Podcast

279 Selling Is Just Communicating with Nancy Calabrese

Nancy is the creator One of a Kind Sales she is passionate about a properly executed pre-sales process – engaging with prospects, uncovering their needs and turning them into qualified leads. Her unique approach, positive attitude, and relentless attention to detail is derived from her experience in recruiting.

Upon graduation from Penn State University, Nancy began her career in New York City as a recruiter for a national retailer and Fortune 500 company. After honing her skills for eight years, Nancy made the natural transition to the search industry, recruiting and placing insurance professionals.

In 1991 she founded Professionals Unlimited Inc, specializing in insurance industry recruiting.  She saw the need for better quality, highly specialized qualified lead generation and in 2011, created One of a Kind Solutions which was re-branded One of a Kind Sales in 2018.
Nancy employs a unique approach to solving problems using consultative selling.

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Resources Mentioned in this Episode:

Free Gift: Ditch the Script ebook

Podcast:
One Of A Kind Sales Podcast

3 Key Points:

  • You have to have a script that will ground you.
  • The components of a Good Script:
    – Create some curiosity so that they don’t know for sure what the nature of the call is.
    – Introduce yourself and what you do and what companies are drawn to you and their issues
  • Selling is actually just communicating and it can be so much fun and joy, and you can actually have a fun conversation and turn that prospect into a happy paying client.

Show Notes:

[2:15] Take each and every conversation as a discovery conversation where it’s all about the prospect, and not all about me

[3:27] We don’t go into sales mode, we go into collecting information by determining if we are speaking to the right person and if that person is in a position today to have a need for what we solve.

[6:48] Our job as salespeople is to identify that person’s communication style, and then match it because they love hearing themselves and it allows for greater connection.

[7:41] It is important that anyone that is new into a sales role, should identify either with the program or do research and develop a system internally.

[8:59] The real selling begins with all of the objections.

[10:01] Create some curiosity so that they don’t know for sure what the nature of the call is, do not identify yourself and where you are calling from right in the first few seconds of a sales call.

[12:00] I want to be in front of those prospects that either have a need immediately. Is that what every salesperson wants, or are they in my target audience? May not have a need but I want to develop a relationship with them, or may have a need in the near future.

[15:45] For people who are starting out or who are fearful of just making that connection, you have to accept that you’re going to be uncomfortable for a little while, commit to doing it every day, a couple of hours a day by the end of the week you’re gonna feel better.

[19:35] The goal is to get to the next step, either it’s a no, even if it’s a no not now, but you want to get to that quickly or if it’s a yes, get that appointment on the books.

[22:37] I want everyone to know that cold calling is not dead, not dead. There are opportunities out there. Cold Calling is an old school, but it has become a new school.

Transcript:

For FULL Transcript click here:

Read Full Transcript, click here:

Christine Schlonski [0:02]
Hey Gorgeous. This is episode number 279 with the wonderful Nancy Calabrese.

Nancy Calabrese [0:08]
Hi, this is Nancy Calabrese and you are listening to Heart Sells! Podcast with Christine Schlonski. Enjoy.

Christine Schlonski [0:18]
Well, I am so super pumped to have Nancy on Heart Sells! Podcast today and we will be sharing with you a ton of value. Nancy is really passionate about a properly executed pre-sales process, which basically means engaging with a prospect and covering their needs and turning them into qualified leads. She executes that was her brand, one of a kind sales. And she is really there to support her clients with a unique approach to solve problems using the consultative selling process. So let’s dive right in and hear from Nancy herself how that works and how you can make that part of your sales process. Well, I am so super excited to have you on the show today Nancy, welcome.

Nancy Calabrese [1:11]
Thank you so much.

Christine Schlonski [1:13]
Yeah, I’m so excited to have you here because we connected and we both love to talk about something that other people are fearing. And that is sales.

Nancy Calabrese [1:24]
Love sales.

