How To Avoid These Very Common Sales Mistakes That Tons Of Sales Professionals Make
When I answer the question, “What do you do for living,” it’s always followed up with, “How on earth did you become a best-selling author?”
So, here’s the story…
When I began in sales, I did what my managers told me to do – cold call. I simply didn’t know what else to do, and, after all, they told me that the more calls I made, the more sales I’d make. That sounded good to me so I hit the phones and pounded the pavement!
However, it didn’t take long to wind up on probation at that first sales job, and soon I was starting at my second. And third.
I became increasingly frustrated – I knew I couldn’t continue like this if I wanted to succeed. And I was really baffled as to why I wasn’t raking in the sales after making those hundred calls each day.
So I went out and read as many sales books and listened to as many tapes as I could afford. I even scraped up enough cash for a couple of workshops, and during those long days when I had no appointments to go to, I’d sit in the library and read even more.
Guess what? None of it worked for me. And, I was very uncomfortable with a lot of the sleazy sales tactics some of those books suggested.
Finally I started at yet another new job, but this time I was lucky – I had a sales manager with a brain. When he saw me calling away on the phone, he said, “Frank, we didn’t spend thousands of dollars on recruiting and training to have you doing the job of a minimum-wage telemarketer.” He then paired me up with a top salesperson in our company who took me under his wing.
I learned from him, and I sought out other top sales pros. I began learning what they did each day – what really works – and much of that information was nothing of what I expected.
(Hint: they didn’t cold call).
Ever since that wonderful time – it was the most enjoyable sales job I’d ever had – I’ve continued to research, learn, and ask questions of top performers, accumulating knowledge on how to generate leads without cold calling.
When you look at just how many methods there are to generate sales other than cold calling – and methods that work much better – it’s astonishing to hear anyone say, “There’s nothing else to do but make cold calls!”
A while back, I nicknamed a friend of mine, “Mayor of his city.” That’s because no matter where we would go when I visit him, whether it was Starbucks, lunch, or elsewhere, no less than five people would know him and come over and say “hi.”
I asked him for the secret of his fame!
There was no secret – it was done through simple networking.
He moved there, alone, seeking greener pastures after a nasty divorce, and didn’t know a single solitary person in that entire city.
So, he went to four – yes 4 – networking events per day. A breakfast event, a lunch event, a happy hour event, and then, for the real stroke of genius, he found out where the CEOs and other heavy-hitters hung out at night, and made a point to go to that bar every night, albeit without drinking. You can’t network well when you’re sloshed!
Think about that – that’s a whopping twenty networking events per week, each and every week!
Needless to say, it didn’t take long for him to become “Mayor of his city,” not to mention making a fortune in sales with all the contacts he’d developed.
He’s now a multi-millionaire.
I did something similar when I moved to Dallas five years ago. This is the first and only place my wife and I have ever moved to without knowing anyone here.
I got on Meetup, found business networking groups, and made a point to go to several a week. (Not 20 though – not with a family at home!)
It didn’t take very long until, despite being brand new here, I ran into someone I know at least once a day and sometimes more. And that of course turned into referral contacts and clients.
The point is, cold calling is the last thing you should do to generate sales. From networking to social media to self-marketing, and a myriad of other methods and strategies, there is no excuse to cold call.
In fact, I consider cold calling lazy – it’s a sure sign of laziness to not make the effort to learn new things!
So drop the cold calling drudgery from your life. If you do, you’ll go through the same personal sales struggle I did.
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