Great marketers treat content marketing like fly fishing. They bait hooks with quality content and drop them into the streams where prospects are most likely to bite. Marketers build strong brands and create valuable content to entertain and inform the masses and direct them towards the products and services they need. This is the dream.

The reality is that most sales teams still need to create pipeline. We fly to events, reach out to people we don’t know on LinkedIn and email, and tell the world about how great we are on Twitter.

The best sales people still work the phones as part of their outbound prospecting even though we are being told over and over that cold calling is dead. But for me, cold calling is not dead, though the game has changed.

Today, salespeople need to re-think how to approach traditional prospecting techniques and reevaluate how to connect with prospects. I like to call this new approach content calling – in order to earn the right to speak to your prospective customer you need to first demonstrate value.

How do I Provide Value to my Prospects?

Understand your audience. Start by developing your buyer personas and doing your research. You need to understand what those personas find valuable or entertaining and offer them something that no one else can (articles, case studies, videos) that speak to their unique needs and challenges.

Project Mayhem

by Jen Taylor

In the film Fight Club, Tyler Durden creates Project Mayhem. His plan was to carry out increasingly devious stunts over the course of several days, leading up to a grandiose strike against corporate America.

The ScribbleLive sales team recently ran its own version of Project Mayhem. Admittedly, ours was much less devious. The idea was for each sales rep to create a manageable list of 30 or so prospects and leverage multiple channels to deliver relevant, pre-sales value over the course of 7 business days.

Here’s how it works:

  • Hand pick your top 30 prospects. Do your research in advance to make sure that you are contacting the right people and that you can reach them directly without having to go through a gatekeeper.

  • Over the course of 7 business days use a combination of calls, emails, and social touches (on LinkedIn or Twitter) to inform and entertain your list of prospects on 10 separate touch points. The idea here is to make multiple touch points to the same person on consecutive days (such as an email in the morning and call in the afternoon), but every time you do this you will be offering a unique piece of valuable information instead of repeatedly asking for a meeting.

Here’s the difference:

Instead of this:

by Jen Taylor

Try this:

by Jen Taylor

A-B-CC – Always be Content Calling

by Jen Taylor

This process works because it establishes credibility. When your prospects receive an email from a salesperson they already understand that you want to showcase your products or services. Instead of asking for a meeting, offer something that they find helpful. Establish credibility by sending material that is informative and entertaining. You will be surprised by the reaction you get from people you have never even spoken with if you actually make the effort to serve up helpful information before pitching them anything.

If you spend some time thinking about your prospects and how you can make their lives better you might earn yourself an opportunity to speak with them about their business challenges and how your products and services can help.