The art of cold-calling

For young social entrepreneurs, cold-calling is often a dreaded part of their venture.

"Many of us are really good students who know how to research and develop our product, but we get intimidated about calling prospects,” says Tina Chan, St. Paul’s GreenHouse Fellow alumna. “We’re students with ideas that weren’t validated yet.”

There’s also the issue of not knowing the best approach. GreenHouse alumnus Nikhil Jagga says, “I didn’t know how to approach cold-calling tactically. Do I try to sell? Interview you?” GreenHouse recognized a gap in sales training for early stage social entrepreneurs.

Group talking about the importance of sales

Enter 80-20 Growth Corporation, a company with the mission “to reverse the increasing skills gap in sales talent.” Managing Director Ben Firman observes that other countries value the complex profession of sales more than Canada does — and that to create successful growth businesses, we need to nurture sales talent. He notes academic research shows businesses that invest in early-stage sales and marketing grow faster and more successfully than those focused on getting the next iteration of their product just right. So 80-20 Growth began partnering with St. Paul’s GreenHouse this summer to deliver sales training, consulting and coaching to help close the sales skills and confidence gap.

All GreenHouse Fellows this summer participated in a sales training program with an 80-20 trainer who taught sales principles and then actually sat with them to make cold calls.

Jagga says, “I learned more in three phone calls than I would have in 20 hours of research. I realized I had wasted time by making assumptions about what I thought the market wanted.”

Chan and Jagga also participated in the second pilot project, an intensive two-week sales training program. This project will be expanded to a Sales Training Program for Social Entrepreneurs being offered in Spring 2017 by GreenHouse and 80-20 Growth.

Sales presentation

  1. 2020 (10)
    1. June (2)
    2. May (1)
    3. April (2)
    4. March (3)
    5. January (2)
  2. 2019 (5)
    1. October (2)
    2. September (2)
    3. August (1)
  3. 2018 (4)
  4. 2017 (8)
    1. November (1)
    2. October (2)
    3. September (1)
    4. July (1)
    5. June (1)
    6. May (1)
    7. January (1)
  5. 2016 (11)
    1. September (1)
    2. May (1)
    3. April (1)
    4. March (3)
    5. February (3)
    6. January (2)
  6. 2015 (18)
    1. December (1)
    2. September (2)
    3. July (1)
    4. June (5)
    5. April (1)
    6. March (1)
    7. February (3)
    8. January (4)
  7. 2014 (6)