How to Never Ever Cold Call Again
The number one complaint I’ve heard from salespeople is that they absolutely hate cold calling. And why shouldn’t they? According to the Keller Research Center at Baylor, less than 1% of cold calls ultimately convert into appointments. Ouch! That means 99% of the work is basically a waste of precious time.
So why is cold calling the strategy of so many businesses and professionals? The truth is that it’s not their strategy. Their strategy consists of receiving high powered leads and/or referrals from:
Family and friends
Centers of influence
The problem with that strategy is, in most cases, it just isn’t enough. Family and friends only take you so far. Centers of influence and customers are good for a few sales a year, but remember, they are being asked for referrals by a lot of other people, including your competition. The marketing department, try as they might, typically is underfunded (or non-existent) and yields little in the form of results. And if you are like most people, you have Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and more. How many sales have you earned in the past year from your Social Media efforts? The answer is yet again, not enough!
So that explains why so many salespeople still cold call. The need for new business drives people to it. So what is the alternative? How does one go about moving the sales needle and avoid wasting 99% of their time from making cold calls?
3 Quick and Simple Steps
Step 1. Start to use LinkedIn as a sales tool rather than just a social media account. Proactively target prospects. Change your profile format from a “resume” to “how you help”. Show how you add value as a result of connecting. Engage with your connections to create meaningful business relationships. Automate the entire process. It absolutely works. Connections will reach out and start a conversation. It’s up to you to build the relationship once they do.
Step 2. Change your sales language. Stop selling products and services. Start dating your clients! Get to know them. Ask them what challenges they are facing. If they tell you, offer to help if you can. Give examples of what you’ve seen work in the past for other people.
Step 3. Add value and be seen as the expert in your industry. Experts are seen as trusted advisors. They get the best referrals and somehow seem to have the best relationships! Add value by supplying rich content about the issues to which their industry is facing today. Be seen as THE problem solver!
At the end of the day, we have to be more proactive in finding new customers. Cold calling might be dead, but the art of prospecting lives on and is stronger than ever.
Let me know if you need help in dealing more specifically with this issue as I’ve helped many customers through this situation before.
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About the author
Gary owns Kieper Sales Solutions and created the Selfless SalesTM Process to help teach clients how to truly become customer needs focused by truly solving their clients’ problems and has been helping salespeople reach their professional goals for over 20 years.