Interrupt Yourself and Research This!

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Many sales professionals seem to spend a lot of time prepping for their cold calls activities under the guise of “research.” In reality, it feels like a stalling tactic. After all, if you are going to interrupt a busy person with a cold call, what makes you think they actually give a crap about what you think you know — you are still an annoying distraction from what they were doing.

I recognize the theory that says “if I am going to create interest, I need to know how to find something they are interested in.” To me, the more time spent researching, prepping, dialing, and interrupting, the less time you actually spend in productive meetings talking and learning. I would rather be in front of people who want to meet with me than bugging people who don’t.

I have to be honest, I am not, have not, and likely will not be a fan of cold calling. My thought is that if I have to make a bucket load of phone calls just to entice someone to meet with me, I am not very good at building and leveraging my relationships to grow my business. If you don’t have enough friends, then I guess you have to work harder at finding some.

There is no magic in this research stuff either. You can learn all you want about anybody. The Internet is full of all kinds of information about most anyone. However, until you sit down and get to truly know them, all that you learn is presumptive knowledge. What is really important is what you know. Known information is based on what is shared directly to you by the person you are meeting with.

When it comes to cold calling and preparatory research — prospecting activities that may be helpful in growing your business — you don’t need to do as much prep work on your future prospects as you need to be doing research on your success model. Until you know what your customers value about you and how you have been effective at becoming a trusted, professional resource, all the cold calls and research in the world is not going to help you develop, expand, and leverage your current, best relationships.

Before embarking on another cold calling and on-line research campaign, do some productive research. Take the time to learn directly from your existing clients and your best business relationships the value you bring to the market. To accomplish this, have a real live conversation with your best relationships and ask them three simple questions:

  1. What was it that I did, say, of offer that made you decide to do business with me?
  2. Now that we have been working together for a while, what keeps you coming back?
  3. What is the unexpected benefit or “wow” that you have realized in this relationship?

These questions provide you with direct insight and understanding into your personal, professional value in this business relationship. Knowing exactly how you help others obtain exactly what they want and need is how you learn to engage others in a conversation about your professional skills, abilities, and commitment. It from this knowledge that you can begin to build more real, tangible, and productive relationships. And, when you understand how to leverage these relationships through your value, you will be able to spend more time meeting with people and less time researching how to interrupt them.

Dave Cooke has written an e-book “Don’t Waste Your Time Prospecting” which focuses on the strategy, process, and behaviors necessary for effective prospecting in this current economic environment. This post is an excerpt from that book. To obtain your copy of this e-book, simply email Dave Cooke to request your complimentary copy.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Dave Cooke
I leverage my 25 years experience in sales and marketing to create and implement strategic initiatives and develop educational programs that increase both revenues and profits. I take great pride in my experience in turbulent, chaotic, and transitional work environments. It is from these experiences that I have developed my commitment to collaborative teams, strong internal and external relationships, effective communication, decisive leadership, and a cohesive, collaborative strategy as keys to sustainable revenue growth.

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