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Pick Up the Phone and Guarantee Your Sales Future

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cold calling?Everyone is responsible for business success. Yes, even you.

Typically, professional services people aren’t strong in the business development department. In fact, many shy away from it so much, they call it practice development. They view “sales” as a dirty word and can’t even spell “marketing.”

Many refer to their business development activities as “marketing.” (There’s no way they’re going to adopt the “sales” moniker.)

Pick Up the Phone, Bring In the Money

So I was surprised to hear an attorney speak about the people at her firm. She tells them, “If you’re not picking up the phone, you’re not thinking about your future.”

“Picking up the phone” is a metaphor for rainmaker. (Make your phone time count: read, “Go from Voicemail Villain to Sales Superhero”.)

Enter the new world of professional services where everyone is responsible for developing new business. In many firms, managers, partners, and staff all have personal marketing plans.

The landscape has changed. Business is no longer falling in our laps. During the recent recession, many good people lost their jobs. Firms downsized and took a careful look at ways to engage more clients. Many even developed criteria for de-selecting clients—cleaning house—because they lacked staff to service the business.

The world is changing: The good old boys (they’re pretty much all men) near retirement, clients no longer clamor for us to serve them , and we work with a lean staff.

The time is now for everyone to “pick up the phone.” Now is the time to engage with prospects and clients, and leverage your connections to bring new clients to your organization.

Comment and Join the Conversation

What’s your greatest sales hurdle? How do you best convert prospects to clients? Share your thoughts here.

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5 Responses to Pick Up the Phone and Guarantee Your Sales Future

  1. Matthew Simon s says:

    I have a new business with selling advertising for a large Australian Airline.

    Our biggest hurdle is getting the marketing department to pick up the phone.

    85% of the marketing managers are female and they just do not answer the phone.

    we have lost count when the receptionist says, I’ll put you through and then comes back saying please email the marketing department.

    Then the marketing department never replies to the email and never returns messages left.

    Why is this happening. Can someone do a survey on how bad marketing departments are for picking up there phones. A lot of people I speak with say no one answers there phone any more.

    Its out of control

    Matt

  2. Hi Matthew:

    Expecting marketing to answer sales calls isn’t going to work (it’s not working for you). Sales has to step up. (Check out my blog post about Geoffrey James’ article, “Why Sales Hates Marketing” on this very topic.)

    My suggestion is to connect with the people you know and receive a referral introduction to your marketing contacts. Don’t forget about your current marketing clients. Who do they know in similar positions?

    If you are cold calling prospects, you will continue to receive the response you do now.

    That’s the sad story. But the good news is that a referral introduction works every time. When you receive a referral introduction to your sales prospect, they know you, they take your call and respond to your email. Plus, your sales process shortens, and you convert that sales prospect to a client more than 50 percent of the time. No other sales or marketing strategy comes close to these results.

    Thanks for reading, commenting, and participating in the No More Cold Calling community.

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