We’re back this week with another blog post on how to avoid Sales Fails. This time, I asked another Women Sales Pro member, Joanne Black, “What would be the one thing, you would tell sellers to stop doing immediately?”
Being the sales industry authority and go-to expert on Referral Selling, Joanne’s response was no surprise but none the less, great advice.
“Stop Cold Calling!
If your prospect doesn’t know you and doesn’t expect to hear from you, your outreach is ice cold. Whether you call, email, write on social media, or even knock on doors–you might as well pour a bucket of ice water over your head. Unless you receive a referral introduction, you’re an un-welcome telemarketer.
Several stats report that it can take eight-to-twelve touches to reach a prospect. And then they might not even want to talk to you. What a total waste of sales time. Stupid, really.
Compare cold calling to referrals. A referral introduction results in a one-call meeting. You get introduced by someone your prospect knows and trusts. You get the meeting.
Most importantly, you start off with a relationship already established and you:
- Arrive with trust and credibility already earned
- Collapse your sales process
- Decrease your cost of sales
- Ace-out the competition
- Get in early
- Convert prospects to clients well more than 50 percent of the time
No other sales or marketing strategy comes close to these results.
I scored a call with the CEO of a Fortune 500 company because I was introduced by one of his largest clients. We had an amazing 30-minute conversation. I learned that his son is in sales and what his challenges were. I also learned what he wants and doesn’t want from salespeople: He doesn’t want a pitch and doesn’t want someone asking the same surface-level questions everyone asks. He wants insights, new ways of thinking, and unique ideas for his business. Because I delivered all of that, he offered to introduce me to others on his team.
Yes, they do, Joanne! And, referrals aren’t just for career sales pros. Small Business owners should absolutely leverage referrals as a source for warm sales leads and pre-qualified prospects that can close quicker and at better margins.
They key here is making Referrals a priority and consistently asking for them.
To do this, make referrals a part of your sales process:
- Make sure you’re building solid relationships with your clients so they will feel confident in referring you.
- Create prompts in your sales process to make sure you’re asking for not just referrals, but introductions.
- Help your client know exactly WHO you’d like to do business with so they can make the best introductions.
- Let your clients know you’re going to make them look good by following up, following through, and taking care of their relationships.
- Follow up with your client to let them know how things have progressed and thank them for trusting you with their credibility.
Make your sales efforts 50% more effective by leveraging your current clients and banking on the relationships and trust you’ve created. It’s proven, effective, and better than that bucket of ice cold rejection you’ve probably experienced!
Until next time, stop hoping, start SELLING!
Big thanks to Joanne Black, author of Pick Up The Damn Phone! and No More Cold Calling.
Joanne began consulting with clients in 1996 when she developed a system based on the premise that building relationships and getting referrals generate sales faster and more cost-effectively than cold-calling.
Joanne’s sales, management and training experience spans decades and crosses multiple industries. Her hands-on and no-nonsense approach to the business of sales has made No More Cold Calling a respected and sought-after partner for clients in business-to-business sales.