When I started my career, I used to cold call, collect business cards, build a database in MS Access, send mass mails [through post & not email], meet customers without any appointment [most of the time], keep all the information about the customer & his organization in my head [partly the reason for my hair fall, trust me.] [I have now started regrowing my hair, thanks to CRM]. My MS Access db those days had just the name, designation, company, address & phone numbers. Email was added much later, maybe after 1996.
Whomever we networked with or found from the market, we called them #leads [without the #]. We didn’t care whether they had any #opportunity or not.
Any company in our market was called the “Known Universe”.
Cut to 2020.
We have LinkedIn. We can do all the research here.
I received an interesting email day before. It read like this:
I got to know about you while researching on LinkedIn today.
I want to connect with you regarding your IT Infrastructure, Migration services, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning,……
Let me know your availability for this week or next week. I want to have a detailed discussion with you.
The next morning, another email from the same sender:
Good Morning! Have you given any thought to my last email?
I appreciate your quick response.
And yet another email, from the same sender, today. You get it. Right?
With or without LinkedIn this cannot happen. I mean you cannot bombard & force anyone to buy.
Whatever we did before #LinkedIn applies now as well.
a. We need to build trust.
b. We need to prospect.
c. We need to identify problems/painpoints/needs.
Those things have not changed.
You can’t email someone & ask for an order. No, it doesn’t happen that way. Unless you are selling personal protective equipments in a pandemic. Unless you are running a school – offine or online.
Everyone else should build trust first.
Once trust is built, you can ask for permission to send some literature & if the customer grants you that then it means that you have made the first sale.
Next step is to tell them about your work in their industry.
And then allow them time to collect their thoughts.
If they have any need, they will definitely consider you.
- Build trust first.
- Generate leads.
- Qualify them. Convert them to Prospects.
- Don’t pitch. Use stories instead to generate interest.
- Match the buyer’s journey. Don’t ever use kids gloves. Your buyers are mature & aware.
- They buy.
“Sales” per se does not happen in the above process. Yet you sell. You focus on the relationship. Rest will fall in place.