Reach Out and Touch Someone
Reach Out and Touch Someone
This afternoon I was struggling to write a newsletter when the doorbell rang. It was a door-to-door salesman … a dinosaur in this age of the internet and social media. I opened the door for several reasons:
- I wasn’t getting anywhere with my newsletter.
- I was curious and wanted to hear his spiel.
- If somebody has the guts to go door to door, I’m at least going to listen to what he has to say.
- I’ve been in his shoes so had a certain amount of empathy with him.
- He might be a potential client or a source for referrals.
Not only did I listen to his initial sales pitch, I invited him in and actually bought what he was selling. It wasn’t a great big deal … just some environmentally friendly pest control. We’ve just moved to Arizona and there’s all sorts of critters that I don’t want to share my house with.
It might seem that opening the door cost me a little money. In reality I gained way more than I spent. Here’s why: Larry, the pest control sales guy, was very good at his job. He was retired after 28 years working for a Fortune 100 company and was helping his son establish a new sales territory. He also needed to stay busy and do something that would allow him to get some exercise. He’d drive to a neighborhood, park his car and then walk from door to door, making an average of 60 calls a day.
He actually hated cold calling but he did it anyway. He was accomplishing several things. He was helping his son build a business, and he was getting the exercise he needed. In addition, he was making some money. He got to meet some mostly nice people, though there were a few jerks too. At the end of the day he felt good about himself.
So, what did I gain? What was in it for me? It reminded me that the best way to sell something is reach out and touch someone. Social media and the internet are great, but you can be deleted in a nano second. Same with a lot of poor telemarketing. Your chances of getting someone’s attention are significantly better when you’re face to face with them.
Most important, and regardless of your approach, you actually have to make the calls. You don’t have to like it, but you do have to do it. Larry actually hated it, but he forced himself to make 60 calls a day. Not everyone was at home but he still managed to sell two or three contracts every day. Occasionally he would get a call back from the door hangers he left on the homes where nobody was in.
Don’t be the best kept secret in town. Your customers will not find you. Unless you have a good list and it has thousands of contacts, you’ll starve. Get off your butt and make some calls. Don’t wait until tomorrow. Do it now.
Oliver Connolly coaches and mentors sales managers and sales professionals. For more information please go to http://www.clevelstrategic.com