GITOMER: Quit cold calling; get a sales life
Friday, December 07, 2012 7:00 AM
• Nationally syndicated columnist
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© 2012 Jeffrey H. Gitomer
“That’s all I can stands. I can’t stands no more!” When Popeye the Sailor says that, a can of spinach appears out of nowhere, he pops it open, and downs it to gain amazing strength. From there, he beats up Bluto and rescues Olive Oyl.
Well, I’m grabbing my can of spinach because I can’t stands no more! I just read an article referencing the “Seven Secrets to Cold Calling Success” originally written by a chef-turned-financial planner.
QUESTION: Cold calling is so dead, why are salespeople still doing it?
ANSWER: Their boss makes them, or they haven’t figured out a way to make meaningful connections without being annoying.
I’ll save you the trouble of trying to find the article. Here are the seven “secrets.”
1. Plan ahead.
2. Investigate before you call.
3. Seek out a personal connection.
4. Get information before you give it.
5. Get out of your chair.
6. Keep careful records.
7. Use referrals in your voice mail message.
HELP! Where are the secrets?
Please do not email me and drone on about how cold calling works. It doesn’t work 97 to 99 out of 100 times. It’s the most rejection-laden sales process in existence and the cause of more depression, low self-esteem, reluctance, avoidance and disappointment than any other sales strategy I have ever seen (or used).
So I’ll will give you alternative smart ways to make positive connections. And be advised, they are not secrets. Rather, they are 7.5 “one-a-day” strategies strategies that you can easily and enjoyably employ. BUT they require work.
Here’s my “eat-your-spinach” plan for you – strategies that will earn you 10 times what the cold call will produce, build your reputation and keep your customers loyal:
1. Visit one customer a day. Talk to the people who love you and already buy from you. Find out why they do and ask them if you can record their answers on your smartphone. Video is best. Just a documented minute about their “why.” If you’re reluctant to do this, it’s because your relationship with them is weak.
2. Have coffee with one customer a day. Build the relationship. Talk family. Share passions and goals. Look for ways to help. Look for ways to connect again. Do note ask for business or referrals. Keep it social.
3. Give one referral a day. This is a revelation, and an overlooked golden opportunity to most salespeople. Think of how your customers will react when you refer business to them and of the value you’ll build at the end of a year.
4. Attend one face-to-face networking event a day. Show up prepared. Meet new people. Get involved in the group. Give a speech on the value of giving value. This will help you become known as a person of value.
5. Make a wish list of five potential customers and post a daily value message for them. Incorporate your prospects and your customers into your outreach. When you name them by name, their search will uncover you!
6. Get business-social-media savvy. Write and tag every day. Post one customer compliment a day. Post one idea every day.
7. Start a meaningful blog. Something that can give valuable information to those you seek to connect with. Start by posting the qualities of your best customers. Feature them, not you.
7.5. Wake up and write. It’s the foundation of your messaging and communication success.
The big secret is, you gotta do everything on the spinach list. That’s the “work” part. The good news is it’s all positive work. It’s career building, value building, reputation building, relationship building, sales building, pride building and success building work. All the things cold calling is not, and never will be.
Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Bluto.
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