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We Are the Hole Diggers

November 3, 2021
  |   Rob Kancler

This summer our neighborhood was prepped for fiber optic cable upgrades. This was done by a team of ten men with shovels who dug holes. They dug every day, Monday through Friday, from 7:00 in the morning until about 7:00 at night.

All day long, dig a hole, feed cable piping through, fill in the hole, and then go dig another. Despite the monotony of the situation, what they were doing was valuable as it would increase people’s ability to communicate, get information, and be entertained in their homes. Much of the wonderful technology we are dependent on in our day-to-day home and work lives was made possible by this group of ten (or similar) with shovels doing a repetitive task daily.

As I would walk my neighborhood and see their progression, it occurred to me that in the world of sales and business development my role in B2B cold calling was analogous to that of that team of hole-diggers. My job is repetitive and, from the outside looking in, the same every day. (Of course, I am thankful that B2B cold calling does not involve digging holes all day in 90-degree heat!)

Yet, within each job is the necessity to plan, problem-solve, make adjustments and be innovative, thus plenty of variety to keep the role stimulating and enriching if you approach it with the right mindset. Here are 5 keys to success that have worked for me when it comes to business development cold calling.

1. Embrace Your Role

Knowing your role and embracing it is key to making the most of your position and to keeping the job mentally stimulating. You are part machine with repetitive dialing, part detective when finding new contacts/locations/numbers etc., and part public relations in the way you present yourself on behalf of your clients. Take pride in your role and run with it!

2. Enjoy the Process

Following the process is necessary for success so you might as well make it enjoyable. Have a daily/weekly/monthly plan and make the necessary adjustments as you go. Solicit feedback and ideas from your clients and communicate regularly with them to make it a collaborative effort. Constantly look for new ways to find and reach contacts and when it is all said and done just keep dialing!

3. Engage Your Coworkers

No one will know better the struggles you will face, and no one will be a better resource to help you than the people you work with. Talk with your coworkers, ask them questions, and get their advice. In addition, get to know them. Ask them about their day, their family, their weekends, etc. Interacting with your coworkers and developing positive relationships with them can not only make your job more enjoyable but, by utilizing your coworkers as a resource, they can make you better in your role.

4. Find Daily Wins

No matter how positive your mental outlook is, Business Development Cold Calling can be a grind. There can be days where it seems hardly anyone is answering their phones and the ones who do pick up want nothing to do with you or your client. Find wins every day, even if they are not leads. Building your pipeline, finding contacts and new working numbers are just a few of the daily wins you can have that are not actual leads.

5. Rinse and Repeat

Start each day new. If you got a lot of leads yesterday, great, but approach today with the same enthusiasm and energy to work the process again. If you did not get the number of leads you wanted yesterday, don’t let it bother you. Trust and embrace the process each day and your numbers will be where you want them in the end.

These five principles have helped me tremendously in my role. Some of our work may not, in the moment, feel like the most amazing task being done on earth. But, just like those hole diggers, it’s for a larger purpose. In the end, a lot of data, information and productivity were going to flow through those cables that were placed in those holes. The same is true of our business development efforts. Before long, business will be flowing because of the holes we dig today. See the big picture, apply the principles in this blog, and keep going, keep digging!

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