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Common Questions and Answers
Rather than wait for someone to stumble across their product or service a sales person makes things happen. They close deals and control their destiny. Networking is important because people do business with folks they like. Those who network tend to attract others who have similar likes, dislikes, lifestyle, religion, politics, life views or some common denominator. Both options work and sales people favor one over the other based on their personality and style.
There are various ways to network. When a network style is laced with a feeling of obligation there may be initial success followed by resistance. Many people don’t want to feel obligated to buy based on relationship. They back away from guilt tactics, pressure, and hints of ‘I once did you a favor and now it’s pay back time’.
Steer clear of negative networking strategies. If networking appeals to your sales style yet has not produced the results you desire consider combining cold calling and networking. First, make sure you’ve designed an effective call strategy and tested your sales script. A good sales call script will increase your sales. A good script engages prospects quickly and appeals to their need to solve a problem or improve their situation.
A good cold call script generates authentic dialogue. Every time you’ve had a sincere conversation end the call with a request for referrals. The secret to asking for referrals is in the delivery. Ask point blank and prepare 6 or 8 ways to ask the same question. “Who do you know that’s having trouble with ….?” “Can you tell me the name of someone at work who was passed over for a promotion?” “Who is the best accountant you’ve ever come across?”
Knowing your product well will help you design multiple questions. What do the folks who have purchased your product or service have in common? Getting two or three names per sales call saves you list building time. Some will offer referrals if their name is kept confidential. Make it clear you work on a confidential basis and your goal is to help those who need what you have to offer.
Networking as you cold call generates big benefits. You’ll sell more in less time. Preparation is the key followed by practice. Develop a mindset that expects to get referrals after every conversation and it will happen. Treat the questions as matter of fact and don’t hesitate. Don’t ask for referrals with head down, hat in hand. You’re in sales and conviction is part of attracting the help you need. We all root for the underdog and like helping another person succeed.
Your determined yet friendly tone conveys the message that you’re doing your best to reach the right people who want to buy. A sense of urgency and patience while your prospect thinks of people to refer is critical to gathering names and numbers. It’s easier to ask one person several questions than make another dozen cold calls.
When sales people start asking for referrals they find there is a pattern and rhythm to this kind of conversation. Experiment and keep asking. Once you have a stream of referrals you’ll have combined networking with cold calling.
Sales will increase and your no-nonsense, no tricks, networking method will succeed. Combining cold calls with networking is important to building a solid reputation. Some folks think people don’t like sales people. The fact is people love to buy but they don’t want to feel manipulated. A good sales person solves problems and makes life better for their customers.
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