Christine Schlonski [1:25]
Yeah. So I’m so excited to share you with the audience today because you’ve been up to amazing amazing things and really helping people to sell you found a really unique approach and solving problems basically by using the so-called consultative selling. So let’s start with this so people actually know what it is like sales always feel like oh, I don’t want to do it. It’s difficult, hard, sleazy, pushy, but right out of selling sounds like a doable thing.

Nancy Calabrese [2:00]
You know, I think it free salespeople from the pressure that is typically associated in that role. And the way I describe it to most people is taking each and every conversation as a discovery conversation, and where it’s all about the prospect, and not all about me. So I can give you an example. most traditional sales training platforms focused on selling on features and benefits. So, producer A will go out and she wants to get an appointment with Christine and we’ll talk about all the great things their service or product can provide Christine, and just want an appointment, right? There’s no inquiry as to Christine’s need or interest. What we do here and how I’ve been trained is by sounding different, sounding very relaxed and non-salesy, you first have to determine, are you speaking to the right person? And second, are you in a position today to have a need for what we solve? So we don’t go into sales mode, we go into collecting information, and it’s changed the world. You know, years ago. I was trained like everybody else. And once I drank the sauce, if you would, there was never going back.

Christine Schlonski [3:45]
Yeah, yeah. Let’s talk about how you get started? I mean, did you always know you were going to be in sales? Was it something that felt natural or how did you end up in sales?

Nancy Calabrese [3:59]
How did I end up in sales? You know, it’s really interesting. I was thinking about this, our podcast today, or a conversation. And people would be shocked to know that as a young child, I was very insecure, very insecure and that’s a whole another podcast and in it up against itself. But I was always very driven and determined, but set second-guessed my abilities. And when I got out of college, I knew I always had the knack to speak to anyone anywhere. I didn’t care. I wasn’t intimidated. So I was told often I should go into sales. But I didn’t take the leap until I was 30 years old. When I finally realized I had been working for a fortune 50 company as a recruiter, and we had 250 jobs to fill and I engaged three headhunters. And I divvied up the jobs. And one of them proved to be the best better one, and then I’m looking at all the money. We’re paying these headhunters and I said to myself, I could do that. So I took the leap at that age and relocated found a firm that gave me some training, but you were really on your own. It was sink or swim. So I guess I swam because I’m still in it. And I’m loving it more and more each day.

Christine Schlonski [5:34]
Yeah, yeah, I love that I got into sales by accident as well. So it’s just I just love like how sometimes you know, the vibe is aligned and the past is obviously not the same, but kind of similar.

Nancy Calabrese [5:50]
Yeah.

Christine Schlonski [5:51]
And so many people who become entrepreneurs realize while all of a sudden they now have a sales job.

Nancy Calabrese [5:59]
Oh, yeah. Well, you know, when you really think of it, everyone is in sales. Everyone, to some degree, is looking to persuade their husband or their children to do something, that’s selling.

Christine Schlonski [6:14]
Yeah, but they don’t realize it right. We are not going well. You know, I give you 10 bucks if you do the dishes, usually, I mean, maybe with the kids, right, but not the husband.

Nancy Calabrese [6:24]
Right now that yeah, but what, the beauty of selling is selling is just a way of communication. So people that are lucky enough to be in our profession, very often have studied different ways of communicating with different people. And our job as salespeople is to identify that person’s communication style, and then match it because they love hearing themselves. It allows for greater connection.

Christine Schlonski [7:04]
Yeah, let’s talk about this. So what would you say to someone who’s really nervous about selling, right? They haven’t really done it before, but now they’re an entrepreneur and they know they have an amazing gift. They want to share how they can connect on that deeper level without feeling stressed or pressured, but really allowing themselves the space to make those connections. Yeah.

