someone's tech, like text message, open rates and response rates are like, it doesn't compare to email, like texting is so much higher, it's all opt-in or you got to go to the website and like put your number and all that stuff.

[00:26:18] But once you do that, the conversion rates are so much higher via text. So I don't know. I would love to see a brand. I think it'd be so interesting to see a brand that's. Use texting as a strategy, not cold, like find a way to get people to opt into it and then provide value through text. And then you can let your reps interact with prospects via text that have opted in for some reason or another, like do it through booking a call, right?

[00:26:46] Like they're opting in through booking a call. Right. Um, you could do that. Right. And then text reminders. For meetings are super helpful because they're going to increase your show rates significantly because we all have 52 tabs open doing 52 different things, you know, multitasking. And then sometimes, you know, I dunno how many people show up late to a zoom meeting.

[00:27:08] Cause they were just heads down doing something. Um, but a text is a nice reminder. It's like, boom. Oh yeah. Hey, I gotta go get on a pod with Kevin or I texted you last week. We had that meeting on Thursday and I texted you and you said, oh shoot. I completely forgot about our meeting. Right. Colin. Yeah. Yeah, yeah, exactly.

[00:27:26] Tax reminder, if I would've had a text reminder. Right. Um, okay. So let's go back. Let's take a step back. Right. So you said the list is the strategy. So we know what people are doing when they're have no strategy. AKA. Aren't building a list properly. So how do they go about doing that? What does that process look like and how do they start off right.

[00:27:48] With the list so that their frontline SDR, BDR don't hate their job. Well, uh, if you do have access to a database, July people do, right. Um, there's if there's one database, there's 50 of them. There's the big dogs, which is the, you know, dun and Bradstreet and the zoom info's then there's all the mid tier players.

[00:28:11] Elite IQ is lead for one-on-one seamless AI, all that kind of stuff. If you have that. To a list building source like that, or a data gathering source. The number one mistake I see people make is that they will grab every contact from a company, right? Like, oh, I want to sell to a gravy. So I'm going to get the CEO CMO, VP of sales director of it, because whatever I'm selling is like kind of a could of could apply to kind of anybody, but I'm gonna put them all.

[00:28:41] From this data source into this campaign and just go at it, right? Yeah. So I call this swim lanes. You have to build a swim lane. If there's a swim lane right here, only the backstroke people go in here, the swim lane right here. This is breaststroke swimming right here. This is freestyle. And that means that you have to build your list vertically integrated vertically of people that all care about the same thing.

[00:29:04] And know the answer is not the COO, the CEO, the VP of sales, all care about the same thing they done. Right. This is another big problem that, you know, if you're in a company and either you have technical founders, or you have someone who doesn't have a strong grasp of messaging, marketing sales, go to market motions, stuff like they're going to tell you that everybody should care about what you do.

[00:29:28] Not like no, no matter what you sell, right? No matter what you sell, not everybody at a company is going to care. So you have to narrow in on your ideal customer profile. And then you have to build a swim lane list, which is here's all my VPs of sales. Here's all my CEOs. Here's all my, this. And the more specific you can get the.

[00:29:46] Right. Especially if you're, let's say you're an introverted person, right. Let's say you're a lot more analytical detail oriented, which is like the opposite of what I am, which is like the outgoing talking guy. Like I honestly, in my career was like, throw them on the list. I'll talk to him. I was I'll gab with anybody and I could do pretty all right with that.

[00:30:07] But if you're, if you're that introverted person put some real time into it, like build this list of just CEOs, but just CEOs in healthcare in, on the west coast, make it more specific and more specific and more specific. And then the other thing that really easy tip go look at your 10 best customers as a company.

[00:30:27] And use that to build your list of my 10 desk customers. Do I see anything in common? Oh, I do. Five of them are SAS companies that are all series B and below. Well, I'm going to go get series B and below SAS companies and tell the story of the success. These companies are having. A lot of people.

[00:30:44] Over-complicate the tell the, tell the story to people that actually care about hearing it, right? That's right. If you think it's pretty basic, but what the problem is, it's a, it's a strategy problem backed up by a misunderstanding of what operationally takes to have good outbound conversations. So if you get the strategy right, with swim lanes and ICP, and you got the right stories, you want to tell, then you have to operationalize that into.

