Sales Process: How to Cold Call

Woman on PhoneThere was an interesting discussion about cold calling and its role in marketing today in a Linked In group focused on inside sales.

Before I share the discussion, as a quick review, cold calling is one method that can be used to uncover sales opportunities. 

The reason cold calling doesn't work for companies and professionals is they are banging the phones; no plan, no strategy, just sitting in misery and fear. Of course the results are poor. 

With that said, let's change the paradigm and create results through cold calling.

A big question that most people have about cold calling is "Should I leave a message or not."

Live conversations are the goal. However, in cold calling, live conversations can be rare, depending on the buyer persona of the niche you're working with.

When I have to leave a message I follow a 6-touch call, email, call process.

Call 1: I leave a well-crafted, 30-second, "value to the client" message, with a call to action at the end.

Then I email similar information in written form with a repeat of the call to action at the end of the email.

Call 2: In a few days (as promised in the phone message and email) call again and leave another message. Send a "Did You Get This" email (on top of the first email) after leaving the second message.

Call again in a few days (call 3) and make that a final message (take away). And email the take away message.

Often, on that 3rd call, the prospect will call either to set a time or say no interest.  Man on Phone

Either way works for me. No is as good as yes because it's final.

Maybe is what's costing businesses tons of revenue every year because it creates a weak sales pipeline. 

If no call back after call 3, move to content marketing.

Drip value driven articles and blog posts that are relevant and personal to the niche you are calling. Send  this content a couple of times per month.

Repeat the 3-step, 6-marketing touch process (as described above) again in 90 days. 

Leaving messages is a marketing touch in my world.

Messages that deliver value, done in a strategic sequence with email or other written follow up gets results all year long.

Images Courtesy: T-Koni

Sales Process: When What You Don't Know You Don't Know Can Kill You

QuestionMarkCautionRecently I had a very nice review from one of the participants in the sales process development test program.

She said, "Bill has shown me how to recognize what I don’t know. When I notice what I don’t know, I just ask Bill and he explains it to me in terms I can understand. As a result, I now know the theory behind some of the magic, and it’s a little less intimidating. It helps me understand why we do what we do.”

Understanding the reasons and knowing that marketing (and sales) magic is not based on magic at all. It  is based on metrics. Metrics are created by measuring, which is based on research and testing.

The resultant reliable data leads to consistent results.

If you're now thinking, WHAT!? What does all that mean...

... you may be suffering from the famous "you don't know what you don't know" syndrome, when it comes to your sales process. I've seen that a few times lately in talking to people about their business development strategy.

Lets face it. You've studied the ins and outs of your field. But how deeply have you dug into how to create a reliable sales process?

If you struggling with business development or growth then the process you're following is either:

1) Flawed

2) Non-existent

In either case, the best thing you can do right now is to learn how to connect the dots between marketing, selling, CRM and Web marketing to create a sales process plan that actually grows your  business. 

Image Courtesy: Colin K

Keywords and Business Development Strategy

Keyword DifferencesI'm working on a sales process, marketing, CRM and online marketing test project right now. Today, I'm playing with keyword variations. 

In doing that, I'm consistently finding something very interesting. Small keyword variations often have HUGE competitive differences.

For example:

Note the differences in the keywords "business development strategy" vs. "business development strategies." You can click the graphic above for a screenshot of that search.

Business development strategy has "low" competition and 2,000 more searches per month in the USA than the keyword business development strategies, which is listed as "medium" competition and almost half as many searches.

So if I'm putting together a sales process and am working on the attraction (called marketing) piece for a business, which keyword would I use in an article ... oh say ... on business development strategy?

That's a quiz to see if you're paying attention.

Which keyword phrase would be best to use? 

Click on comment and leave your ideas. 

Learn about the sales process test project and see how it can help you grow your service based business by 10% to 40% or more this year.