Forget Cold Calls: Be Invited To Sell – Every Time
Written by Dave Lorenzo on August 29, 2016 / Podcasts / Sales Strategy
Forget Cold Calls: Be Invited To Sell – Every Time
Welcome to another edition of the 60 second sales show. I am Dave Lorenzo, I’m the guy who helps you make a great living and live a great life. Today we are going to focus on the one thing that every sales professional, every entrepreneur, every business leader thinks they have to do but they absolutely hate to do. We’re going to focus on it because I’m going to give you permission to just forget about it. I’m talking about cold calling. The dreaded cold calling.
Let me let me drop a number on you here. Let me give you a statistic. This statistic is according to salesforce.com and I think actually … Leap job actually quoted it out most recently, only 2% of cold calls results in an appointment. Only 2%, so if you think about that for a minute you’re a sales professional, you’re at your desk, you’re banging away on the phones, you make 100 phone calls, you get two appointments to get in front of someone who’s a prospective client. If you’re the best person on the planet at closing you’re going to close half of those, so one out of every 100 cold calls you make where you connect with someone, only one of those results in a sale. Think about the time it takes for you to do the research to find out who good cold calling prospects are, think about the time it takes for you to sit down and bang away at the phones, all right. The time element of cold calling alone is daunting, even if you can set aside time element. Think about the frustration element of talking to 98 people who tell you, “No.” Who tell you, “You suck.” Who tell you to stop calling.
The frustration element and that confidence crushing that you have to endure when you’re a cold call sales person is incredible. But even if you can get past that, even if you can get past that time investment of making 100 calls to get two people to agree to see you. If you can get past the confidence crushing that it takes every time you here, “No, go away, stop calling me.” If you can get past all of that, think about the ineffectiveness of going to a meeting of completing an appointment. If you do a webinar if that’s where your initial appointments take place. If you’re doing an in-person meeting, if it’s a telephone sales appointment. Think about the uphill battle you face if someone has set that appointment for you via a cold call you walk in there and this person has no idea who you are, and you’re starting from a completely and totally cold start.
It’s horrible. It’s sucks, it’s ineffective, and it’s a huge waste of time. Yet just last week I went to see here in the in the Miami area, I live in Miami, here in the local area. I went to see someone who’s known as a sales Guru. Someone who gets paid upwards of $10,000 for a speech on sales. Someone who’s conducted live events where people paid $500 or more per person to go see her talk about how to sell, and had a close deals. I go to this event, I’m excited, I’m fired up, this is what I do. I love to engage people, I love to help people and stealing is helping, so I’m thinking, “I’m going to hear this Guru tell me something new. Something outstanding that I can use myself in my business to get in front of more people. To help more people.”
I walk in the room, there’s great music, there’s fantastic energy, and the guru takes the stage and half of the 90-minute presentation was spent on cold calling techniques. Wow! I was crushed. I was so disappointed. The reason I was so disappointed my friends is because I could not believe that in this day and age, when there are so many ways to connect with people, and to show how your expertise can be valuable to people, this sales Guru, who by the way is probably ten years younger than me, should be hip to the way millennials do business. This sales guru is advocating getting on the phone, going through lists, dialing numbers over, and over, and over again. I was absolutely devastated. I didn’t hear anything new about how to connect with people.
What I’m going to share with you right now I think could absolutely change everything for you if you’re a sales professional. It could change everything for you if you’re an entrepreneur. It could change everything for you if you want to do business with new people you want to meet new people to do business with every week. Our approach in the 60-second sales process is for you to connect with folks, learn how you can help them, help them first, and then look to do business with them. That’s our approach, but meeting these people in the first place is what everyone is intimidated by. It’s what everybody comes to me and they say, “I just don’t know how to do it. You know, maybe I know 10 or 20 people and in the business world, I call them, I meet with them, and then I just don’t know what to do beyond that.”
Well, I’m going to give you the approach today. I’m giving you the solution today. This is what you can do so that you never ever have to cold call people again. The first thing that is critically important to get through your head, your mindset has to be one of an expert. You’re not a sales person any longer. I am now changing your role in your business. It doesn’t matter to me if you were brought in off the street as the guy that bang on doors and sell vacuum cleaners. You’re not a sales person any longer. You are an expert consultant who’s here to help people solve a problem. If you’re that vacuum cleaner salesman who goes out door-to-door, and sells things … Oh, and by the way, I give this example all the time, the vacuum cleaner sales person analogy, and people come up to me. I give this and live talks all the time, people come up to me and they say things like, “You know Dave, that was back in like the 1950s, nobody goes door-to-door selling vacuums anymore.”
