contact prospects cold calling

Most sales reps don’t earn the right to contact prospects and make a cold call. They pick a list of names, smile and dial and hope for the best. Or, they put together a template email and blast it out to 1,000 contacts hoping they’ll get lucky. It’s actually not that hard to earn the right to make a call or send an email to someone you don’t know. Just do a little bit of research and have a valid reason for reaching out. The more research you do, the more relevant you can be, and therefore, the more you earn the right to reach out, not to mention increase the likelihood of a positive response.

At the very least, have the prospect’s website open in front of you when you make the call. This way you can react quickly if you ever get the question, “What do we do?” (Which is incredibly embarrassing if you don’t have an answer).

LinkedIn and social selling are areas where salespeople look for shortcuts. Just because someone is connected to you on LinkedIn doesn’t mean you know them or should feel comfortable making a referral. Don’t take the easy way out when it comes to LinkedIn referrals, but do make it easy to make the referral by doing your homework.

Social selling is a longer-term play than other selling methods. There are two components of social selling:

Outbound

With Outbound, you’re looking for content you can use to reach out to your targets and be more relevant with your communication. This is shorter term, but still takes a lot of work to set up the right systems and look for the right content.

Inbound

With inbound, you’re sharing insights and information so you’re seen as an industry expert and people start coming to you. Inbound is a longer term approach which doesn’t necessarily yield direct results, but is crucial for a successful long-term career in today’s sales world. The sales reps sharing knowledge and insight will ultimately win out over the ones just looking to make a sale.  With that, get involved with some Linkedin groups, create your own blog, comment and give your opinions and insights on other blogs, and tweet good articles.

Put in the effort to do things right, and earn every aspect of your success.