When most people think of direct sales, the feelings they have are not exactly positive. There are so many negative practices associated with direct sales that it has left a bad taste in most people’s mouths. Too often people shut down as soon as they hear the words direct sales…before you’ve even had a chance to tell them about your products.
Who is to blame for this? Those in direct sales! I know this sounds harsh but I say it as a former mlm representative. We engage in practices that we know upset a hundred people on the off chance that just one of them will bite. Even if we aren’t actively participating we certainly keep our mouths shut when we see others going down this road. I firmly believe that we can revolutionize the direct sales field by letting go of the practices that are viewed as annoying or spammy by others and adopting more professional and effective ways of gaining sales.
What is cold calling?
Today I want to talk about cold calling. We have all experienced this even if we weren’t aware of what it was at the time. You receive a friend request from someone you don’t know but probably have a lot of mutual friends with. A couple minutes after you accept, you receive a direct message. This message is usually paragraphs long and tells you how they think you would be perfect for their business or how their products will be a perfect fit for you… this is cold calling.
Cold calling still happens to me a couple times a week and it drives me crazy. This person has no interest in me, they don’t really want to know me…they want something from me. There is no possible way that they could know if their business is right for me. Most of the time I block them. Its possible that they carry amazing products that will perfectly meet a need in my life, but I will never know. I, like many others, shut down before I even hear what they are offering.
Does cold calling work?
If this is a practice you are currently engaging in believe me when I tell you that it does not work. You may get an occasional yes but in the process you are loosing hundreds of people who actually might be right for your business. This practice is costing you leads, relationships and sales.
What good is that one yes if you burned down a hundred possible sales to get there? There’s a reason this practice is so popular. It’s easy. It requires absolutely no work or effort. You write a script and then copy and paste it a hundred times over. It’s pitched as a “no lose” situation. If they say no, what does it matter? You already didn’t have their sale but what if they say yes!?!? This line of thinking fails to take into account the actual cost of cold calling. Loosing hundreds of potential sales before they even had a chance to happen.
What should you do instead?
So, if you shouldn’t cold call what should you do instead? You should build relationships. Send out those friend requests but take the time to get to know the person. Have conversations that have nothing to do with your business. Get to know them and build a GENUINE relationship. Only then will you even know if the business is right for them or it’s something they would be interested in. Only then will you know what their needs are and whether your products could help them.
When you build relationships you enrich your own life and theirs! Once you have a relationship with the person, conversations about business and products can happen naturally.