The 20-Call Burst

By Lain Chroust Ehmann

All managers want to help their employees become more effective sellers, but often it’s unclear just what efforts will pay off. John Klymshyn, author of
Move the Sale Forward, has found a way to make virtually any salesperson better by making them more active. “You can have great ads, marketing materials and more, but nothing serves you as well as generating activity,” he explains. Klymshyn’s secret is the 20-Call Burst.

The idea is simple: Every morning each salesperson makes 20 consecutive phone calls to potential customers and old contacts. These calls are successful, says Klymshyn, because the salesperson’s job “is to create – and move forward – as many conversations as you can with qualified buyers.” The 20-Call Burst allows salespeople to take control of their day and create forward momentum.

Klymshyn has some guidelines for training your team to make the most of the 20-Call Burst.

Salespeople should make the calls first thing in the morning. “If you plan it the night before you can start at 9 a.m. and be done by 10:30,” he says. The point is to take control of the day early on, rather than trying to fit the calls in later. “It sets the tenor of the day before lunchtime,” Klymshyn explains.

The calls must be to qualified prospects or old contacts, not random shots in the dark. It should take salespeople about half an hour to sort through their database for appropriate targets in preparation for the day’s calls.

The goal should be one thing and one thing only: Move the conversation forward. “The sale is not the transaction, the sale is the conversation,” Klymshyn explains.

Coach your team to avoid distractions and aim for a flow. “Distractions range from bills to newspapers to unfinished projects,” says Klymshyn. Even if something good happens, salespeople should resist the urge to share the good news until they’ve completed all their calls.

In Klymshyn’s experience, success with this process can be almost immediate. One of Klymshyn’s clients, an ad salesman for an online consumer site, told him that by mid-year he was at 100% of his goal for the year – after using the 20-Call Burst for only two months. “It’s very difficult to get into as a habit, but when they do their sales go nuts,” he says. “Sales is not a hocus-pocus endeavor. Everything links back to specific, directed activity.”<!–

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