Why I won an award for prospecting.
I got a job offer on December 28 and had two in-person meetings on the afternoon of December 24. This was many years ago, but I learned an important lesson: Even though it seems like the business world shuts down for most of December, it can actually be the best month for new business or even for a new job.
“Always be prospecting” is my motto. You never know when clients will be ready, and their timing might surprise you. In the midst of the pandemic, I landed two new clients in November and December. The same thing has happened in 2022—I’ve just closed with two great clients this week. They’ve both already set dates for a January launch.
There’s a hunger out there that’s hard to describe. People want to set themselves up for success in the New Year, so December can be a great time to sell solutions and products that help them do just that. Yes, sometimes December is super quiet, which means either clients aren’t ready, or you stopped prospecting.
It’s never too late for lead generation—or too early. A few months ago, I published a blog post called When to Start Prospecting for 2023, which explains that if you just started 2023 lead-gen in September, you’re already behind. This article received a 2022 MVP Award from Sales Pro Central, putting me in the company of such strategic business writers as Dave Kurlan and Closer IQ. (Be sure to check out the other winners and learn from their posts.)
Here are some other blog posts you might have missed from No More Cold Calling this quarter.
NEWSFLASH: Buyer-Centric Sales Is NOT New
When I read about how sales has evolved to be buyer-centric and relationship-driven, I was ready to scream. Good salespeople have always approached sales this way. Buyer-centric sales is NOT a new strategy. But it has become an increasingly rare one. The cold emails, voicemails, and LinkedIn messages have become an epidemic. If salespeople have actually gotten rid of their pushy sales tactics, I must be living in an alternate universe. Instead, it seems to me that the average seller is moving further away from buyer-centric sales. Relationship-driven selling has become old-school, and it’s past time to bring it back. (Read “NEWSFLASH: Buyer-Centric Sales Is NOT New”)
Want to Get Referrals? Don’t Do This
Tim told me his team was “doing referrals.” He figured they knew how to get referrals because he told them to do it. I asked how that approach was working for him. Dead silence. And therein lies the problem. A big problem. It’s the misguided belief that “telling” translates to “doing.” The web is replete with articles and webcasts that tell people to just go ask for referrals, like it’s common sense or something. (It’s not.) One author stated that 20 percent of a company’s clients should come from referrals. (Only 20 percent?) If only 20 percent of your clients were referred, then your team obviously hasn’t learned how to ask for referrals, which means you’re missing out on your prime source of qualified leads. (Read “Want to Get Referrals? Don’t Do This”)
Are You Still Using These Tired Old Sales Buzzwords?
It has been said that cursing shows a lack of vocabulary. Maybe so, but I find buzzwords to be even more uncreative and obnoxious. Sales buzzwords are as abundant as bees in summer, and they’re so overused that they’ve lost all their sting. This buzzword definition from Merriam-Webster cracked me up: “An important-sounding usually technical word or phrase often of little meaning used chiefly to impress laymen.” Impressive sellers aren’t recognized for their buzzword knowledge, but for the ability to make connections, solve problems, and close deals. (Read “Are You Still Using These Tired Old Sales Buzzwords?”)
Why I Won’t Be Celebrating Women in Sales Month
Finally, an article about HOW to attract more women in sales! No platitudes, no history, just the facts … and a challenge. “Quit Celebrating ‘Women in Sales Month’” is true brilliance from my colleague, Lauren Bailey. Her article is so good that I had to share it (in its entirety) in this guest post. Read her take and her actionable advice for how to make recruiting women a year-round priority. (Read “Why I Won’t Be Celebrating Women in Sales Month”)