[00:31:13] These swim lane lists and then go have conversations that are very targeted. Yeah. I love that. I love that. That's a, if you're not doing that, What the heck are you doing? Oh, we know what people are doing. They're calling every brother, mother. I like LinkedIn automation, right? Yeah. But this is a bigger issue, right?

[00:31:35] Because people aren't, I love the piece that you brought up, which I think is most people are ignoring. Right. Is it because it's a problem? That. Yeah. Okay. You're not hitting your numbers. That's a problem. You think add more people, you can fix it maybe, but the bigger problem is your people hate their job and they're leaving and they're looking in there and they are going where the grass is greener.

[00:31:57] And they're looking at the SDR BDR role is like, I just got to put my stripes in and put my head down and put my stripes in. It sucks. I hate it, but I'll just keep doing it until something better comes up or I can potentially move up and nobody does their best work. When they hate their job. That's right.

[00:32:16] That's right. And I'm so passionate about this, right? Like I I'm relaunching my website here soon and there's going to be testimonials from STRs. I've worked with BDRs. I've worked with, and people go look at that, like, see if they like them. If it's the people I work with, like their job, because I build them a system that allows them to do what they're here to do.

[00:32:36] Like what our salespeople for you hiring a salesperson to futz around in the CRM and build lists all day. And you know, like write emails and never get opened. That's not why you hire salespeople. Salespeople are in the job because they like talking to people. They like solving problems for people. And they want to communicate with people like nothing about sales, even if you're an inbound rep, nothing about sales is just sitting, you know, not alone in your desk.

[00:33:03] Like you are communicating with people constantly. So you got to either do that via email, via chat on the website. Cold calling is an excellent way to have live conversations, build a reps, confidence and get them excited for the next conversation. Um, you gotta, you gotta, you gotta focus on the operational aspects so that people can really do what they want to do, which is have conversation.

[00:33:25] Yeah, I'm curious to get your take on this. Right? Cause you, you brought up an example earlier with one of the first teams you were involved with, uh, where, you know, there was, uh, a woman that was the most successful and you kind of brought up like, well, you know, they're more comfortable on the phone, right?

[00:33:40] Well, what about with these younger generation of people that are coming into the work field and. They're not used to use it. They're not as comfortable on the phone because they don't use it as much. They're used to texting, using social, citing the DMS, whatever, doing Tik TOK dances, you name it, uh, like picking up the phone, dialing a number and having a conversation is not something that they are well, have a lot of experience.

[00:34:06] Right. I think, um, you know, the, the same, the same sort of premise around, if you can lower the effort around the conversation. Then it symbolizes everything. Like it looks to me, all I'm asking you to do is have conversations with cold prospects. But what if I show them my flossing routine, then they'll be really impressed and they'll take the meeting.

[00:34:28] No, Timmy just have the conversation. We have to get you talking the talk, you know, and by the way I, the, the, the coolest thing, this is another hot sales tip for everybody out there. And like a lot of people are going to go, oh my God, I didn't even know that. When I tell this right now, If you're connected with someone on LinkedIn and you have the mobile app on your phone, which if you're a seller in the year 2022, and you don't have LinkedIn on your phone, what are you doing?

[00:34:56] Have you got the link? Are you in sales? Are you in sales? Are you even in sales? Do you even sales, bro? You don't. So if you have the LinkedIn app on your phone and you were connected with somebody, you can send them a video. Really quick, really easy selfie style video. I do it to get guests on my podcast that I don't know, I do it to get prospects for consulting group.

[00:35:19] I do it to get referrals. I do it all the time. And the response rate to a personalized video where you literally, you know, all you selfie, Snapchat generation. Hey, what's up. It's Kevin with a hop consulting group. I wanted to connect with you because blah, blah, blah. And you send that selfie video gen Z.

[00:35:36] It gets great responses. It's a great tool. Why people don't know the best part about that. Here's the best part. Best part is the perfect video is the one that's not perfect. So we're talking one take like, yes. They don't sound like a robot. Like you did it 52 times to get it perfect. Like just send it, even if you stumble on your words, make mistake, even maybe pronounce their name wrong, just send it.

[00:36:02] That's right. And try to make it unique. Right? I preach this constantly to all the teams that work with, make your stuff unique. Now, how do I make my stuff unique? I will put my one-year-old daughter on. And go like this. Hey, I was hanging out with my daughter, Madison and I, I wanted to reach out to you and blah, blah, blah.

