Coaching a 10 Year-Old to Cold Call
Can you coach a 10-year-old kid to cold call? The answer’s yes. I spoke with Joe Beales, the star of a video that at the time of writing has been viewed over 100,000 times on LinkedIn.
Joe is the son of GM Kevin and last week he stopped by the office during one of his school holidays to spend the day to discover what cold calling was about, and to get some one-to-one coaching from Business Development Manager, Mark Ackers.
- What Joe enjoys when he’s not making dials.
- Joe’s groundbreaking pet product he developed with his friends at school.
- Joe’s experiences cold calling for the very first time.
- How he prepared for calling and managed to stay calm when calls got difficult.
- Joe’s cold calling tips for anyone reluctant to make calls
Here’s a transcript of our conversation.
Rich: If you’ve been on LinkedIn recently, there’s a very good chance you may have seen a video where a 10-year-old kid named Joe is learning to make cold calls for the very first time.
Rich: Now Joe is our GM Kevin’s son, and a couple of weeks ago he came in during one of his school holidays to spend the day with us, at his own request, to find out a bit more about cold calling and to start to make some calls.
Joe, there’s a lot of people that are going to be interested to find out a bit more about you. When you’ve got a bit of spare time what do you like to do?
Joe: Play football, play on my Xbox, play with my friends, that sort of thing.
Rich: Excellent. Okay, and what would be your favorite game on the Xbox at the moment?
Joe: Fortnite definitely.
Rich: How much do you play it?
Joe: Quite a lot.
Rich: What’s quite a lot?
Joe: Most of the time.
Rich: Excellent and what about at school? What do you like doing when you’re at school?
Joe: PE’s good. I also like Topic and that sort of thing.
Rich: What sort of sports do you prefer to play? What would be your favorite sport? I reckon I know the answer, but you tell me.
Rich: And what position do you play on the football team?
Joe: Striker slash midfielder.
Rich: Nice and how many goals are you on this season?
Rich: Very nice. So I also heard that, at your school, there was a project to set up a company, I think it was. Can you tell me a little bit about that project?
Joe: So there was a project at my school where you had to create a business and you had to set up what you would do to advertise it and what it was going to be, and you have these certain materials. You have to have different teams to make the thing you make.
Rich: And what was it that you guys decided to make?
Joe: A sled for pets.
Rich: So when would somebody use that?
Joe: In the winter if they wanted their dog to get fresh air. Basically, we have seat belts and everything so it wouldn’t fall off or anything.
Rich: I like the sound of that. Excellent. So are you going to be on Dragon’s Den at some point in the future do you think?
Rich: And in the company that you set up, what role did you pick?
Rich: What is it about that role that you like or you’re interested in?
Joe: I like to do everything.
Rich: And what about advertising the product? Did you come up with any ideas about how you’re going to advertise the product? I’m looking for a few ideas here.
Joe: We did a media advert, I think it was a TV advert. I think we did newspapers and cold calling.
Rich: Fantastic. A bit of cold calling, that’s a nice segue. You’re a pro.
Rich: So you came into work for a day. You were doing some cold calling, or maybe warm calling, people that sort of knew that they were going to hear from you at some point that day. Talk me through what happened on the day. Paint a picture for me over the day from start to finish.
Joe: So in the morning, I recorded a video with Mark, and about what’s happened to start and stuff and what we’re going to start with and stuff. Then the interview would start with Mark and writing a little cheat sheet and stuff and like remembering what I meant to say.
Rich: And I remember, that on that first video, I remember that you really didn’t know … You pretty much didn’t have any idea what you were going to be saying or anything at all.
Joe: Yeah. Definitely.
Rich: So what did Mark do in those early stages to sort of get you ready to start making those calls? What were some of the things he helped you with? You mentioned a cheat sheet, but was there anything else that Mark did?
Joe: He wrote down a cheat sheet. I practiced it a couple of times. We pretended he was calling me and stuff.
Rich: Okay, so you did that. Then what did you do after that? What was the next stage for you once you’d had that conversation with Mark and he helped you a little bit?
Joe: We decided to make our first cold call and it went on from there.
