Selling During Lockdown: The end of cold calling?
My first sales job back in 1997 was ringing people on their landline during EastEnders whilst they were usually having their tea and offering them a ‘free’ kitchen. So, being a sales dinosaur, I can hand-on-heart say that I still love the buzz of a cold call turning into a sale. But 2020 has thrown a spanner into the works for all salespeople. Sensitivity, business awareness, industry knowledge and even governmental policies now all play a part on the hesitance to pick up the phone.
Those of us who love talking and listening to prospective clients are having to find a new way of starting relationships through many different means. Social selling has been part of my career for the last five years and the power of LinkedIn is something I must highlight.
In the first quarter of 2020, 14% of adults surveyed* said that they used LinkedIn several times a day. LinkedIn saw record levels of C-suite activity, and more businesses than ever are incorporating the platform in their social media strategy – what better platform to interact with your prospects?
Oh, how I miss the days of discovering a perfect networking event that has dozens of your ‘dream prospects’ in attendance, doing your research, and perfecting your conversation starters. Pre-Covid, I was the self-proclaimed Networking Queen – I absolutely loved getting to meet new people, exploring if you have any synergies, and having fun face-to-face. But in these new times, we need to (as Ross Gellar would say), “Pivot!”.
There are some amazing examples of companies moving to virtual networking extremely successfully, and unlike face-to-face, you can diarise more than once a day. My top tips are still the same as before: research and are memorable! Having business acumen and preparing exactly what value you will bring to a conversation is imperative, as is being memorable. For me, wearing a bold colour or setting the video call in a colourful and/or interesting part of the house is so important. And don’t forget to follow-up!
Pick up the phone
It is so easy to sit behind email or send messages on LinkedIn, but let’s not forget the all-important telephone. Yes, this current climate means you must be mindful of who you are calling, so do not under any circumstances call someone cold. Make sure you do your research about the company and the person you are calling, know the reason why now is the time to call and why they should arrange a virtual meeting with you. Referrals are key, so spend time building multi-level relationships before you call and remember that empathy is imperative at the moment. In the words of Russell Wardrop: “A ‘no’ in these current times usually means a ‘no, not at this moment.”. So be patient.
In need of some inspiration?
Remember that “The way we sell is more important than what we sell” (Tony J Hughes) and if you’re in need of some inspiration, take a look at the links below or phone me for a casual chat.
Tony Hughes – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FkREAwQKoiQ&t=226s
Art Sobczak – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8Wzu4YzDsw
Jeffrey Gitomer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VnXJimekMwc&t=354s
To discuss selling during lockdown over a virtual coffee, or to find out more about how ADEO Group can help you achieve the sales you’re dreaming of, please get in touch via LinkedIn (linkedin.com/caradzivane) or call me on 07596 318 995.