by Tim Hughes | @Timothy_Hughes
Back in the day, cold calling was the best game in town. You created a list and called people up.
Being on the phone was the quickest way to reach people and we always like to talk to people.
The problem was that that it means interrupting people.
You are in the middle of the massive spreadsheet, those figures need to be with your boss by close of pay today and somebody calls you up. Annoying? You bet!
Of course, sitting on the side of the salesperson as we do, there seem to be little patience for annoying people, after all we have a number to make. As one salesperson who connected to me over LinkedIn, who immediately went into a sales pitch said “I’m just adding value”. The value being, after our two way conversation, I would know about his product and while the probably was small I might even buy what he was selling. I didn’t.
The Inefficiency Of Cold Calling
And there lies the problem.
- You now have to make 100 calls a day to make it worth while. Or is this 110, I don’t know there seems to be cold calling inflation!
- There is a whole industry grown up around getting through the gatekeeper, voice mail etc, and they are not going to new ways get in the way of their vested interest.
That is a whole lot of effort, but let’s break that down.
- You have to call 100 people, because you don’t know who to talk to. What we need is a way to filter out all the chaff and find the wheat.
- Live in a world where there are no gatekeepers, I wish.
If I can give you an answer to 1 and 2 above would you stop cold calling and use a more efficient way? Sorry there is and I know you know what I’m going to say it’s Social Selling.
So How Do I Make My Sales Team More Efficient?
You can make your sales team more efficient by deploying sales navigator (SN). SN will do the “panning for gold for you”. You can use it to find people in accounts. So instead of calling 100 people hoping you can find those 8 you really need to talk to. Now you can just ring those 8 people, you can filter the other 92 out. Think about it, now you can ring 80 people, but they are all filtered down to be people you need to talk to. You cannot tell me that calling 1,000 people, hoping to speak to 80 is more efficient and effective than called the 80 right people! For example a client said to us, we need to sell to the person who is in charge of buying automobile gaskets. Sales navigator was able to find these and off the sales people went. – have a look at this
The difficulty with SN is it’s a tool and you have to learn how to use it. OK, you can carry on banging your head against the wall, up to you.
You then need to apply some social selling principles:-
- You need a personal brand – If you try and contact people with your typical on-line CV Linkedin profile or you look like a spammer, sorry but you won’t get very far. As one client said to us “we sent 200 inmails and got nowhere”. Of course, their social media profiles looked like spammers. People buy from people, so look like the person you would want to buy from on social. If you have a great profile, people might even call you, making cold calling even more inefficient!
- We buy from people we trust, people who are interesting, people who might help us, so share some content. Not you at an awards ceremony or some boring corporate stuff, it is after all boring. But something insightful, educational … of course you can carry on being a bore, your call.
The problem most sales people face is that this all seems like hard work and with a bunch of vested interests (the cold calling gurus) keep harping back to the “good old days”, it can be difficult to make that leap to a process that can get you higher, quicker than cold calling.
Why Do You Go From Here?
Many of you will have had LinkedIn profiles for many years, what you need to do is block out half a day, switch of the phone and start updating. If you are a SDR, maybe you need to do this on a Sunday. Maybe you do this over a few months, but you to can step out of the dark and step into 2018.
Hope you can join us in a more efficient and effective world!