The Problem With Relationship-Based Sales

A business development consultant told me that 80% of new commissions come through relationships.

I don’t want to discount relationships. They’re important to us on a number of levels and a good portion of your work probably does come to you through some sort of relationship.

As a business development strategy though, you need to understand that things are changing.

First problem with relationships: They go away
It used to be that if you had a good relationship with the right person, all that client’s work flowed your way. In fact, when I was still working in architecture firms, I had a client who made all the facilities decisions for an extremely active and well-funded local organization. For almost 20 years he funneled all that organization’s work to us. Then he retired.

Your relationships are with human beings. They retire, change jobs, get promoted to different positions, basically experience some sort of change that makes that business development relationship less valuable to you. The relationships effectively go away.

Second problem with relationships: They’re just one person
It used to be that if you had a relationship with the right person, you could count on them to award the client’s or the prospect’s work to you. Today, decision making teams are getting bigger. There’s rarely one decision-maker. In fact, the average selection committee today is at least 6 people.

It’s not enough to have a relationship with one person. Now that your oldest, best client has a selection committee, your relationship with the Vice President isn’t enough. Your track record working with that client isn’t enough. There are 5 other people on the selection committee and that means that everyone you’re competing against may have a relationship with someone on the committee. In a simple vote, your relationship with one person on an ever-expanding selection committee loses.

Third problem with relationships: They make us lazy
Back when you had that relationship with the ultimate decision-maker, you could rely on them to advocate for you. They knew you, they’d worked with you, they trusted you and that was probably enough. Today, they’re not the ultimate decision-maker anymore and you haven’t equipped them with the tools they need to persuade the rest of the committee on your behalf.

Relationships are based on trust. In a one-to-one context that trust is usually built on experience over time. You don’t have that time anymore. Today, your clients and prospects learn about 70% of what they want to know about you before you even know they’re interested. What’s worse, you’re trying to gain the trust of a committee instead of the one person you’ve known for years. You can’t sit back and rely on that relationship to go in and carry the room. In a multiple-decision-maker world, where your prospects think you and all your competition looks the same, sounds the same and acts the same, you have to make yourself the clear choice and gain fast trust.

It’s up to you.
Keep building relationships. That still has to be part of your business development strategy. But go in with your eyes wide open. There are three keys to making the most of your business development relationships:

Have a clear message.
You need to clearly state what your convincing advantages are … the reasons why your prospects should choose you. Those advantages have to be clear enough (and stated enough) that those advocating relationships can repeat them just as easily as you can.

It’s not about you.
As experienced and qualified as you are, the decision-makers and selection committees are only interested in the firm that addresses their pains, threats, and fears. In order to gain fast trust, you have to demonstrate that you understand what’s keeping your prospects up at night and make your messaging all about them.

Have a conversation.
What it takes to get in the room is not the same as what it takes to win the room. That old-school relationship may have gotten you to the short-list interview, but now you’re in a room with 5 other people sitting, arms-crossed wondering why they should pick you.

You don’t know them; they don’t know you. Remember when you first met that person that’s now “your relationship”? It started with a conversation. Don’t talk about yourself like everyone else does. Win the room, and the project, by starting a conversation with them, about them. They’ll feel like you understand them, you’ll build fast-trust, and you’ll differentiate yourself from your competition.

Are you relying on old-school relationships or building fast-trust that differentiates your firm and makes you the clear choice for the right projects and the right fees?

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Source: https://blog.revenuepathgroup.com/blog/three-problems-with-relationship-based-business-development

Top Three Reason We Are Still Blogging

“There are millions of blog posts published daily, will ours even get read?”

“Blogging is so 2010.”

“What could we have to say that isn’t already out there.”

Blogging isn’t new. It’s been around since the mid-1990s. We’re not about to present to you a marketing breakthrough or some magnificent new way to do things. The takeaway here is that blogging is still very relevant and vital to your communication strategy. Here’s how it can help you today.

#1 – You Will Generate More Website Traffic

According to a 2017 Hubspot report, 63% of organizations report that generating traffic and leads is their number one marketing challenge. It’s no secret you are competing against a huge amount of noise for website traffic. On top of that, you want to make sure you are generating the right website traffic.

