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             29 March, 2020
 

    
Category:  Articles » Business » Sales Teleselling

 

7 Proven Sales Tips to Eliminate Cold Calling

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         Views: 918
2007-01-22 22:24:39     
Article by Roger Bauer

In a recent SMB Consulting, Inc. online survey, 84% of sales representative respondents admitted to being unprepared at least once on a sales call within the past year, and ¼ of those admitted to being unprepared 11 times or more. These results may indicate that many companies are still emphasizing cold calling as a method to gain new customers, and sales reps are feeling pressure to cut corners in order to obtain appointments and close deals. A side effect of that is incomplete research rendering many appointments useless and counterproductive.

A more proactive approach which greater utilizes technology may enable sales reps to better maximize their time to forge deeper, more rewarding relationships with existing customers and new prospects. Below are seven things any sales representative can do to minimize reliance on cold calling and improve their ability to attract prospects and customers just like the top performers.

The most obvious thing anyone can do to increase awareness while being viewed as an expert is to create their own website separate from the company site. Websites don’t have to be complicated or fancy to attract new prospects or stay in touch with existing customers. Provided the website is informational, relevant, and uniquely you, it can provide a distinct advantage over competitors and co-workers. Be sure your site includes several ways to contact you including a contact form to gather some preliminary information such as what the person is interested in talking about and the best methods to contact them in return. Keep in mind that a company shouldn’t be responsible for building a website for each of their sales reps, but they should be responsible for supporting their employees in achieving their goals and objectives. If a company has an issue with you building your own website to attract and educate your customer and prospect base, question the company’s motives behind such a stance. It may turn out that you are working for a company that doesn’t want their sales representatives to succeed in the long run. That may sound far fetched and counterintuitive, but there are companies like that out there. Think about a personal professional website this way—cold calling is a one-to-one transaction whereas a website can communicate with multiple people at once so it would be foolish not to take advantage of such a communication vehicle.

By creating a blog, you can share information in a conversational way which your prospects and clients value while showing more of your personality. Blogs aren’t as formal as websites, and it isn’t uncommon to compile information from various sources to share on your blog as a one stop informational source covering your sector or niche. Stand out by sharing unique angles or sources on a given topic. The same basic rules apply to a blog—make sure the content is informative and on point in addition to providing a few methods to contact you. One area a blog can outshine a website is by inviting your prospects and customers to comment on your blog. Involve them in the conversation, and you’ll improve your relationship with them.

E-Magazines (or e-zines) are another way to communicate regularly with your prospects and customers. They take a little more ongoing work than blogs and websites because you have to be careful not to spam people these days so you’ll need a tool to manage subscriptions and cancellations. It’s tempting to simply gather an e-mail address of a prospect and toss it onto your next e-zine mailing, but that can have an adverse effect if you’re not cautious. Provide a link to an opt-in form on your website where people can sign up for copies of your e-zine. As with websites and blogs, be informative and relevant with your e-zines, and don’t be afraid to include information from other sources. There are literally tons of people producing great articles online for free that lend well to this sort of thing, and the only thing required of you is to share their contact information or byline at the end of the article. If you’re unsure whether people will embrace your e-zine, publish a few on your website as “back issues” to give your prospects a preview of what to expect should they sign up. Another popular enticer is to provide access to a free report or case study upon sign up.

Have you thought about hosting or being a featured guest on a teleseminar? Teleseminars are increasingly popular ways to increase your “expert” quotient with prospects and customers alike. Renting a conference bridge line and long distance charges aren’t cost prohibitive anymore, and interested parties are willing to invest an hour of their time to listen to a conference call which will answer relevant questions or solve common problems. If you consider this a viable option, be cognizant of your audience’s time and have a script to follow for every call. Once you have gone through the trouble to organize the call and gathered an audience, the last thing you want to do is forget a key topic or point when you’re actually on the call. You’re likely to be nervous on the first few calls which means the littlest things are capable of derailing an entire call leading you to lose track of thoughts you wouldn’t under normal circumstances. An additional tip: record all of your calls to make available for sharing or resale from your website or blog at a later date. This is valuable content that can further differentiate you from the competition so treat it accordingly. It can also help you fine tune your communication skills by objectively reviewing and critiquing the calls to determine areas of improvement. After each call, you’ll undoubtedly notice things you can fix immediately if you take the time to review the call with an open mind.

Another area you can obtain notoriety is by giving a speech or presentation to a local group on a topic related to your profession. There are plenty of opportunities to give presentations to smaller niche groups that will further establish you as an expert in your chosen field. Be sure to record your speech or presentation either with a video camera or a voice recorder in order to critique it afterwards and/or provide more content for your website or blog. Cameras don’t lie so you’ll surely see some things in your performances that should be improved upon prior to the next one. Practice giving your speech several times in front of the camera or behind the mike before the actual date in order to fine tune it as much as possible. Giving a great performance can propel your career on multiple levels so relish the opportunity and make the most of it.

Write an article about your profession or a related topic. Writing articles isn’t as difficult as many perceive, and authors are frequently viewed as experts whether they are or not. The power of the written word still exists, and there are many avenues you can travel to publish an article. Visit http://www.ezinearticles.com to browse over some sample articles then signup for a free account once you have a quality article to publish. (NOTE: the author has no affiliation with the operation of the site mentioned although he has had several articles published there.) There are thousands of sites which publish articles aside from this one, and it may be best to find niche sites specific to your industry. Pay some due diligence by playing around with the various search engines to find a publishing site you feel comfortable with which targets an audience you desire.

Lastly, the simplest thing you can do to further public awareness of you and your profession is to tell anyone that seems remotely interested. Friends, family members, fellow hobby enthusiasts, etc. make for great word of mouth marketing suspects, but many of us don’t share what we do out of fear that others will view us as shameless self promoters or egotistical. Sharing a good short story about what you do with people who supposedly care isn’t shameless, and those people will enjoy hearing about your professional life. People naturally want to help others so utilize the word of mouth leverage these people can provide for you, but don’t overdo it as a little can go a long way.

However many of these tips you decide to implement, make sure you devote the proper resources (namely time) to doing the job right the first time. Halfway implementing any or all of the ideas outlined won’t help you achieve the results you ultimately desire. The elimination of cold calling as a prospecting methodology isn’t impossible, but it requires time and effort to be successful just like anything else in life.

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