It seems that all areas throughout the country are different; retail business is up or retail business is down. What seems to be steady around the country is that businesses that are out “looking” for business are thriving. We are talking about business that doesn’t come through your door from advertising.
Of course, you’re uncomfortable calling on people you don’t know especially if you’ve never done it before. However, maybe you do know them or someone they know. First, you have to know who to call on, so why not start with a brain storming session?
Whenever “looking” for business outside the store comes up so does a look of horror on the faces of most salespeople. Somehow they equate this with stopping complete strangers on the street and asking them to buy products. The success of outside business is to understand that there is no such thing as a cold call. The only people that make real cold calls are telemarketers. The good ones are able to make a connection with you in about 30 seconds.
The other day I answered the phone and the voice identifies himself from Time Life. Before I can hang up, he asks me if I like the DVD’s I bought three months ago. They were the best 10 years of Saturday Night Live. I told him they were great, and then he asks me which ones I like the best. Before we’re done, we’re both laughing. Next he’s trying to sell me another product.
I began to like him, but I told him that I didn’t think I wanted his next product. He was quite persistent asking me lots of questions. Didn’t I think the quality would be as good, didn’t I like what I got, didn’t I have hours of enjoyment?
Guess what? I bought them. I knew the product was good, and I received the CD’s immediately.
The same components that make a retail sale successful are identical to the ones for a cold call.
A few weeks ago, I was doing a training session, and one of the salespeople was trying to “match a product and price” for his church. I asked him, how long he had been going to the church; it was over 10 years. He also was an elder of the church but was sure his competitor had been in with a product he didn’t have. He was also convinced the price was cheap. My question, why didn’t he know the church needed flooring? He said he felt uncomfortable discussing business with the church members.
First thing, remember you are a pro, but maybe you need to retrain yourself and the skills that you already have. You just need to be more competitive and more organized. Why not check with everyone you know if they need your product? If they don’t know you have a product they can’t buy from you. Let everyone you know what you do for a living.
Forget the cold calling syndrome; it’s a thing of the past and the people who are successful at getting outside business don’t cold call; they find out everything they can about the customer before they call on them. Just think the whole city belongs to you if you start networking with whom you know.
Remember profitable customers are being called on by every smart salesperson so you’re up against the pros.
The competition is out there trying to get the business. Some of these relationships go way back or maybe the business was just handed down but don’t give up.
Remember the old adage, consistency is better than good salesmanship but consistency takes focus, a ‘never give up’ attitude.