Let’s step back for a minute and think about how people actually search the web. Unless they are typing in a specific company or product, a search typically starts with a question.

So, do me a favor. Google this: How to hire better employees?

What are your results? Scroll past the ads, and you see content in the form of articles and blog posts. In fact, even the organizations that want to sell you hiring services have served up the answer to your question in the form of content from their blog. Your prospects are looking for information to help them solve a problem. A good headline and teaser text will turn prospects that are searching into prospects that click.

#2 – You Will Convert More Prospects

In this Age of Acceleration, a term coined by author Thomas Friedman, the power of individuals has been amplified by the internet. Information is readily available at your prospects fingertips. All of your prospects carry around little internet boxes that give them instant answers to their questions, and more importantly, they are using that power. Prospects are more capable than ever to research products and services on their own prior to purchasing. In fact, 47% of buyers viewed 3-5 pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep. (Source) Bottom line, you need to be there with the right content – content that solves a problem, answers a question, eases a pain point. This positions you to be the right resource for your customer’s needs, which turns prospects into leads.

#3 – You Will Think Smarter About Your Overall Business

The process of writing can help you think smarter about your own business. Creating content is all about generating ideas and answers, and you might learn a thing or two, or develop a few lighting strike ideas during the process. In addition to the writing process, tracking your content engagement also gives you insight into your target prospects and the information they want. Whether you outline content or draft a complete blog post, the thought process is a valuable tool for your business growth.

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Source: https://blog.revenuepathgroup.com/blog

Reputation Management – Who cares?

We have all heard about Reputation Management, and we know that it is a critical aspect of your business’s online and live profile… now let’s understand why.

Here’s an example that many of us can relate to. Imagine that you are thinking of going to a movie. If you are like a lot of people, you will probably first get online and look at all the movies that are playing and their reviews. Are you going to go to the movie that has awesome reviews, or the one that people say is a disappointment? Although a tremendous online review is good for a new movie, does it matter for you, the business looking to grow?

It isn’t news that businesses rely on the internet to research for the best product or service available to them. To get the best deal and the best product, people will use social media, review sites, even competitors’ websites. With everything out there, businesses need every advantage that they can get – – and they need to avoid potential catastrophes that could easily result from even one bad review.

Understanding reputation management can be vital for advancing your business – especially in a digital world where one negative online search result can be the difference between closing that deal or losing that revenue to a competitor.

When your online reputation really counts

Although your online reputation matters 24/7, there are some times when it seems to play a more critical role than others. Some real-world examples of when a good reputation really matters…

  • Closing a Deal

  • A Prospect is Doing Comparison Shopping

  • Potential Customers Searching for Online Reviews of Your Business

  • Selling Your Business

  • Networking

What is Reputation Management?

Before going too far down the reputation rabbit hole, we should outline a basic definition of what reputation management is. A basic description would be that reputation management is managing your reputation. But in reality, it is much more than that. Not only is reputation management managing your reputation by monitoring both the good and bad associated with your business online, but it is also being able to do something about those good and bad comments, reviews, etc.

How you monitor your online reputation

There are currently many different ways that you can monitor your online reputation. From apps to management companies, there are solutions to fit any size business. Knowledge is power so find a solution that works for you and move forward!

 

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Reputation Management – Why it’s Critical for Your Business

We have all heard about Reputation Management, and we know that it is a critical aspect of your business’s online and live profile… now let’s understand why.

Here’s an example that many of us can relate to. Imagine that you are thinking of going to a movie. If you are like a lot of people, you will probably first get online and look at all the movies that are playing and their reviews. Are you going to go to the movie that has awesome reviews, or the one that people say is a disappointment? Although a tremendous online review is good for a new movie, does it matter for you, the business looking to grow?

It isn’t news that businesses rely on the internet to research for the best product or service available to them. To get the best deal and the best product, people will use social media, review sites, even competitors’ websites. With everything out there, businesses need every advantage that they can get – – and they need to avoid potential catastrophes that could easily result from even one bad review.

Understanding reputation management can be vital for advancing your business – especially in a digital world where one negative online search result can be the difference between closing that deal or losing that revenue to a competitor.

