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Prospecting Beyond The Cold Call

Aug 17, 2007
Few of us enjoy it, some of us hate it, and others look at it as a necessary evil. The cold call has become a staple of today's salesperson, however the unique part is that many organizations don't look beyond this approach to find creative ways to prospect without the cold call. Your goal is to convince the prospect that your product/service deserves to be discussed, only AFTER you've discovered their needs. So, what are some ways that you can generate business outside of utilizing a cold call.

1. Become active in your chamber of commerce-committees and sponsorships are a GREAT opportunity for you to meet others who may have an interest in your product or service, or who may know of others who have an interest. Remember, people buy from people they know and trust!

2. Join LinkedIn. This is an online networking resource that is free of charge. The resource allows you to connect with others by sending an introduction through your contacts. Once you are linked you are able to see the people they are linked to and request an introduction based on your networking needs.

3. Offer to give a guest talk regarding a subject matter you are knowledgeable on to a local Chamber, Kiwanis, or networking group. The more people understand what you do, the more likely they will think of you when a need comes up.

4. When someone provides you with an introduction, always be sure to thank them and let them know how the referral progresses. That way they will also keep you in the forefront of their mind.

5. Find other organizations that can help your business and network with them. The best way to do this is to find companies that talk to the same audience that you do. If you typically sell to the Marketing Director, find other companies that are looking for the same person. Often once you've built a rapport with this person, you will be able to introduce yourself to their contacts.

6. Do a cross promotion with a similar business that does not compete. Find a way to work together via a joint seminar or event and promote it together. Another way is after getting an organization's endorsement, to write a letter and ask an organization to send it out to their top 100 clients, do the same for them.

These are just a few ideas of how sales can be generated on a daily basis without having to utilize the "dreaded cold call." So, the next time you think about having to make 100 cold calls, set time aside in your schedule to do focused activities on a daily basis and when you do have to sit down to call hopefully the majority of the calls will already be warm, if you are doing your job right!
About the Author
Tim Hagen, President of Sales Progress LLC, builds programs to help organizations increase sales. He has 21 years experience, and has helped both small and large size organizations increase their bottom line. He can be reached at http://www.SalesProgress.com or 262-240-1077.
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