Selling isn’t easy. Most attempts to make selling easy—especially prospecting—only make it more difficult.
In all human relationships, fast is slow, and slow is fast. Shortcuts take more time than the more difficult path. And the more difficult path is quicker. Ineffective activity isn’t much better than no activity.
- Don’t target your dream clients. Believe that everyone is a prospect, and remember that you need to call on all of them. It doesn’t matter who you are pitching. Believe that targeting is a waste of time. In fact, if you are in the business of sales performance improvement, you might even pitch my friend, Jeb Blount . I have a couple great exchanges with Mike Kunkle about how much research is necessary before you call a prospect. It’s less than you think, but it’s more than none!
- Send a LinkedIn invitation. Since you know that almost everyone accepts a LinkedIn connection, send one to every person possible. Don’t personalize it. Don’t suggest how you found them or why you are connecting. Just get the connection. You can count the connections you make to prove that you have good activity, even if it is ridiculously ineffective and a complete waste of time. How exactly is this different from blindly dialing through an un-targeted lead list? Sending a LinkedIn invite just to log activity isn’t social selling; it’s sloppy selling.
- Pounce on the connection. As soon as someone connects, pounce on them immediately with a very broad, impersonal, non-value creating pitch for a phone meeting. Make sure that it is entirely clear that you copied and pasted the text, and you get bonus points for ensuring varied font colors and sizes throughout the email.
This is not better than picking up the phone and calling your dream client directly. This isn’t social.