When your online reputation really counts

Although your online reputation matters 24/7, there are some times when it seems to play a more critical role than others. Some real-world examples of when a good reputation really matters…

  • Closing a Deal

  • A Prospect is Doing Comparison Shopping

  • Potential Customers Searching for Online Reviews of Your Business

  • Selling Your Business

  • Networking

What is Reputation Management?

Before going too far down the reputation rabbit hole, we should outline a basic definition of what reputation management is. A basic description would be that reputation management is managing your reputation. But in reality, it is much more than that. Not only is reputation management managing your reputation by monitoring both the good and bad associated with your business online, but it is also being able to do something about those good and bad comments, reviews, etc.

How you monitor your online reputation

There are currently many different ways that you can monitor your online reputation. From apps to management companies, there are solutions to fit any size business. Knowledge is power so find a solution that works for you and move forward!

 

Ask us about our new Online Reputation Management

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How to Create a Sales Pitch That Closes More Deals

You’ve made it to the shortlist and now it’s time for the final presentation to a room full of decision-makers. But, the real decision-maker in the room is not a person.

You’re really selling to a 3-pound organ called the human brain. And as complex and amazing as it is, the process it uses to make a decision is both primitive and predictable.

When it comes to decision-making, there are two basic parts, and they can be categorized as either an influencer or the judge. You might be surprised to learn that neither logic nor emotion are the judge. They’re influencers, offering support for really big decisions, some of the time. The real judge is the “instinctual” part of the brain, the limbic part. Its everyday job is to eliminate threats, pains, and fears.

What’s amazing is that about 90% of our daily choices only happen in this part of the brain. They’re the sort of things we do all the time, like braking when a light turns red, tying a shoelace that’s come undone, or avoiding a hornet flying near you. For the other 10%, the limbic part of the brain makes its move first, and then logic and emotion come in as backup support. You can’t avoid it; every human decision, including whether or not to buy from you, begins with an assessment of threats, pains and fears.

 

What We Know About the Brain

Process – Most salespeople present in a way that conflicts with our brain’s decision-making process, citing facts and figures and features and benefits. As hard as it might seem, you need to flip it upside down and talk about pains, threats, and fears first.

Speed – With 90% of the decision made on autopilot, you must make it easy and fast for your prospects to say “that’s it!”.

Emotion – You must create an emotional lift to spark commitment. Emotions are the trigger to decisions.

So, How Do I Present to the Brain?

 

#1 – Develop Your Three Convincing Why’s

Find the two or three ways you solve your prospect’s pain. Prove them over and over and you create alignment with your prospect’s entire team, each member able to remember and recite how you’re different and why they should buy. Those two or three reasons answer “Why should they do business with you?” We call them Convincing Advantages™.

Well-crafted advantages that are unique to you, focused on your prospect’s pain and relentlessly proven, make it easy to communicate, easy to remember, and easy to apply – along every step of the sale.

 

#2 – Stop Talking About Yourself

“We have over 100 years combined experience on our team…”

“We’ve been a local resource for two decades….”

“We are trusted by over 10 of the Fortune 500…”

Do not start your presentation by talking about yourself. The brain does not care you are 100 years old, that you love your customers, or that your astrological sign is Sagittarius.

So many presentations lead with facts and figures, trying to win with logic, features or benefits, keeping you in the “wants and needs” part of the brain. We now know real connection happens below that line, at the subconscious level.

 

#3 – Focus on Solving Pains and Eliminating Threats

Your prospect’s brain needs to hear how you’re solving its pain first. During your presentation, start by setting the pain and showing resolution. This is called driving emotional lift. That last movie or book you enjoyed? It was a great example of setting up a pain or threat and then giving you the same kind of emotional lift through its resolution.

Your presentation doesn’t need Hollywood special effects, but it can make the pitch better if you follow the formula. Each pain you address must be quickly countered with its resolution–your product or service. Then, back it up with solid proof. This engages the right part of the brain–the limbic brain–first, then gets the influencers–emotion and logic–to stop by and agree.

Win More Sales with A Better Pitch

You can’t show up and look the same, act the same, and say the same things as your competition and expect to close the sale. You have to win the brain to stand-out and differentiate and carry the room to close the deal. You can start winning more deals with sales presentations that actually engage your prospects and position you as the only solution.

