I’m willing to bet that once Alexander Graham Bell hooked up his telephone for the first time, he got a call asking if he was satisfied with his long-distance service provider!
One optimistic study says cold calling is ineffective almost 91% of the time. Another says it’s effective only 2% of the time.
What about internet generated leads? If you must rely on these leads before you evolve over to more referrals, be sure to seek out exclusive leads whenever possible. Otherwise, you may be calling prospects who are already annoyed because of the four others who called them before you.
Too Busy to Read? Listen & Multi-Task
I don’t know about you, but if I don’t know who’s calling, I don’t pick up the phone. My assistant screens my calls at the office.
I figure that if it’s important, they’ll leave a message and I’ll call them back promptly – especially if it’s a prospect or client.
If I do pickup, and they don’t really know much about me, but think they have “the answers” to “my problems,” then I’ll get off quickly (and politely, of course).
With just about everyone screening their calls, it’s time to put cold calling on ice. And… That’s not to say that you should stop using the phone. It means you need to make your calls warmer and more relevant.
Before you give someone a call out of the blue see if you can connect with them on LinkedIn. Reach out with a personal connection request. I look for one or two items in their profile to mention, so they know this isn’t a canned message.
Personalize, personalize, personalize!
Once you’ve made the connection, interact with their posts and have a conversation with them that doesn’t involve selling to them!
You want to build up your stockpile of social currency before you try to bring up the possibility of becoming a resource for them. Once you believe you’re ready to talk business, ask them their preferred method of contact. Some people may want to get started with email, while others will prefer a phone call. Sometimes you’ll get lucky and they will suggest a face-to-face meeting.
See last week’s Blog Post about LinkedIn Etiquette
You should be ready for the fact that once you connect with a prospect – in any form – your website will likely be their next impression of you.
If your prospects (and potential centers of influence) encounter an outdated or dysfunctional site, they will likely take it as a sign of an outdated or dysfunctional company.
Very recently, I was referred to a potential strategic alliance and the referral source felt obliged to say to me, “Don’t judge him by his website.” Yikes!
Don’t make your visitor have to scour your home page for contact information. I recommend that you also offer one or more reports, guides, or other items of value that they can access easily. These days, it’s easy to set up a form where they pay for an item with their email address. Now you can reach out to them to provide further value and gauge their interest.
No one likes being sold to. Instead, they (subconsciously) want to be guided toward the path of buying a valuable product or service. That’s where the materials you provide come in.
As mentioned above, eBooks, informational blogs, whitepapers, webinars and other content builds value and credibility.
Of course, your blog should always be a free and easy-to-read part of your website. strategy.
Remember, always lead with value and keep bringing the value.
Expert marketer, Jay Baer, says, “Only supply items of value that people would pay for and are, then, delighted to get for free.” Be careful what you post. First class content and appearance only!
How do you connect with potential clients? I want to hear from you! Really! Let’s start a conversation and “share the wealth” of ideas. Please leave a comment or question below.
“Before I met Bill Cates, I was making a ton of cold calls. Bill showed me how to go from cold calling to referrals and I tripled my production the very next month. I would not be where I am today without learning Bill’s processes.”
James Mwombela, Insurance Advisor
If you answered “YES!” to any of the questions above, you’re in luck. Over the past few months, I’ve offered a very limited number of exclusive, highly-discounted 1:1 personal coaching packages to my webinar participants. Due to the popularity, we’ve decided to extend this offer to our readers as well!