An alternative for success if you hate cold calling

Photocred: Jas Sansi

If you are looking at your strategy for 2020 and becoming more LinkedIn active, this article might be useful to you.

Sales are inevitable.

We all have to do it in some form or another. For those of us who have been Sales Managers, Business Development Managers (BDM’s) or Relationship Managers it’s a little more obvious as it’s there in our job title, but the same can be said for all business owners.

Everything we do on and offline is to generate leads and convert them to business.

If you hate cold calling there are alternatives, such as networking plus content equating to sales, but most importantly long-lasting relationships. It’s the formula for success if you dread picking up the phone, plus it has longevity.

Here are some things that might help when it comes to creating online content mixed with networking.

  • Find your voice

It’s easy to become that person that constantly sells their product or service in every post, but believe me, people will switch off. If your connections want to know what you do, they can find that out by looking at your profile. Don’t be afraid to voice your opinions, including on causes that you are passionate about. It makes you more dimensional as a person.

At the beginning of my journey on the LinkedIn platform, I would post memes that resonated with people, adding a caption, even adding a map of where in the world I was from so people could get to know me better.

As I’ve grown my network, my posts get more engagement and it raises awareness when meeting people in real life. It gives me a bit more credibility when reaching out to my connections to arrange meetings or have them reach out to me to find out more about what I’m up to and what my role is.

Anything that starts a conversation even online is a good thing.

  • Be yourself

Too often I see comments about how LinkedIn has become like Facebook! But, it is also another social media platform, so be social and remember that businesses, industries and individuals have different needs.

There is space for it all here.

Find those you wish to connect with and companies you wish to follow that are business news led if you find it becoming too ‘social’ for you. This will help in really targeting and creating a news feed that is relevant to you.

It’s very easy to accept everyone and anyone, but often you need to cull your network if they add no value.

  • Drip Feeding

Promoting your business, product or service, I’ve found has been better drip-fed on my timeline. See point 1, it takes time to find your ‘online’ voice and persona.

Once you have this established and people are interacting with you, drip-fed your business and what you do, but make the content interesting and where possible understandable.

It helps reach a more active audience.

Don’t be afraid to use hashtags and tag people to reach a bigger audience. Ask for recommendations but also ensure you interact with others on your timeline and tag those within your network you think can help someone looking for a specific service.

Check out my feed for inspiration and to help you get started. An example of a post can be seen below.

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  • Networking Trial and Error

Find events that work for you. It really is trial and error, whilst you find out where your audience is. The key is to create content for LinkedIn / Twitter / Facebook if you use these platforms for business. Start by taking a picture of the room showing your network that you have attended a specific event that you enjoyed, thank the organisers and tag those you have connected with during the evening. It helps boost your profile and connects you to their network.

For hints and tips on networking read my previous article ‘The Truth About Networking‘.

  • Sales

Be proactive, if those outside your network engage in your content reach out to them.

Don’t be afraid to use your social media platforms to send messages via direct messaging. I’ve gone through Twitter / LinkedIn and Facebook connections and sent messages to those I’m connected with to find out more about them and whether there is scope to work together.

I will even ask for a 1-2-1 within a few messages if not straight away if it’s someone I have researched and really want to work with. It usually works. If it doesn’t they will come back to you, it’s just not the right time yet.

The exposure from networking and creating content online does work when combined with the above.

The reality is some people hate cold calling and no matter how many seminars you attend you may never be comfortable with it, so why not be more creative, Use other avenues so it makes the call a little warmer.

I wouldn’t be too quick to dismiss other avenues as the world is socially active online. If your audience and competitors are there, make sure you are also seen.

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