Nancy Calabrese [7:29]
You know, selling doesn’t have to be this, you know, scary, scary process. And when I say process, I think that it’s important that anyone that is new into a sales role, should identify either with the program or do research and develop a system internally. People tend to win sales, and it’s those situations that are highly stressful. So for us, it all starts with having a process, and outreach process, but also having scripts. And it’s funny, I was talking to someone yesterday, we both have another sales leader. And we both laughed. Because of how many people in sales, even the sales pros say, well, I don’t need a script. I’ve got it down. And I’m going to tell all of the listeners, that by having a script and internalizing it, right.

Nancy Calabrese [8:44]
You’ve got it in your head but you started with the script. So you may not be reading it, but you’ve done it enough and mastered it, that you know how it goes. Once you have that script in place. The real selling begins with all of the objections. Right? So if you have a script that grounds you, you’re good to go, your message is consistent. And then the fun is how, okay, how am I going to deflect this objection? And that objection? So if you have, you have to develop a toolbox of everything you need and practice, practice, practice.

Christine Schlonski [9:29]
Yeah. So what needs to be in a good script? What are the components that people should not be forgetting, especially when they are so nervous, and they start out?

Nancy Calabrese [9:39]
Yeah. Well, two schools of thought. Most salespeople are trained to identify who they are and where they’re calling from right in the first few seconds. And I will say, stop doing that. What you want to do, create some curiosity so that they don’t know for sure what the nature of the call is. We call it doing something different. So I’m going to say Hi, this is Nancy calibrates from one of a kind sales. And as soon as you hear it, Christine, your sales wall is going up.

Christine Schlonski [10:25]
Yeah, I’m going to put you in some call and so to speak,

Nancy Calabrese [10:29]
Right?

Christine Schlonski [10:29]
Like, the brain is starting, like what kind of call is this? And then

Nancy Calabrese [10:33]
Right, like, how am I gonna get you off the phone? So what we do deliberately is to say, Hi, Christine, This is Nancy Calabrese and save nothing pause. Because you’re Christine is trying to figure out well, Nancy, what’s it about? And then what I say is gee, you know, we don’t know each other, or I’m not sure my name rings a bell? I didn’t think it would. And, yeah, I’m not 100% sure you’re the person I need to talk to, if you give me 30 seconds, I’ll tell you why I’m calling you to tell me if it makes sense to continue. Is that okay? 99% of the time the person will say, sure.

Nancy Calabrese [10:48]
Yeah, well, 30 seconds, right. That’s not a big ask.

Nancy Calabrese [11:22]
No, no, no. And then we go into who I am and what we do. And companies that are drawn to us, these are the issues. Do you have any interest in continuing the conversation and then just shut up?

Christine Schlonski [11:40]
Yeah, so you give out gems for people to drop off?

Nancy Calabrese [11:43]
Yup.

Christine Schlonski [11:44]
Yeah.

Nancy Calabrese [11:45]
Yeah. It’s, it’s really a relief. Because we’re also told, and I believe this if there’s no pain, there’s no sale. So I want to be in front of those prospects that either have a need immediately. Is that what every salesperson wants, or are they in my target audience? May not have a need, but I want to develop a relationship with them, or may have a need in the near future. So, engaging with strangers, and that’s basically what we’re doing and we use it and almost everyone nowadays has to use the phone as a means to develop business. You know, when I first started, there were no video chats. Right? It was just the phone, so I never saw anybody. Yeah. And eventually, if you met them, ooh, you look like that. I had no idea. But now with the video chats, it does make it more of a human conversation, you know, an engagement.

Christine Schlonski [13:00]
Yeah, totally. So have you shifted into video chats for your business?

Nancy Calabrese [13:05]
We’ve always done it. Oh, okay. Yeah, we have always since we founded this business in 211. It’s always been virtual. We’re doing more and more video chats, because people, I believe, are more receptive to it. And if not in a first call, I really don’t demand it, but I suggest it to give that human element because it is always fun to put a face in front of a voice. Yeah, but you know, you could do phone sales without video.

