Warning! The points listed here in no way advocate cold calling. I’m recommending a ‘warm calling’ sales process here i.e. following up on prior interest or inquiries or referrals and things like these.
My aversion to cold calling is clearly outlined throughout my blog. So are tips for generating leads without the need to compromise your self-respect and dignity chasing people who are doing everything possible to avoid you.
That said, in my view, selling is about relationships and meeting prospective client needs — not about manipulative approaches. If you are selling b2b you must do so from a position of knowledge. You must know specific details about the person you are calling on, the company you are calling on, and the industry that company is a part of. Only then can you tie what you are selling to the needs of others.
From time to time I create custom sales programs and sales scripts for companies. If you are not in a position to hire someone to create custom programs for you, I can’t recommend the Miller \ Heiman sales training products enough:
- The New Solution Selling – 300 pages
- The New Conceptual Selling – 386 pages
- The New Strategic Selling – 448 pages
If you are a do-it-yourselfer, you’ll need to grab and read all three of the above products to get a good working grasp of their processes. One book alone is not enough. Unfortunately though the books exclude all mention of tools like the Strategic Selling® – Blue Sheet, Green Sheet, and a few other processes taught only in live training events or created for corporate clients.
Still though, if you have time and focus for reading all three books and time for later implementing the materials yourself, the Miller/Heiman products are good at helping you map out a sales process for your specific company based on ‘gaps’ that might exist and possible undiscovered latent opportunities that might exist within the companies you are pursuing.
You really do need to read each of the Miller/Heiman books for specific details of these processes. There’s no shortcut. The closest thing to a shortcut is hiring someone to interview you, your top sales people, and evaluate your company in order to create a custom sales program that works –without you needing to dig up time to read 1134 pages of materials and then having to find time to create something from scratch and then uncover time to implement what you’ve discovered — all on top of your regular work activities and responsibilities.
DIY is just one choice. As one highly capable and talented business owner said to me, ‘Andre, I don’t want to read 800+ pages of materials. That’s why I’m contacting you. I just want everything done for me!’ Having someone else do the work for you is another option.
If you’d like a bit of help putting together a sales training program for yourself or your company shoot me an email. If I can help I will — all without the manipulative, deviant, so called ‘selling’ processes so common today.