This week I am happy to have a guest blog from Joanne Black, the leading authority on referral selling and author of "No More Cold Calling." Joanne addresses the biggest mistake business development people make when it comes to getting appointments and then reveals what they should be doing instead.
A company tells its salespeople to do their research—to gather every piece of sales intelligence, exploit all of their social media channels, and find out a little bit about the prospect and the trigger events at his company. Then, all they need to do to get the meeting is call or email with a pithy, targeted message.
Sure, that might work. But …
You’re Getting Colder
Many salespeople mistakenly believe that if they reach out to prospects armed with relevant research and data, they’re not cold calling. After all, thanks to social media, they know who their prospects are, where they used to work, and where they went to school. They even have a few “friends” in common on LinkedIn. The “connected” logic plays out like this: We’re connected online, so we have a relationship.
Nope! You just have information, not a connection. That sales call—or email, or even knock on the door— is as cold as an ice cube sliding down your back.
You’re Not Getting Any Warmer
Any attempt to contact a sales prospect who doesn’t know you and doesn’t expect to hear from you amounts to cold calling. There’s nothing "warm" about it.
Cold calling doesn't work. It wastes your time and your company’s money, and annoys your prospects. Forget social intelligence. Relationship intelligence is what it’s all about.
Now You’re Getting Hot
What if you could reach out to your sales prospects and guarantee results? Yes, guarantee. All you have to do is get a referral introduction to your decision-maker, and you'll walk right into the C-Suite.
The TAS Group asked executives why they would meet with a salesperson. The No. 1 reason? A referral from a trusted source.
Referral selling is the only sales strategy proven to convert prospects into clients more than 50 percent of the time. Why would you waste your time doing anything else? Think about how you spend your time and the type of payoff you want. If your goal is increasing qualified sales leads, get that introduction and clinch your referral sale!
Thank you, Joanne.
About Joanne Black
Joanne Black is America’s leading authority on referral selling—the only business-development strategy proven to convert prospects into clients more than 50 percent of the time. She is a member of the National Speakers Association and author of NO MORE COLD CALLING™: The Breakthrough System That Will Leave Your Competition in the Dust and Pick Up the Damn Phone!: How People, Not Technology, Seal the Deal.To learn more, visit www.NoMoreColdCalling.com. Follow Joanne on Google+or Twitter @ReferralSales, or connect on LinkedIn and Facebook.
- My favorite tip for getting referrals As part of your agreement or contract, include the following: Assuming satisfactory completion of our project, you will provide three introductions to peers at other firms who you think could benefit from my services.
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