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Make a Sales Call - I’d Rather Be Punched in the Face! (Literally.)

Monday 5 June 2017

16 minute read

By Johnny Woods

An article originally posted on LinkedIn, June 1, 2017. My development into sales and the HubSpot Pipeline Generation Bootcamp with Dan Tyre. 

Those who know me can probably quite easily identify that my life is split into three distinct areas:

  • Spending time with family, friends and my dog.
  • Working at my agency, Thrive
  • Lastly being involved in the sport of boxing as an amateur boxing coach.

Those who know me well will probably say the latter of these activities takes up more time than it should and impacts on other areas of my life too much - but I love boxing, it’s my passion. It’s a sport I have loved from my early years when my Grandad bought me my first pair of gloves at around the age of 4.

Johnny Woods coaching one of his boxing pupils

Fast forward a number of years and try to picture me (a lot lighter than I am now!) standing in the corner of a boxing ring, wearing red shorts and vest and waiting for a bell to ring. The sound of that bell will send me out to fight a lad I have never met over three 2 minute rounds in my first amateur boxing contest. The room is packed to the rafters with 300 plus people, half drunk and baying for blood! My heart was pumping in my chest and I was crippled with fear and racked with nerves.

But, the training and dedication it took to get me to that point had prepared me, getting up at 5am most mornings to run and training on evenings 5 times a week, honing skills and fundamentals to be able to compete.

I overcame all the fear and anxiety I faced to box on a regular basis, not to any stratospheric level, you understand, but regularly as an average amateur boxer around club shows in the North East of England.

Now you would think that after that, I would be up for any challenge. But asking me to make a telephone sales call to an inbound lead that I have never spoken to before filled me with dread. I got a cold feeling in my stomach and was frantically searching for any excuse to convince myself, ‘It’s the wrong time to call and tomorrow would be better’.

Now to put this in context, this hurdle of tying our marketing efforts to a robust sales process that I was struggling to overcome was having a direct impact on the growth of Thrive and something needed to change. Business development at Thrive was a role I had taken on and I needed to take control with both hands. How was I going to do this when making sales calls was so out of my comfort zone and definitely the last thing I wanted to do?

So, when Steen Gordon, my HubSpot Channel Account Manager offered me the opportunity to sign up for a course to help me develop these exact skills I jumped at the chance!

In stepped Mr. Dan Tyre, Executive at HubSpot, No. 6 employee, and developer of HubSpot’s Inbound Sales Process. Dan got in touch to enroll me on Hubspot’s own Pipeline Generation Bootcamp or PGB for short! From the moment I first spoke to Dan I knew, if anyone was going to help me overcome my fear it was him. Dan exudes energy and enthusiasm and these qualities are contagious. If there was one thing I could take away and bottle it would be Dan’s attitude. This was the turning point to helping me believe I could do this!

Over 8 weeks, Dan and the team have nurtured me and 7 other boot-campers through a program to provide us with the tools for calling business leads and prospects with confidence. Dan has provided tips, tools and guidance to cover every conceivable eventuality on these calls, but more importantly, bolstered my motivation, confidence and accountability.

As I alluded to earlier in the post, sales activities were so far out of my comfort zone, I didn’t believe I would ever be able to work in this area of my business. But now, with Dan’s help, I am doing it! I am making sales calls and following the inbound process, prospects are eager to speak to me - with Dan’s help the calls are anything but cold calls!

I don’t consider myself a ‘sales lion’ yet but every day is a school day and I am constantly improving and progressing to the point where I am actually enjoying the whole process.


It’s definitely better than being punched in the face!

If you would like the opportunity to learn from my experience and hear more about aligning your business’ sales and marketing activities I’d love to talk and understand more about your organisation's goals and challenges.

Find the original posting of this article on LinkedIn, June 1, 2017

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