The most difficult part of selling today is getting in. Your dream clients don’t have time for salespeople that aren’t proven value creators, and they can’t spend time with time-wasters. Because they are overwhelmed, it’s more difficult to get the first commitment of time.
But nothing happens until you get in.
Here are six ways that you can get in. Make a list of your dream clients, run down this list and try to get in using each of these methods. The sixth method is always there when you are ready to do what it takes to get in, but feel free to run out your options first if you must.
Client Referral or Introduction
You want to the easiest and most effective way to get an appointment with your dream client? Ask another client for a referral, and ask them to schedule an introduction call or meeting.
This is super-effective, but salespeople that chafe at the idea of making cold calls aren’t usually very interested in asking their clients to make these introductions. If you are a value-creator, don’t hesitate to make the ask. Client referrals work.
Vendor Referral or Introduction
Your company works with other companies. Your people know the sales reps from those companies, even if you don’t. You can ask your vendors to make an introduction call or book an appointment for you with their contacts. You’re paying your vendors, and their salespeople will be helpful.
Be prepared to reciprocate and help the sales reps from your vendors get in where you can. In fact, go first and obligate them to reciprocate. Vendor referrals can help get you in.
Family or Friend Introduction
Your friends and family members know people. With tools like LinkedIn you can find the connections between your family and friends and the people they know (we’ll get to LinkedIn next, hold tight).
Ask your family and friends to make an introduction for you. For some of you, this won’t be the best way to get in. But many of you will find connections, especially if the contacts you need live in the same city as you.
The barrier for making an introduction on LinkedIn (and social media more generally) is very, very low. When you find a contact, you can ask connections within your network to introduce you to people in their network.
You make it easy for them to make the introduction when you tell them why you want to be connected and how you intend to be valuable to the person you want to connect with. LinkedIn can work to help you get in.
Email for an Appointment
Those of you that resist cold calling and hesitate to ask for commitments will like this one. You can email your dream client to request an appointment. Most people find cold calling more effective, but some salespeople book appointments with email.
Brace yourself; this will frighten you a little.
Some of the most successful salespeople I have seen use email are emailing calendar invites to their dream clients before their dream client has even committed to seeing them. Bold? Yes. Brave? Yes. Assumptive? Absolutely. But email sometimes work.
Cold Call (or Warm Call, if that makes you feel better)
You don’t have to wait for a client referral, a vendor referral, an introduction from a family or friend, or someone in your network on LinkedIn to help you get in. Because you are a value creator of the first order, you can pick up the phone and call your dream client yourself.
Cold calling still works to get you in.
Whatever you do, work your tail off to find a way in.
What is the most effective way to get in?
What other ways are sometimes effective?
What methods do you avoid because they make you uncomfortable? What do you resist?
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Filed under: Sales 3.0