November 3

Kendra Lee on Prospecting and Lead Generation


Kendra Lee is president and founder of KLA Group, a world-class sales and marketing agency, and she is author of the books The Sales Magnet and Selling Against the Goal.

Once a repeat IBM Golden Circle award winner, Ms. Lee has led her organization in leading clients, including small and mid-market companies and Fortune 100 enterprises, to produce results like these...

  • Penetrate new markets in as few as 12 weeks
  • Increase referrals by more than 328% in just 7 weeks
  • Drive new client acquisition by more than 31% year-over-year
  • Generate an additional 5 prospect appointments per week per rep

Contact Kendra:

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[Podcast Transcript Using Artificial Intelligence]

Umar Hameed 0:06
Are you ready to become awesomer? Hello everyone. This is Umar Hameed, your host and welcome to the No Limits Selling Podcast, where industry leaders share their tips, strategies and advice on how to make you better, stronger, faster. Get ready for another episode.

Umar Hameed 0:33
Hello, everyone. Today I have the privilege of having Kendra Lee. She's the author of a few books, The Sales Magnet, I want to magnetize more sales and selling against the goal. Kendra, welcome to the program.

Kendra Lee 0:46
Well, thank you for having me today, Umar. It's a pleasure to be here with you.

Umar Hameed 0:50
So right off the gate, I want to commend you on your website, it's got really clear, crisp messaging on, "Hey, if you want to do more business, you want more leads, you've come to the right place." Good job. I'm doing that.

Kendra Lee 1:02
Thank you. I'm always excited when I hear that we've hit the mark. Thank you.

Umar Hameed 1:08
I was at a conference doing a keynote many years ago with about 100 and some odd sales managers in the room. And I said, "Okay, the sales process plus or minus is getting the appointment, doing the presentation, handling objections, closing the deal, and then getting going deeper in the account of getting referrals. Is that fair?" And they go, "Yep, that sounds about fear," and I said, "Okay, where do your salespeople get stuck most often? And what is the impact on their sales." and two things one top spot, one was getting appointments. And that's what we're going to talk about today, because a lot of people do not know how to fill their pipeline with quality appointments. And the estimated 50% of their earning potential gets left on the table when they don't do that. And the other one that came up tide was actually closing the deal. And that also had about a 50% impact. So you and I are going to solve actually, you're going to solve the problem of that first thing, how to get more clients how to get more appointments. So Kendra, tell us about your company and what you do. And then let's start digging deeper into prospecting and lead generation.

Kendra Lee 2:07
What we do is help small companies get more customers. And we do it through lead generation and sales prospecting training, because as you pointed out, that's the area that is the hardest to figure out in the sales process. So we help them generate more leads to then follow up on.

Umar Hameed 2:29
What's interesting is that a lot of things in life are really easy to do. But our mindset makes it so much harder than it needs to be. And certainly prospecting and picking up the phone and calling people our head plays tricks with us, right?

Kendra Lee 2:44
Oh, yes, without a doubt, I believe that a big portion of the challenge of prospecting is just the fear of what's going to happen if somebody actually does pick up the phone.

Umar Hameed 2:57
Absolutely. And if they do pick it up, they may be mean to us, but can I tell you a joke? Before we get started?

Kendra Lee 3:02

Umar Hameed 3:04
Do you know how to make a salesperson shut up?

Kendra Lee 3:06

Umar Hameed 3:06
Give them a phone.

Kendra Lee 3:10
So true Umar, the minute you say to somebody call, they just freeze. It's interesting. And when we do prospecting training, when I speak with business owners or executives about it, the one thing that I say is that we're going to give salespeople the confidence to call because once they get going, they're good. But they don't want to pick up the phone because they've lost their confidence very often.

Umar Hameed 3:34
So in a minute, what we're going to do, if that's okay, is figure out how you get people in the right mindset to make calls. And then what is the process you show them to make the calls and just to kind of kick us off, I was working with a client and one of their sales people on how to use the phone prospecting. I'm not an expert there because my areas of expertise is mindset. But I said, "Okay, make some calls while I'm in the room," and he made some calls, and I recorded them. And I said, "Okay, do me a favor, call one of your friends at home and invite them out to the movies, [garbled] your best bud." So he picks up the phone and he calls his best bud to ask him out to the movies. And I say okay, now listen to one of your calls that you made to a customer and notice the tightness in your voice, the formality of it, the awkwardness of it. And now listen to the call you made with your friend, how warm it is, how engaging it is how relaxed it is. And that was like an eye opener and dare I say ear opener for this person to go, oh my god, I had no idea that my voice changed when I was doing prospecting versus when I was talking with a friend.

