Questions about cold calling, dressing the part

I get a ton of emails from people seeking insight or asking me to solve their sales dilemmas. Here are a few that may relate to your job, your life, and (most important) your sales thought process right now. More

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Questions about cold calling, dressing the part

Posted 5/6/13

I get a ton of emails from people seeking insight or asking me to solve their sales dilemmas. Here are a few that may relate to your job, your life, and (most important) your sales thought process right now.

I have cold called in the past and didn’t have a problem with it. But now I am having a hard time getting people to even hear me out. What is the best way to handle cold calls about a free hearing screening for senior citizens and follow up on a direct mailing?

Cold calling sucks. It’s for people that have no other way of marketing. Senior citizens meet in groups. They have conclaves. They have bridge parties. They have mahjong parties. They have bingo parties. Go to the parties. Stop cold calling people. It’s a waste of time.

What you need to do is sit in a room and in a normal voice and say, “How many people can’t hear me? Well, I guess you’re not raising your hands because you can’t hear me.” And then talk about your free test and ask, “Who would like to take it?” Maybe bring the test to the group. Go to a Kiwanis or Rotary meeting. There are both retired and older people there. Your job is to figure out smarter, better ways to eliminate the cold call.

If you’re gonna use direct mail, it’s okay, but it’s passé. Everyone knows it’s passé. The bottom line is if you get a response from it, then figure out a better way to communicate with those who are interested. Often, the senior citizen will have an email account. Often, the senior citizen will have a Facebook account because they are communicating with their grandchildren. Figure that out. Then make the call.

How do you advertise and get customers to your business with no money?

Actually, it’s easier than you think. If you have some customers, get them to start advertising. Get them to post a little bit of a testimonial for you on their Facebook page and your Facebook page. Start LinkedIn. Start Twitter. And start to use social media to build your business and build your reputation. It’s free. You don’t have to worry about the cost of an ad, which may not bring you the results you’re hoping for anyway. Advertising is more free than it has ever been. Your job is to figure out a way to take advantage of it using existing customers and social media.

I work in the agriculture industry. Most of my customers wear blue jeans and cowboy boots. Everything I read about sales says dress up. When I do, some of my customers make comments about being a city boy, or they say I look like their banker (even though I usually wear dress slacks and a long sleeve shirt with polished shoes). In your opinion, how should I dress?

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