Do I really want your cold call?
As a Co-Founder and CEO of an emerging growth company I am quite visible and active on social platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter. I also do my fair share of podcast and media interviews and webinars. At the conclusion of these events, there is one inevitable question: “If people want to learn more about FRONTLINE, how can they get in touch with you?”
While many execs provide their email (that goes to a Marketing person for screening) or the company website (how generic!), I routinely give out my cell number. After all, I actually want people to call me. My cell number is on my office voice mail greeting, as well as email signature lines and my LinkedIn profile (which gets 600+ views on a regular basis). Bottom line: my cell number is everywhere and cold calls are welcome.
I know what you’re thinking. ‘Mike, that’s crazy! You’ll get deluged with sales calls 24/7!’ That’s what I first thought too. But you know what? Very few people actually call. Instead, reps use a variety of unsavory digital tactics and fail to connect with me in the most important way—personally.
Just hit ‘send’…
While my phone doesn’t ring too often, my Outlook inbox is on fire.
Each day I get dozens of inane emails from BDRs who want to load my plate with more work—like referring them to ‘the right person’ or viewing their calendar to schedule a meeting, despite the fact that they can barely articulate why they are reaching out to me in the first place. But nary a phone call.
Then there are those crafty reps whose email explains that they are following up on their voicemail…that they never left. Or my favorite whimsical approach; making an email look like a forwarded one to snooker me into thinking I may have missed an important email.
Some reps even email me and admit they considered calling, but thought an email would be better (for who I wonder?). They presume to know how I would prefer to hear from them—but their assumption is a critical mistake in their prospecting process.
The most alarming trend is the Bastardization of LinkedIn. I’m sure most of you can relate to this scenario, which happened three times in the past week alone.
(I was born at night, but it wasn’t last night. I smell a sneak attack from a mile away.)
Here is what happens:
I get a connection request: “Hey Mike, I’d love to connect on LinkedIn and network.”
Being a fairly liberal LinkedIn connector, I accept the request.
Then (almost on cue) I immediately receive some blatant product pitch. Which leads to an abrupt un-connection!
(If you’d like a guide to the RIGHT way to leverage LinkedIn, download this e-book, The 5-Day LinkedIn Prospecting Plan!)
Restore my faith and call me
The first rule of selling is: “People buy from people they trust.”
If the first action you take is disingenuous, why would I ever trust you?
I believe that sales (when done right) is quite a noble profession. But somewhere along the line, honesty, integrity and dignity have been eclipsed by desperate tactics, shifty approaches and ‘drive-by selling’. If you really have a great solution and genuinely believe that you can help my company, stand up and be counted. I WANT to hear from you. Don’t hide behind gimmicks, emails and phony LinkedIn connection requests. Just pick up the damn phone and let’s have a conversation.
Selling is about the transference of belief. If you don’t believe enough in your solution to reach out directly, with confidence, then you won’t sell much of anything.
If you don’t believe, why should I?
If you agree and want to share your stories and anecdotes, please comment below. If you disagree, please let me know as well. I love a good debate!
Either way, feel free to call me at 770-262-3009.