Are you looking to build strong, relationships with prospects that then turn into solid and profitable client relationships? Then read on to find out how prospecting can actually help.
prospecting the Perfect Way to Build Relationships
Wendy Weiss, The Queen of prospecting®
A Business Owner: “I don’t cold call. I want to build relationships.”
Recently I’ve had a number of conversations with business owners and entrepreneurs who tell me they do not cold call and they do not have their teams cold call because they want to build relationships with prospects.
Who says the two are mutually exclusive?
Every relationship, whether business or personal, begins somewhere. Everyone whom you currently know, your significant other, your colleagues at work, your friends and/or your neighbors were unknown to you at one time. Then, somehow, you met and over time formed a relationship. Relationships don’t happen instantly (even with love at first sight). Relationships build over time.
In sales there are many ways to contact and reach out to new prospects. There’s direct mail, networking, referrals, trade shows, social media, public speaking and content marketing. And yes, prospecting, that is, calling prospects on the telephone. These are all ways to introduce yourself, your company and your product or service to potential customers.
One of the major stereotypes about prospecting is that a cold call is about instantly closing a sale on the telephone in just one call. When talking about prospecting many sales professionals throw everything they know about relationship building with prospects out the window. They think they have to somehow manipulate a prospect into buying from them in one phone call. This is one of the reasons why so many struggle with prospecting. Very few people want to be seen as manipulative and manipulation actually doesn’t work very well.
If you look at the cold call as only being an introduction all of the discomfort falls away. A cold call is not a sale and it’s not a relationship. Your very first call to a prospect is your introduction and perhaps the start of a relationship. That is all it is. You would still need to do everything that you normally would do to build a relationship with a prospect you had met in a different manner.
Think of this like dating. In order to go on a date, you first have to ask the person you want to date to go on the date with you. That’s your cold call. If they say, “yes” then you go on the date. That’s your appointment. Just like a first date is not a relationship, but possibly the start of one, your cold call and/or your appointment is not a relationship… but possibly the start of one.
© 2020, Wendy Weiss