How to pick up the phone and make it work for you
Cold calling is definitely on the nose these days. Most business development gurus will tell you that in 2017 we shouldn’t practice the art of the cold call, ever again. We must focus on attraction marketing and adding value and building relationships instead.
And that’s all very well and there’s nothing wrong with the idea that we should offer solutions and take the trouble to get to know our customers and they us, all well and good. But cold calling as a practice is far from dead. It still remains a highly effective method of developing your business.
Just the other day, I did some cold calling myself, with a great result. I connected with two prospects, made each of them an offer and one of whom took up my offer.
Not bad for half an hour’s work spent identifying two prospects and another 15 minutes writing two short emails.
And it’s certainly not the first time I’ve used this process.
The reach of LinkedIn
In this case I used LinkedIn to start the process. LinkedIn allows us to search for a narrow category of people in our direct or indirect connections and then allows us to send those people a personal email.
By being strategic about the people I approach and the emails I write them, I often have great success opening a business opportunity. My LinkedIn connections will usually read the email I have sent them and more often than not respond in a positive manner.
There’s one crucial bit of information I haven’t told you yet though.
What I’ve neglected to tell you so far is that these “cold calls”, these approaches I make are not actually positioned for myself. The cold calls I make, are on behalf of friends of mine.
Helping a friend
This is how it happened two weeks ago: Kim is a friend of mine and we are both members of a group of business owners who meet every week for the purpose of referring business to each other. We have made a commitment to helping each other and so I sat down with Kim the other day and I asked how I could best help her grow her business.
Kim runs a bookkeeping business and she told me she wants to be introduced to CEO’s of not-for-profit organisations that are based around membership, with a head office in Sydney.
I went to my LinkedIn database and found 5 people who looked like they just might be the kind of people Kim wanted to talk to. She confirmed that two of them, John and Michael were indeed perfect. I then wrote a succinct personal email to John and Michael and asked if I could connect them with my good friend Kim. I explained Kim’s reasons for wanting to be introduced and assured them I believed Kim to be a perfect fit.
Both John and Michael responded to the emails within a few hours. John declined the introduction but thanked me for the email and confirmed that he felt completely comfortable with being approached like this on LinkedIn and Michael said yes, here is my number and direct email, and happy to have a coffee with Kim.
Kim has since had a meeting with Michael, submitted a proposal for ongoing bookkeeping work for Michael’s organisation and everyone is happy.
Cold calling isn’t dead… far from it. Don’t believe everything you’re told. Instead, figure out how you can use cold calling in conjunction with new marketing strategies. Michael needed a good bookkeeper, Kim needed a good client. I wanted to help Kim and Kim’s going to help me next.