I want to introduce you … At some point I’m going to introduce you all to a woman by the name of Tracy Parillo. Tracy works for Shangri-La hotels. She is the senior Vice President of sales. It’s an International hotel chain, she’s a senior Vice President of Sales. She and I worked together when I worked for Marriott, she was the top sales person in all of Marriott. When she and I worked together, I was the regional vice president. She worked with me, she started her career in sales selling vacuum cleaners door-to-door, okay? Today when we’re recording this is 2016, there’s somebody out there right now banging on doors selling vacuum cleaners, so don’t tell me that they only took place in the 50s. What they don’t do anymore is they don’t throw dirt on the floor and say, “Hey, let me show you how I can solve that problem,” but there’s somebody out there today selling vacuum cleaners door-to-door.
I don’t care if you sell vacuum cleaners. I want you to be the floor care and germ removal expert, not a vacuum cleaner sales person. Here’s what I’m getting at, you have to first educate your audience on the problems they have that your product or service can solve. People who raise their hands and say, “Hey, I’m interested in hearing more about that,” those are the people who I want you to connect with. Let’s take the 60-second sales process, the beginning part, and let’s walk through it as it relates to you being an expert, and you helping people solve a problem. You’re that vacuum cleaner sales person, you’re a young Tracy Parillo out there banging on doors, right? Better than banging on doors, better than cold calling, what you should be doing is you should be connecting with people who sell carpets.
People who sell carpets and install carpets to people’s homes. You should get names of people who just purchased carpets, and you should invite them to a seminar you’re conducting on allergens and how to prevent allergic reactions in children. How to prevent environmental allergies in children. You should connect with a local allergist, and you should do either a webinar, which is a great way to deliver this information, or you should do an in-person seminar. Where you and the local allergist talk about things that can live in a carpet that your vacuum cleaner will prevent, okay? You’re not going to talk about the vacuum cleaner at all in this seminar. You’re going to talk about things that can live in a carpet, and you’re going to talk about how homeowners who own carpets can remove those critters. The creepy crawlies, all the things, even things that don’t begin with the letter C.
You’re going to talk about how you can remove those allergens from your home with good vacuuming, and carpet care practices. You’re going to give these seminars all over the place. You’re going to run them constantly on the web, on your website, and you’re going to ask people to opt-in to receive this information. You’re going to create pamphlets and you’re going to send those pamphlets out, but before they get the information they have to give you their email address, their cell phone number, and their name. The people who respond by giving you the email address, their cell phone number, and their name, those are people who are good potential clients for your services.
The suspects are people who own carpet. Okay, you’re finding the suspect names from carpet stores. Shocking, I know. Carpet stores. The prospects are people who you invite to see the seminar, who you invite to receive the information. Those people who say, “Yes.” Those are prospects. They’re interested in removing allergens from their home because they have kids. There’s nothing more emotional than taking care of a family. There’s nothing more emotional than keeping your children safe, and free from harm. You are vacuum cleaner sales person, but you’re not anymore, I’ve made you an expert on removing allergens from your home. My friends if you can do this with a vacuum, if you can become an expert on solving a problem as a vacuum cleaner sales person, you can become an expert in any industry.
The key to removing cold calling from your life, the key to be getting rid of cold calling from your life forever is identifying the problems that you’re great at solving. Seizing the mantle of expertise, grabbing onto it and saying, “Yes, I am an expert in this,” and then going out and demonstrating to the world your ability to solve this problem. Your ability to educate people that the problem even exists, and offering an alternative, and that alternative is the product or service you sell. That’s it, you never have to ever cold call again. I don’t care if you’re a pharmaceutical sales rep. I don’t care if you sell vacuum cleaners, if you’re an expert, you’re a consultant, the problem that you solve is your area of expertise. You are a consultant, you help people solve those problems and you never after ever have to cold call again. People will come running to you for the solution to those problems.
