Well we can agree that 2020 was a year where networking was to say the least challenging. If your only method of networking – prospecting involved: meetings, trade shows, walk in’s etc. that is NotWorking. My Sandler Sales coaches over the years have all emphasized that I had to have 5 good consistent prospecting activities. They said mix it up for example: Cold Calling, Walk ins’, Call Past Clients, Asking For Referrals & Introductions, Running Lunch & Learns, Reaching Out to Linkedin Contacts, etc. (I will do a whole blog post on Prospecting) Weather you are looking for a job or prospecting for a sale mix it up. If you are calling on the same folks, going to the same events that are more social than networking for prospects you aren’t networking you are NotWorking and it is costing you money.
My coach Mike was a master of activity tracking. He had me tracking my activities then tying my sales to the activities that generated the business. For cold calls he had me track the time of day, day of the week, had me using 2 – 3 different Pattern Interrupts and 30 sec elevator pitches to see which worked best. Over time I learned what worked for me and over time what worked changed. Never stop iterating. If you are not tracking you are leaving money on the table. A CRM is a great way to track your sales success and failures. Failures are important so we stop doing them.
What worked ? well for many folks it was back to the future, cold calling using the phone. Yup for the first few months of the pandemic I found that cold calling and using phone calls to network one on one worked like a charm. People were picking up the phone and actually anxious to talk. That has faded some, yet it is still a viable option. As David Sandler said: ” You Never have to wait in line to Cold Call”. Having a good pattern interrupt to start the call is a huge help. If you are saying” Hi How Are Ya… ” you reek of sales stink and will get dumped fast even now. A great Sandler Sales approach is: Hey it’s Joe did I catch you a a Bad time ?” (Ask your self when is it a good time to get a Sales call?). Or pick some other opening that is not what the average caller is saying. To learn more about pattern interrupts and cold calling you may want to try:
A lot of folks have started using online selling using video tools like Zoom, Webex, Microsoft teams. These work once you can get an appointment with the prospect. So get good at your game of cold calling and reaching out using email, Linkedin, asking for introductions from your network etc. Here are some pod casts for your listening pleasure.
Introductions and Referrals are best and easiest calls to make. The number one reason people don’t get referrals & introductions? They do not ask for them. Here is a great pod cast on some ways to ask.
It is up to you to decide if your Networking – Prospecting is Working or NotWorking. On the off chance anyone is looking for a method of tracking their success feel free to contact me.