• Nationally syndicated columnist• Email: salesman@gitomer.com• Phone: (704) 333-1112© 2012 Jeffrey H. Gitomer
• Nationally syndicated columnist
• Email: salesman@gitomer.com
• Phone: (704) 333-1112
© 2012 Jeffrey H. Gitomer

I am sick of the argument that cold calling still has a valuable place in selling. Someone PLEASE show me the value.

Let’s look at the stats:

• 98 percent or more rejection rate.

• 100 percent interruption of the prospect.

• 100 percent already know what you’re selling.

• 100 percent lack of personal preparation about the customer.

With these horrid stats, why do sales managers insist on, even measure, cold call activity and numbers? I have no earthly idea.

Here are 12.5 real-world connection strategies to eliminate cold calling. These are not “no brainers.” They’re “brainers”! They’re ideas and strategies that require smart, hard-working people to turn the strategies into money:

1. Build relationships and earn referrals. Visit existing customers. Offer ideas and help.

2. Use LinkedIn to make new connections. Use the “keyword” search feature to uncover prospects you never knew existed. Then connect without using the standard LinkedIn wording. Be original.

3. Ask your informal network of connections to recommend customers. Building and maintaining local and industry-specific relationships are critical to building your success. 4. Network face-to-face at the highest level possible. Not an “after-hours” cocktail party. Join high-level executive groups and get involved.

5. Join a business association, where owners gather, not a leads club.

6. Speak in public. All civic groups are eager to get a speaker for their weekly meeting. Be the speaker. If you give a value talk, a memorable talk, EVERY member of the audience will want to connect.

7. Speak at trade shows. Why not get praise for the great speech you gave at the conference every time someone walks by your booth?

8. Write an article. Nothing breeds attraction like the written word. Get in front of people who can say yes to you and become known as an expert.

9. Write an industry white paper. CEOs want to create great reputations, keep customers loyal, keep employees loyal, have no problems, maintain safety and make a profit. Write about how your industry does that, and EVERYONE will want to read it (and meet with you).

10. Give referrals. Yes, GIVE referrals. What better way to gain respect, cosmic debt, word-of-mouth advertising and reputation? WARNING: This requires hard work.

11. Send a weekly value-based message to existing and prospective customers. For the past decade, my weekly email magazine, Sales Caffeine, has been a major source of value to my customers and revenue to me. Where’s yours?

12. Contact current customers who aren’t using 100 percent of your product line. No cold call needed. Call existing customers and get more of their business.

12.5. Reconnect with lost customers. It takes courage to connect, but once you discover “why” you lost them, you can create strategies to recover the account – often more than 50 percent of the time.

Boss making you cold call? Here’s the strategy for making a transition: ALLOCATE YOUR TIME. If you have to make 50 cold calls a week, allocate enough time to connect with 50 existing or lost customers in the same week.

REALITY: Double your quota, double your sales numbers using the strategies above, and your boss won’t care ONE LICK if you ever make another cold call. In fact, your boss will be asking you HOW YOU DID IT.