Smart Selling Pros Don't Rely On Cold Calling...They Do ThisMar 28, 2022
Change the conversation and you change the results.
"A simple adjustment in perspective and language can transform an obstruction into an opportunity..."
Cold calling sucks. Period.
Most new and newer Selling Professionals don't know what to do in the beginning. Too often, management expectations are incongruent with the new(er) Selling Professionals level of inexperience. Some are too self-involved, lacking enough self-awareness to understand that their pitch, whether it be the "elevator pitch" or some word salad or value vomit, turns most prospects off completely. It's all they tend to get from the army of people looking to simply take some of their money or budget in exchange for the product or service they're offering. My relative experience speaking here says, "STOP PITCHING...PLEASE!"
This one strategy I'm about to share can warm up any prospect more quickly than any carefully crafted and executed pitch on planet Earth, if you are sincere in your approach.
Virtually everyone in the selling profession has at least heard of the classic book "How To Win Friends And Influence People" by Dale Carnegie. This book should be a required read for middle-school students, because of its elementary articulation of what most people truly value in others. A genuine interest in the value of others...They key being genuine.
In more than a few personal encounters, I have either witnessed or been the recipient of the disingenuous LinkedIn message immediately after connecting. They comment on how incredible it is to connect with me, only to immediately lead with the offer to change my life or business, or even worse, straight out attempt poach or leverage my professional connections. I suspect there are plenty who will read this paragraph specifically and laugh, because it happens to you as well.
This is not what I am talking about at all. The most powerful and enduring strategy we can employ is to get to know others and develop relationships by actually getting to know others and actually developing real relationships. That requires character, empathy and curiosity. And a little of each goes a long, long way. Seek an opportunity to help people in a purposeful way by paying it forward or genuinely ask for their insight based on their experience.
"Incorporate a sense of urgency every day to build a network of real relationships with others, and blend it with the patience of "thousand year thinking" to allow the results to catch up to the daily efforts invested."
It's playing the long game, but with a critical element that is often overlooked. What I am suggesting is applicable if you lead a sales organization or are an individual Selling Professional. The same philosophy applies. Incorporate a sense of urgency every day to build a network of real relationships with others, and blend it with the patience of "thousand year thinking" to allow the results to catch up to the daily efforts invested. When leading our team, focusing on results is a necessary strategy, because it is how we are measured and compensated. But tactically, it is far more effective to focus on the effective execution of the actions that deliver the results we seek...both short and long-term.
How can this strategy translate into bona fide sales results you may ask...The answer can be simple, but not always easy. Here a two of many techniques we can apply and execute on.
Spotlight Interview: Some people are either naturally gifted or have developed skills over time that provide opportunities we can leverage to the benefit of others. We ask smart, relevant questions thereby allowing the subject of our interview to share their knowledge and experience with a broader audience. This benefits everyone the interview touches...everyone! Look around your industry for the people who are active, respected and growing their business or purposefully looking to elevate their business profile or improve the prospects for the entire vertical. Find one key element that they excel at, want to champion or seek to expose or improve. You can interview them, collaborate with them, feed them leads, make introductions or add value for them in some other way that helps. But in the end, the objective is to add value for the community at-large. It may seem altruistic, and it is. But candidly, this world, our world...needs more of it.
Solicit Insight: Some of us are curious and honest enough to feel comfortable reaching out and asking for insight or guidance by using provocative and revealing questions. When looking for an experienced perspective with the genuine intent to execute on the guidance from more seasoned players, we should be confident seeking it from those more accomplished than we are. There's always, with rare exception, more than a few people that have blazed the trail before us who are willing to lend us a hand, provide us a tip or two or invest real quality time mentoring us. The trick is to be able to read your audience, know the currency of their attention and ask for the opportunity without worrying about yes or no. Just ask.
In either scenario, we must do this with no expectation in return. Do it often. Do it not only because it brings more positive light into their world (and ours!), but because more often than not this will translate into an opportunity to grow yourself and in turn, grow your business.