Here Is a Secret to Getting IT Sales Leads from Chris Gardner

Using Creative Cold-Calling Strategies

IT sales leads are like a field of potential harvest. You’re much more likely to source a sale from a list of leads than you are from someone who isn’t even interested in your products or services. Leads may not be specifically looking for your MSP’s services, but they’re more likely to buy. Here’s the thing: you’ve got to be willing to follow through on “follow-ups.” It turns out 44% of salespeople give up after one follow-up, while 80% of sales result from five separate follow-ups. When it comes to getting these sales leads to buy your product, you’ve got to have a tiered list. You’re going to want every lead to be called by sales reps at least five times—make that policy. Only if leads expressly discourage contact should you refrain from doing so.

But, cold-calling is difficult. In fact, it’s downright tiresome. Have you seen The Pursuit of Happyness? It’s a Will Smith movie that came out several years ago. It concerns Chris Gardner, a man who fought odds that were downright impossible, and through his hard work and determination, eventually saw the success he sought. There’s a scene where he is working for Dean Witter Reynolds as an intern. His goal is to acquire a single position against the competition of hundreds of others. In the scene, he talks about how he learned to work hard and maximize his time so that he could do more cold calls than competitors. He holds his finger over the clip which renders the phone’s dial tone to expedite calling; this makes it so that he doesn’t have to hang up the phone between calls. He won’t drink water because that means he’ll have to take a bathroom break. Yet, even though Chris does these things, it still isn’t quite enough—and that’s what prompts him into a creative way of lead conversion that could be characterized as “random calling.”

Don’t Be a Robot

With many sales leads lists, salespeople either go from the top to the bottom or vice versa. But they don’t jump around on the list. Firstly, that’s a great way to put a person in a coma. IT sales leads aren’t going to sell themselves; a person who is cold-calling has to have the stamina and personality to reel in that sales fish when the line goes taught. Someone going top to bottom or bottom to top may not even know what to do when they’ve got a live one on the line. Secondly, you may reach clients before other sales representatives, which is good for commission. In the clip, Chris manages to call a guy named Walter Ribbon, who opens many doors for him.


The key here is not to act like a robot and methodically trudge through a given list of leads. Leads are acquired because they’ve already got the affinity for your products or services. Part of the work has already been done for you. Don’t squander that through apathy! Sometimes, calling randomly is the thing to do and it will certainly ease the ever-present boredom—the absolute weariness—of being involved with cold-calling. But here’s the thing: it’s a tactic which will statistically yield conversions. This means it can’t be brushed off as ineffective, because this method actually does have some predictable rates of success.

Consolidated Cold-Calling Strategy

 So to condense all these things down into a digestible gestalt, when it comes to cold-calling, you want to:

  • Ensure each lead is contacted at least five times
  • Mix up cold-calling methods (don’t be a robot)
  • Maximize cold-calling time

If you’re mixing it up out there on the sales floor, there is going to be more energy. IT sales leads are susceptible to positive energy. Not all of them will end up converting to your services, but they’re more likely to if you’re not a robot. Additionally, you’ll want to ensure all time spent on the phones is maximized. Lastly, it’s important to contact the customer more than one time, as this is where the vast majority of sales come from. All these things require imaginative thinking and determination to properly pull off. Cold-calling strategies can maximize your conversions—you just have to know how to properly utilize it.

David Walter
About the Author
David Walter is the Marketing Director at MSP SEO Factory, a company providing IT marketing to businesses in the United States. Their expertise is creating MSP marketing ideas and turning them into original, optimized blog posts. Their process involves in-depth brainstorming, thorough editing, and effective promotion of fresh and unique articles for their MSP Business clients. He has 17 years experience in marketing for the IT industry, as well as experience in direct MSP marketing, internet marketing, article writing. David speaks at trade shows, webinars and is a sales trainer for major IT companies. He is also a published author; his latest book is Stratospheric Lead Generations Secrets.