21 Jul Stop Wasting Time on Cold Calls
When I was in my twenties and between radio jobs, I answered a classified ad for a marketing position. I was married with our first child on the way. Highly motivated.
I was told to dress in a suit and show up at a fancy high rise office building in Dallas. I was excited. The idea of starting a career in marketing was very appealing. I was willing to start at the bottom and work my way up. But to my surprise, when I showed up there were well over 100 candidates applying for this entry level position. I soon learned why.
The so called “marketing” job was really a door-to-door cold sales job pushing a water delivery service. They took me through a couple of tests that I passed, and I was then assigned a salesperson who was going to “show me the ropes.” All of this on the first day. There were five of us who packed into this tiny sedan and drove 40-minutes to arrive in our territory. What proceeded was four hours of walking into different businesses and asking them to purchase our water dispensary machine and supplies. Four hours with the trained salesperson and four trainees. Not a single sale.
When people say they hate the idea of sales, they are thinking about the cold calls. Because who likes to be disturbed in the middle of their workday to purchase something they have thought little about, if at all? The answer: not many.
Flash forward to later in my career, I am on the phone with a prospect who called me, and I am closing more than a million dollars in sales in a short period of time. The difference? Name recognition. I was selling airtime on a channel on SIRIUS Satellite Radio. I had attended trade conferences and established myself as a credible source. This was before Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, and few people had heard about LinkedIn. Phone calls were still important, and I used the internet for research.
The key to sales today is not making more cold calls. They key is to offer something of value and market yourself as the expert. That is why I am so passionate about content marketing. Does it work? You are reading this blog, so yes it works.
Providing something of value is not a sales pitch. It is offering something for free and using that content to build a loyal following that will become your future clients.
Providing something of value is not a sales pitch. It is offering something for free and using that content to build a loyal following that will become your future clients. I host a weekly podcast and invite guests on the show to talk about issues important to business leaders. I write a weekly blog covering topics that I am an expert in, offering free tips. I post consistently on my various social media platforms with videos talking about our brand of people over profits, quotes to inspire my followers and promotion of the free content on my podcast and blog. The result? I have people coming to me asking for my help with their business.
That is the power of content marketing. But you must be frequent and consistent. That is where most business leaders fail. They start a blog but stop writing after a few weeks. Start a podcast and give up on it after a couple of months.
It’s 2021 and the new version of cold calling is spending hours on LinkedIn sending messages or asking to connect only to go into your sales pitch the moment they say yes. Next time you are tempted to sit at your desk and message or call people you don’t know and ask for an order, use that time to create content instead. There is a better way! And I am happy to help you. If you want to schedule a call, reach out to my assistant Julia Grubb at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Scott Miller is the CEO of Centerpost Media and host of the Create, Build and Manage Radio Show and Podcast. You can find Scott on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter via “@scottmillerceo.” Centerpost Media is a marketing agency with a vision to help every business they encounter with their media needs by providing outstanding quality, service and value. Centerpost Media is the parent company to BizTV, BizTalkRadio, BizTalkPodcasts and Bizvod.