Have You Forgotten How To Cold Call And Network?

Cold Call and NetworkThe business world has evolved significantly in the past 15 years, as many older methods have been replaced by advancements in modern technology or a completely new industry that has arisen to fill a need.

A sales management team needs to utilize modern technology, but remember that some of the more traditional methods are still effective for any business.

Cold calling and networking have always been something that salespeople have disregarded or loathed, and in the modern business environment representatives will often skip these approaches in favor of an internet-based method, according to Heather Kivett, President of Resolution Systems, Inc., a sales training and consulting firm.

Kivett noted that the world of sales has changed significantly over the past 13 years, as many technologies have led representatives to abandon methods of generating leads like cold calling and physical networking. Things that representatives had done for years were forgotten because of new websites and media.

“When I started in this business thirteen years ago, the internet was in its infancy, there was no social media, no Twitter, no LinkedIn and no Facebook,” noted the executive. “The majority of sales reps that came in, had to cold call – which is always a struggle.”

In the late 90’s many people in the industry realized that there was no system of referral for networking that had been developed. The groundwork was done through cold-calling, but these representatives didn’t utilize their contacts as a way to generate new leads, according to Kivett.

Representatives need to develop their network through referrals and leveraging the customers that they already have in an effort to find potential clients and new buyers. This type of disconnect existed at a time when the social media sites were not around, and this problem has only been expedited through the implementation of these technologies.

Now, individuals within the world of sales are not taught the effective way to cold call and prospect for clients, and they often will get lost on the internet through their reliance on social media sites, noted the executive.

While these social media sites may offer an abundance of information and relavent sources for new leads, they are only effective if the representative does the necessary groundwork to establish these relationships.

“People have found that they can hide behind social media and internet networking, and not go out and do the front-end work,” said Kivett. “It is hard to network with people that they haven’t met yet, and therefore they might have to go out and actually establish these relationships in person, or at least on the phone.”

Some representatives are under the impression that if they establish themselves in the industry and then move to a different company, then their customers will follow them and retain their business. This is an error, and many salespeople overestimate their ability to do this, according to the executive.

“You can only get so much reach, meet people and establish a contact,” said Kivett. “There are a lot of folks out there that have needs and wants for your product and services, and if you have the right approach, which Resolution Systems Inc. can provide training for, that can significantly accelerate your network.”

There has to be a combined approach to finding leads and networking, as technology needs to be utilized along with the older and more personal methods.

“Use the internet and conventional prospecting in tandem to attract clients and network,” said the executive. “Both methods are incredibly important and vital and you can’t leave out the traditional approach. Don’t cut corners.”