Here’s what you might have missed this month from No More Cold Calling

I hadn’t bought a car in 17 years. Yep, that’s how long my Acura 3.2 TL with 162,000 miles lasted—until the transmission went out. I dreaded buying another car because of the pushy, in-your-face car salespeople, who are just like B2B sales reps cold calling you. But I told myself that perhaps things had changed in the past 17 years. Nope! We test-drove several cars, but I wasn’t ready to buy. Then the harassment started. The salesperson called and called, even after we told him to only communicate by email.

The rep told us—after he called again—that his manager said he hadn’t made enough calls. Then it got worse. The manager called and told us we had an 11:00 appointment that we missed. (A lie.) A week later, we got the same call about missing an appointment we never had. (Another lie.)

Want to be like the arrogant car salesperson? Continue cold calling and harassing people with cold emails and cold social media messages. Spend your sales time making 18 or more dials to cold prospects, only 1 percent of whom will call you back. You’ll be one of the 82 percent of reps who aren’t trusted by buyers.

Don’t like that picture? Read my blog posts from this month to learn more about the alternative to cold calling:

The Best Cold Calling Tip Is Stop Immediately (Do This Instead)

Have you ever met a salesperson who enjoyed cold calling? (Well, maybe one in 100.) How about a buyer who enjoyed receiving cold calls? (Yeah, me neither.) Not only is cold calling tortuous for everyone involved, it’s one of the reasons that only 54.3 percent of sales reps made quota last year.

Cold calling doesn’t address the top two challenges that sales teams face. According to CSO Insights’ 2018/2019 “Sales Performance Report,” sales leaders say the “most impactful barriers to achieving sales success this year” include: difficult competitive differentiation (39.4%) and inability to generate enough qualified leads (37.8%).

Cold calling doesn’t differentiate your organization from the competition, nor does it result in qualified lead generation. It’s a numbers game and a mostly losing one.

So why is everyone offering cold calling tips when cold calling doesn’t even work? What makes this lead generation technique so ineffective? What about “warm calls”? And better yet, how can you make only hot calls? (Read “The Best Cold Calling Tip Is Stop Immediately [Do This Instead].”)

5 Reasons Your Team Doesn’t Know How to Get Referrals

Ask most anybody for the secret to how to get referrals, and they’ll probably tell you the first step is to simply ask. That might be true, but it’s far easier said than done. Whether you’re a sales newbie or a veteran rainmaker, asking is hard. Apparently, it’s even harder for many men.

Two guys in their early 50s recently told me they felt uncomfortable asking. I mentioned that most everyone has call reluctance when asking for referrals because referrals are so very personal. We put our reputations on the line when we ask. We’re vulnerable. We’re afraid of the “no.” However, their reason surprised me. I’d never heard it before. They said that guys are supposed to be confident and have the answers. Therefore, it’s, even more, intimidating for them to ask for referrals.

Man or woman, young or old, you likely have call reluctance when asking for referrals. It happens to all of us—at least until we learn how to get referrals and make referral selling our go-to prospecting strategy. (Read “5 Reasons Your Team Doesn’t Know How to Get Referrals.”)

You’re No Different Than Your Competition

You’ve probably heard the often-quoted statistic that says 57 percent of the buying process is complete before a customer talks to a salesperson. Rubbish. Believe that, and you’ll look like everyone else to your buyers. You’ll get in way too late. Your prospects will be confused about how your solution is different from the next guy’s. Sure, you might land the deal, but you certainly won’t make an impression.

The key to differentiation is getting in early—ideally before your prospects even know they have a need. How? Get a business referral, and you have a clear path to learning the real issues, building trusted relationships, and knocking out the competition before they even learn there’s an opportunity. There’s no confusion about why you’re different. (Read “You’re No Different Than Your Competition.”)

Why Curiosity Is Critical for Sales Success

Imagine if you saw this on a billboard along your commute route:

{first 10-digit prime found in consecutive digits of e].com

What would you do? Roll your eyes, think this is nonsense, tell others about it, or go to the site and find out what’s going on? The curious solved the equation (answer: and went to the site, where they found another equation. The few who solved it learned the secret to the strange billboard. It was actually a recruitment ad for Google, and they were invited to submit their resumes. As Eric Schmidt, former Google CEO, once put it, “We run this company on questions, not answers.” Google was looking for the trait of curiosity. But curiosity isn’t just important at innovative tech companies. It’s also key for sales success. (Read “Why Curiosity Is Critical for Sales Success.”)


Want to learn more about referral selling? Check out my acclaimed referral sales system.