Tuesday, August 24, 2010

What is Sales? The Truth Behind Cold Calls

Cold calls, prospecting, leads, qualified, close ratio, average value of sale....... these are all buzz words used in sales and sales management. But what do they really mean and how do they relate to sales success. Is the successful sales person the one who struggles each month to make “quota”, making hundreds of cold calls, only to be rejected hundreds of times? Can’t be much fun dealing with all that rejection….think of this, if you ran into a stone wall trying to knock it down, but failed, would you continue to do it hundreds of more times throughout the month? Probably not, as it would only beat your body up. Ultimately, doing hundreds of cold calls with no results does the same thing. Maybe not physically, but it sure does mentally! So, if cold calling doesn’t work, what makes the successful salesperson successful? Working smart, not working hard. (I’m by no means advocating sitting in front of the television all day or spending every afternoon on the golf course, but there is certainly a better way to spend your time than cold calling). The old adage is if you are a sales person not making your numbers, simply work harder and you’ll attain your goals. Not true. Working harder with methods that don’t work only leads to more poor results. In today’s digital age, the successful sales person must build his/her image to the point that the consumer reaches out to you, not the other way around. You must be perceived as an expert in your field, a person who the consumer WANTS to buy from. It’s been proven over time that 80% of sales take place on the first or second appointment. What does this mean? It means stop wasting time on old leads in your “Funnel” and focus your time on new, high potential clients. If you don’t close the sale by the 3rd contact at the very latest, move on to the next opportunity. Remember, regardless of what your sales manger may tell you, no one closes every deal! If you do nothing but follow that one simple piece of advice, your results will improve almost immediately. A sales person must develop a highly professional image, through the use of the tools available to them today. And there are lots of them available for free. Linkedin, Jigsaw, Zoom, are all great networking sites to name just a few. Take the time to develop your professional profiles on these sites and you’ll soon see the search engines picking up your name higher on the results pages. Be sure to include your industry’s “buzz” words to enhance the likelihood of your name being found by a potential client. If you stick with this plan, even work on developing your own professional blog (like this one) and try and create a following. Try spending a couple hours each weekend on the laptop, tweaking your profiles, updating your blog, and adding to your professional network. Trust me, it doesn’t take too long to get results. Soon you’ll be having potential buyers contacting YOU to buy, not the other way around. Today’s digital age is yesterday’s referrals on steroids. Try it out and then sit back and watch the sales results roll in.

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