Recently I trained a new sales professional. His job was to find leads for his company, but he had never worked in sales before.
After a couple of weeks of learning about his company and coming up with a plan, the time for action was upon him.
In our coaching session, he realized that he would have to pick up the phone and make cold calls. He needed a script and we worked one out. Then I picked up the phone and started phoning for him, modelling the script and the tone of the calls. I explained that we were simply dialing for dollars.
While calling people might seem old-fashioned in the digital age of email and texting, calling gets results.
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A few years ago, when we had a big sales day in our retail stores, I would often print a list of customers from our database, make a script and start phoning. The results were phenomenal. Not only did customers appreciate the reminder, they often were happy to talk to someone from the store and often had additional questions about our products. If no one answered the call, we simply left a message. The results were amazing. Often we had our best sales on record.
In her book Pick Up the Damn Phone!, Joanne Black wrote about how face-to-face and real conversations had an advantage over technology interfaces like text and email. She talked about the need to develop relationships in face-to-face conversations, on our shop floors, over coffee, and by phone or video conferencing. Sales start and end with relationships; those conversations don’t happen over social media.
Whether we’re business owners, salespeople or just trying to build our networks, picking up the phone and dropping in to see people is more effective than sending 50 emails.
Over the past seven years, I’ve been writing, blogging, and sending newsletters, emails and texts. I’ve rarely received responses that surpass the effectiveness of getting in front of someone or calling them up and having a conversation. Emails, newsletters, blogs and articles all have a place in your marketing mix. However, when you talk to people one on one or in a group, your success rate skyrockets.
The young man I coached quickly got over his hesitation after watching me make a few calls for him and he started phoning. After an hour of phoning and several refusals, no answers and people who said they weren’t interested, he got a customer who was maybe interested and scheduled a meeting. His confidence skyrocketed, and he realized that as a commissioned sales rep, he really was dialing for dollars.
Picking up the phone and calling your customers and prospects takes guts, but it also gets results. Why not try something your competition isn’t doing and take your business to the next level?
Dave Fuller, MBA, is an award-winning business coach and a partner with Pivotleader Inc. Pick up the phone and call Dave today at 250-617-7467.
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