Christine Schlonski [13:43]
Yeah, I mean, I’ve done it for over a decade and there was no video option whatsoever. And when I then started my own business, it felt a bit uncomfortable at first, to go really from the phone where my ears were so trained to hear every single nuance to seeing the person interacting on video was a bit challenging. But after a couple of calls was like oh, that’s kind of cool like, I can see the person, I can see the reaction I don’t need to guess because my ears it’s really that what got a notch up I think. So when you reach out then actually to get that interest that you do via phone and then if it’s the right person, you do an appointment via Zoom?

Nancy Calabrese [14:32]
The way we’re set up is I’ve got people calling for me, they set the appointment on my calendar, and unless the prospect asks the first conversation is a phone conversation, now there is a benefit to doing it via phone because you can have all of your cheat sheets on your monitors in front of you. When we do move if move to another call. It’s always a zoom meeting unless they don’t want it. And the suggestion is, let’s do a face to face. And what I’ve had to do now in the land of video chats is learn how to look at the camera, right? And do my typing over here. And it’s funny, I’m sure you know, everybody can appreciate sometimes you hit the wrong key. You don’t even remember you have like gobbly gosh on a paper, but it works. You know, I’m a big believer in having to take notes. Otherwise, I would forget. Yeah,

Christine Schlonski [15:42]
Yeah. Yeah. So what could you suggest for people who are starting out or who are fearful of just making that connection and reaching out to people they have not spoken before? What could make this process easier for them?

Nancy Calabrese [15:59]
Well, I think you have to accept that you’re going to be uncomfortable for a little while, you know, you’re starting brand new and anybody that starts brand new, going to be rusty. The way you get over that is by doing it. And committing to doing that every day, a couple of hours a day. And by the time the first week is over, you’re gonna feel better. The beauty of calling on the phone again, is they don’t have to see you being uncomfortable. Right? You don’t even have to speak to that person. Again. It’s just a phone conversation. And interestingly enough, since COVID, we have a greater connect rate. That you know, even though many people are now working from their home office, messages are being switched right there.

Nancy Calabrese [17:03]
We have found also during this time that people are receptive to, you know, talk about what’s going on with COVID. It’s like an icebreaker for the world. So it relaxes everyone and by practicing it, videotape yourself, use a zoom meeting. And if it’s a phone, take the video off and just play it back and back. And once you practice it, you get to perfection. You know what, I’m not a big football fan. However, Tom Brady. I think it’s safe to say we all know him. He’s a master of his craft, simply because he practices. Can you imagine Tom as a teenager the first time he threw the ball? Not so sure. He was the master today. So it’s just an ongoing process and it’s an investment in yourself because you’re practicing communication skills with just new people. That’s all.

Christine Schlonski [18:17]
Yeah, nothing to be afraid of right just to connect. And then obviously, you know, there are introverts and extroverts and it might be a little bit easier for the extroverts to reach out. But as an introvert, I just would love to invite you to give that a try, because you ask really smart questions. So people will appreciate that you reach out to them having a deep conversation.

Nancy Calabrese [18:45]
Yeah.

Christine Schlonski [18:45]
And for those extroverts, just go and enjoy connecting to people.

Nancy Calabrese [18:49]
Yeah, well, you know, that again, goes back to the script. Yeah, the script will save you. You don’t have and I recommend, don’t deviate from the script. Own it, practice it, and for extroverts, here’s the challenge with extroverts. If you get two extroverts in a conversation, you may never get down to business. So extroverts have to watch themselves, to be mindful that this is a business call, not a social call. And the goal is to get to the next step, either it’s a no, even if it’s a no not now, but you want to get to that quickly. Or if it’s a yes, get that appointment on the books, and go do your research before it and study your script. You need a script for when you have the first time appointment. So having a script or a playbook will help. It’s a tool.

