I’ve called this post the “Double Whammy” but it can also be called a paradox or dichotomy.
So what’s the double whammy? It’s that customers are sick and tired of being cold called and sales reps are equally as exhausted when asked to cold call. Do we still have to do it? Yes, we do.
Check out this quick video to see what I’m talking about.
As well-meaning and intentioned us sales people are, most buyers are completely turned off by the way we’ve been taught to sell. The people that have taught both you and I how to sell have told us that it’s really difficult to get in touch with prospects. And because of this you have to repeat an activity like cold calling to get in touch. Makes sense, right?
It’s considered a point of pride to go through this school of hard knocks. We’ve all done it.
But what about our buyers?
Our buyers are just looking for information. No more, no less. So it’s not that your efforts are bad, it’s that they’re not aligned to present-day buyers. Our efforts must evolve now. I don’t believe the shift has to be in effort, I believe the shift has to be in our communication medium and style.
Why Buyers Hate Cold Outreach
The reasons are plenty on this but it’s quite easy to understand. Let’s just be empathetic and put ourselves in the buyers’ shoes.
Some other interesting observations to note:
1. You’re a buyer yourself. When is the last time you appreciated the cold call/e-mail/approach?
2. Funny how sales leaders teach us to be empathetic but the mode of outreach itself is not considered.
So how do we get out from under this double whammy of sales? It seems we’re still doing the same things we were 10 years ago when our buyer has changed and evolved.
You can, of course, use some social media in your sales process. There are so many amazing resources online that you can start digging up. One of the best things you can do right away is to start looking for buyers and their digital breadcrumbs online. Find out what they’re doing, what they’re saying, who they’re connecting and networking with, etc.
Our managers always tell us to “know what the buyer is doing”. Using social media can help you with this.
The Bottom Line
If you’re in Management reading this, consider what I’ve said here. This is an absolute paradox that makes no sense that cold outreach is something that buyers and sellers both don’t like. We need to push forward and start meeting the buyer where they can increasingly be found: online.
If you’re a seller reading this, don’t wait! Don’t wait for your company or manager to give you permission to start. Your career and income are far too important and will be adversely affected if you don’t do something about this now.
If you need help in kick starting your social selling journey, feel free to contact me. I’ve got a lot of great resources at my disposal to help!