You’ve probably heard that in sales prospecting, it takes reps 10 “no’s” to get one “yes.”
I think that number is outdated.
In today’s market, it can take 40 voicemails to reach a live person and dozens of emails to yield a single response. For sales reps, that kind of rejection often makes prospecting a tedious, intimidating, and downright discouraging task. Unfortunately, that doesn’t change the fact that you still have a quota to meet — and the only way to hit it is to find new prospects.
So, how can you get past the boredom and intimidation and actually make sales prospecting fun for your reps? Turn it into a game!
Here are a few to get you started:
- Candy Jar. Every time a prospect tells you “no,” put a piece of candy in a jar. When you get to 10, the odds are on your side that you’ll reach a contact soon. This allows you to watch the jar fill up knowing that you’re getting closer to reaching someone who wants to talk with you. If candy isn’t your thing, pennies work, too!
- Whiteboard Willy. Create a fun whiteboard chart with columns for the days of the week and rows for sales reps’ names. Each day, insert the number of people talked to and see who has the most. Give daily prizes to the winners — whether it’s Dollar Store gag gifts or Starbuck’s gift cards.
- Connections. Track all prospecting calls for a week and determine who made the most calls, connected with the most people, or set the most appointments. The loser buys coffee, bagels, or lunch for the team. Or, if the team achieves a specific number, the manager buys for the team!
- Luck of the Draw. On the back of several index cards, write the number of prospects you want to speak with. Mix up the cards, place them face down, have everyone choose one. Now, call until you reach that number. When you get to your number, you get a reward.
- Ring that bell! Put a bell in the office (we have an old school bell) and ring it for every appointment set. As you hear other reps ring the bell, it’ll motivate you to be more effective on your calls.
- Prospect Take Down. Run some role plays by impersonating the toughest prospects you can imagine. Be really difficult when it’s your turn to portray the customer — but don’t hang up. When you’re the rep, persist until you break the prospect and get some information (if not set an appointment). Truth is, you’ll never encounter a prospect as difficult as your colleague!
- Improv Acting. Using index cards again, list different fun feelings and descriptors (happy, ecstatic, intelligent, sincere, jovial, etc.). Have each sales rep choose a card and make calls for one hour acting out that feeling or descriptor. This is a fun way to break up the monotony of prospecting.
Of course, those are just a few ideas. Ultimately, you can get as creative as you’d like — so long as the goal is to prospect to set new appointments. You’ll find that these games go a long way toward increasing your appointment setting rates.
3 More Sales Prospecting Games
If you’re a consistent hunter, you’re cold calling every week, sometimes multiple times a week. Here are 3 more games to keep it interesting.
8. Partner up: Get together with one or two reps virtually or in person. Each cold call for 2-hour blocks of time. Check in and see who has set the most appointments. Winners receive small prizes and bragging rights.
9. Improv Club: You’re bored with your list and your value proposition feels stale. It’s time for another game of improv. Grab a partner. Switch lists and opening statements, then call. See how many appointments you can close with the other person’s list and your personal prospecting style. Compare stories when you’re done!
10. LinkedIn Cribbage: Grab a cribbage board with pegs. (Yes, Google it if you don’t know what a cribbage board is!) Prospect for two hours by phone, then two hours on LinkedIn. Start at the top of your list with calling. At the end of the phone prospecting time, continue down your list, doing LinkedIn messages. Use one side of the board to track phone appointments and one to track LinkedIn appointments set. Alternate throughout the day.
How Sales Prospecting Games Increase Your Success Rate
You have a great value proposition. You prepare for every conversation. Know how to get past executive gatekeepers and be ready to handle objections. If you aren’t careful, you will begin to sound scripted. You’ll lose the edge that makes you interesting to talk to and gets you more appointments than average.
Even when you have a basic script, you want to be conversational, listening to your prospect and responding appropriately. Just like driving the same route to work every day and overlooking the all-too-familiar sites along the way, you could miss key openings on a call.
Prospecting games keep you alert. Your mind is focused. They help you when other things could sabotage cold calls. You stay fresh, engaged, and confident. And those attributes in a cold call get you past difficult gatekeepers and close more appointments.
Ready – Set – Play
Now it’s time to set the game directions aside and get down to business.
- Choose a prospecting game you’d like to try.
- Schedule your cold call time.
- Play! (That means dial!)
Let’s see how many great conversations you have and new appointments you set. Share your results with me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I can’t wait to hear!
Schedule a Cold Call Blitz Day
We conduct virtual cold call blitz days for clients. Here’s how they unfold.
- You begin with a planning call to fully prepare you and your salespeople. Together, we identify the prospecting plan, prizes, and select a prospecting game.
- On blitz day we have a motivational kickoff and check-ins to break past roadblocks and maximize results.
- We wrap up with a celebration call and manager briefing, sharing observations about the sales team to extend your prospecting results.