You’re not alone. And it’s not your fault.
You hate cold calling, with the fire of a thousand suns.
The first step is admitting it. Kudos. Guess what – We do too.
No matter your title, you know that cold calling is not the most efficient use of your resources. But as a salesperson, sales manager, or business owner you cant avoid it. You still devote a real amount of your time and energy to cold calling.
You Want to Win
You want to get ahead in business, right? And so, you need to increase sales. To increase sales, why not expand your selling toolbox? Why rely on unpleasant, inefficient practices?
These seven tactics can help you increase your sales. You can scratch off the tactic of relying on dreaded cold calls. Go ahead and write “cold calling” on a piece of paper. Draw a big, angry line through it. Now wad it up and throw it in the trash. Feels good, doesn’t it?
Now that you have your freedom from cold calling, let’s go back to growing your sales.
1) Cold-Calling Rehab: Network for Real Growth
Social media, email, and the internet have changed things. But they haven’t, really. Business is still the same. It’s people buying from people. Repeat that, and never forget it.
Be the Kind of Person People Know, Like, and Trust.
Unfortunately, most people don’t know how to network well. To network effectively, you have to use it to build relationships. To build relationships, you have to add value to others’ lives. How can you make someone’s job or life better?
Don’t forget, you have to genuinely want to do that. Otherwise, what are you in business for?
The best networkers are friendly. They’re outgoing. And, they are willing to help without any expectation of a reward. People want to know them. People like them, and people trust them. It isn’t because they look the part, it’s because they live the part. They add value and add value to everyone with whom they connect.
Note: Being generous and adding value doesn’t mean you have to abide freeloaders. Chances are, if you are consistently generous to others, they will be willing to help you when you need it. Some won’t, and that’s ok. You will eventually be surrounded by like-minded people.
The Right People Will be Worth Helping (and not annoying with cold calling)
Just remember that the value you add shouldn’t be conditional. People will see through your help if you demand something in return. When you generously offer people your help, many will naturally want to reciprocate.
The key is also the who. No, not the rock band. You should build these generous relationships with people you want to work with. Identify and seek out people who would be your ideal clients. If you focus on the right group of people and add value in this way, you stand to thrive. Your network and business will improve. You’ll see a dramatic increase in sales. Your client list will grow. They’ll be the clients who like and trust you and refer their friends to you.
2) Writing to Build Value
Your reach per minute and dollar spent is very important to you. In other words, you want good ROI on your time and money. Anything you do has to meet that.
You can reach a huge part of your potential customer base with writing. The internet and social media have made sure of it. You could publish an article at breakfast and have 500 people across the country reading it by lunch.
Meet People Where They Are
What do your clients read? Find it the publications, and share your knowledge on their pages. Writing for publications that your ideal customers helps your business in many ways. It positions you as an expert. It increases publicity. Remember those 500 people who didn’t know you were? Now they do.
Our whole lives, we learned to view teachers as authority figures. You can understand then, that the easiest way to be seen as an authority is to educate others.
Three Steps to Keep it Simple
First, you need to write high-quality articles about topics that mater to your customers. You can do it, even if you’ve never written before. The knowledge is in your head, you just have to put it in type. You can get a friend or contractor to review/edit them if you think you really need it.
Second, submit your articles to publications that educate your ideal customers or clients. You can submit your work to print or online publications, but your reach may be greater online. You can find the write people to submit them to easier than ever before. You can connect through your (now growing) network. You can search online, and you can use the hell out of LinkedIn and Twitter.
Third: Share it. You will enjoy the feeling you get when others share your writing. Share that feeling. Let the publication and your network know that you are grateful for being featured. If you have been generous to others, they’ll be happy for you and some of them will share it for you. Thank them for reading, and be sure to engage with anyone who engages with your articles.
The Icing on Top of the Authority Cake
As you write more, you will build more authority. Through this, you may build the momentum that you need to create your own blog. Your own blog will build your authority and help others build theirs. You can gain publicity, popularity, and authority just by publishing others on your blog. This is a win-win.
You don’t have to do all the work yourself. In fact – you shouldn’t, and your blog will do better if you don’t. Publishing other people’s articles or videos your own website will bring a larger audience. Having more writers will make your readers take you more seriously, too. A blog is one thing. An industry information site that publishes content from many authors is another.
3) Replace cold calling lead gen with online networking.
You’ve stopped cold calling, but you still need to have an outbound sales strategy. You’ll be glad to know that your new outbound strategy is way less stressful than cold calling. It’s so much easier, too.
You’ll also be happy to know that it goes well with what you’re already doing. When combined with networking and writing, online networking makes a trifecta. You’re already building your network and building your authority in your industry by writing. Now you just add some online tools to multiply these strategies.
You can think of online networking as networking on steroids. You can call it lead generation, sales development, or business development. It doesn’t matter what you call it. What matters is what you do, and how you do it.
Online Networks are Your Magic Wand for Business Growth
You can connect with and impress multitudes more people online than you can in person. And, you’ll spend a lot less time with this strategy. You can apply your networking principles to this, and it will work just the same. The numbers will just be much larger.
You are still going to be genuine, generous, and helpful. You’re still going to add value to people’s lives. You’re just using a computer to meet them.
Where You Sit Can Affect Your Growth
Think of a social network as a networking event. There are groups at every table, and they’re all talking. Some are having conversations that don’t matter to you. Others are talking about your bread and butter. Some are only there to drink and let off steam – which is fine. But, it isn’t why you’re there.
You need to find those who are there to build valuable relationships, just as you are. At the networking event, you may have to spend time at a few tables before you find the right one. Online, each table (group) has a topic and title, and you get to see what they’re talking about before you jump in.
Follow What Works
That is just the start. There is a ton of value in using online tools to start networking conversations. There’s a particular way of doing it, but it isn’t complicated. Lucky for you, I’ve done it, and you can read about it here.
You probably have some of the tools needed for this strategy. But, without the right strategy, they are just tools. Tools like Linkedin, Linkedin Groups, and industry forums can be ineffective. But with the right tactics, they can be out-of-this world good. In fact, you can read about how I tripled my client list in just 18 minutes each day here.