Article written by Sage Marketing’s CEO, Julia Collins Blake.
A lot of people talk marketing, but not as many talk about sales (what you do with marketing leads to convert into a customer). I compiled a list of advice from different sources on top closers. To state the obvious, there’s a lot of overlapping advice out there. So, I took a look just a bit deeper — what was I reading and where did I see those sales trends in our sales approach at Sage? Here’s what I have read that works and here is what we do everyday to reach “Top Closer Status.”
“The number one thing on the planet that everyone loves talking about is themselves. This is also the number one problem in sales: We all love talking about ourselves. This is why the ‘I’d like to introduce myself to you’ email never works. No one cares.” – John Barrows
In marketing, we understand that our messaging shouldn’t be about us. It should be about our (potential) customer and how we can help them. The same thing is true when it comes to sales. So, please… just SHUT THE F*CK UP. Seem harsh? These words were taught to me in the infancy of my corporate career. Those 4 words are worth more than gold to me.
So, to further explain… If you’re calling your customers just to introduce yourself, you already lost them. No call should be a cold call. Yes, you do want them to have your contact information, BUT you want them to know your value (AKA how your service/product can help them). Before you pick up the phone, ask yourself: “Why would this CEO take 5 minutes to talk to me?” If you can’t answer that, they won’t answer you.
Learn to think like a Marketing Professional.
Tony Rodoni, Salesforce’s EVP of Customer Experience, said it best: “I think the best salespeople of the future are going to… act more like marketers… This is [going to be] a new part of the job description for sales.”
You want to talk value-add? Let’s talk marketing. Your marketing team should be pumping out content that you can share to your network (AKA the folks you want to convert into customers). Being able to offer free advice/resources to potential or current customers? Priceless. If you aren’t actively taking advantage of your marketing efforts, you’re not selling at your fullest potential.
Never Make a Cold Call.
What is this I say?! Yes. NEVER make a cold call. In fact, Sage Marketing has made 0 cold calls and yet we’ve grown year after year. HOW???
Before we make calls, we google, we Linkedin, we Facebook (yes, Barbara, we all see you in Cabo with your umbrella drink). We make sure we have an understanding of the person we’re calling.
- Because you should know how to connect to the person you’re calling (Did they go to your cousin’s college, do you both volunteer for similar causes?)
- You want to work with people you enjoy! (You want to make sure you’re making valuable connections during your career – make sure the people you’re calling and working with genuinely like you and you genuinely like them)
According to the Annuitas Group, a new customer that was obtained from a warm approach “will make a 47% larger purchase than a client that was developed with a cold call.”
That’s almost 50% more efficient – just by researching!
When you add those folks to your LinkedIn, etc., you can start social selling (AKA sharing that marketing content that they’ll find useful/relevant). See where we’re going with this??
PERSISTENCE IS KEY.
We ALWAYS get the response: “I took your call because you never gave up.” Persistence is key. I repeat, DO NOT GIVE UP. Check out this little sales statistic:
Remember: people are just plain busy. It’s the ones who are hard to get ahold of who are often the ones you want!
Just keep at it. Make sure you’re calling and sending follow-up emails with free tips/insights. Ask them if you can subscribe them to your newsletter if they can’t talk right away. Add them on Linkedin and share marketing content relevant to their business. Ask them to respond or you’ll keep reaching out. Get your answer! If you truly know you bring the potential customer value and are delivering your message appropriately, they will eventually answer.
Are you facing responses like “let me think about it” with your leads? Check out our other blog on the matter. Looking for social selling trainings for your sales team? Contact Sage today.