I’m in sales. I love sales. If you were to ask me what I do, I’d say I’m a sales person. I’ve always been proud to be in sales. When I worked in corporate America the salespeople were the people that made the money. Of course at that point in my life I was very green and young and the idea of driving a BMW was awe inspiring. It never occurred to me that people didn’t want to be identified as a salesperson until as an employer I had employees tell me that they hated the idea of being a salesperson. At that moment I questioned my heritage in sales and wondered if I should be ashamed, but only for a moment and then I moved on and resumed my love for my trade.
When something comes up that I find interesting in sales I always jump on it. One of my favorite podcasts Eventual Millionaire had a guest on recently- Steli Efti of Close.io which is a CRM (Customer Relationship Management Software) During his interview he hit my sales core. He knew sales, really understood sales and told stories of following up with people consistently for years before they committed to buy. I loved what he said. He offered a free e-book at the end of his interview so I jumped on it. Truth told, I’m only about half way through his book and this is why. He talked about an email sales strategy that I’d never considered and recommended the book Predictable Revenue by Aaron Ross & Marylou Tyler. I pick up that book and I’ve been digesting its contents since.
I’m an old school sales person. I was trained by some of the best and they were trained by some of the best from 1950. Consequently I sell in the school way. This is my model.
- Make LOTS of cold phone calls
- Make more cold phone calls
- Walk into businesses and cold call
- Form relationships
This model has been my life and works very well. I’m not afraid to cold call because in essence that’s what I’ve done for my entire career- cold call. Turns out you do get good at it and used to it after 10+ years. However, this book turned me on my head a bit and I’d like to share some of the concepts I learned and will by applying in my businesses.
1. Have someone dedicated to prospecting.
Many of you are solopreneurs (as I currently am) and having a single person committed to prospecting isn’t an option. However, the idea of having a dedicated person or dedicated time to prospecting is huge. You can’t succeed in selling a product if you don’t have prospects. Make the job of prospecting important, but more importantly make the job of find qualified prospects your top job. If you can find qualified prospects the sales process is much easier.
2. Send out 50-100 cold emails per day 4 days a week and monitor open and bounce rate.
This allows you to see what is working. If you know that someone is opening your emails or that your bounce rate is low you can be satisfied that what you are sending is being seen and heard. If your bounce rate is high, or your emails aren’t getting opened you can consider why. Do you have a bad subject line? Does your opener not pull them in?
3. Consider your subject line.
This is the most important part of the email. If your subject line isn’t spot on people won’t read your email. I’ve heard it said that using a person’s name in the subject line is a great way to get their attention and increases open rate. I’ve been experimenting and it does seem to be working.
4. Do NOT be overly sales or verbose in your emails.
People don’t like to get unsolicited emails, do you? My guess is no. I always try to think about it from the other person’s perspective. If I get an unsolicited email, I open it up and it’s a book about them, I delete it straight away. If you get an unsolicited email with just a line or two of text, it feels more sincere and you’re more apt to read it. You’re also more apt to respond. I’ve been using this tactic and it’s worked.
5. Track that things that really matter.
I’ve been tracking number of calls for years. This book contends that call tracking is not the metric we should be after but instead recommends tracking these five things:
- New leads created per month
- Conversion rate of leads to opportunities
- Number of qualified opportunities generated each month
- Conversion rate of opportunity conversations to close deals
- Booked revenue in: new business, add-on business and renewal business
You should review your core metrics weekly.
6. And last, but not least is set 3 clear goals per day.
Ask yourself if I don’t get anything else, but these three things done today what will they be.