[00:36:21] And people respond 10 out of 10 times, 10 and 10. And I'm talking about reaching out to CEOs, uh, VCs, people that are really busy will take time out of their day to respond to me that I don't know because I sent them a video and they get 30 cold calls a day and 500 cold emails a day. But how many videos did they get that had a little one-year-old girl.

[00:36:42] Who's super cute. Yeah. No, probably only one. Yeah, maybe yeah. One. Right? So, so if you don't have a one year old daughter that's okay. And I hope you don't, if you're under the age of 25, but if you're under the age of 25, grab your dog. Good. Have the guitar on, you're going to have a kid, so you could get higher success rate on your videos.

[00:37:03] Dude, don't have a kid for any reason, other than you want to have kids call the window calling you. You're about to be a dad for the fourth time real soon. Yeah, yeah. Fourth and a fourth and final fourth and final. Oh, that's what they all say. Fourth and final. And then next year it's going to be cat. If you won't believe that you'd be number five.

[00:37:24] Not possible. Not sure. They all said I already took care of business. Can't happen. Love it, man. All right. So there's lots of nuggets in here. If you're, if outbound is a strategy that you're using, which if you're in sales, it should be cause. I dunno, inbound is never going to be enough to keep food on the table and we all love inbound leads, but, um, tons of things in here that can help, help you get started with the proper strategy and just have fun have conversations.

[00:37:56] Right. I think the biggest thing is a lot of it has to do with you think cold calling sucks then. Yeah. It's. Right. There's so many people who can't wait to stop making cold calls and I'm like, why what's wrong with you? And they think, they think I'm weird. Cause I enjoy it. Well, you know, like I, I don't like doing things that I don't understand either.

[00:38:17] You know? Like it just, it just is that way, you know, like I never cut my daughter's fingernails, like ever. And last time I D my wife's like cut her fingernails. I'm like, dude, I've done. Last time I did this. She was like three weeks. And I don't know what I'm doing here, man. Like, I, I felt so uncomfortable.

[00:38:35] It's the same idea. If you're a rep and you don't have a script and you're calling some big lists that like the senior BDR made for you in Salesforce and. Shoot. Like, I think I know what to say. You're nervous. Same concept. So yeah. Have a plan. Your fingernail thing is hilarious. I cut my son's probably for the first time.

[00:38:54] He's seven. Wow. And he did not enjoy that experience and he's like, dad, please don't ever cut my nails again. So something like that. Better at. Yeah. Tell you what, I'm not even great at cutting my own nails, to be honest.

[00:39:14] Uh, all right. This has been fun, man. Where can people get in your world if they want to? Where can they check out the podcast? All that good stuff. Absolutely. A sales career podcast. Check it out anywhere you listen to podcasts. It's everywhere. Spotify. Google, all that good stuff. I've got a YouTube channel hop consulting group.

[00:39:31] I'm trying to grow my YouTube channel. It's got all the clips from the episode, so you don't have to listen to the full episode. You can get the best parts, the best nuggets for every episode there. And, um, I'm launching my website, Hopkins Delta Uh, that's going to be coming out here real shortly, um, to piggyback off of what we were saying here.

[00:39:49] One more plug. I am launching a course on. Cool. Which means if you're a single rep out there, who's listening to this, a E S C R. If you make sales calls and you're thinking to yourself, shoot, Kevin, it'd be great to hire you, but I know my boss would never pay for a consultant to come on in. Cause you're probably really expensive.

[00:40:06] Yes, I am very expensive. Then you can get access to what I know all about cold calls. For a very, very nominal price. I haven't decided the price yet. It's gonna be way less than a hundred bucks. And, uh, anyone who's out of a job, reach out to me directly and I will give it to you for free to help you get skills for your next job.

[00:40:26] Okay. So look out for the cool Concourse, cause I have to be on LinkedIn and listen to my podcast. Yeah. So if you're trying to get into job that you could just take Kevin's course. Not go to pre hired who? Yeah, I would not go to pre hired. All right. If you enjoyed today's episode, please write us a review, share the show with your friends.

[00:40:48] It really helps us out. And as always, I'm listening for your feedback, you can go to sales, transform. Dot FM drop me a voice DM and I will get back to you. Hey, you stuck around that tells me you're serious about your own sales transformation. If you're tired of doing things the old way and want to get started in your journey with other people on the same path, head over to sales,, and crush your numbers on your leaderboard.

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