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Source: https://blog.revenuepathgroup.com/blog/how-to-create-a-sales-pitch-that-closes-more-deals

How to measure inbound sales calls ROI

 

Call Tracking – Know What Marketing is Driving Inbound Sales Calls

As growing companies, we are continually evaluating our marketing efforts to understand the “Return on Investment.” While everyone’s budget is different, one thing is for sure, we want to know how many leads each campaign produces. Regardless of the type of advertising, such as print, Google Adwords, Bing Ads, Banners, social media, paper mailer, you name it we want to know the real value. While we have mechanisms to help track online conversions from these marketing efforts, many of us miss one particularly important avenue of truly understanding the return on investment, “The Phone Call.”

How do you tell how many prospects placed calls instead of filling out an online form?

This is where call tracking comes in.

 

What is Call Tracking?

In simple terms, call tracking is the ability to trace phone calls back to the person who initiated the call, as well as the relevant advertising channel that prompted the call to your business. Until recent years, it has been almost impossible to determine exactly where your incoming phone calls have originated. The latest call tracking software included in the BBC Consulting Marketing Toolkit can help you determine which of your marketing efforts are successfully producing inbound calls, and which are not.

How Does Call Tracking Work?

call tracking with visual visitor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Affordable Call Tracking as a feature of BBC Consulting’s Marketing Toolkit works by assigning unique phone numbers to different advertising sources. When the prospect sees your ad, they call the unique phone number that is then forwarded to your regular business phone (or whatever phone number you would like). BBC Consulting is then able to collect metrics about the call, record and transcribe the call if you would like, notify you by text or email, and many more options.

This concept also extends to tracking online marketing efforts. If you are running the latest version of BBC Consulting’s installation code, you will have the option to configure “Dynamic Number Insertion” (DNI). DNI is a beneficial but straightforward option. It allows us to evaluate the source of the visitor and change the phone number displayed on your website accordingly. A great example of DNI is configuring a tracking phone number for Google Adwords. Once the phone number has been configured, any visitor that clicked on one of your Google Adword Ads will have your unique Google Adwords tracking phone number displayed on your website instead of your regular business number.

Are you wondering what BBC Consulting’s affordable call tracking can do for you?  This informational data will help your sales team work their way through the sales pipeline with an advantage that your competitors might not have. Know more about those inbound calls with BBC Consulting’s Affordable Call Tracking.

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It’s Closing Time…

Nothing quite ranks you in sales like your closing technique

Saying just the right thing at precisely the right time is critical to sealing the deal and getting that solid foundation for a good relationship with your new client. Not to mention that it doesn’t matter how good you are at everything else if you can’t close the deal.

Don’t feel like you’re alone in this. I believe that most salespeople have some level of anxiety about the close. But from that anxiety comes relief, pride, even success when the deal goes as planned and you get the sale you were working toward! It’s these feelings that drive us.

Now, let’s go over a tried and true technique that has proven itself time and time again!

Sometimes it’s best to be Traditional.

Most traditional closing techniques are as you would expect, traditional. There are mind games a salesperson employs, and subtle warnings meant to encourage your prospect to hurry along and make that YES or no-decision.

For example, you have that well-known car salesman line of the “last one on the lot,” or one of my favorites, “If you can sign up today, we are running a special. But today’s the last day!”

And there is most definitely a reason why this traditional method gets used after all these years even though everyone knows what you’re doing. To put it in simple terms, it works. It calls on us to hurry up and get that deal before it’s gone, to satisfy the urgency that we feel to save the money or get the last one.

To be skilled at closing a deal is probably the most technique that a salesperson can have. What technique do you use?

 

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How To Develop The Perfect Cold Call Open…

 

The Cold Open

Although many people might wish otherwise, I’m here to tell you that in 2019 cold calling is still alive and kicking! B2B and B2C sellers everywhere are still practicing this approach every day! When approaching the art of Cold Calling in 2019, you must remember what is considered by many to be the most important element of cold calling… the open.

There are a few different ways to come to the development of a fantastic open. Let’s go over a couple of them today.

Option #1 – Invite yourself to the conversation

When you go ahead and take the plunge and get that person on the line that you were hoping to talk to, start by inviting yourself to the conversation before you jump in with your sell. How to do this?  Simple is best and just ask. “Hello Jane, this is Robert with Selling You Something. I know that I didn’t schedule this call with you, but is this a good time? I’d like to share with you some interesting Marketing Information I have come across that will help your department.”

