A business friend of mine had read my book Short-Cuts to Cold-Calling, and commented to me he had a need to make some calls, wanted to use the techniques in the book, but was afraid to move ahead with it.
Why? I asked.
He was afraid to just dive in because he was afraid he’d screw it up, and he really wanted to connect with these people on his “List”.
Fodder! I cried.
What?! he asked. And.....what is fodder?
Here is the Yahoo dictionary definition for ‘fodder’:
1. Feed for livestock, especially coarsely chopped hay or straw.
2. Raw material, as for artistic creation.
3. A consumable, often inferior item or resource that is in demand and usually abundant supply.
In this instance number two and three is what we are talking about (for my horses I usually am referring to definition number 1, where I probably first became familiar with this term, and that my city friend hence was not familiar with.)
I told him to follow the plan in the book:
First, create a criteria for his ‘target market’, or, people he would like to connect with (he is a copy editor trying to network and make connections).
Second, get a list, or research on line and find 50 other leads that fit this criteria. Next, write an initial script using the format outlined in Chapter 8.
Next, pick up the phone, make calls and start practicing on these folks who are good candidates but to whom you have not assigned that big scary “Important!!!” label. You’ll be able to tweak your script (‘there are words that work and words that don’t!’) as well as hone your skills on these new leads...that are in abundant supply, and that you can easily ‘consume’ in your calls.
Fodder! A wonderful way to practice practice practice and gain confidence. And you may, in the process, find some great new prospects you hadn’t thought to put on your original list!
RELATIONSHIP SALE - A LONG TERM APPROACH
Having a long-term vision is the best and easiest way to build your sales. With a relationship sale, and a long-term system, sales results increase exponentially over time. Momentum is created. And you do not have to start at ‘square one’ every single day. Phew!
There is a lot of pressure to just do “Pops”. That’s what telemarketers do. They call, when they get someone on the phone they try to wrangle them into an appointment, and if they can’t score at that moment, they cast that lead aside and go on to the next.
“We want immediate Results” says the Boss, thinking that this kind of pressure is what makes things happen. This is what I call “Rabbit out of the Hat” approach, or “Magic Wand” approach. And if I had one of them they probably could not afford my magical fee! I (nor you) am not the goose that lays the golden egg.
This is very wasteful, and short-sited. You’re not building anything. That lead may have had some interest but did not want to be pushed into an immediate appointment and or sale. Perhaps it was not right timing at that moment...but held promise in the future. By such negligent treatment, that potential future prospect was lost. Period.
Instead, if you could take what presents itself immediately, but also cultivate, for the longer term, the prospect who has some interest to know more, you would be in the flow for the long term sale, and the bigger harvest it brings.
It certainly reflects better on your company as well, since nobody really likes to be hustled.
“Right Timing” comes into play here. “Right Timing” means for the prospective customer, not the Boss. If right timing is in two years, we want to have maintained a presence with them, a continuous relationship through non-pressure follow-up calls every several months so they don’t forget you. This is an investment. This means Not being obnoxious and pushy, but being there for them to help. Whenever. They will feel a bond with you then, you are familiar to them in a positive way, and when ready they will open the door for you.
There are scripts for this in the Book! "Short-Cuts to Cold Calling, a 60 minute how-to (available, digital edition, Amazon and Barnes and Noble)
You planted the seed with your initial call; you fertilized the relationship by staying with them over time, and chances are good that you will be there for the harvest then when the timing is right and they will call you, or offer an appointment on one of your follow up calls.
With “Pops”, at the end of the day, beyond what you have hustled for that day, you have nothing left in hand. With the relationship sale approach, you’ll have hundreds of interested, potential prospects in play over time. It may take a little longer, but in the end you will reap greater results and reward.
And those will “Pop’, when they are ripe and ready.