Paul Castain's Blog

The “10 Before 10” Prospecting Mindset!

Posted August 2, 2010

A few months ago Trish Bertuzzi from The Bridge Group commented on one of my blog posts and offered an idea that I wish I had thought of! She calls it “10 Before 10” and its simply a daily commitment of getting 10 calls in the bank, before 10 am each morning.

I love this idea for many reasons:

1)    As sales professionals, we have to schedule time to hunt. We schedule appointments with clients, co workers, the “boss”, why wouldn’t we give our own efforts the same respect?

2)    It keeps you from procrastinating and helps you get this in the bank bright and early.

3)    Psychologically, you and I need to feel like we are in control. By getting some of our calls in the bank, each morning before 10, I believe it restores the sense of control, before everything starts to hit the fan!

4)    (And I could go on and on) It helps you build phone muscles because you are working them daily.

But what if we were to kick this idea up a notch?  

What if we were to get others on our team to follow the same philosophy?

I’m thinking at a minimum you wouldn’t feel like the lone A Hole on the phone while the sound of crickets echo throughout the bull pen. The best part is that there are people in those cubicles which adds to that feeling like you are on display.

By getting others who commit to this idea, we create energy and momentum!

We create competition which in turn, adds to the energy and momentum!

We’re also getting into a really cool time management thing too because when we’re all on the phone, it becomes a deadly sin to interrupt each other with non money hours chatter.

Let’s kick it up another notch!

Perhaps you could take turns being the team leader for that calling session. As the leader your job is to offer a quick 5 minute pep rally before hitting the phones. And it doesn’t have to be typical “rah rah” nonsense either.

Perhaps you could share a tip that you found online

Perhaps you could all break up into pairs and “sparr”. Don’t know what “sparring is? “Sparring” is when you throw objections at each other. Athletes and musicians warm up . . . perhaps you should too!

Warning this next one will probably get you in trouble with the HR folks but its just too fun to resist. Why not listen to 5 minutes of the “Jerky Boyz” making Prank calls. Or if you want to play it a bit more “HR Friendly” listen to some comedy. Its mighty hard to be uptight on the phone when you just finished peeing your pants!

How about acknowledging the wins (and adding to the energy) by having a bell that you ring every time you make an appointment.

How about a friendly competition each day? We used to do this when I was in the franchising business. The person with the fewest amount of appointments had to serve the coffee in the next pep rally. On a personal note, it gave me great joy to have my Sales Manager serve me coffee. Bastard!

Speaking of Sales Managers: Leaders, you need to get into the trenches, grab a gun and get into the fight. Plan to make some of your calls from the cubicles with the team. They can be any kind of calls too, the important thing is that you support your troops and add to the energy! Psst: Kind of hard for the troops to push back when the boss is knee deep in the activity with them!

No “Wussin Out”

No inbound calls when you are making outbound calls. Way too easy to cling to things that are nice and comfy to keep us from facing the prospect.

No emails or administrative items with the exception of entering data from the call into your CRM .

Shut down Outlook. God forbid you see that little pop up and feel compelled to save the world instead of making the damn call!

Schedule your other activities around your “10 Before 10” If we are going to commit, then we aren’t going to look for convenient excuses.

Note to the cynical who might want to make a statement like “10 calls a day isn’t enough”

No one is saying this is your only effort dude! I’m saying its your first effort! Now put away that soapbox and check this out.

The truth of the matter is that we simply need to have a starting point. Most sales reps get caught up in servicing existing accounts and administrative limbo. To that end, these 10 calls represent 10 more calls than they would have made. Besides, I wouldn’t underestimate the power of 10 well researched phone calls.

Last, but not least. Trish’s idea of “10 Before 10” can fit quite nicely into my “Money Hours” schedule!

Here’s the bottom line. “Hunting” needs to be scheduled. So whether you do this with a “10 before 10” mindset, embracing my “money hours” schedule or simply treating it like an appointment with a client . . . seat of the pants isn’t gonna get you into the winners circle dude!

Be sure to check out Trish’s Linkedin group Inside Sales Experts

Before you go, I received some cool news the other day. This blog is one of 3 finalists in the Best Sales Tips Website/Blog category on If you find value in my blog and would like to cast your vote for Sales Playbook please follow this link:

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