Winning the Selling Challenge

Selling is tough even for those of you out there who enjoy it. I enjoy it most when I am face to face with a prospective client. I have had success with public speaking, networking and referral efforts. One area where I fell flat on my face was cold calling. There is something about that cold hard telephone that intimidates me. But I am determined to conquer the fear regarding cold calling.

Recently, I’ve had some success with cold calling. I had the opportunity to meet some seasoned sales people at a Bar-B-Q function. They listened to my concerns about cold calling. Both say that they make a game of it and both advise calling first thing in the morning. Their attitude is that it gets the calls out of the way. If you wait until later on in the day, then you will spend the day fretting about it. They also said that doing it first thing and getting rejected makes the rest of the day a cinch. “It can only get better.” I sent out a brochure with a personalized cover letter and followed up with a telephone call to try and secure a meeting to introduce my service. In every case I got voice mail. Every day, first thing, I’d make my calls. After the third or fourth day of leaving messages, I started adding the weather for the day. I kept this up for about a week and a half. It worked and I started getting connected.

It’s like they say – persistence. I kept my attitude light and figured I’d keep calling until they either took a meeting or told me they were not interested. Everything in business involves personal challenges. I’m not one to give up when brick walls are thrown in front of me. Some how I will find a solution. Another area I have taken up the challenge is web sales. This month I will be launching a DIY Branding product. It is a digital solution so that the buyer will download it to use it. I spent about a year trying to figure out how to set up the store, how the money works etc. It is also a sales challenge. I tried different sales set-ups until I settled on the version I will use. (FYI: it is not a 3 1/2 foot letter) It is styled as a mini website.

Selling. No matter how we engage in it, is a worthy challenge to be sure. What I enjoy about the process is the things I learn about human nature. The common denominator among all who sell and enjoy it, is their passion for what they sell. Here’s to getting out there and making it happen – today’s high is 72 and the low will be 53, have a great day!

Ed Roach

For more than 30 years, I have worked with hundreds of successful small businesses by helping them develop unique brand positioning strategies that differentiates them from their competition. I appreciate working with companies who see the value of going beyond mere slogans and have a desire to sell from compelling positions. I consult predominantly with businesses facilitating my proprietary branding process. This branding process effectively focuses a company's brand delivering a positioning strategy that can be taken to their marketplace.

I have international speaking experience and am the author of "101 Branding Tips," Practical advice for your brand that you can use today. I'm also a "expert panellist" with Bob Proctor (from The Secret)'s Matrixx Events in Toronto.

I have been interviewed in all media and I also blog extensively and uses the digital realm on the web to connect and promote my services world-wide.

I have international speaking experience including a recent event in Prague, in the Czech Republic and is the author of "101 Branding Tips," Practical advice for your brand that you can use today, the book is available on Amazon.com and the Amazon Kindle store.

My clients are from Canada, The United States, Ukraine, India, United Arab Emirates and Tanzania.

I recently facilitated a workshop in San Diego aimed at teaching Graphic Design companies how to build brands for their customers.

Comments

  1. Hey Ed,

    Great article… Sending them the weather is just classic.

    I’m keen to see about this mini site and DIY Branding Product you’re developing too. Keep the updates coming – I’m intrigued.

    Rob

  2. Thanks Robert,

    That weather bit, almost makes me want to do the cold call now.

    My DIY should be a go VERY shortly. I contacted you off-line regarding it.

    Ed

  3. Nesh,

    What is it about that phone eh? Maybe a pshycologist could give us some insight into why it frightens us. Myself, I think it is because we are detached from whom we are talking to. Face to face I have no problem talking and selling what I do, but over the phone, cold, it just un-nerves me.

    Thanks for the comments.

  4. nesh thompson says:

    Boy, can I relate to that Ed, though I am not in sales directly anymore, for a brief time I used to have a job cold calling and selling over the phone. I used to have cold sweats just dialing numbers. I too found it interesting and learnt a lot about human nature and had some great calls… though even after I had finished a fantastic sale I would still have the nerves kick in dialling the next number.

  5. I think the phone represents that rejection that we all fear. Great article though. Brought back a lot of memories of my first days in the sales force. When all we did was cold call. Now this was before the net.

  6. Fred, it sounds as though cold calling isn’t in your mix today. What is your current best strategy?

  7. Do you know what – cold calling is the one thing that really puts the fear of God into me…but it’s worth remembering in business what goes around comes around. When we first started out one of the strategies was to contact recruitment agencies at the higher end of the scale who dealt with executive placement to see if we could help relocate those execs. The first ever one that I called absolutely killed me…the guy on the end of the phone took the call but rather curtly said you’ve got 5 seconds to grab my attention before I put the phone down, so I piled into my pitch only to have him cut me off a few seconds later saying “booooorrring bye” DING… burrrrrrrr!!! I was devastated! But it made me focus on what was really needed – that headline grabbing, sit up and listen opener. So I went away and re wrote the pitch including that first sentance. Needless to say it was much better, it got to the thrust of the conversation straight off and taugh me not to waffle in the pitch – but God it hurt and I still go quite even now when I think about it…but he did me a favour, even if it didn’t feel like it as the phone went down! lol! Do we do business with him…nope…there’s too much ego there to contend with for the amount of business it brings in to be honest. 😉
    But hey Ed, I really liked the weather report tip too – I may try that one myself next time! 🙂

  8. Ouch Freya. Mr. Booooorg wasn’t going to give you a chance from the get go. I think he just enjoyed being cruel. I don’t get why people aren’t simply polite and say they are not interested and leave it at that. Let’s face it we don’t want to speak with anyone who doesn’t want to speak with us, so let’s move on. You never know when we may cross paths again, and if I may in some way HELP THEM. After all, I am going to “remember” Mr. Boooooring. He forgot my name the moment he put the phone down – his on the other hand is going to ingrained in my mind. It at least had to feel good that his amount of business wasn’t worth the effort. I still think it would be an interesting read for some pshycologist to write about both sides of the equation.

  9. Fred333,

    I think you and I are writing the same page. I too have been eyeing the web for opportunities. This month I hope tyo launch my first product in an online store of my making. It is a do-it-yourself version of my branding process. I am anxious to ‘finally’ get it up and going. A client is testing the purchase and upload experience to look for glitches. I’ve been developing it for about a year now – what a journey. Check back when you’re products are up, if that indeed is your intentsion. FYI: I’m looking for affiliates to assist is selling.

  10. Well I have currently looking into the whole internet presence. I have begun to focus my marketing department on looking to the internet for new avenues to generate business. We utilize social media a lot and of course our website is a big factor. But your right cold calling was never my bag.

  11. Seems like a positive attitude is the most important thing! The people who are good at cold calling are obviosuly positive about lots of things. For example, making calls first thing ‘gets them out of the way’ rather than ‘wrecking the rest of the day’. If they go badly, then ‘things can only get better’, they’re not ‘an omen for the rest of the day’.
    Be positive when you’re public speaking, and be positive when you;re cold calling, and be positive in general! The world is much nicer then 🙂