Seems pretty simple and straightforward, right? What makes this approach one of the most efficient is that it is respectful and triggers the prospect’s interest.

This respectful method of gaining entry is a great way to get your foot in the door or to be scheduled to start the conversation at a later time.

Not sure that this method is for you?

 

Option #2 –  Try the announcement approach

What exactly is the Announcement Approach? When you can get someone on the line, you open with a statement like, “Hi. My name is Mary, and I’m calling because of the new (blank) you just launched.” Using a known event as the opener shows that not only do you know their business/product and are not just calling down a list of numbers, but when this opening statement is followed by something like, “As with every new launch, proper Marketing from the onset is vital, and I have a solution that will definitely provide that special something you’re looking for!” The combination of the known event with the selling statement is a great opener for a conversation about how your service can help them sell their product.

Still not the perfect fit for your style?

Option #3 – Ask for directions

Sometimes it’s okay to stop and ask for directions. “Hello. I’m Sara and I know that you are very busy. I am trying to find the person that can help me …” You have established that they are not the person that you are looking for so they will relax and (hopefully) not look for a reason to quickly end the call. Now you can take that quick moment to show your stuff with your researched knowledge of who/what they are and be specific in your reason for speaking with “someone in marketing.”

Although Cold Calling isn’t what it used to be, it isn’t dead yet! With online research being what it is, there is no reason that you cannot spend some time learning about the person or group you are trying to get in touch with.

Now, combining this style of Cold Calling with the data that BBC Consulting can provide you before, during, and after your approach can put you light years ahead of your competition. It can also give you real-time data on how your style is being received by the people you’re calling and what works and what doesn’t! For $199/month and no contract, how can you pass up an opportunity to achieve Cold Calling greatness like this?!

 

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Cold Calling Isn’t Dead, It’s Alive and Kicking Right?

Cold Calling ….

Even in today’s environment you might think that cold calling is a waste of time, doesn’t work or any other negative spin you can find. But in reality, it’s more alive than ever. As more people work from home and start to get settled into their new routine we start to see something magic happen… distractions become less and less, people want to talk more on the phone to keep up the business social interactions and just talk.

Now is a great time to cold call, while obviously there are some industries that simply are put on hold, there are many other industries that are still hard at work if not harder than ever.

 

So why is cold calling not dead beside the above?

Because it works.

“It doesn’t work,” you say? Well, in one sense I agree with you: there are a million ways to do it wrong and fail. Fail at something enough, and it’s easy to dismiss the whole tactic.

In fact, “Cold Calling is Dead” is one of the common myths in 5 Sales Prospecting Myths Debunked. (Download the full report for new data on the effectiveness of cold calling.)

Meanwhile, case study after case study confirms that cold calling can work. For example, I’ve seen cold calling work as a major part of a lead generation approach, yielding 6 clients in 6 months (a major acceleration of client additions), and increasing the pipeline by fivefold, for Deep Customer Connections, a management consulting firm in the insurance industry.

Making Ten Million Dollars

Many anti-cold-calling folks say, “There are so many powerful ways to build your client base, why even bother trying cold calling? You can give speeches. Publish articles and books. Work your network: it’s more extensive than you probably think.”

To paraphrase a famous business person (Comedian Steve Martin):

  • Question: What’s the secret to making ten million dollars?
  • Answer: First, start with nine million dollars.

Well, some people don’t write very well, they don’t have extensive networks, and speaking isn’t their bag. Some people can’t wait a year for a lead to materialize out of their writing or their network! If you can employ these tactics, great. It’s like starting with nine million. But regardless of whether you start with nine million or no million, cold calling still works.

What’s In It For Me (WIIFM)

Let’s assume you’re a Chief Strategy Officer at an $800 million dollar manufacturing firm in Ohio. Someone calls you and says, “My name is John Smith and I’m a change management consultant. Do you need change? Let’s meet.” Even if you’re headed to the vending machine, your immediate change needs probably won’t include John Smith.