Rich: And how did that first one go? Can you remember?
Joe: It went alright. I can remember my speed was good. I asked a few questions, but I could’ve improved the amount of time I spoke and the amount of time the other person spoke?
Rich: How did you know that? How did you know that was something that you could improve?
Joe: Because I actually used Allego to help me with it, with what I did good and what I did bad. I got to see how well I did and that’s how I improved.
Rich: Did you find that helpful then? That must have been quite useful to hear yourself.
Joe: Yeah, it was very useful because it also told me what I did wrong and what I did right.
Rich: Okay and so let’s fast forward to the end of the day. I remember one of those last calls that you made, it was virtual, you know, you didn’t have much of a script and it seemed to go really well. Talk about the difference between when you first started in that last call where you did really well. What had changed for you and what had helped you change?
Joe: I definitely asked more questions. I used words more and I let the person speak a bit more and ask questions to me, that sort of thing.
Rich: Okay. What was some advice that Mark gave you that maybe really helped you? Is there anything in particular that you can remember that he said to you that had really helped?
Joe: I remember he said if I mess up it’ll be fine and stuff.
Rich: He was helping you a little bit with a script at times, wasn’t he? He was sort of, I remember from the start you had lots of notes and it was a little bit disorganized and at the end you did it with virtually no notes I think. Is that right?
Joe: Yeah. I wanted a cheat sheet and I did well.
Rich: So what were some of the highlights for you? What were some of the things that you really enjoyed the most about the day?
Joe: Definitely I liked calling, that was fun. I liked talking on the phone because I found it fun and I just found myself being calm and I found it good.
Rich: One of the things that people have said in some of the comments, particularly on LinkedIn, is that you sort of inspired them to start doing that again. What was it about calling people that you found fun in particular and also how did you manage to stay so calm speaking to these people that had never heard from you before?
Joe: Well the bit I found fun was when I got a meeting, that was very good indeed, and that … What else did you say? Sorry.
Rich: So how did you manage to stay so calm when you were calling these people up that you’d never spoken to before and yeah, how did you stay calm in that situation?
Joe: I stayed calm just like if I mess up it won’t be a big deal because I’ve got so many meetings already and these people know I’m calling them.
Rich: So the big question, on the day how many meetings did you book?
Joe: I got 11 out of 12 meetings.
Rich: That is a phenomenal result. Were you pleased with how you did?
Joe: Yes. I definitely am pleased.
Rich: Good. Was there anything that if you did it again, you might do differently?
Joe: Good question. I would’ve probably changed the number of questions I ask them. I have questions, but other than that I think I did well, to be honest.
Rich: I think you did well too and a lot of people agree with me. So in the video as well, you also talked about what you planned to do with the commission that you earned. I guess the obvious question is did you actually spend it on sweets and Xbox games or did you do something else with it?
Joe: Well I’ve not spent it all yet. I’ve spent some of it on skin on a game. On Fortnite.
Rich: Any plans with the rest?
Joe: Not yet. I’ll see how it goes next few weeks and see what I like.
Rich: What advice would you give to people who find it difficult or intimidating to make cold calls? What advice would you give to those people?
Joe: I would say just do it because if you don’t like it, it’s worth it. It’s definitely worth it because you’ll find it fun if you do and you learn a lot doing it too.
Rich: So some people have said that you should be focusing on your schoolwork and that coming to work for the day wasn’t necessarily a good idea, because they thought you should be playing with your friends or doing other things. What would you say to somebody who might watch the video and think that it’s a shame that you had to come into work when actually you should have been out doing other things? What would you say, Joe, from your perspective?
Joe: Well, and the actual thing is, it was me who asked to go to work and I’m the one who actually asks to go to my dad’s work and do this sort of thing. I play with my friends a lot on the Xbox and stuff and outside so I spend plenty of time with them and at school and stuff.
Rich: And it was just one day in half term?
Rich: Exactly. Brilliant. Joe, it’s been great to talk to you. What’s the best way for people to find out more about you? Is it to connect with you on LinkedIn?
Joe: Yeah. Definitely.
Rich: Joe, thank you so much for your time. It’s been a real pleasure.
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