If you have been following the postings I have been making you know that by being Pleasantly Persistent you will have a success rate much higher than other people in our profession. There are also some other benefits to your Pleasantly Persistent efforts. First, if you take the time to study the client each time you make a call, by the time you actually get through to the client you will know much about their business. Secondly, they will respect your tenacity. And thirdly, they will probably have built a positive image about both you and your company.
However, there are just some people and companies that you cannot get to respond to your cold calling efforts. This, however, does not lessen your responsibility to get in front of the prospect and make them a client. So, what are you supposed to do to put yourself in the room with the decision makers?
1. Pray. This is the method that most people use if their cold calling efforts don’t work. While the power of prayer is all around us, I could venture to say that this is not the best use of prayer. Prayer should be used for something much more important. Find a different catalyst that will get you doing something, almost anything. While I was in a retail store I would change a display. While I worked in the B2B business I would go to the kitchen and cook something for someone else. Just create activity, you will get better results and your mind will be clear to follow the suggestions below.
2. Work your various networks. See which of your contacts knows someone at your target company. One of our top sales people at Buxton created a process out of this that he worked every day. He would tell people that he never cold called, but he constantly worked on his personal contacts and spent a lot of effort learning and logging who was working with who and their job movements. This master of networking also made many new friends along the way. A year after he began this method he had more than doubled his income. If this is your plan be diligent and don’t try to fool yourself, it never works.
3. Use a cold call service. There are hundreds of them available. You have to determine what image you want to leave with the prospect to determine which service you want to use. Some of them are located here in the US and some are operating out of the country. Some of them use robo-calling techniques and some of them use actors. You will most likely get decent results at the beginning of your program. But, unfortunately, these results are normally short lived.
4. Increase your efforts at Trade Shows. For most companies trade shows are a huge use of resources and the ROI for shows are never measured. The reason for this is pre-show lack of preparation. To make a Trade Show worthwhile, you have to do all of the pre-show preparation.
5. Keep your company in front of the prospect. Make a schedule to send an article about something the prospect should be interested in. Make a rhythm of your efforts. Monday is a bad day to send anything to a prospect as it will get overshadowed by everything else Monday brings. But any other day is just fine. Make the article about growth or problem solving. And make it real, academic articles, while interesting, will not get read by most retail executives.
6. Explore Axcelora. Axcelora is a new service that is being offered to B2B companies that are looking to gain traction in both the retail and restaurant industry. What makes this company unique is the way they go about setting appointments for their clients. Through their network of veteran retail and restaurant executives, Axcelora Partners call their colleagues and make personal introductions and appointments. They take the time to learn enough about your business to be able to set the appointment without trying to make the sale. At this point, Axcelora is the only company that has built this type of network and offers this service
Rich Hollander is a retail expert with over 40 years in the industry.