Kendra Lee 4:34
What a great idea to have them do that and then listen to the differences because I think a lot of times, that's exactly what keeps people from wanting to talk with a salesperson that they feel tight and nervous. It feels scripted, and they're just not natural. They're not being themselves, not with the receptionist or the gatekeeper. answers, not with the voicemail, and who wants to return a voicemail where you sound stiff, or scripted. I love that. That's a great strategy Umar.

Umar Hameed 5:11
So before we end the call today, remind me that I'm going to share with you the voicemail message you can leave that gets returned 100% of the time. By the way, this is a joke is not real, but it's funny. So, Kendra, tell us, if I wanted to, let's say do a campaign to let's say 100 VPS of sales? How would I start that process? What would I say? How would I get, walk me through that? How would you help customers do that?

Kendra Lee 5:36
Well, I'm going to talk about it from the prospecting perspective, what we would excellent people to do. And then later if we want to talk about it from a lead gen perspective to set it up for prospecting, we can.

Umar Hameed 5:49
Sure. Take it away, Kendra.

Kendra Lee 5:51
Yes. For a salesperson. They want to start with what do they think is the biggest issue that people are really frustrated about or concerned about, but they have some emotional attachment to that really needs to be solved? I mean, right now everything has to be an immediate need if you're going to break through. So what's the immediate need? What's the problem that they're feeling right this moment, and that's the place you want to start? Because that's what they wanted to say.

Umar Hameed 6:30
Hold on there just for a second Kendra, because I think I absolutely 100% that's the place to start. A lot of times companies themselves do that badly. They look at the situation, from their point of view, were the best company to do XYZ and we're amazing. And this is what customers want. And I guess when you talk to some of their customers, you find out that the customers actually want something quite different. They're buying it, but they're buying it for this reason, this is the problem it solves. So how do you get salespeople to figure that out? Because sometimes what they think isn't accurate.

Kendra Lee 6:59
My recommendation, if you don't know what that is, is call some of your clients, your existing clients, and find out what's going on in their world right this moment. And they're already clients, so they don't need your services, but finding out what's bothering them what they're trying to work on, or what was the biggest issue? Or what were they so thankful that your company helps them with because it's a problem they didn't have. So I would use existing customers to find out what are the issues, or if you have prospects that you are already working with, then ask them what they're grappling with right now. And I'd start with people, you know, just like calling and asking a friend to go to the movies.

Umar Hameed 7:45
So I think that's brilliant on a couple of levels. So number one, if you don't know frickin ask, and number two, the people that you ask that your customers, they see this as a customer service call, and they feel valued, and it strengthens relationships. And not only you're getting the information you need, but you're also making them feel good about it as well. And I think sometimes the way they articulate a problem that is gold, because they do it in a way that comes from emotion as opposed to us that we do it more in a clinical analytical way. So good for you. So once a salesperson knows this is the problem I'm solving. What's the next step?

Kendra Lee 8:19
Once they know the problem? Use the words, just like you talked about the way that the customer or a prospect described it, because that's probably what's going to resonate with a prospect. So I'm going to say right out what you'd like to say about that, no, we're not going to use it as a script. But it gives you a framework of Okay, this is what I'm going to talk about. So you're open with that issue. And your whole goal is just to get an appointment. So from there you want to link to Well, why should they talk with you, because you're going to help them with that issue. Either you're going to share what others have done, or are doing to solve that. Or you're going to talk about ideas you have on how they could do it, but you want to set an appointment. So the next step is write out what you think you want to say. So that you have a framework.

