Fear has no place in sales. You are now being told that you must not use any form of cold outreach to engage your prospective client. To do so, say some, is to destroy your chances of developing relationships and making your intentions suspect. You are no longer allowed to be a hunter, and instead, you must be a fisherman, leaving lines in the water and waiting patiently for opportunities to come to you.
You are also being told that you have no insights that are outside of what your clients already know, thanks to the information parity provided by the internet. It’s a mystery how one might gain the hundreds and thousands of experiences you and your company have gained by helping that same number of clients over the course of your lifetime—and the collective experience of your company over its existence. They say it’s the internet, but information and wisdom are distinct and different things.
You are being told that your prospective client now has all the power in the relationship. Armed with the internet, they are increasingly taking control of the process of buying, and anything you do to try to help control the process is simply you being pushy, self-oriented, smarmy, and old school. Even though this is not what salespeople are experiencing by proposing and helping their clients take the necessary steps to make a change in their organizations—and even though the research shows that the truth is quite the opposite of what you are being told by pseudo-experts.
What you are hearing now is not the truth. For a long time, salespeople were trained and taught approaches that were in fact designed to take advantage of their customers and clients. They used high-pressure sales techniques and tactics, so much so that laws were made to allow consumers to rescind a contract within three days of its signing. Now, however, you are witnessing a new generation of charlatans and frauds categorize cold outreach as something on the same level as a high-pressure sales tactic.
You must resist this line of thinking. To succeed in sales, you must be someone who believes themselves to be a peer, someone with insights worth sharing and advice worth following, and someone who is a strategic partner and an integral part of the client’s decision-making around the outcomes they produce. To be something less than this is to be someone who is subservient, timid, and not worthy of being a real partner.
There is a difference between being consultative and being milquetoast. Being other-oriented is not the same thing as the total and abject wimpification of the professional salesperson.
If you are afraid to make a phone call, you are not going to be anyone’s trusted counsel.
Don’t let anyone feed you their fears, especially when they do so to gain attention and money by preying on other people’s lack of confidence.
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