But let’s say John calls and says, “My name is John Smith. The reason I’m calling is because my company, the ABC Consulting Group, has just recently conducted a major benchmark study on how manufacturing businesses—including Competitor 1 and Competitor 2 of yours—in the Midwest are succeeding with their labor unions in the face of global outsourcing. There are 3 practices that are working across the board and a few that fail most everyplace. If you’re interested, we’d be happy to come by and take you through the results.”

If this topic is on your mind, you might risk a 30-minute meeting to hear the results. Or you might have some questions right then and there. Either way, if I’m John, I’ve presented my cold “introduction” of myself and my company in a way that delivers value to you.

Will everyone take me up on this meeting? Of course not. But if my target list is well segmented and clean, a number of prospects will. When I get in front of them, the topic of conversation will be my recent research, work, and expertise—not a “get to know you and sell you” meeting.

A conversation about recent research is just one of many potential value propositions for the meeting. You might not want to present research because it might not be the best entry for you. But if you’re offering is worthwhile, a conversation with you should be able to offer something of strong value. (If you can’t figure out how you can deliver value in a conversation, find a new line of work.)

Regardless of the meeting premise, you have to handle the conversation well to get the best result from this meeting, but the ball is definitely in your court as to what happens from here on out.

 

How the Numbers Work

Answer the following question: If you get 10 meetings with 10 company leaders who have the right title, are in the right organization, and have the right criteria for being a good prospect for you, and you stay in touch with them fairly regularly in a meaningful way after the meeting, how many would become clients of yours in some capacity over the next year or two?

The most common answers I get for this question are “two or three” or “eight or nine”. Let’s assume you’re more modest, and the answer is two.

Next question: What does a bread-and-butter buyer represent to you in terms of revenue over the course of a year? It could be $7k, $70k, $170k, $700k, or anything. Let’s assume it’s $70k.

So, for the cost of setting up 10 meetings with prospects, whatever that cost is, the immediate return on your investment is $140k. This, of course, doesn’t take into account long term ROI factors such as repeat business and increased referrals.

The fallacy, in many cases, is that most sellers aren’t as good at closing as they think they are, and they don’t continue to stay in touch with the prospect regularly and meaningfully after they meet with them. But these factors don’t have anything to do with cold calling. They have to do with your ongoing nurturing, and the resources you devote to follow up. The cold calling part works fine for what it’s supposed to do: make an introduction with a prospective buyer that can lead to a good relationship. How you choose to build the relationship is a different matter.

Have Someone Else Call For You

Maybe you see the value and believe that cold calling can work, but you simply do not want to make the calls. You can have someone else call for you.

Reread the WIIFM section of this article above. In the beginning, you must be involved in targeting the right prospects, providing the strongest value proposition, and working with a telephone business developer to represent you clearly, strongly, and fairly. Then, let them go to work. Cold calling itself is not something that you, personally, need to get good at.

It’s been said that people make decisions with their hearts and justify them with their heads. People don’t want to make cold calls, and some don’t want to be associated with the method. So they figure out how to justify not employing cold calling, or why other things work better.

If you don’t want to make cold calls, don’t. But cold calling does work. Most people just do it wrong.

 

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Source: https://www.rainsalestraining.com/blog/cold-calling-works-you-just-do-it-wrong

 

Cold Calling Isn’t Dead, It’s Alive and Kicking Right?

Cold Calling ….

Just those two words together—cold calling—puts many people far away from warm and happy. Given that it’s so much fun for so many people, and that I have heard a number of times recently that the last nail has been banged into the cold calling coffin, why is cold calling still even on our radar screens?

Because it works.

“It doesn’t work,” you say? Well, in one sense I agree with you: there are a million ways to do it wrong and fail. Fail at something enough, and it’s easy to dismiss the whole tactic.

In fact, “Cold Calling is Dead” is one of the common myths in 5 Sales Prospecting Myths Debunked. (Download the full report for new data on the effectiveness of cold calling.)

Meanwhile, case study after case study confirms that cold calling can work. For example, I’ve seen cold calling work as a major part of a lead generation approach, yielding 6 clients in 6 months (a major acceleration of client additions), and increasing the pipeline by fivefold, for Deep Customer Connections, a management consulting firm in the insurance industry.

