Book Review – Smart Calling 3rd Edition by Art Sobczak
Mark Twain is reported to have said “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.” The same could be said for telephone prospecting. Telephone prospecting is alive a well – and – very profitable when done correctly. And that is exactly what’s in Smart Calling by Art Sobczak. Full disclosure – I am a big fan of Art Sobczak and own the previous two editions of Smart Calling. I have successfully used Art’s principles in my management roles since 1998 when I first got exposed to them. So, I was excited to hear that Art had a new and updated 3rd edition of Smart Calling coming out. The full title is Smart Calling: Eliminate the Fear, Failure, and Rejection from Cold Calling, and it delivers on all of those promises and more.
What’s in the Book
Smart Calling is broken down into four section:
- Part One: The Smart Calling Concept
- Part Two: Pre-Call Planning
- Part Three: Creating and Placing the Smart Call
- Part Four: Putting It All Together
Within these four sections are 20 chapters of Smart Calling insights that cover everything you need to know to be successful at telephone prospecting.
Smart Calling vs. Cold Calling
You’ve probably noticed that I haven’t used the term “cold calling”. And that’s because Art will be the first one to tell you that cold calling is a dumb and often fruitless activity. Art makes an important distinction between what constitutes a cold call vs. a Smart Call. The data is compelling and right there in the first chapter. That distinction becomes more and more defined as you read on. And after you’re done, you’ll never cold call again.
Most sales experts agree that pre-call planning is one of the most important (if not *the* most important) thing sales professionals can do to improve their effectiveness. This is the essence of what a Smart Call is, and, Art appropriately spends a quarter of the book on this important topic. In Part Two readers discover the vital importance of articulating your possible value proposition and why setting call objectives (both primary and secondary) will create sustained progress and eliminate rejection. These are important topics. The remainder of this section focuses on preparing for the call by gathering information. It is intelligence gathering that makes your calls “Smart”. Art shows you what you need to know, where to find it and how to gather it quickly so that your time is spent effectively. Frankly, if you do nothing more than apply Part Two of Smart Calling you will be light-years ahead of your competition.
Crafting and Placing Your Smart Call
The rubber meets the road in Part Three where we learn exactly how to craft and place your Smart Call. This section is oozing with valuable information. Topics include: Crafting your opening statement, the most effective way to leverage voicemail, working with assistants (aka – gatekeepers), how to deal with early resistance, crafting smart questions, the critical importance of actually being present and listening, and getting next steps and commitments. Again, there is years of real-world experience in this section. Every professional will find practical tips they can apply immediately to their craft in this section.
Putting It All Together
Our final section puts everything into context for the real world we live in. Here Art gives valuable advice on how to increase the effectiveness of your dialogue, creating and sustaining motivation, leveraging referrals and much, much more. A beautiful gem in this section is an entire chapter of real-world call reviews, case studies and makeovers. Here we see step-by-step improvements to real call examples that you’ll be able to apply to your own calls.
Every edition of Smart Calling has gotten better and better. This 3rd edition of Smart Selling, in my humble opinion, is Art Sobczak’s magnum opus. It contains all of Art’s wisdom of over 30 years of telephone prospecting and consulting work, as well as information from several other independent books Art has written – all updated for our current world of social selling and sales automation. Here is decades of wisdom all laid out nicely for anyone willing to learn. If I could recommend just one book on telephone prospecting this would be it. It is invaluable to prospecting professionals in any industry. 5 Stars.
You can find Smart Calling: Eliminate the Fear, Failure, and Rejection from Cold Calling by Art Sobczak at AMAZON.
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Until next time!
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