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How to eliminate cold calling and still be successful !

January 20, 2013

From my earlier post, you have already gathered that I am not a huge fan of cold calling.  In fact sometimes I think of cold calling as just a exercise in hitting your numbers, a waste of time talking to many people who are not really going to buy from you and end up wasting your time.  So if we were to use reverse psychology on ourselves, we should ask the question – who doesn’t need to cold call?

The plain and simple answer to that is someone who already has enough people to sell to and doesn’t need to find any more people.   So then, its pretty simple, if you don’t want to cold call then you must find more people to sell to.  But how do we find more people to sell to without actually having to cold call?

I think it is important to make a clarification here for you to be able to travel down this path.  Cold calling to me is getting a lead list, opening up a phone book or physically going into a place of business that you don’t already do business with and asking them for their business.   That is a true cold call.  I also want to point out that the odds aren’t in your favor when you are going down the lead list, that everyone that is interested in meeting with you – will actually be at the point in their buying cycle where you can actually make a sale at that instant.  That is why I think there are more productive ways to get business then cold calling, but I understand  that we all have to do it if we have no customers!

Based on the definition of a cold call, it is a company/person that you are not already doing business with. In order to eliminate cold calling, you must do more business with people that you already do business with.  Let me repeat that – IN ORDER TO AVOID HAVING TO COLD CALL YOU MUST DO MORE BUSINESS WITH PEOPLE/COMPANIES THAT YOU ALREADY DO BUSINESS WITH ! Did you know that if you picked up the phone and called one of your current customers, you are more likely to get a better lead from that call then just calling a business on your lead list?

How do you incorporate this practice into your what you are currently doing?  It simple – here is 6 ways to get more business from your current customers

  • Ask them for referrals – the best time to ask for them is at the time of sale, but again if you pick up the phone and call a current customer and ask them on the spot for a referral, chances are you will get a better prospect, plus you have automatic credibility when calling on that person.  You can tell them who referred you.  Just remember to thank the customers that provide you referrals and if you sell to one of their referrals, it might not be a bad idea to send them a $ 5.00 gift card to Starbucks with a thank you.
  • Cross sell your current customers – this is something that we all could do better at and honestly will make that customer be more committed to you because they will do more business with you.   SO, cross sell another product line when you can.  Again, if you had to pick up the phone and call a current customer to tell them about a new product and ask for a sale – why not let it be a current customer, this will increase the chance of success.
  • Encourage repeat business – make it easy for clients to do repeat business with you.
  • Up sell your current customers – selling them more will ultimately help you meet your sales goals.  If everyone of your customers bought 25% more from you, think of how quickly this can add up.
  • Test market new products on your client base.  This is a way to be able to see how your current customers respond and if you find that you stumble on a hot button, then you can repeat the campaign with other people, but you will have an idea of how to market the campaign.
  • Turn every service call or visit into a sales opportunity – remember if you don’t ask, you wont get the sale – so ASK!

Good luck – remember if you want to be able to stop cold calling, you must increase your sales from your current customers.  Thanks for visiting The Sales Plan, please be sure to subscribe to receive automatic updates.

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