2% of cold calls result in an appointment. Horrible, devastating rejection. Absolutely horrible waste of your time. Invest your time in developing educational material. Invest your time in developing fantastic content. Invest your time in focusing on being an expert, and seize the mantle of expertise. You want another example? You want another example from another industry where it’s very difficult? Let’s talk garbage. I don’t mean talking trash, well I do mean talking trash, but I don’t mean talking trash in the sports sense. You’re a person who works for a waste management company, you have to go out and convince people to put their garbage in your trash cans. You got to convince business owners to hire you to cart away the things they discard. Nobody wants to talk about trash, people are only concerned about what it costs to get rid of it. They want the absolute lowest price.
How do you combat that? The first thing you do is you go to the environmental groups that are in your area, and you see if you can either purchase or rent the lists of people who have signed up to be part of those environmental groups. People who are active. People who are concerned about the environment. When you find those lists, you cross-reference those list, and good list broker can do this for you. You cross-reference those lists with the local business owners. Business owners who are environmentally conscious. Then what you do is you do research on how the trash that you collect is disposed off, and you make sure your company has a hallmark for being the most the most environmentally friendly, the most sound trash disposal company.
Then you go out and you invite the business owners who are on the environmentally friendly lists, the environmentally active lists, to a seminar on how your company is the most … Well the a seminar is on environmentally conscious disposal of business waste, okay? During the presentation you educate people on good ways and bad ways to dispose of trash, and then you wait for them to ask how your company disposes of the trash. You are the obvious solution to those people. Now, a natural extension of that is you can canvass all the business owners and see which one [surface 00:14:12] that weren’t on environmentalist list. That’s fine, I think you should do that, but start with a low-hanging fruit. Start with the people who are really interested in being environmentally conscious. Help educate the community. You can enlist some of those people to help educate the community for you.
Here you go, trash, garbage, something that trash removal, trash disposal, waste disposal, something that everyone thinks is a commodity, all of a sudden you’ve turned yourself into an expert. You’ve turned yourself into a consultant, and you go out and educate people on how they can make a difference in their environment, and in their Community by working with you. Two examples I’ve just given you on how you can eliminate cold calling by educating people, getting them to come to you instead of you having a bang on doors. Trash and vacuum cleaners, two of the toughest things out there to sell. No matter what you’re selling you can do this.
Okay, now it’s the time in our show where we take a question, or we answer a caller … answer a call from a caller, and we talk about something that’s on the mind of a business owner. Today we are very fortunate, our very own producer Nancy Pop is starting a business, and she has a question for us. Nancy, tell us what your question is.
Hi Dave, my question today is that I’m starting an online business and looking for sponsors that are going to provide both financial and in-kind sponsorships. What is the best way for me to approach someone if I’m not too familiar with them personally?
Okay, so Nancy let’s get started by talk … tell me a little bit about the online business that you’re starting.
I’m starting what is essential a social media/content sharing network for local New York city-based film-makers, writers, musicians, and visual artists.
Wow, very, very exciting. Excellent. Okay, one more quick question, so who would be the ideal sponsor? Who’s the person that if I said to you, “Listen, you can have anybody you want,” who’s your dream sponsor to be a part of this project with you?
My dream sponsor probably would be some organization along the lines of the New York Arts Foundation, or Made in New York foundation. Someone that fully supports New York City based artists. On a smaller scale I would really love to work with local businesses that are family run, or small businesses that need some advertisement that can obviously benefit me, but I can benefit them in return.
Okay, so I applaud your effort for doing something that you’re passionate about. The more successful business startups are startups where the entrepreneur is passionate about the topic. Having known you now for … Well, we’ve been working together now for a couple of months, I know how passionate you are about art. Congratulations on taking this step to pursue something that you’re passionate about, because that energy is going to be critically important, and here is why. This is going to be really hard, and I hope that you’re prepared for the amount of effort that you’re going to have to put forth. The good news is that once you get the ball rolling it will become easier, and easier for you to attract sponsors. I know that you’re passionate about this and that passion is going to serve as your rocket fuel to keep you going when you get two, or three, or 20, or 30 “Nos”.
The first thing I think you should do is I think you should shoot for the moon. I want you to go out and I want you to look for the most powerful sponsor that you could find. A name that having that person, or that company involved will get people to sit back in their chair and go, “Wow! They’re sponsoring you?” Think for a minute Nancy about the names that would just knock you over. If I’m someone who supports the Arts, I’m philanthropic, who … what’s a business or a company that you could say to me, “Wow!” That you could say it was a sponsor and I would go, “Wow!” I’d be impressed that you were able to attract them. Who’s somebody like that? What business?
