Articles by Jeffrey Gitomer

Replacing the cold call with: ANYTHING!

Thursday, June 7th, 2012


I am sick of the argument that cold calling still has a valuable place in selling. Someone PLEASE show me the value.

Let’s look at the stats…
• 98% or more rejection rate
• 100% interruption of the prospect
• 100% they already know what you’re selling
• 100% they already have what you’re selling
• 100% manipulation to get through to the decision maker
• 100% lack of personal preparation about the customer
• Most sales managers could NOT do what they ask their salespeople to do
• Rejection is the biggest cause of sales personnel turnover
• Ask any salesperson if they’d rather have 100 cold calls or ONE referral
• Cold calls suck.

QUESTION: With these horrid stats, why do sales managers insist on, even measure, cold call activity and numbers?
ANSWER: I have no earthly idea.

Here are 12.5 real world connection strategies to eliminate cold calling. These are not “no brainers.” They’re “brainers!” They’re ideas and strategies that require smart, hard-working people to turn the strategies into money:
1. Build relationships and earn referrals. Visit existing customers. Offer ideas and help.
2. Use LinkedIn to make new connections. Use the “keyword” search feature to uncover prospects you never knew existed. Then connect without using the standard LinkedIn wording. Be original.
3. Ask your informal network of connections to recommend customers. Building and maintaining local and industry specific relationships are critical to building your success. Pinpoint people who respect and admire your ability, the same way you respect and admire theirs.
4. Network face-to-face at the highest level possible. Not an “after hours” cocktail party. Join high-level executive groups and get involved.
5. Join a business association – not a leads club. Someplace where owners gather.
6. Speak in public. All civic groups are eager to get a speaker for their weekly meeting. Be the speaker. If you give a value talk, a memorable talk, EVERY member of the audience will want to connect. You’ll have the potential to gain fifty “cold call” connections each time you speak.
7. Speak at trade shows. Why not get praise for the great speech you gave at the conference every time someone walks by your booth, instead of trying to get them to putt a ball into a plastic cup.
8. Write an article. Nothing breeds attraction like the written word. I am a living example of what writing can do to change a career. Get in front of people who can say yes to you and become known as an expert.
9. Write an industry white paper. CEOs want to create great reputations, keep customers loyal, keep employees loyal, have no problems, maintain safety, and make a profit. Write about how your industry does that and EVERYONE will want to read it (and meet with you). White paper, or brochure? You tell me… Which one gets you invited in the door? Which one earns you respect? Which one builds your reputation? And the ouch question: Which one are you using?
10. Give referrals. Yes, GIVE referrals. What better way to gain respect, cosmic debt, word-of-mouth advertising, and reputation? WARNING: This requires hard work.
11. Send a once a week, value-based message to existing and prospective customers. For the past decade, my weekly email magazine, Sales Caffeine, has been a major source of value to my customers and revenue to me. Where’s yours?
12. Contact current customers who aren’t using 100% of your product line. You have gold in your own back yard. No cold call needed. Call existing customers and get more of their business.
12.5 Reconnect with lost customers. This little used strategy will net you more results than any cold call campaign on the planet. It takes courage to connect, but once you discover “why” you lost them, you can create strategies to recover the account – often more than 50% of the time.

COLD CALL TIME CHALLENGE: What is your REAL use of time making futile cold calls? That’s a number you do not want to see. And how much of your use of time is a waste of time. You don’t wanna see this number either.

Gotta make cold calls? Boss making you cold call? Here’s the strategy for making a transition: ALLOCATE YOUR TIME. If you have to make 50 cold calls a week, allocate enough time to connect with 50 existing or lost customers in the same week. And ask your boss to do both WITH YOU. Let him or her see the futility of making cold calls. Ask them to make 50 cold calls. My bet is they can’t or won’t.

REALITY: Double your quota, double your sales numbers using the strategies above, and your boss won’t care ONE LICK if you ever make another cold call. In fact, they’ll be asking you HOW YOU DID IT.

Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Sales Bible, Customer Satisfaction is Worthless Customer Loyalty is Priceless, The Little Red Book of Selling, The Little Red Book of Sales Answers, The Little Black Book of Connections, The Little Gold Book of YES! Attitude, The Little Green Book of Getting Your Way, The Little Platinum Book of Cha-Ching, The Little Teal Book of Trust, The Little Book of Leadership, and Social BOOM! His website, www.gitomer.com, will lead you to more information about training and seminars, or email him personally at salesman@gitomer.com.


© 2012 All Rights Reserved. Don’t even think about reproducing this document without written permission from Jeffrey H. Gitomer and Buy Gitomer. 704/333-1112

For information about Jeffrey Gitomer’s June 8th speaking engagement in Indianapolis, go to http://www.gitomer.com

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The phone is smart. How smart is the user?

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

Have you noticed the shift in human focus and concentration?

Sitting in the lobby of the Public Hotel in Chicago, there are about 50 people sitting and milling around, engaged in some form of interaction – primarily WITH THEMSELVES.

Oh, there are others with them, but these people are head down on their phones. I’m sure you have both seen them and been one of them.

Maybe you’re even reading this on your mobile device right now!

Guidelines of phone use have significantly changed because of technology availability. Five years ago (before the launch of the game-changing iPhone), all you could do on a phone was send and receive calls – and painfully text. Remember your early texts – a-b-c-(oh crap)-2. That was a technological EON ago.

Cellular phones are smart these days. Most of the time, they’re smarter than their user. They are as much “app” driven, as they are talk and text. If you include email and the Internet in general, your calendar, Facebook and other social media apps, Google and other search engines, news and other of-the-moment information, Instagram and other photo apps, your camera, music, movies, Angry Birds (I’m currently playing RIO HD), Scrabble, and other games, Foursquare, Paypal, and of course the ubiquitous Amazon (where you can buy anything in a heartbeat, and read any book ever written), you at once realize your phone or tablet has become your dominant communication device – and it’s only an infant in its evolution.

Voice recognition is the next big breakthrough.

Most people are not masters of their own phone. They use programs they need, and rarely explore new ones, unless recommended by a friend. (Think about how you found many of the apps you use.)

If you’re seeking mastery of your device, here are the fundamental how-tos:
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How have you progressed since the third grade?

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012


“What I did on my summer vacation.”

Every one of you have given a speech, or written a paragraph or essay about what you did on your summer vacation while you were in grade school.

You wrote about the lake, the mountains, or the week at the beach. Or you gave a speech and your opening line was, “What I did on my summer vacation.” And you held your own hands and nervously performed in front of your peers.

You were worried about what they would think and you were nervous about performing in front of your classmates, but somehow you muddled through it.

Your essay was returned with all kinds of red marks for punctuation, grammar, and misspellings.

For those of you who are pack rats, or have parents who are pack rats, you may still have the document.

PERSONAL NOTE: I have many of my daughters’ early writings. All gems.

I’m giving you this reminder, this bit of nostalgic instant memory, so I can issue you the following challenges: How have you progressed since then?

How much better are your writing skills? How much better are your presentation skills? And how important are those skills to your sales success, your business success, your social media success, and your career success?

I’ve been a professional writer and professional speaker for 20 years. But like you, I’ve been an amateur since the third grade when I talked about what I did on my summer vacation, and in the fourth grade when I wrote about Hurricane Hazel which rocked Atlantic City where my family was living at the time. (If you Google it, you can figure out how old I am!)

What most people don’t understand is their initial training forms the foundation of their present skills. Your grammar, your ability to spell, your self-confidence to be able to speak, and your overall character are formulated by your ability to communicate both orally and in writing.

Every one of you reading this is now thinking, maybe I should have paid more attention when my high school English teacher was drilling the difference of there, their, and they’re or the difference of your and you’re.

Think about the emails you receive with the subject line that says: “Your in Luck!”

The person who wrote it is immediately perceived as an idiot and the email is discarded as both disingenuous and poorly prepared.

Maybe I’m prejudice, but I don’t want to do business with someone who can’t correct his or her own work in the simplest subject line of an email.

The reason I’m harping on speaking and writing is because they are the foundation of the two most important elements of your success: image and reputation.

Everyone wants to have a great image.
Everyone wants to have a great reputation.
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