Can you hear me? - Methods to increase sales without cold calling
Cold Calling is an antiquated method for selling professionals, It does not work! If you are frustrated with your selling efforts and seek new ways to gain sales then read on for instant success....
Copyright (c) 2007 Drew Stevens PhD
If you are spinning your wheels trying to reach new clients and your are having issues, then listen to this piece of advice: STOP COLD CALLING! This intrusive sales tactic has been used for decades. Prior to the proliferation of electronic media, cold calling was used to pitch products and services. However, recent years have illustrated an increase in stress and patience in handling the constant daily interruptions. Cold calling is simply an interruption. When you cold call, you indicate to the person, you are important and they aren’t.
The modern world is full of two things, modern annoyances and annoying people. Competition has increased and it is difficult to be heard about the noise. Cold calls only create more noise and more confusion. Lastly, there exist a preponderance of evidence to suggest that those that cold call know little of the prospect and rationale for the call. If a call must be made, it is easier to call with knowledge of the prospect, knowledge of the issue and knowledge of solutions that provide value for the issue.
You are probably asking if you suggest not calling how then can I gain new business? The answer is easy; there are several methods. First, it is vital for you to gain testimonials and references from anyone and everyone you meet. The word for the millennium is buzz marketing and differentiation. Referrals are the keys to success in a competitive society. People want to conduct business with those they know and those they trust. Cold Calling is contrary to this and without an introduction; you are a stranger and a nuisance.
There are several ways to get referrals:
1. Ask – go to your existing client base and ask this question: “Do you know others that might gain similar value to that which I provide? If so I would appreciate the name of someone I might call as a reference for new business?
2. 25x30x50 Rule – Once every thirty days go back to your top 25 accounts and ask for names of prospects that can use your services. If needed spend no more than fifty dollars perhaps on a nice lunch or dinner as an inducement to assist. Your network if happy with you and your services will be more than happy to provide new names. My business is 90 percent referral because of this.
3. Job Completion – Once you sell an account there is no time like the present, new clients will be like fish out of water speaking of your new services, The time to gain a new referral is when the account is at a high.
Second, the best method to gain new business in today’s world is with good unsolicited research. For this it is vital that you read The Wall Street Journal and the company’s web site, perhaps the annual report to understand client issues. Clients today are seeking immediate resolution to profit and production problems. Seek ways to improve the client’s condition. Send and introductory letter to a decision maker.
Keep the letter succinct yet point to the issues you have identified and align generally with how you and the company have assisted similar clients. Provide a case study the surrounds the issues and ways you have resolved them, decision makers like proof, the admire data! Provide an action step in the letter that you will call in a few days once received. Do not conduct business in a perfunctory manner with email, differentiate yourself and send a hard copy letter!
Third, as a selling professional you can offer items that you competition cannot, and you can perform in manners others simply will not. So why market similarly. To be different you need to act different. That said, you have market and industry expertise, your have passion for your products go and tell the world. Speak at networking groups, present at conferences and business meetings; create white papers that position you as an expert. Differentiate and provide value that others cannot!
I shocked you initially with a contrarian approach to a daily dilemma- getting and capturing prospects attention. While there exist a myriad of devices, cold calling is not one of them. To stand above the crowd and offer value you and your firm must differentiate. It is vital to conduct business differently, appear remarkable and visible to the community. Intrusive doesn’t work, informative and interesting does!
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