My friend Thad sent me a graphic he found on the web. The graphic shows what it describes as the old model of sales and the new model. The old model sales model includes three items: cold calling, qualifying leads, and sales demos. The new model shows social networks, educating, and engaging.
I am sure this appeals to those who desperately want to believe that they are going to succeed in sales by using social networks, engaging with the people they find there, and educating them.
The graphic was designed to sell something, no doubt something that may in fact help some people. But not you.
No Choice To Make
For you there is no choice to cold call or use social media. You must be adept at both. Look, if you don’t have the chops to pick up the phone and make your calls, you don’t have the chops to play on social media. Social media amplifies what you already are.
You also don’t get to choose not to qualify your leads (even though you should spend the majority of your time on your super-qualified dream clients). You also don’t get to choose not to engage. But for you engage means something more than an email exchange after someone hits your company’s website. For you engage means asking for the commitment for a face-to-face visit.
You don’t get to choose not to present, or demo what you sell, and educating your client. You better have some storytelling chops and you better have the business acumen and situational knowledge to make a difference for your dream client.
If you want to know what prospecting really is, it is: referrals, cold calling, vendor referrals, networking events, conferences, trade shows, personal introductions from friends and family, your website, email, mail, print advertising, radio advertising AND social media.
Beware of mutually exclusive choices (either/or). Instead, look for “and.” Be even more wary of people who sell you the idea that only what is new works.
Think hard about how much you trust the advice of someone who stands outside the gold mine offering to teach you pan for gold while selling you picks and shovels. If they knew how to pan for gold and believed it was profitable, they’d be in the mine. They really just sell picks and shovels.