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May 24, 2016
Sales  |  4 min read

3 Pieces of Advice From a Seasoned Sales Development Rep to New Hires

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Katelyn Boutin

Now that I have been a sales development rep (SDR) for about a year now, I’ve taken the time to reflect back on some things I’ve learned along the way that I would have found beneficial to know from the very start of my career. These things are: confidence is key, less is more, and when you feel like there’s no hope that a qualified prospect will agree to a next step—ask anyway. Think this sounds too generic? Well, it would have made my life much simpler to know these things when I was just starting out, so it may help your team to know the following tips. Why not spare five minutes?

Confidence means fake it until you make it

It’s easy to tell someone that they need to exhibit confidence on the phone, but it’s another thing to actually have it. To really gain control of a conversation, you need to have confidence in yourself and your knowledge. Understanding your weaknesses is just as important as understanding your strengths—if not more important. When you know what trips you up, you can learn to control it. If you can take any of your weaknesses and mold them into strengths, you’ll never feel weak on a call again.

Pro tip No. 1

Here’s a little secret: You can fake confidence. People won’t doubt you until you give them a reason to. So, simply listen to your prospects and tell them the next step; chances are they aren’t an expert in your offering and it wouldn’t hurt them to have a more in-depth conversation with your team. But you’ll never get there if you don’t think you can.

Less is sometimes more

This brings me to advice number two. Charmin Ultra got it right when they said, “Less is more.” That’s what being an SDR is all about. No, I’m not talking about toilet paper—only metaphorically. I have worked with many SDRs, and the ones that succeed follow the same rule of thumb: entice your prospect, but don’t overwhelm them with information. When you have a prospect on the phone, you only have a few minutes (if you’re lucky) to make a positive impression. It’s important to grab their attention and run with it, but not forever. I say this because I’ve heard many SDRs lose the attention of good prospects simply by talking too much and pitching too hard rather than gathering information and listening to the prospect. In many cases, new SDRs over think the initial stages of the sales process and focus too hard on nailing a date and time on the calendar for a follow-up. Instead, they should be listening to the prospect and allowing the natural process to take its course.

Pro tip No. 2

By simply listening to your prospect and honing in on their pains, it’s much easier to get the conversation going. It’s important to let your prospect talk while you still maintain control of the flow of the conversation. Remember, this is a conversation, not an interrogation. Don’t just pester your prospect with endless questioning without returning value to the conversation.

Always ask, never assume

My third piece of advice is one that I think we don’t talk enough about, and it’s connected to the first two. When we lose confidence, we talk too much, and are thus left thinking, “There’s no hope for a next step here.” It becomes a vicious cycle that is hard to break once the habit is formed. What works for me, and what has become my motto, is to always try to put time on a prospect’s calendar for a more extensive conversation in the future—as long as they are qualified and a good fit for my offering. I’ve found that if you don’t ask, you’ll never know the answer, and for every time you hear “no” there will be someone else that says “yes.”

Pro tip No. 3

Here’s the thing, if you both agree on a future time to talk for a longer period than five minutes, chances are you’ll learn the qualifying details you’re pushing for while creating a much calmer and less pressured environment. At the end of the day, you can’t get a “no” until you ask, so don’t be afraid to do so.

This article was written by Katelyn Boutin from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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