Notes from an Old School Salesman

generating customers

A Salesman’s Notes;

Most Internet Marketers would have you believe that the traditional methods of selling are dead. I am here to tell you this is far from reality. Business is people collaborating, sharing ideas and marketing products and services. Most business owners prefer to do business with someone they know and trust. It is very difficult to establish trust when you are not face to face with a potential client, but it is still possible. I find that using less personal methods of making contact take far more energy and many more attempts then the old fashion face to face cold call. Salespeople who spend most of their time writing e-mails and making phone calls will undoubtedly find customers, but they will have to endure a great deal of rejection and frustration simply because the customer is in control in those situations.

Face to Face contact allows the salesperson to be in control of the conversation and the direction in which the conversation goes, it brings about results that an impersonal e-mail can’t possible have. As the old saying goes in the sales game “even a blind squirrel can find an acorn once in a while.” This is one of the reasons you get a great deal of Spam in your mailbox. They are looking for that acorn.

There will be some that still believe that face to face contact is an extremely hard way to get customers. I personally find that cold calling is still the most successful method of generating business one could undertake. To give an example of my recent experience, I made ten cold calls with three potential customers generated, and one new client who contracted me on the spot. The following day I made eighteen cold calls resulting in two potential new clients.

I try to make at least ten cold calls daily and add at least two to my follow up list. Given my track record of generating business from cold calls I add about one new client a day from this effort. In a years time that’s two hundred and fifty two new clients.

Now most salespeople still fear the possible rejection of the traditional old school methods of selling. One way to overcome the fear is to set goals on a daily basis and meet those goals. I have read articles suggesting that you make one hundred calls a day, but if you spend anytime attempting to develop a relationship with your client, you will find that task impossible. Often I find myself engaged in a conversation with a client that will take upwards of thirty to forty five minutes. It is a numbers game so establishing a more reasonable contact goal of twenty to thirty a day would be more attainable.

If you are new to sales and looking for the magic formula, there is none. It is hard work and tenacity that is going to payoff and make you successful. Develop a routine and realistic goals for yourself. At first you will spend a great deal of your time making contacts and introducing your services. It will take you time to get comfortable with your approach and develop the confidence to present yourself in a manner that will build trust in your potential client.

New sales people typically get very discouraged with the rejection they go through to find a customer. To get past the rejection, know your product and know it well. If you don’t know your product your potential customer will shut you down rather quickly and send you on your way. If you make a bad impression because you lack knowledge on your own product or services you will not be able to regain their trust or approach them again.

Remember to be successful in sales have a plan and stick to it. Don’t set your goals to high, doing so will lead to failure.

By Edward Sledge