Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Why Cold Calling Is Dead

Writen by Frank Rumbauskas

Our world of selling is closed off from other areas of business that continue to adopt and embrace new, efficient ideas. I was reminded of this recently while re- reading Seth Godin's "Permission Marketing." Here's a book that was intended for business owners and marketing executives, yet it provides a much-needed dose of common sense that would be of great benefit to sales organizations, especially sales managers, who continue to cling to very old, and, in their minds, very right, ideas. Unfortunately, our brave new world has made these old ideas very wrong.

Seth Godin talks about Interruption Marketing versus Permission Marketing. Interruption Marketing is traditional advertising that interrupts your day in an attempt to get your attention and sell you something. In other words, it is the marketing equivalent of Cold Calling. Permission Marketing is systematically getting prospects to give you permission to present to them. In other words, it is marketing's equivalent of what I teach salespeople to do. In the book, Seth uses the metaphor of someone trying to get married to describe the flaw in Interruption Marketing, or Cold Calling. The bachelor goes into a singles bar and asks every woman in the place to marry him. When they all say no, he blames his clothes, buys a new suit, and tries again at another bar, only to fail again and again, just like a cold caller.

Are you getting the point he tries to make in that story? Think about it. A salesperson spends weeks cold calling with dismal results. The salesperson goes to the sales manager for advice on what to do differently to start getting results. A conversation ensues about what the salesperson is doing. A lot of old ideas begin to surface. Ideas such as "Initial Benefit Statement," "Elevator Speech," and other concepts that once upon a time were the right answers, but have since become very wrong answers. Working on these things is the equivalent of the man in the story blaming his failure on the suit, changing into a new suit, then going to a different singles bar to do it all over again.

With the business world in its present state, I really don't see how salespeople can afford to keep fooling away their time on old ideas that were once right but are now fatally wrong. It is this very feature of capitalism that is causing salespeople, managers and organizations to fail in record numbers. Capitalism is essentially "creative destruction." In other words, capitalism is a perpetual cycle of destroying old, less-efficient businesses and ideas and replacing them with new, more efficient ones. People and companies are clinging to old, obsolete ideas and are being dragged down to failure by them. Yet they still won't let go. I think the reason they can't let go is simply because it wasn't all that long ago that they really did have the right answers. It reminds me of a story I once heard about Albert Einstein when he was a professor. One of his student assistants who was preparing for an incoming class said, "Professor Einstein, what test are we giving them?" To which Einstein replied, "The same test we gave them last week." Bewildered, the student assistant replied, "But Professor Einstein, we already gave that test." Einstein simply said, "Yes, but the answers are different this week."

The bottom line is that the answers are different. The rules have changed. Time is running out for those who do not adapt to the new rules. As Napoleon Hill put it so well, "Whenever a nation, a business institution, or an individual ceases to change and settles into a rut of routine habits, some mysterious power enters and smashes the setup, breaks up the old habits, and lays the foundation for new and better habits."

If you're not achieving the sales success you desire, perhaps it is time for you to lay the foundation for new and better habits.

Frank Rumbauskas is the author of Cold Calling Is A Waste Of Time: Sales Success In The Information Age. He is the founder of FJR Advisors, LLC, which publishes training materials that educate salespeople on how to generate business without cold calling. For more information, please visit

Why People Dont Buy

Writen by Tim Connor

People buy for their individual and personal reasons, not for the reasons the salesperson's (or the organization's) marketing department think they should. You cannot turn a poor prospect into a customer with a great product or persuasive sales appeal. The key to increasing sales is to identify why people buy and what will cause them not to buy.

People don't buy for any number of the following reasons:

1. They can't afford what they want.
2. They don't really know what they want.
3. They have had a poor history with salespeople or organizations in general.
4. They don't want it.
5. They don't need it.
6. They have not been convinced that the value equals the price.
7. They are concerned with what others will think of their purchase.
8. They don't trust the salesperson.
9. They don't trust the organization.
10. They don't like it.
11. The timing isn't right.
12. They are indecisive buyers.
13. They don't trust the salesperson (repeated intentionally).

When a prospect doesn't buy, I suggest that you do everything possible to determine what prevented the purchase – especially if this was a well-qualified prospect. This can be done with an after-sales call visit, telephone call, letter, or fax. Once you learn why many of your prospects are not buying, then, and only then, can you disarm these resistance areas during the sales process.

Most poor salespeople give more information than they get. They TALK TOO MUCH. You learn nothing while you are talking. You can learn a great deal if you can get the prospect talking and keep them talking. After every failed sales attempt, make it a regular practice to ask the prospect, "What was it about our product or service that prevented you from making a favorable decision?"

You will learn a great deal which can have a positive impact on future sales results if you will consistently determine why people don't buy from you and/or your organization.

Tim Connor, CSP is an internationally renowned sales, management and leadership speaker, trainer and best selling author. Since 1981 he has given over 3500 presentations in 21 countries on a variety of sales, management, leadership and relationship topics. He is the best selling author of over 60 books including; Soft Sell, That's Life, Peace Of Mind, 91 Challenges Managers Face Today and Your First Year In Sales. He can be reached at, 704-895-1230 or visit his website at

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Sales Ten Ways To Gain Business Relationships

Writen by Bette Daoust, Ph.D.

The Power of ten simply means that anything you do should be done in tens. It may seem quite simple but if you think about how many follow-up calls you should do in any day plus the number of new calls to be made and the number of new appointments per week, you are already on your way to success in sales. By repeating a task ten times, your results will skyrocket.

Here are some excellent ways to use the power of ten to start gaining more business and forming closer business relationships.

  1. Join organizations where your potential customers attend

  2. Learn to network and work a room to your advantage (see our chapter on events)

  3. Follow-up with everyone whose card you have gathered at an event

  4. When joining a leads group, make an appointment with everyone in the group to discover what they do, how you can help them find business and also what they can do for you in the way of leads.

  5. Keep in touch with people on a monthly basis through mailers (postcards or email)

  6. Call ten people a day to touch base and ask for referrals

  7. Send a quarterly "Letter from the Heart"

  8. Use your inner circle to send non business related information to your customers

  9. Do ten activities a week which includes customer meetings

  10. Be truthful and work with integrity at all times, this is worth more than all the business you can gain and lose without it

Try these ten ways to jump start your sales and you will start gaining more business. The hardest part is getting started but once you begin, you will enjoy knowing you have a process in place that really works.

Bette Daoust, Ph.D. is a speaker, author (over 170 books, articles, and publications), and consultant. She has provided marketing, sales, business development and training expertise for companies such as Peet's Coffee & Tea, Varian Medical Systems, Accenture, Avaya, Cisco Systems to name a few. Dr. Daoust has also done extensive work with small businesses in developing their marketing, training, and operational plans. You may contact Dr. Daoust at You may also view her latest publications at Dr. Daoust also writes for the National Networker