I’ve enjoyed a successful sales career for over 38 years. I have really enjoyed selling both products and services and have represented a variety of excellent companies.
Early on in my career I understood that I needed to learn the particulars of my product or service, the personnel and paperwork that that were a part of the sales process, and of course, the fundamental sales skills that were required to be successful. I dedicated myself to each of these and gained the confidence and experience that led to success. I also learned through my experience that around 80-90% of a successful salesperson’s time is devoted to prospecting. Searching for that next customer or client. The remainder of my time was spent in the much-more-fun elements of presenting, quoting, and closing the sale.
However, no matter what I was selling, prospecting was always the one element of my experience that I never truly enjoyed, because it always involved a high volume of cold calling! I quickly understood that it was just a part of the sales process; something that no one really liked, but it was still a given, and if I wanted to be successful, I might as well get used to it, and get good at it. And I did. And it works! But I still didn’t like it. The idea that to land a presentation appointment I had to churn through a predetermined number of “no’s” to get to a “yes”; to steel myself to the inevitable heavy dose of rejection in order to reach my goals became a simple reality and I learned to accept, though I never embraced it. You just take the good with the bad. I did, of course, learn almost immediately that the bar-none best way to get in front of prospects was through a referral, and I, like most, experienced the far-better results that this produced.
I also quickly depleted my natural referrals and thereafter only enjoyed referrals on a sporadic, unpredictable basis. Solution? Easy! Learn how to generate referrals from my contacts, and especially from my client base. And the best way to do that? Take classes, of course! And read books, and go to seminars, and a host of other ways to accomplish this. I did all of these. I was disappointed to find that these primarily taught ways to use sales techniques to gain referrals. Something didn’t quite sound right about that. And I found that though I did receive referrals, more often than not they were not the really good referrals- the ones with whom my client had the closest relationships. They gave me referrals because I had learned the techniques necessary to sell them on the idea of giving me referrals. But they weren’t giving me referrals because they wanted to.
Ugh! I didn’t want to learn ways to GET my sources to give me referrals, I wanted them to WANT to give me referrals! I wanted them to be so happy with me and the buying experience that they happily referred me to others whom they knew could benefit from my product/service as well. I wanted to be referred to prospects who were looking for me. I knew that when I found them, I didn’t have to sell them on buying from me because they were already wanting to buy. They just needed to find a reliable, reputable source that they could trust.
I eventually found what I was looking for, and I haven’t cold called for business in many years. In fact, I spend very little time at all prospecting for business. My business comes exclusively from referrals, and I’ve refined the art of generating referrals to such an extent that I can now be very “choosy’” about them. Much like ordering a steak at a restaurant, I can ask for and receive the exact kind of referrals I want, being very specific about the particulars.
I can show you how to do this, too, and I have a passion for it! Whether you are in sales/sales management, are new to business, or are a seasoned veteran, you can leave the cold calling world forever and discover the fun and passion that drew you to your business. Contact me here and let’s schedule a 15 minute phone call. There’s no charge for the call, and it just may be the best business decision you ever made!