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.