The story started
I joined Pearl Lemon Group in September and am a biomedical scientist by training. My purpose was to enter the cold calling team and learn sales: to find out what it was about, not what I might have expected or wanted it to be.
They asked if I would take part in a trial period and call for various internal products.
The team were serious about their craft, and the pitches they had written were solid and useful. But even at first glance certain phrases caught my eye (“lead generation”, “search engine optimisation”). At least “web development” was straightforward, I thought.
I spent several hours using CrazyCall with eager enthusiasm, and I feel driven to account for this approach, particularly since the prospects were swayed by it, and I had done well, and things might easily have gone differently with no prior experience. Not long after, I found a message from Akhila that said, “Congratulations on passing the trial week, we would like to progress your application”. Their onboarding process was well-structured and engaging; this set the tone for everything next.
I was being taken into a world I knew nothing about, and Deepak’s affection for that world was inspiring.
Getting on the sales team had taken two weeks. I was delighted, and perhaps I even made a small contribution to Pearl Lemon Group’s growth. But the point is this: once you’ve shown quick-wittedness and enthusiasm, trust that’s enough, and don’t worry about the rest.
At about 7.55 on Monday morning, Sept. 20, I met David, Jay, Guy, Gary, Vasco and Deepak for the daily briefing. The successes of the week before gave me hope, of course, yet it was probationary. Now I was looking for direction, gathering clues. I was especially grateful for the strategies in objection handling: the pivot, bridge and advance, the yet set technique. And what else had made them effective salesman?
Here is an enjoyable list of content Deepak recommended me with:
By noon, I had conversed with 100 prospects. Among those a sales director of an SEO agency, who was in search of a cold caller, made every effort to win me over the phone (“what’s your salary?”, “you have talent”), and “send me your CV”, which I gave in return for a booking. Did I want to restart with them? I can’t really say I did; the director was too brash and compared to Deepak, not much fun. But I enjoyed having brought him around. I had poached (and been poached) on day one, and when I put +1 PLL in the WhatsApp group, I thought: that was interesting.
Relistening to my calls made a difference but Deepak’s 1-2-1 training made the difference.
What do those numbers tell you? That, by Friday, I had made a high number of bookings? That, finally, was my standard? But, as always, there’s a catch; they did not qualify, and I hadn’t listened to a single call – my Achilles heel. I was lucky, Deepak wanted to help. We listened together and annotated the call; when to push, when to listen, and when to stop. We rehearsed qualifying questions and practised accessing varying tonalities – I learnt how to influence with integrity, and without authority.
The following week I went back to Deepak with a new set of questions, more technical than the ones I had put to him before. I listened in on live calls, practised and practised more, then I realised, what he says and his way of saying it is equally rewarding. Selling is learned by imitation; we all need models. “I’d like to speak like that,”, we think at various moments, and this was one of them. But how can you fight off all those fears of disapproval and failure? Deepak’s advice is simple: Keep stretching yourself – don’t stay in your comfort zone and learn to ask questions that will elicit useful answers. For six weeks I’ve been thrown again and again into unfamiliar terrain, but the 1-2-1 training and daily feedback I’ve received never ceases to save me over the phone.
Pearl Lemon Group is a company for anybody who wants to learn how to sell. Apply because you don’t know what you don’t know.
It’s been a truly formative experience.