Relationship Building 101

 As a new SDR or BDR, especially coming from B2C roles, a consistent struggle I've seen is reps robotically spewing prepared materials verbatim to prospects, not thinking about what prospects actually care about when reaching out on LinkedIn or via email, and leaving voicemails that assume a sale before they've even spoken to someone. I've done it, successful SDRs have done it, and it's something you have probably done too. It's okay, it's part of growing into the role.

But what really successful Sales Development Reps realize early on is that the beginning of the sales cycle, your entire job basically, is not about dollars. Something a manager told me early in my current role is, "You're not here to sell, you're here to get people to get people to like you." Getting people to answer your calls or emails is pretty simple, though not easy. It has always been and always will be a numbers game, but what you do with those replies is what gets you demos. Here are 4 rules I live by when I actually get a lead on the hook:

1. Breathe

For your first few calls, email replies, and voicemails you're going to be nervous. Sweating over whether someone answers your call is natural for new SDRs. Once you get over title-shock, the "Oh man, this guy is a VP!", it gets easier. Until then, just remember they responded for a reason. Usually it's genuine interest in your product and often it's also how your emails connected their suspected pain points with how you can help. If they didn't want to speak they'd have left you on read, and the worst they can say is no. Chill out.

2. Ditch The Robot Voice

How you say things is just as important as what you're saying and it can put prospects, and yourself, at ease when beginning a meeting. There's a big difference when you say "Hey, how are ya?" instead of "Hi, how are you?" One is casual, inviting, and how you'd speak to a friend. the other can sound like you're preparing your next value prop in your head without actually listening to what they say. If you have a lot of trouble with this, talk to someone about whatever your favourite thing to talk about is and pay close attention to how you say what you say. Apply what you learn to your conversations with prospects and everything gets that much easier. Content can change, but you have to be easy to talk to to be successful.

3. Know What Their Title Means

A CXO is going to worry about different things than a VP or a Director or a Manager. A VP or CXO might want to understand how your product affects salaried time or company wide engagement, while a Manager or Director is going to be more concerned about budget and ease of use. They have different job descriptions for a reason and being able to speak to that will make your conversations flow more naturally.

4. Actually Care

Clients can tell when they're being sold to, rather than having a problem solved, no matter how good the SDR is. They smell bullshit a mile away and it'll get you put into their spam folder quicker than anything. Realize that your prospect that respond actually have problems in their day-to-day lives that you can help with and when you try to assist as if you were part of their team rather than add dollars to a deal, you'll put more quality into your pipeline.

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