If you’ve listened to our show at all, then you know that the digital age has led to dramatic changes in sales and marketing tactics – as well as the technologies we use for either process.
If you’re one of the many people trying to keep up with new sales methods, today’s episode is for you.
These four steps aren’t necessarily some magic bullet – but they are what we use here.
Danny’s going to walk you through the four basic steps to the sales process that he himself follows; as well as some of the reasonings behind why we (and many companies) have made these changes in their techniques.
- (Re-invented) cold calling
- LinkedIn hints
- One-On-One emails
- Content gifts
The first step, which used to be tried and true, may be a little different than what you remember.
1. THE [RE-INVENTED] COLD CALL
When you pick up the phone, don’t expect to get your prospect on the other end. In fact, you should plan for that.
Leave a short message introducing yourself, and mentioning that you’re going to be sending this individual an email soon. And this next part is key:
Don’t mention your product or service yet.
No pitches. No offers. This message should not require the recipient to do anything. All it does is let them know to expect your email. That way there’s no pressure on their end, and all they can do is shrug it off and wait.
2. THE LINKEDIN HINT
If you don’t have an account, you absolutely need one. Build a rich profile for yourself, add content, and build a network. Think of LinkedIn as the networking event that people attend when they’re too busy to actually physically attend a networking event in person.
So after leaving that phone message, get on LinkedIn.
Visit their profile – but don’t ask them to connect yet.
Why? Because LinkedIn will notify them: “Danny Gonzales viewed your profile.” At which point their interest is just slightly piqued yet again. “Who is this Danny Gonzales guy?”
This may even lead them to check out your profile in return – which is why you need to make sure to have plenty of valuable content waiting for them!
Again, you’ve asked them for nothing and you’ve offered them nothing. All you’re doing is showing a little attention, and hopefully you’re generating their curiosity in you as well.
3. THE ONE-ON-ONE EMAIL
Now this is the big step. You send them an email – but heaven help you if you toss a generic message in that text box!!
This is not a time to copy-paste. This is a time to be as personalized as possible.
In fact, Danny and his team love to take this step above and beyond using special webcam tools that actually send a “video voicemail” message straight to the prospect’s inbox. (You can find out more about that particular system in our webinar about video in sales!)
In this email and/or video message, you’re still not making a pitch or an offer. Instead, you want to take note of a problem that this individual has, which they may not even have known about – and then you offer them advice on how to fix it.
Note: you still aren’t asking them to buy anything or to buy into anything right now.
You are simply giving them a hand or a piece of advice for their business, based the expertise you have to offer.
For us, it’s a bit easier to scroll around someone’s website and let them know about issues with their video hosting or their blog layout. For your industry, the details may look different.
But in the end, you are essentially offering this prospect free information – almost a free tutorial – on how to fix their problem…and you do it without specifying any particular product or service.
You give some tips in the email, and you offer to explain in more detail over a future phone call.
This shows your prospect that you’ve paid attention to them. You’re clearly aware of their particular needs or challenges. You’re also willing to provide expertise in order to help them reach a resolution.
4. THE CONTENT GIFT
After sending that email, the ball is in your prospect’s court for a while; but you should still make sure that you haven’t been forgotten.
This is where you return to LinkedIn and play the long game; networking and occasionally sending relevant content their way.
Maybe there’s been a relevant change in policy or a tax adjustment for their industry. You might make use of a nifty new LinkedIn plug-in, like CrystalKnows, which can help them identify their prospects’ preferred message styles.
Whatever the content, tag them or send them a “Saw this and thought of you,” LinkedIn email.
Then here’s the sneaky part: if you’ve created a blog or video or chunk of past content that also might be relevant to them…add it to the bottom of your email signature.
They might click on it. Maybe they won’t. But over time, you’re establishing yourself as a worthwhile connection. And that is the key here.
Use content to keep providing value.
Whether you’re a plumber or an aerospace engineer or a cactus gardner, keep yourself in the periphery of your prospects as a thought leader in your field.
Share content, and make content, until a potential buyer is actually in a place where they’re ready to seek out and buy a solution. And when they do, they’ll almost certainly come to the person they trust… which, thanks to this sales process, will hopefully be you.
Now, does following these four steps require far more effort than traditional copy-paste sales tactics? Absolutely. But do they work? Again: absolutely. We know so, because we’re not just shelling out guesses about sales tools without any firsthand knowledge.
These are our tactics, too. We’re doing our best to practice what we preach.
Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to get each of our weekly episodes sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!
If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you – and if your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!