How Making FRIENDS Will Massively Grow Your Prospect List
January 2018 sees the launch of my next book, Exactly How to Sell. The goal of this book is to produce a guide to expertly navigate someone through what to many is a challenging subject ad deliver precise skills and tactics that simplify the task at hand and empower the reader.
Just one of over 250 of the powerful and practical lessons in the book relates to how you can grow your confidence in outbound phone calls by turning Cold Calls into purposeful and permission based contacts instead.
I mean EVERYBODY loves cold calling, right?
Cold calling works for sure, but I’ve never met anybody who really loves making unannounced phone calls to complete strangers.
When I was first introduced to a network marketing business many years ago, I was told the first thing I had to do was to speak to my friends to help secure new sales.
Well I don’t know about you, but for me trying to sell you your friends is can be a uncomfortable and challenging scenario. You tell them about the new thing that you’re doing and they remember all the things you used to do and see no validity in your new direction and this can result in you facing ass rejection from your nearest and dearest.
This made me think about how I could find a way to get in front of more people without having to start blind calling strangers or hassling my closest contacts.
Quantity will always bleed quality when it comes to growing your customers and a good starting point for sales success is a giant list of qualified prospects.
So I took the word ‘friends’ and I turned it into an acronym. And I used this as a tool to help me build a massive list of people that I could then go out and introduce myself to as a ‘warm call’. Here is how it works…
F – Friends – The F in FRIENDS stands for your friends, but it’s not about picking up the phone to your friends and asking them to be a customer of yours. Do something slightly different. Think about who you’d love to be a customer of yours and ask your friends if they know people that look like that person. You can then collect those names into a list, get your friends working as allies for you, finding you more warm contacts to speak to.
The opening could go something like….
“You wouldn’t happen to know someone who (insert the problem you solve)”
R – Records – All of those unique pieces of data you’ve collected over the years – business cards, contact lists, delegate lists from events – and you’ve kept them thinking that one day these might be useful. Well now they’re useful. Those records give you a direct contact into somebody you’ve met before. So it’s never a completely cold call
Your opening could be positioned as…
“I was working through some old records today and stumbled across your details and it made me think of you. What’s been happening in your world since (insert the place you know them from)?”
I – Industry – Think about which industries you can serve best. People want to deal with experts and specialists and I’m sure there are industries you’re more comfortable in than others. Could you be the number one provider of choice in the X industry or Y industry? And if you’re wondering which industries to pick, look at your existing customers and expand out on those. Or look at what you’ve done in the past and the sectors where you have experience.
Opening this call becomes simpler also…
“Hi my name is (insert your own name) and we have been helping a lot of local people in the (insert industry) and I was wondering who would be the best person to speak with to see how we could help you guys too?”
E – E-marketing – All the places online where you are in contact with people. Your website should be collecting new leads and if it’s not then change it. Social networks are important too. However it is not the quantity of contacts that is important – it’s how you contact those contacts that makes all the difference. How could you connect more closely and see how they can lead you to the next warm call you need to make?
Whether they downloaded a resource on your website or you are connected on a social platform, these individuals now have a permission based path for a contact that is almost rejection free and simplifies the path to a valuable conversation. Remember when making these early connections your role is to start a conversation and not push your product or service. The only thing that starts a conversation is a question.
Here is a quick example of a website download follow up call.
“Hi, I can see that you recently visited our website and downloaded (insert download) – I just wanted to check in and confirm that it downloaded ok? (Await positive response) – That’s great – what was it that bought you to the site in the first place?”
N – Networking – There are 2 types of networking event and they’re both proactive ways of making warm contacts. The formal, organized networking event with the same group of people on a regular basis. The purpose of that event is educating other people as to how they can make introductions for you. Secondly you have the ‘room full of strangers’ event where you’re meeting people for the first time. All you have to do there is – meet people face-to-face in real life! Don’t jump to telling them about your product or service. Take an interest in what they do, look for opportunities to speak to them again in the future.
The safest place to start a conversation in these environments is with questions around common interests. Something you will always have in common with someone at a networking event is the event itself. This is a comfortable place to start your conversations.
“Where have you travelled from to be here today?”
This typically starts a comfortable exchange and soon the other person will be asking you the predictable “what do you do question. You best be ready with your response and if not then this video may help.
D – Directories – Whatever you’re looking for in groups of people, somebody has already grouped those for you on an online or paper based directory. If you find a group of people in those directories that you’d love to do business with, instead of picking up the phone to them in a cold fashion, phone them as a local business professional, explain that you got their details from the directory and ask them how the listing is working for them in terms of driving traffic to them. They’ll soon tell you, they’ll judge you as a local business professional and then they’ll ask you what you do. You’ve then created a warm introduction and got straight past the gatekeeper.
S – Same Name – Go to the top of this prospect list you’ve created of warm contacts and look at the names one at a time. Use these names as memory joggers. If the first name is Adam Smith – who else do you know called Adam? Who else do you know who’s a Smith? Do you know a company called Smith’s? What do these names jog your memory towards? This will probably bring you 10-15% more names and more people to talk to.
Spend time building your prospect list and you’ll soon have a plethora of contacts and purpose for contacting them It certainly beats hammering a list of cold contacts!
Oh and one more thing…
What’s a great thing to ask for when you contact these warm prospects?
It’s the thing everybody likes to give – their opinion.
Asking for someone’s opinion on something pays them a huge compliment as has them far more willing to open up to you.
Questions create conversations, Conversations build relationships, Relationships develop opportunities and opportunities lead to sales.
Exactly How to Sell – The Sales Guide for Non-Sales Professionals is released on the 26th January 2018 and is available on amazon.com and from all good book stores.
Exactly How to Sell: The Sales Guide for Non-Sales Professionals
Exactly How to Sell walks you through a tried and true process that draws on time tested methods that are designed to attract and keep more customers. No matter what you are selling (yourself, your product or your services) this simple read is certain to provide you actionable strategies to deliver you more of the sales results you are looking for.
Inside, Phil M. Jones writes from experience and explains how to get more customers and keep them all happy—while they’re spending more money, more often. Using simple, practical, and easy-to-implement methods in line with the modern business landscape, Phil educates and guides you, giving you the confidence you need to develop the skills you need to win more business.