Jeffrey Gitomer is one of the most brilliant sales people I know. He has created an empire by providing smart selling strategies and packaging them in a no nonsense, direct and clever way. Who couldn’t respect the authenticity of a logo that states exactly what he wants “BuyGitomer!” Time and again he reminds sales pros to focus on the professional part of their title instead of on the selling part (actually, I just made them up and I really, really like it).
Gitomer is a friend (disclaimer) and he posted another great article today. To a point. The New Cold Call – It’s NOT Cookie Cutter makes outstanding points about cold calling. And it could have been better if the title stopped at: It’s not COOKIES!
The article focuses on focusing on your buyer. Jeffrey loves a certain type of cookie and was wowed when the cookie company (finally) realized what a great advocate he could be, and sent a brilliant sales professional to Gitomer’s office loaded with his favorite cookies. If you produce or sell a favorite prospect’s anything, and you aren’t making it easy for that prospect to be able to enjoy and brag about your goods, shame on you!
But more…it’s not really about the cookie (jn this case) or about the stuff you schlep to the trade show to attract folks to your booth (for all the wrong reasons). It’s about being a professional. It’s about doing your research (I really don’t like the word homework – that seems boring!) and knowing what matters to your prospect. And that, I believe, is the point of the Gitomer article.
Here is what the point isn’t (to me): Don’t think that just because you come with cookies or any other tchotchke, that to your prospect, you are worth seeing, interrupting their work flow and taking up their time. You are worth seeing when, as Gitomer says, you have prepared. When you make a “targeted, strategic” call – whether on the phone or in person – you are definitely worth their time.
Know what you want to get from the call.
Be clear in your own mind why they should want to take your call/accept your meeting request.
And I love these Gitomer questions:
What is the one question or statement that may get me to the decision maker?
What is the one question that I want to ask the decision maker to engage them?
•Don’t try to “sell” anyone on anything.
•Understand that often your first call goal is just to start a relationship so that you can follow-up and so that your follow-up will be focused (on them) and appreciated (by them).
•Extend your hand and invite them to buy.
•Follow-up as you say you will.
•Love them and they may just return the favor.
And, with a personal note, send the goodies (your products or their favorite thing) after the meeting/trade show. Consistently act like the professional you are and see what happens.