With the continued growth of Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, etc., you would think that social selling was the way to go for all sales people if you want to increase your sales in 2017, and that picking up the phone and cold calling would be going the way of the dodo.

Not according to Tony Hughes, #1 Sales Influencer in Asia-Pacific. When I asked him for his thoughts on which platform people should focus on for 2017, I was surprised by what he said.

I've talked to so many people about this recently. There's no debate: it's empirical based on the conclusive 2016 feedback I've received: The top reps are still calling.

They're warm calling, smart calling, cold calling.

What separates the successful seller from the mediocre is not some elaborate engineering of sales technology stacks or social selling mastery to pump out content. As Jeb Blount so eloquently puts it, "It's a paradox of basics." Or as Lee Bartlett literally calls it in The Basics chapter in his book: "Get punch drunk on the phone."

At the very top level of professional sales, the leaders are picking up phones and since "brevity is the soul of wit," leaving concise Unique Value Propositions on voice machines or interrupting prime prospects all day, every day. The hour does not matter! This is only going to work exponentially in your favor as more and more reps drink the snake oil of social but more and more target prospects have cell phones toward 2020. Millennials - now is your chance to buck the trend and call cell phones all day.

We've reached Peak Social Selling ironically at the same precise moment we've reached Peak Cell Phone Penetration in the prospect base.

The opportunity is vast for the courageous. Be bold! Be a bull breaking fine china! Pick up the phone. Make sure you have the data you need to directly dial. Call prospects that scare you. Call the people that make the decision first. Don't over think it but ensure you have the right narrative by leading with why the conversation matters. Don't research all day.

Go out there and get in front of them and you will be mystified how the numbers start to work in your favor.

Muddy, murky and obfuscated statistics beware:

I read that 90% of C-Levels don't answer the phone. It's a survey, it's wrong. They don't want to admit that they do. They do! Many CXOs were once sellers and will accept a valiant, pro effort to reach them.

Bank on it!

They're 57% through the buying process. Yes, they have Google but they are crazy busy. So you can trigger them into a buying window by finessed interruption. As Mike Bosworth loves to say, "the human mind only has 7 slots." You've got to uncover latent pain and I guarantee you your competitor tweeting at them, poking them and sending smoke signals and passive noise is not going to get a slot.

I read that 84% of new business is being generated by referrals.

Again, this statistic is simply not true because in the main, that's an internal referral generated off of a savvy cold caller who has leveraged social engineering to do the triangulating and targeting. If the CMO flicks your email to the CEO, bingo: internal referral.

I hope this is giving you a lot of hope and a fire in your belly. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, and it's called "back to basics."

Think about how Rocky used to train for boxing matches to become the world champion. Pulling heavy things in the snow.

"I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times." - Bruce Lee

You can do it all with a phone or amp it up leveraging a smart, blended approach. I like to call this Combination Selling. But you can't do it without challenge and hard work. If you're having a blast clicking the mouse and it all seems so easy, you'll fail.

There will never be an easy button on sales success.

Social is a piece of quality selling. Social selling is not a thing, it's a feature - a crucial component of "whatever it takes."

I hate to burst your bubble, generation Z. A+ selling should strike terror in your heart: you can only win by talking to qualified prospects as often as possible. "Pipeline cures all ills!"

 

What are your thoughts do you agree or disagree with Tony. Is cold calling here to stay?

I'd love to hear your thoughts on the matter.

Published on: Jan 11, 2017