Somebody like that would probably be someone like the Sundance Film Festival, or Tribeca Film Festival. I think that would be a great way to bring on film-makers to the website.
Awesome. Okay, so Tribeca Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, you say those and I think Robert DeNiro, Robert Redford, right? Those people getting their involvement or even just getting an endorsement from someone who’s a senior person in either of those organizations would go a long way toward opening doors for you. The first thing I would do is I would go out and make an emotional pitch to the people who are senior level people in those organizations. I would do research on who the senior level people are. How they got their start, and I would make an emotional pitch to them to connect with them and see if they would first go for the pot of gold. First ask them for $50,000, or however much money you need, right? First ask for money, and then the second thing you do is if you can’t get money you fall back to the position where you say, “I’d like an endorsement from you. I’d like to use your name to help me attract people.”
Let’s not focus on the second part, let’s focus on the first part. I’ll give you an example of how this works. When I wrote my first book ‘Career Intensity Business Strategy for Workplace Warriors and Entrepreneurs’, I wanted as many high-profile blurbs as I possibly could get. I didn’t take the time to do a book proposal, I didn’t have a big agent, I didn’t have a publisher, I wanted to get my book to market quickly. I wanted to sell it myself because I figured if I short cut the process, it normally takes about a year to even get your book in front of agents. It normally takes longer than that to get your book published. I had it written already, I wanted to self-publish, so I wanted as many good big name blurbs as I could get.
One person I really wanted to write a blurb for my book, and those of you don’t know a blurb is simply an endorsement of the book. One person I wanted to blurb my book was Seth Godin. Seth Godin is a marketing guru. This is 2006, so he’s had even more success in the last 10 years, but prior to that he was known as a guy who is great with online marketing. He was he was really a hot speaker at the time. He was doing all the big talks, so I wanted him to blurb my book. What I did was I put together an email packet that showed how I was using this book to bootstrap my business, and he had written a book called ‘Bootstrapping’ on how you as an entrepreneur could start a business with no money, no Capital, no connections. I tailored my pitch to him for the blurb exactly like the pitch that he outlined in ‘Bootstrapping’.
I said he was one of my idols, one of my mentors, I mean virtually. I made the pitch to him, he read it, and he responded back, “I don’t write endorsements for self-published books.” My response was simply, “Well, if you don’t do this for me then you won’t be following your own advice. I would prefer that you followed your own advice. I would love it if you followed your own advice and gave someone who is an entrepreneur bootstrapping a shot.” The next response I got was that he had read the book, and he wrote a very nice blurb for me. I used an emotional hook by figuring out what he was interested in, and by leveraging that to make the connection with him. Nancy, what I think you should do is target Sundance Film title, target Tribeca Film Festival. Look up who the senior executives are, and create that emotional pitch that will resonate with them.
Find out how they got started. Find out how they got into the business, and tailor your pitch for sponsorship in order to get a meeting. Tailor your pitch for that meeting based on those emotional triggers. It will really resonate with them, and it’s very hard for them to resist giving someone who’s just getting started the same way they got started a meeting. Then once you get them on board you can leverage that knowledge, you can leverage their connections, you can also leverage their name, and the power behind their brand to help you connect with other sponsors. How does that sound?
That sounds awesome. I didn’t even think of doing it that way.
Fantastic. Nancy, since we worked together on this, will you keep us informed from time to time as to how it’s going, so that not only we can benefit from your successes, but our listeners can also benefit from your successes and your journey along the way? Will you keep us informed as to what’s going on?
Fantastic. All right folks, remember that people make decisions first by connecting on an emotional level with the person who’s sitting across the table from them, and then they justify those decisions with some of the rational elements. Our Focus today was on making connections with people, to avoid cold calling by educating people. By helping them understand the value you provide as a consultant. Remember, you’re not just a sales person, you’re a consultant helping them solve a problem.
If you’ve got a situation just like Nancy and you want some help with it, you can reach out to me on social media. You can find me on Twitter @vdavelorenzo. Also Facebook at V Dave Lorenzo. Instagram, Periscope, you name it, if you’re looking for me at V Dave Lorenzo. All the social media outlets, I will connect with you. I’ll answer your questions, either privately or here in this forum so that we can all learn. My thanks to Nancy Pop for her question and for her great job producing as always.
This is the 60-second sales show, I’m Dave Lorenzo and until next week, here’s hoping you make a great living, and live a great life.
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