“Social sellers are telling everyone to stop picking up the phone.” And “cold calling is the only thing that works…don’t bother with anything else!”
These are two quotes from blogs bashing Social Selling. They’re both extremes and don’t represent the truth of what we in the Social Selling community have been evangelizing all along.
Check out the video here to see what I’m talking about.
Is cold calling dead? No, it isn’t. What I can say is that it increasingly doesn’t seem to be the best strategy to start contact. The phone, however, isn’t dead. In fact, the phone is buzzing and alive with activity if you engage potential buyers with relevance and context.
Use Social Selling with your cold calling efforts and start overcoming the challenges that most of us face every day. It’s also a great way to start getting accustomed to social media in the sales process.
1. Challenge: Hardly Anyone Picks Up The Phone These Days
Solution: Follow people on LinkedIn, Twitter and other social channels. See what they’re up to. Try to get context and relevance so that when they do pick up the phone, you’re ready to have a meaningful dialog with them that builds a relationship.
2. Challenge: Low Voicemail Return Rates
Solution: Approach people on social media to help answer questions, address challenges they’re having, etc. Focus on building rapport. Once that’s there, you can pick up the phone and move forward with your process.
3. Challenge: People Aren’t Convinced Of You, Your Company Or The Value Of Working With You
Solution: How can you convey value in a few minutes? It takes time. Send insights through content and focus on educating them. Don’t sell, educate. Educators are always sought for solutions. Sales people are sought to fulfill a transaction. Be an educator first and a seller later. Both are needed, just change the order.
4. Challenge: Prospects Go Cold After A Few Conversations
Solution: This one applies to both phone, e-mail and Social Selling. Go back to their core challenge and help get the answers they need. Send helpful information from third parties and influencers. Get through the Dead Zone by educating, not selling. If you think it’s time to move the sales process forward and they go cold, clearly you have to make sure you still educate.
Remember, you don’t need to eliminate anything to be a better salesperson. You need every advantage in the book. Get yourself training on proper sales skills all around – this includes phone, e-mail, a formal methodology and yes, of course, Social Selling as well.