Making Ten Million Dollars

Many anti-cold-calling folks say, “There are so many powerful ways to build your client base, why even bother trying cold calling? You can give speeches. Publish articles and books. Work your network: it’s more extensive than you probably think.”

To paraphrase a famous business person (Comedian Steve Martin):

  • Question: What’s the secret to making ten million dollars?
  • Answer: First, start with nine million dollars.

Well, some people don’t write very well, they don’t have extensive networks, and speaking isn’t their bag. Some people can’t wait a year for a lead to materialize out of their writing or their network! If you can employ these tactics, great. It’s like starting with nine million. But regardless of whether you start with nine million or no million, cold calling still works.

What’s In It For Me (WIIFM)

Let’s assume you’re a Chief Strategy Officer at an $800 million dollar manufacturing firm in Ohio. Someone calls you and says, “My name is John Smith and I’m a change management consultant. Do you need change? Let’s meet.” Even if you’re headed to the vending machine, your immediate change needs probably won’t include John Smith.

But let’s say John calls and says, “My name is John Smith. The reason I’m calling is because my company, the ABC Consulting Group, has just recently conducted a major benchmark study on how manufacturing businesses—including Competitor 1 and Competitor 2 of yours—in the Midwest are succeeding with their labor unions in the face of global outsourcing. There are 3 practices that are working across the board and a few that fail most everyplace. If you’re interested, we’d be happy to come by and take you through the results.”

If this topic is on your mind, you might risk a 30-minute meeting to hear the results. Or you might have some questions right then and there. Either way, if I’m John, I’ve presented my cold “introduction” of myself and my company in a way that delivers value to you.

Will everyone take me up on this meeting? Of course not. But if my target list is well segmented and clean, a number of prospects will. When I get in front of them, the topic of conversation will be my recent research, work, and expertise—not a “get to know you and sell you” meeting.

A conversation about recent research is just one of many potential value propositions for the meeting. You might not want to present research because it might not be the best entry for you. But if you’re offering is worthwhile, a conversation with you should be able to offer something of strong value. (If you can’t figure out how you can deliver value in a conversation, find a new line of work.)

Regardless of the meeting premise, you have to handle the conversation well to get the best result from this meeting, but the ball is definitely in your court as to what happens from here on out.

 

How the Numbers Work

Answer the following question: If you get 10 meetings with 10 company leaders who have the right title, are in the right organization, and have the right criteria for being a good prospect for you, and you stay in touch with them fairly regularly in a meaningful way after the meeting, how many would become clients of yours in some capacity over the next year or two?

The most common answers I get for this question are “two or three” or “eight or nine”. Let’s assume you’re more modest, and the answer is two.

Next question: What does a bread-and-butter buyer represent to you in terms of revenue over the course of a year? It could be $7k, $70k, $170k, $700k, or anything. Let’s assume it’s $70k.

So, for the cost of setting up 10 meetings with prospects, whatever that cost is, the immediate return on your investment is $140k. This, of course, doesn’t take into account long term ROI factors such as repeat business and increased referrals.

The fallacy, in many cases, is that most sellers aren’t as good at closing as they think they are, and they don’t continue to stay in touch with the prospect regularly and meaningfully after they meet with them. But these factors don’t have anything to do with cold calling. They have to do with your ongoing nurturing, and the resources you devote to follow up. The cold calling part works fine for what it’s supposed to do: make an introduction with a prospective buyer that can lead to a good relationship. How you choose to build the relationship is a different matter.

Have Someone Else Call For You

Maybe you see the value and believe that cold calling can work, but you simply do not want to make the calls. You can have someone else call for you.

Reread the WIIFM section of this article above. In the beginning, you must be involved in targeting the right prospects, providing the strongest value proposition, and working with a telephone business developer to represent you clearly, strongly, and fairly. Then, let them go to work. Cold calling itself is not something that you, personally, need to get good at.

It’s been said that people make decisions with their hearts and justify them with their heads. People don’t want to make cold calls, and some don’t want to be associated with the method. So they figure out how to justify not employing cold calling, or why other things work better.

If you don’t want to make cold calls, don’t. But cold calling does work. Most people just do it wrong.

 

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Source: https://www.rainsalestraining.com/blog/cold-calling-works-you-just-do-it-wrong