Umar Hameed 9:16
Absolutely. And I think if you can name a couple of your clients that have their pairs, that gives you social proof that your stuff works is really useful attorney ideas makes a lot of sense. And I think if we add to that, two more things, one is if you've got some data around whatever that situation is like you'll improve your XYZ by 33%. Or this happens to 75% of companies don't be one of them. That helps a lot. And kyndra. Can you talk about questions because sometimes asking a question really interrupts the prospects need to hang up on you. So how would you help them ask the right questions to get people to go? Hmm,

Kendra Lee 9:52
I want to comment on your comment about data. And then question I agree with you if you've got a data A point that you can reference in the call that will pique people's interest because it lends credibility to what you're talking about. For questions, have your first question prepared? Because you may use it at any point in that conversation while you and your mind may be thinking, Oh, my gosh, I've got to talk for a little bit before they're going to say anything. The reality is, you may need to dive right into your question. So your first question should directly relate to that issue, that problem that need that they are feeling right now. You know, don't start, don't tell them, Oh, I know that people are going to be start moving back from safer at home, to back to the office, and they aren't sure how they're going to be able to do that. So that you start off talking about that is a problem. And you may be really worried about it. You know, I know our clients are worried about it don't then go into, "So how many staff do you have?"

Umar Hameed 11:01

Kendra Lee 11:02
But didn't ask anything related to that we were talking about moving from remote work to going back to the office. So your first question has to relate to what that issue is, and has to be open ended? Something that requires them to answer with more than just yes or no, or get off the phone?

Umar Hameed 11:23
Yeah, absolutely. So once you start that dialogue, how do you get people to the what is the next step? Is it getting them to accept a meeting with you what's next?

Kendra Lee 11:33
I like to have a brief conversation. Because if I can have a brief conversation in this first call, you know, only two or three minutes, then a couple of things happen. One is you can leave a lasting impression so that they're more likely to keep an appointment. Another is that when you go to remind them of the appointment, or if they miss it, and you need to call and say, "Hey, we were going to talk about," you know what they were interested in. So in just a couple of minutes, you can gather enough information. So to me, that's the next step, we're going to ask a question, we're going to get a conversation started, we're going to have a brief conversation about that issue or need that they're really emotionally connected to, and then we're going to set our appointment.

Umar Hameed 12:29
Brilliant. And I'll just backtrack a little bit, if I may. Mm hmm. When we came out of the caves, basically, if you weren't part of a tribe, you were dead, your group was everything. And it's almost hardwired into our DNA that we need to connect with a tribe. And you know, before I got on the call with you, LinkedIn basically said, Hey, do you want to find out more about Kendra Lee before you have a call with her today? And it was like, A, how do you know I'm having a call with her get out of my head, but that is such a useful tool that if you can find something that makes you part of that person's tribe, it just changes the entire nature of the call, I was on a call with someone that used to work at Hewlett Packard, and I worked for them in a different country for a little while. And somewhere in the call. I said, oh, by the way, I noticed you work for HP in you know, San Diego, I used to work for them in Toronto, and it just changed the entire nature of the call instantly. It was like Oh, really do you know so and so. So just doing that little bit of research on LinkedIn free go in if there's any commonality even if, "Oh, my son went to the same school, as you did is enough for them to kind of say you're part of my tribe and be warmer towards you."

Kendra Lee 13:36
I love using LinkedIn that way. The other thing I'll do is Google and see what comes up. Because interestingly, you know if they've written an article, and it wasn't for whatever reason and their LinkedIn profile, or they were highlighted somewhere,

Umar Hameed 13:53

Kendra Lee 13:54
find information about them. If you don't have a connection from the school, or hobbies, a lot of times hobbies are another place, you may have read something they wrote that they have in their feed in LinkedIn, you know, a recent post or an article that they've pinned. All of those are things that you can talk about with them. And they're fabulous conversation starters to change the whole tone.

Umar Hameed 14:21
Absolutely. And quite flattering for the person receiving that whole he wrote that article. I really liked it.

Kendra Lee 14:28
And they want to help you what's so interesting is when you use that frame of mind, or frame of reference, it's like they want to have a different type of conversation with you. And I call that helping, it's like they're much more open and receptive. And they want to know, oh, well, why are you calling me then? And now they're going to work to say, Oh, I'm not the right person to talk to or Oh, well, yeah. Tell me a little bit more about that. Maybe we should be doing something. I don't think so but tell me.

Umar Hameed 14:59
And when we end up landing the appointment and then what?

Kendra Lee 15:05
You land the appointment and then some of your work begins because you want to keep that appointment. So most sales people will stop and wait for the appointment to come. But if you don't have any communication between the time that you set the appointment and when the appointment occurs, it's easy for a prospect to forget why. Now, if you had that connection we just talked about from LinkedIn, you stand a better chance that they'll remember because you have a personal connection. But if you didn't have that, and your appointment is a week away, so many things could happen that caused them to say, "Oh, yeah, I don't really need to meet with Umar today. I don't remember what we were going to talk about. I've got other stuff to do." So to me, that's when your real work begins.

