Struggling With Those Cold Calls? Time To “Warm It Up”
I think salespeople are treated unfairly. The world needs those who can communicate a product or service to the public in a way that "connects the dots" for them. Many of us are salespeople in one form or another. Honestly, I'd argue we are ALL salespeople.
Teachers, architects, even doctors to some extent need a bit of salesmanship in order to motivate a patient to take the necessary steps they should to be pro-active about their own health.
I'll take it one step further: If you've ever asked someone out on a date, you're also a salesperson. OK, good now we've established that.
So what is it that causes business owners, students, patients, and even potential dates to turn the cold shoulder to "salespeople?" Random cold calling.
Now, I don't mean the task of prospecting and meeting new potential clients, for example. That's a necessary part of business. We have to communicate with people to move a project forward. I'm referring to the practice of treating human beings like one more number in a sea of potential profit-opportunities. No one wants to be treated that way.
I've spent many years in sales, and although I'm no expert I can say this: the old-school 1980's panicked practice of picking up a phone and randomly calling someone in the middle of their day isn't going to be as effective in 2021. People are busy. They may be tired, worried, or just had a fight with their spouse.
Until they understand why they should care that you're calling, you're essentially just interrupting their day. People are too savvy for that and frankly exhausted. Random cold calling just ain't gonna fly anymore. Imagine if you called someone you wanted to ask out to lunch and said, "Hi you don't know me but how do you feel about Italian for lunch today? My treat."
That's not a good way to begin any relationship. So what can we do?
Warm up that cold call first.
When you call a potential client you're essentially asking them to enter into a type of relationship with you. Solid relationships take time, a level of trust, and some sense of a common goal. That's one way "networking" can be helpful. I'm not talking about the great business card exchanges people tend to somehow keep engaging in even in 2021. You know the events of which I speak--where you get a large number of salespeople at an event for salespeople all seeking to sell each other...something.
Before I come across too negatively, let me say this: Whatever your product or service (within reason), there are people who need what you're offering.
Take some time to think about the real value you can offer them--specifically. See how you can actually help them in their business, in achieving their goals, in making their lives somehow better after interacting with you.
We are very fortunate to live in a time where you can learn so much about a business or person, thanks to social media. No, I'm not advocating becoming a stalker heaven forbid. But if there is someone with whom you'd like to do business, do a little research and put yourself in their shoes. Consider what stresses or challenges they may be dealing with and then think of ways you can help them---like really.
Then reach out to them. You may still get the "cold shoulder" some times. But the more you can warm up those cold calls, it'll make it easier. And you'll know you have their interests at heart. And there's a chance they may, too. And they'll be much more likely to keep you in mind in the future.
Here's a few more tips from Forbes.com.
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