The Cold Calling Series – Challenge Days

Today we’re going to talk about Challenge days.

Irrespective of whether you’re following our cold calling series and taking part as a collective group, or whether you are doing this as an individual, challenge days will be advantageous for you nevertheless.

If you missed the pre-requisite article introducing the cold calling series then do give it a read here:

Today we’re going talk about challenge days as a theme you should try in your cold calling sessions.

Before we jump in, let us set the scene of why such days are valuable.

Within Human Nature it’s quite common for us all to settle for average. It’s natural that we become accustomed to our ways of working and our habits, which in turn means that our output will often be at the same level. For some that output may be below, on par or above average. But nonetheless, unless action is taken, we will all fall into our daily routines and our output will average out to be the same each day.

That is until we challenge ourselves!


Why Set A Challenge

Until we’ve seen someone achieve something, or we have achieved a feat ourselves, then often we will have the outlook that that something is unachievable.


One of our last articles talks about this in much greater depth:


The most poignant and widely recognised example would have to be the case of Roger Bannister. For those whom aren’t aware, in the face of a great deal of cynicism Roger became the first person ever to run a mile in under four minutes back in 1954. Until that point in time it had been considered super-human or an impossible task. The amazing thing was that after Roger had attained this world first, others followed in his footsteps. Within the space of thirteen months, four other runners had achieved this accolade that was once said to be impossible!


This encourages us all to ask ourselves an important question. How do we know what the extremities of that which we can achieve until we challenge ourselves?


What’s fascinating, and the case of Roger Bannister highlights is that once we achieve something or see a peer achieve it then it becomes much more attainable.


What’s more is that when this happens, the knock on effect is that our normal averages will also increase.


Your Daily Routine

Take your daily routine. What do you deem is the glass ceiling or the limit for:

  • The number of calls you make
  • The number of leads you generate
  • The number of meetings you book
  • The number of sales you attain


Whatever the quantitative element, that limit is set by yourself and can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.


Often sales people think it’s only possible to make say one hundred calls a day until they’re pushed to make one hundred and fifty. Or that it’s only possible to sell $500K a year until they’re challenged with selling $600K.


Once we’re challenged, that number, whatever it is, will no longer be unrealistic once have seen others make it or having done it ourselves.


Challenges Days

So onto what we propose for a theme/game.


Every so often we need to push the limits with challenges days. With cold calling sessions it’s hard to do this on a strictly sale basis for most use cases. So what we encourage is set challenge days for the number of phone dials made. If we push people to set personal bests for how many dials they can make in a day, then that challenge alone will push them to achieve the most calls they can, and stretch, set or come close to their limits.


So give it a try, set a day aside for a calling challenge day. The goal is to record as many calls as you can. As always try to make this fun and competitive, be mindful that the underlying goal is to have more qualified conversations and open up more opportunities. It truly is a numbers game, the more calls we make the more people we’ll speak to, hence why challenge days can be so valuable.


For the best results combine challenge days with some of the fun games we’re mentioned previously such as:

  • Buzz Word Bingo
  • Rejection Pyramid
  • Hook-off

The better the buzz and atmosphere the more people will be inclined to pick up that phone and make them dials!


Use Incentives

Use incentives to encourage people to push beyond their usual limits. Tailor this to your use case. One effective incentive we’ve used is a collective incentive for all participating members whom hit a milestone. For instance


  • Every member that hits 150 calls today will receive X


That could be something materialistic like a voucher, or something like a free lunch tomorrow or late start or early finish to their work day etc.


Why Have Challenge Days

The purpose for the challenge days is to stretch people beyond their comfort zone. We can’t challenge ourselves every day, once a week or less is as much as we would recommend. But what you’ll notice, both as an individual and as a member of the team is that once you’re pushed beyond that which you normally achieve, that your average output will increase.


That person whom pushed his limited to making 100 calls on a day, now also achieves that feat regularly throughout the week for instance.


Have a try of challenging yourself and your peers and see what rewards it reaps.


Please do let us know how this technique works for you, we’d love to hear about it.


Do look out for our future posts around cold calling techniques, games and incentives.


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