Plus, here’s what you might have missed from No More Cold Calling this summer.

I’m embarrassed by the bad sales behavior that blasts us every day. Obviously, I’ve never been a fan of cold calling, but now the uninvited sales pitches are multichannel. I’m sure you’ve been the recipient of:

  • Endless spam emails offering to send you lists and then writing to ask if you saw their last email. (They often begin, “I hope you’re doing well.” Really? You don’t know me, don’t care about me, and that’s just a throw-away line, anyway.)
  • LinkedIn invitations to connect from people who immediately send you a sales pitch.
  • Nonstop pitching via LinkedIn Invitations and comments.
  • Invitations to events you know nothing about and would never attend.
  • Text notifications you’ve received a fax (do they still exist?), a phone message, or a video.
  • Random group texts offering to sell you real estate, cheap prescription drugs, or oceanfront property in Arizona.

The problem is automation. Companies are betting on quantity. You’ve heard the phrase, “How much spaghetti can I throw at the wall and hope something sticks?” Well, modern sellers are throwing a ton of spaghetti, and making a real mess of it.

Rude, rude, rude sales behavior. You’ve heard me say before, and I’ll say it again: “You can automate technology, but you can’t automate relationships.” And relationships are how deals get done.

I don’t blame salespeople for filling up our various inboxes with unsolicited and unwelcome pitches. Someone’s making them do it. They’re accountable for sales touches, not for generating leads that are actually qualified. It’s quantity over quality, and it’s a ridiculous waste of time.

On that note, take a look at what you might have missed from No More Cold Calling about relationship building and referral selling …

Sales Reps Not Closing Sales? Try This

“My salespeople can’t close.” This is the frustrated lament I hear regularly from sales leaders. But not closing sales is never the real problem. It’s just a symptom. The problem is that sales reps neglect important activities during earlier stages of the sales process.

Unless you address the broken links in your prospecting system, your sales reps will continue to struggle with closing the deal. It’s like back pain. You can stretch and put heat or ice on an aching back, but unless you treat the source of the pain—a pulled muscle or degenerating disc—your back will continue to hurt. (Read “Sales Reps Not Closing Sales? Try This”)

Why the Best Sales Techniques Won’t Win You Clients (Here’s What Will)

Salespeople are asking the wrong questions: What are the best sales techniques? What tech tools will help me generate hot leads and land new clients? How do I sell effectively on social media? It’s not what will help you win clients; it’s who.

The answer is you. Yes, you are the very best tool in your sales toolkit. You know how to have conversations and build relationships—the most important ingredients for sales success. You nurture professional and personal networks that keep your sales pipeline full of referral leads. Technology can aid the sales process, but it can’t make real human connections. That’s the job of salespeople. (Read “Why the Best Sales Techniques Won’t Win You Clients (Here’s What Will)”)

How to Reach Decision Makers Every Time

The biggest challenge for sales teams is seller access, according to Gartner. Salespeople continually struggle with reaching B2B decision makers. They rely on what they’ve done before, which is cold calling and sending cold emails, and decision makers don’t want either.

Some salespeople fool themselves into believing what I call the “warm call fantasy.” They believe a call isn’t cold because it’s a marketing-qualified lead, because the prospect downloaded a whitepaper, or because they have a mutual connection on LinkedIn. Wrong! Without an introduction, your outreach is ice cold. (Read “How to Reach Decision Makers Every Time”)

Is Asking for Referrals on Social Media Rude?

Far too many sales teams get social selling all wrong. Reps click buttons to invite people to connect, spam them with sales pitches, and even start asking for referrals. (Where’s the “hello”? Where’s the conversation?) Invite me to connect on LinkedIn without a personal message, and you’ll be one of the 150 invitations I have yet to answer.

Social media is the place to begin a conversation and begin a relationship. Don’t muck it up by asking for referrals from people you don’t know well. (Read “Is Asking for Referrals on Social Media Rude?”)

How to Actually Unclog Your Sales Pipeline

Turning down new business isn’t easy, but it just might be the best decision you’ll make for your sales team. One way to ensure you can respond quickly when prospects and clients need you is to stop taking on customers who aren’t worth your time.

You see the warning signs a mile away—prospects who push you on price, threaten to take their business to your competitors, make unreasonable demands, don’t return phone calls, and masquerade as decision-makers when they have no real buying authority. Yet, they expect fast, complete, and reliable delivery of your service. These are the “pain in the ass” (PITA) prospects in your sales pipeline. And if you’re not careful, they could easily become PITA clients. This is exactly when you should be turning down new business. (Read “How to Actually Unclog Your Sales Pipeline”)

They Actually Said My Sales Lead Generation Is Old School

Suddenly, everyone’s on the referral bandwagon for sales lead generation. However, most sales “experts” get referrals all wrong. I’ve had it with all the referral myths and misunderstandings—which include, but are not limited, to:

  • Referrals don’t scale
  • Referrals are a favor
  • Referrals can be digital
  • Referrals are easy
  • All you need to do is ask for referrals, and you’ll get them

Don’t believe this crap! Take it from someone who’s been helping companies get referrals for more than 25 years. (Read “They Actually Said My Sales Lead Generation Is Old School”)