I am so tired of whining and excuses.
“Selling is SO hard.” “I can't get anybody to take a meeting.” “They don't open emails.” “Nobody answers their phone.” “Do they listen to voicemail?”
Salespeople hate to cold call. And, with “cold calling is dead” proclamations, they feel they have an excuse to stop dialing. Their pipeline is empty, but there they stand, self-righteously refusing to dial.
Let your competition believe the headlines and give up
Pundits say the only successful prospecting method is referrals. I see where they’re coming from, but, this message is mostly promoted by those looking for an excuse to not cold call or by sales leaders who don't know how to train.
Cold calling can still work
I would never argue that cold calling is ideal, but I see cold call success every day.
Is cold calling ideal? Hell no!
Is it more difficult than ever? Hell yes!
This column isn't really about cold calling; nor is it about the producer. It's about the organization behind that producer.
Organizations struggle with prospecting because they fail to recognize how drastically the sales process has changed. The internet has gutted salespeople of their value. Often, their prospects understand their product better than they do.
Sales is less about sales and more about the buyer's journey. Buyers reign supreme.
If you want to grow, you better become a part of that journey way before your salespeople contact prospects.
Marketing is the new orange
The marketing department is a more significant contributor to growth than the sales team.
Your marketing team/firm must know and understand:
Your ideal client profile and the individual buyer personas
hallenges for which they need answers
The phases through which they travel to make purchase decisions
Where they do their research
How to craft and promote content to address each concern at each step
Back to “cold calling is dead”
The type of organization I described will have prospects lining up at their door, but if their salesperson did cold call and can point back to this type of marketing support for validation, they will set appointments and write business.
Related: Shifting your focus
All of the whining about cold calling is distracting you from the real issue. The question of networking versus cold calling is too far down the funnel to be the relevant question. The real question is, “How will you ensure you will be discovered as prospects look for help?”
Your value proposition, educational marketing, buyer awareness, and social engagement will have the largest impact on whether your prospecting efforts are productive.
Everything you think about, write about, talk about, and do has to be focused on your buyer's needs. If this is how you present yourself, prospects will want to meet with you.
So, put on your big boy (or girl) pants. Stop whining, stop hiding behind lame excuses, own up to the work you need to do, and go-get-it-done.