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The Unofficial and Incomplete Guide To Ending Cold Prospecting Forever

Are you a sales person or small business owner who chases down prospects to get business?

Do you enjoy it?

If you agree with me that cold calling, leaving voice mails that go unreturned, and thinking of BS excuses for people to have an appointment with you all suck, then this entry is for you.

There is a proven and relatively simple way of knocking all of that off and making interested prospects come to you.

If it’s so simple, why doesn’t every body do it? Why are people like you still cold prospecting?

Who in the world knows? People do all kinds of stupid things every day with no explanation. Cold prospecting is just another one of those dumb ideas that can be eliminated with some common sense and a little upfront elbow grease.

I’m going to lay out the basic strategy here.

The antidote to cold prospecting, the antithesis of manual sales grunt work, is direct response marketing.

In addition to completely eliminating cold prospecting, the benefits of direct response marketing are as follows:

  • It is a learnable, trainable skill. There is no mysterious threshold you must cross before you become successful. You can begin succeeding this afternoon if you put your mind to it.
  • It is formulaic. Not a lot of mysteries involved. It’s been used for over 100 years, and almost all of the tricks have been discovered and written down for us to use. It’s not convoluted like “branding” is.
  • It’s 100% accountable. You know what’s working and what’s not so you can cut out the fat.
  • It’s automatic and based on leverage. Direct response marketing is the lazy approach to prospecting. The concepts require you to do work up front, then coast on autopilot while the leads roll in.

CAUTION: If you have a boss, she’s going to think you have lost your mind when you start doing this stuff. If you have friends, you may lose them. And your spouse will question you sanity. It will take a little time for everyone to get the hang of this new idea, so you’ll need a fair amount of intestinal fortitude to get through it. The good news is it takes less guts than making 15 cold calls every day does.

  • Step one: come in off the street. I know a lot of people will tell you, “You can’t make money sitting at your desk.” While this is true in traditional prospecting, you will need to be at your desk to get this direct response deal started.
  • Step two: turn off your phone. The harder you are to reach, the more people will want what you have to offer. Stop giving out your cell phone number, stop handing out your business cards. You will eventually replace all of these items with more appropriate tools.
  • Step three: if you’re already in business, and already have clients, call and visit all of your best clients, and ask them why they love you. Why they chose you. Why they keep doing business with you. What they were afraid of before they hired you. Ask them to write a short testimonial letter for you. Have them hand write it, right on the spot.
  • If you don’t already have clients, be prepared to scrap your idea. Chances are people don’t want it, and you’ll be wasting your time trying to sell it. Start talking to people and doing research to determine “what people want.” Then start giving it to them.
  • Step four: what common traits do all of your customers have? What links them? What makes them different from everyone else? With this info in mind, try to carve out a very, very specific target.
  • Step five: what benefits do your clients derive from your offering? You should have already asked them. What did they tell you? Forget what you think. Use what hey told you. Write down those big benefits and paste them on your wall. Memorize them.
  • Step six: make an offer. If your product or service costs more than about $30, think up an intermediary step: information, audit, review, cd, dvd, vhs, seminar, book, booklet, white paper, newsletter, etc. We call this a widget.
  • Step seven: Find out where your target is. What do they read? Is there a trade journal they have in common? Can you find mailing addresses of the people in your target (excluding those outside the target)? Is there a newsletter they read? Once you find a medium that reaches them, buy an ad.
  • Step eight: Design an ad. Lay it out in publisher or whatever you have. It doesn’t have to be pretty. Make it look like an article or a personal letter – not an ad. Write a headline that communicates the biggest benefit you’ve got. Add some testimonials. Then, make your offer (see step six). Force interested prospects to take specific actions – and tell them exactly what they are. E.G., call 1-800-555-5555 to request, or fax 407-999-9999 to request. Don’t let them call you directly. You’re too busy, remember?
  • Step nine: send your widget. I wouldn’t even create it until you start getting requests for it. Now, be sure not to make your widget 100% information. Make it a blend – about 30% info and 70% sales. Sales in print – not over the phone. Make buying a simple step. Clearly walk them through how to buy or take the next step.
  • Step ten – infinity: follow up via mail, email or fax with the people who have requested the information.

Now, this is clearly an abbreviated version of the concept. But it’s not a lot more complicated than this.

The general idea is to replace cold calling with marketing. Even if you’re a sales person, you can buy small ads. You don’t have to be the owner. It’s your time being wasted on the phone, and it’s your paycheck on the line.

Use measurable response mechanisms in every ad you run, so you know where your inquiries come from. Dump the ads and media that don’t get results and spend more money on those that do.

The end result is prospects coming to you – instead of you going to them.

If you’ve been wondering how all of the content on this site, all of the information we discuss on the teleconferences, in the ad reviews, on the hotsheet, applies to you if you don’t advertise, this is the answer.

Start advertising. But do it properly and wisely and you will cremate the competition.