We are living in an era where everyone has to do more with less. In some businesses this might well mean that someone who was hired for their technical skills is now expected to have a selling role too. Would that be your worst nightmare?
Everyone has their own perception of selling – often thinking it involves forcing people to buy something they neither need nor want. However, the underlying fear is that of rejection. Nobody likes to be rejected. And if you are in the business of cold calling, then rejection is just something you have to learn to accept; isn’t it?
Or is it?
A few years ago I produced a Top Sales Tips report, as website download and took a call from a salesman, asking me to give him an example of some of the tips. The first one that sprung to mind was: “People don’t like pushy sales people – so make sure you don’t act like one”. The caller’s response was quite illuminating. “I think I might come over as pushy,” he said. A long pause followed. “I get a lot of rejection too,” he eventually added.
So, set up a sales and marketing process that excludes cold calling completely, people will suffer less rejection and you’ll be able to encourage more people to get involved in the selling role.
Dream scenario? Not at all.
In my recent book The ABC of Sales Lead Generation*, I explain the concept of the ‘marketing funnel’: the process in which you put strangers in at the top and get friends out of the bottom. When I say ‘friends’, I mean those prospects with whom you’ve developed a relationship, having taken them through your marketing process. And since people want to do business with those they know, like and trust, these ‘friends’ are more likely to buy from you than strangers are.
However, that doesn’t mean you need to cold call strangers to get them to embark upon the marketing journey. Today’s technology allows prospects to self-select themselves. For example, on each page of your website (yes, each and every page) offer visitors an opportunity to download your brochure in exchange for minimum contact details (first name and email address), and you can start to feed your marketing funnel.
Or target a specific sector with a mail shot special report or brochure, then follow it up with a call ‘just to see if it arrived safely’. That’s no longer a ‘cold call’.
By incorporating a series of follow-up actions, at the stage where you pick up the phone to speak to the prospect, it’s not a cold caller’s conversation – there’s already a relationship developing and business is all about relationships. Furthermore, those who have a fear of cold calling will feel a lot more comfortable making follow-up calls. They are more like everyday conversations than sales calls.
*Available from Amazon. A limited number of complimentary copies are available at www.your-sales-mentor.com