The cornerstone of every lucrative business is being able to successfully pitch an idea to future possible clients, but before this stage, before actually presenting what you can offer you will need to ‘Cold Sell’. There are a number of simple skill sets that will differentiate you from other people selling which could lead to a successful sale.
When it comes to selling services to people you do not know, there are certain principles which one should uphold in order to come out successful.
Firstly it is always essential and imperative to do your research. You do not wish to get caught up in the first meeting without good information about your client, what you want from your client and ultimately what the client would want from you. This research will not only come in handy during the first meeting but throughout your work relationship with the client. It is also crucial to ask the right questions and to mention things that are related to your client.
“Your reputation is essential, irrelevant if it is a cold lead or not. If people don’t know you, they can easily look you up online”
Secondly, your reputation is essential, irrelevant if it is a cold lead or not. If people don’t know you, they can easily look you or your company up online. Make sure your reputation is a good and clean one, in doing so you will obviously have a higher chance of selling because people won’t have a problem or be anxious about trusting you or your company. A clean reputation will also give clients a sense of security and dependability which will surely help when it comes to selling.
Furthermore, it goes without saying to always be polite and thankful. Always keep in mind that potential clients are giving you their time, so be respectful and mindful of the time they could be spending doing something else! Alongside this, confidence is key, but just the right amount! On the one hand, when you’re not confident enough you will come off as hesitant and weak, but on the other hand being over-confident has its own faults, a high ego will come off as if you’re trying to overshadow the people you are talking too. Be conscious of these traits because they can be a deciding factor on whether you have made a successful sale or not.
Fundamentally, selling is about relationship-building, if people know about you and eventually get to trust you one day they will buy your product. Initially, upon first contacting a client you probably won’t sell, and your aim shouldn’t be of selling immediately. The focus should be on making yourself known, being memorable, different and unique albeit challenging this extra effort will gain you the respect and consideration from the company you are pitching to. Going the extra mile will prove beneficial once they require your services and you are the first one that comes to mind!
One final principle to remember is, No hard selling! You’re there to sell, they know it and you know it. Don’t put psychological pressure on potential buyers, (because some people might find that intimidating and tiring.) Find passive ways to show them that you have the solutions they need.
“Fundamentally, selling is about relationship-building, if people know about you and eventually get to trust you one day they will buy your product.”
I sent this company a cold email as I wanted to know more about them, and we have nothing to lose just by inquiring. 2 months after the initial email the marketing manager called and scheduled a meeting. This goes on with what I said in the aforementioned paragraph, you might not sell immediately or a week after, this company in particular took 2 months, but all we did was plant a seed, eventually, they required our services and we were the first to crop into their minds.
During the meeting they told me that at the moment they weren’t ready for a digital campaign, however, they asked me to work on a proposal and get back to them. In order to write a compelling proposal I had to know more about them, so I sat down did my research and even studied other companies which may be possible competitors. What I also did was, I bought a ticket and visited their factory. They offer tours which take you around the factory, and this helped a great deal in understanding the role of the business in Malta.
After trying to understand the company as much as I can, our team worked on a digital proposal which we eventually presented to the client. Following the proposal meeting, we had 3 other meetings where we were negotiating and discussing the proposal in more detail, finally, I received a phone call with the good news, the project was approved.
I don’t consider no reply following a cold email or call as a failure, and such a response does not put me off from trying a different more applicable approach towards a client. Cold selling like everything else in life, is a skill which you develop through trial and error. You cannot expect to sell your product to every client, so you can always learn through your mistakes and response rate.
You should always keep on learning, strategies and techniques are constantly being invented and revised so always read on how you can improve your craft. In addition to this, in order to sell to different industries and companies you need to have vast amounts of knowledge in the sectors you will be focusing on in order to keep your conversation flowing and understand the demand there will be during the time of selling.
A good mentor is important in the learning curve of someone looking to enter the world of selling. A mentor will constantly give you advice and feedback which books might not provide. Having someone who has been in the system for a long time can teach some tips and tricks that you will find to be very useful as you start your journey.
Finally, if you are looking to enter the world of selling, or need help with approaching Business-to-business clients, let’s meet up! We can grab a coffee and discuss how our methodology and techniques work for your company.