Umar Hameed 15:55
And so how would you stay on their radar?

Kendra Lee 15:57
Combination of things, if you are not connected in LinkedIn, I send a connection invitation and tell them that you're looking forward to the call. That's one thing. Another is based on what you're going to talk about, share something interesting. Maybe your company wrote a blog post, maybe there's a video, maybe you saw something that relates to the topic that is from a credible source that you want to share with them. So you can give them a bit of information. The other is to remind them what you're going to talk about. I am a big believer in sending calendar invitations. Yes, the body put what your agenda is going to be and make it more specific. So little bits of communication, not so that they feel like you are overwhelming them pick one or two to do and use those to remind them why they're going to talk.

Umar Hameed 17:01
Brilliant. And I think one of the things we can do is before we end the call with the prospect when we've got the meeting to say, Hey, you know, we're all busy. And I've got a couple of things I'll be sending in the next couple of days. So look out for those and almost like coach them on it. So it's not an unexpected surprise. It's like oh, yeah, he said he would send it or she said she would send it. And it also kind of just brings up that, you know, we're serious people. And we want to add value to you, Mr. prospect, and we expect you to be there at two o'clock on the 15th of May.

Kendra Lee 17:31
We're setting their expectation that there's going to be something else coming. And it's you said it's a value, and our conversation will be a value. So setting that up before you ever get off the phone, I'll be sending you a calendar invitation. I'll put the agenda in it. Just as a reminder, I'm also going to send you this really interesting article that I saw that I think you'd find valuable because or I'm going to go ahead and send you a LinkedIn connection invitation because we should definitely be connected, whatever just letting them know, so that they're looking for it and expecting it.

Umar Hameed 18:10
Kendra, one things that you did that was commenting on your website when we started the conversation today. And one of the things I noticed on there was 60 Ways to Prospect Remotely. So tell me about that and how can the listeners get access to that?

Kendra Lee 18:23
We have recognized how challenging it is to prospect right now. And so we've been creating different resources for people to shift how they would normally prospect to being able to prospect remotely. So I brainstormed a list of 60 different ways that you can prospect Today, many of which I've actually used myself and put it into a checklist of ideas that a salesperson can go and use and choose and say, ah, today, I'm going to try a new way to prospect I'm going to email somebody a report that our company's written because I think they're going to find it really valuable, or I'm going to connect with them on LinkedIn and then email them you know, we've got lots of different ideas. They can't Oh, would you put it in the show notes? Mar let's do that so that they could get it that way?

Umar Hameed 19:17
Absolutely. Because I think that when we're by our lonesome is at home, being stared at by the dog that wants to walk or doesn't want to walk anymore, that would be absolutely useful because I think even if we pick three of the ways out of the 60 to test, we're gonna find stuff that works. And so thank you so much for doing that. I'm gonna put it in the show notes. Kendra, thanks so much for the conversation today. I really enjoyed it. I learned a lot. We're gonna put all your contact information in the show notes, any piece of advice you want to give people before we end this episode

Kendra Lee 19:46
For prospecting, you have to look at it from the perspective that people really need what you have, but they don't know that it's out there. If you can identify what the issue or the challenge or the need is that they have and how it's affecting them mean, you need to reach out and tell them that you're there and you're there to help and available to coach and guide them. Don't look at it as oh my gosh, I'm making another prospecting call and all I'm going to do is send an appointment. It's all about helping your prospects because what you have they need. So keep that in mind and just have fun with prospecting. You're going to go meet a whole bunch of new people who doesn't like that.

Umar Hameed 20:40
Kendra, thanks so much for being on the program. I really enjoyed our conversation, and I can't wait till our next.

Kendra Lee 20:46
Thank you Umar for having me. I appreciate it. And if anybody has a question, just reach out to me through the website, or LinkedIn.

Umar Hameed 20:55

Umar Hameed 21:01
If you enjoyed this episode, please go to iTunes and leave a five-star rating. And if you're looking for more tools, go to my website at nolimitsselling.com. I've got a free mind training course there, that's going to teach you some insights from the world of Neuro-Linguistic Programming and that is the fastest way to get better results.


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