Christine Schlonski [20:01]
Yeah, yeah. And I remember when I was still in corporate even though you could wake me up in the middle of the night, I could tell you the script. I still had it like after 12 years, I still had it in my hand for every single call, even though you know, my eyes would just go over it, I wouldn’t read it or write it in my hands. And when I was interrupted with a question, I always knew where I left off, and where I needed to come back. So the person would have all the information they needed to make an informed decision, and I will not get distracted and you know, end up somewhere else in the conversation.

Christine Schlonski [20:43]
So this also helps you to know where you are, by you know, giving the information like what has gone out in that conversation, because they might have a question and then you are off-script. And then you know, maybe 20 minutes later, you don’t even remember, but you have said that 20 minutes before. So coming back to that point, I always had that in my hand. And then I knew okay, now we are, like, halfway through. And these are the questions I need to ask to make sure I’m talking to the person that gets the most benefit out of this.

Nancy Calabrese [21:17]
You know you raise. That’s a great point. I don’t care how experienced we are in sales. I always have my documents in front of me and the few times that I didn’t, I was off my game. I was like, why I have to, you know if it’s in front of you? It makes it easy.

Christine Schlonski [21:38]
Yeah, it’s like it’s a trigger, right? It’s something like your good luck charm or whatever you might have. Like when it’s with you, you know, you’re set up for success, right? You can refer back to it, it’s right there. You don’t need to look for anything. And you can just, you know, use it. Or you know what you’re saying but it’s still there. So in case something happens, you can come back into the conversation strong and not be all over the place.

Nancy Calabrese [22:08]
Yeah.

Christine Schlonski [22:09]
This is amazing. Well just time flies and I’m so so super grateful we have another conversation.

Nancy Calabrese [22:15]
Wonderful.

Christine Schlonski [22:16]
Yeah, I just like what would you love to leave people with? And obviously, the links to you will be in the show notes. So everybody needs to connect with you and your work because it’s really amazing and I want people to find out about you. But what would you leave us with and where do you want people to go to find out more?

Nancy Calabrese [22:36]
Awesome. I want everyone to know that cold calling is not dead, not dead. There are opportunities out there. And the organizations that have an outbound call campaign are getting business and maybe getting business that you could have had yourself. The world today has all become inside sales. So if you’re second-guessing whether or not to open a cold call channel in your sales process. I say it’s timely. People are receptive to conversations. And it becomes your inside sales engine. And it should be done alongside social media marketing and email marketing. Cold Calling is an old school, but it’s become a new school.

Christine Schlonski [23:48]
Hmm, yeah, because you do connect as a human.

Nancy Calabrese [23:51]
Yeah, it’s all about the human conversation, which happens to be my podcast and you’re going to be on it real soon. I’m excited about that. So for folks that are interested in finding us, you can go to my website oneofakindsales.com follow us on Facebook, One Of A Kind Sales, and Twitter at One Of A Kind Sales. And certainly, if anyone is interested in speaking with me, my email address is nancy@oneofakindsales.com.

Christine Schlonski [24:25]
Awesome. Well, thank you so, so much, Nancy. I’m looking forward to our next conversation.

Nancy Calabrese [24:29]
Me to speak soon.

Christine Schlonski [24:32]
Well, I hope you really have gotten some great ideas from this episode and maybe a little spark that selling is actually just communicating and it can be so much fun and joy, and you can actually have a fun conversation and turn that prospect into a happy paying client. Hop on over to christineschlonski.com check out the podcast transcripts, the show notes, and all the links that lead to Nancy, as well as her amazing free gift. You find that at christineschlonski.com/podcast or Christine Schlonski and find the podcast tab. And once you’re over there, sign up for the Empowerment Notes. That’s empowerment right into your inbox, where I share amazing content that I usually do not share on social media. But you get more tips, strategies, ideas, and inspiration for growing your amazing heart-centered business in a beautiful way that feels authentic and fun. Have a wonderful day, wherever you are in this beautiful world. And check out the next episode with the amazing Nancy, where we talk about “Can You Ditch The Script?” I’m saying bye for now.

 

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