Can you share innovative tactics beyond cold calling and cold emailing?
I just came off active duty and started my sales career in the technology sector. The company I work for is one of the biggest tech resellers in the world and has provided excellent training. Although, I feel extremely comfortable on the phone and try to differentiate myself by being more of a consultative resource than a pushy sales person, it's still extremely hard to get my foot in the door as a cold caller. Does anyone have any recommendations or strategies to try and grab warmer leads?
Almost all of the advice here (so far), is exclusively relevant to individuals operating autonomously, with the latitude to develop self-styled sales and marketing tactics.
As an employee of one of the biggest tech resellers, it is their responsibility to equip you with the prospecting and lead generating fundamentals. If, as it is evident, that they are failing you and the training you considered excellent may not in practice be adequate. You need to review what you have been taught, see if you are applying their sales processes in accordance with initiatives has already made the enterprise successful. Then if you are still struggling go back and request additional training before your employer considers you a mismatch and replaces you.
Hi Sean and thank you for your service....
Have you thought about writing an article in a newspaper or a blog about you what you and your company are all about?
As a professional salesperson you need to let prospective clients know your mission statement and your vision statement. and make sure they mesh with your company's mission and vision statements. Once established I would intertwine both in a presentation that is both personal and focuses on benefits why you and why your company....
Have you tried to qualify and quantify end users that have involvement with our military?
Let me ask another question, can you meet with these people face to face? If you can do it especially if your blog and or articles is published in the areas you cover....
You have 5-20 seconds to get their attention, before their tape comes on that says oh another person trying to sell me something...... And while they may not be ready to buy just yet, you will start to establish TRUST that will allow you to call on them again and again until they are ready to buy---Selling and cold calling is very hard work and you must be ready rejection........ But if you sell 3 out of 10 you hit .300 and they are Hall Of Fame Sales numbers.
There are numerous professional trainers who specialize in optimizing these channels for salespeople as well as marketers who are innovating the use of all platforms. My advice is that while you may get a glimmer or an inspiration here you are kidding yourself if you think it could possibly resemble the opportunity in professional sales training. It's the difference between being good or okay and having a system that is proven and a platform of accountability that holds you to behaviors, measures results and plots improvements.
I'd love to give you a few tricks and that would be nice and with a few others here you may hit something. Perspective: I generally need to work with a salesperson for at least six hours to show any kind of real results that last...and check with other salespeople, if they invested in training and followed it they made back their money many times over. Tips and tricks are nice but think about what it took for you to be an accomplished service member. If I said give me a few tips on how to be good soldier besides that I can already shoot with good aim and have all the gear...would you want me in your foxhole?
One suggestion is to mix things up a little. Make sure "Cold Calls" isn't the only thing in your repertoire. Follow up your calls with offer of complimentary valuable information via FAX, email, video, newsletter. This way you get their contact information and can add them to your CRM.
Don't shy away from networking events like BNI or other "referral center" business networking groups. Face to face networking is a nice tool to have in your sales tool chest.
Schedule speaking engagements on tips and techniques. Show some examples that you understand their issues, their challenges and provide some solutions. These "complimentary" speaking engagements can lead to a free one-on-one consult - where you describe your products and services.
Provide sample training videos on your website, social media and newsletters. Make sure the videos include a Call To Action (such as a one-on-one consult). Then in your cold-calls, mention all these additional resources that they can have access. Include the date of your next speaking engagements as well.
Create reasons for you to follow-up with them. On the first cold-call, make sure you create a reason to follow-up with them. For instance, if they are not interested in the products today, mention that you have a next generation project rolling out in a few weeks that would be better suited for their time/budget/(whatever their challenge is). And suggest that you will give them a call in two months to check back regarding their needs. In the meantime - send them some follow-up training, videos, newsletters, etc
Review and work your Linkedin contacts. Update your linkedin contacts with everyone you meet in those networking meetings. Review those contacts' contacts. LinkedIn isn't just for those you know. But to get to the people you want to know. Search on the company, role, or industry that you are interested in. See if any of your contacts are "in contact" with the people you "want" to meet. Then work your contacts to get introduced to those other connections.
1) Join industry organizations, networking organizations, chambers of commerce
2) Seek out and attend (or hold) open networking events (eventbrite.com, meetup.com, hopnetworking.com)
3) Volunteer with local organizations to build referral relationships
4) Share news about your prospects, and content of interest to them, on social media
5) Strategically partner with others who share your market and cross-promote/share referrals
6) Send a letter directly to decision makers with an introduction in terms of what's in it for them (or asking for their expert feedback on your service), and specify the date you will call to follow up. When you make the call, they will be expecting it
To start, it's all in the messaging... whether it is cold calling or any other marketing approach. Here's a recording of an online training event I did on the topic, which I think you will find useful: http://bit.ly/23y5dCs
Once you have put together the fundamentals for your marketing message, you need to work through your entire marketing process, since a buying decision is actually a mapped-out journey that you need to guide the prospect through. It's not difficult and does not have to cost a lot of money, if done properly.
I also have other free videos on that topic, should you have an interest. Just private message me. Good luck!
It's all numbers. The more people one calls the luckier one will get. Try different approaches to your message and by trial and error focus in on the one that works the best and then exploit it.
Salute to you Sir!
Look into social media and inbound marketing.
When you say "extremely hard to get my foot in the door as a cold caller", what do you actually mean? Can you give specific examples? Better if you share what kinds of objections you hear and from whom.
Thank you for your service.
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Sean, first of all, don't dismiss cold emailing as a way to cast a very wide net and then call on the prospects responding to the emails. Here's a video on what works and what doesn't - https://www.salesnexus.com/starter-kit.html
Also, if you have traffic visiting your site, you can use "anonymous visitor tracking" tools that identify the company and sometimes the person that is visiting your site. Tools like visualvisitor.com and liveleads.com do this well and offer the ability to further research the companies visiting your site and retrieve contact info for decision makers. Or you can just use LinkedIn and other research to find the decision makers. This works well because by visiting your site, they're telling you they're already interested to some degree.