Monday, March 21, 2011

How Not To Sell Managed Services: Cold Call Blitz?

First person to get ten appointments gets to ring the cowbell and a Starbucks, $10 gift card!

Oh the joy...but then again, I think I just threw up a little in my mouth, just now...

They are coming out of the woodwork.

"Business Performance Consultants" - wow.

Is your management team paying other people to come in and teach you how to sell?

How to present MPS?

How to 'demo' MPS?(Oh my gawd, just shoot me now)

Worse, is upper management putting together a Phone Blitz designed to 'kick-start' your MPS opportunities?

LOL! First Rule of DOTC, keep your resume fresh.

We have all had to cold call.

On the phone or in the good old days - just after fire and right before alpha-numeric pagers - door to door.

Some of us, not me, lugged around devices in the back of the car, rolled up, demo'd and took a check - that was a real, Cold Call Sale. Everything else is puffery.

There is no dishonor in cold calling. And scripts, in general, are not bad. All actors need scripts.

Are you trying to cold call a CIO?

Imagine for just a second you are a CIO.

You've risen through the ranks, earned your stripes with all things technology. You have a team. You have short comings. You've been around the block, over the river and through the woods.

Oh, and like every other IT person in the known universe, you don't hate printers, you never, ever even think about them. If you hate anything, it is copiers.

During dinner at home with the wife, your phone rings. On the other end is American Express, the Mercedes dealership, DishNetworks or Best Buy. All selling you extended warranty's or some nonsense.

You hate those calls. Full of tripe and pomp.

Friday morning, around 7:45 AM.  You're in early, before your assistant, because you plan on getting out ahead of the Vegas traffic.

The phone on your desk chirps, rings or whatever the hell it usually does.  Guess who? A "printer" guy yacking on about "30% savings..."

From an article in CIO, asking one CIO what his biggest professional problem was,

"...The repeated issue every year—what keeps CIOs up at night—is the sales and marketing practices of technology vendors. It's a cat and mouse game..."

Read the comments. They are just as valuable as the article.

One more article - again from the standpoint of an C.I.O. titled, "A CIO Do Not Call List"

"...The number of calls I get from IT service providers each week is mind-boggling. It is not uncommon for me to receive more than 100 calls from various salespeople in any given week. It is to the point now where I am unable to answer my office phone; I have to screen all my calls. The downside is that, on more than one occasion, important messages from important people have been lost in the shuffle. Something has to change..."

One hundred calls.

And your management wants you to get in THAT line, stand out, secure an appointment and "close business".


There is more:

 "...And a lot of these aren’t even quality calls. Some of them are just a waste of long-distance charges. Here are some hints for all of you tele-salespeople out there reading this article:

You had better know exactly who you would like to speak to. “The person in charge of making IT purchasing decisions for hosting services” is not it.

If you do happen to reach a new prospect, do not act like you’re an old pal or imply that we know each other when we don’t. “Hey, it’s so great to catch up with you” is pretty close to lying in my book..."

This CIO is not a rarity. Common sense, that's all it is.

Cold calls aren't going to cut it.  Now what?

The challenge for all of us is to find different ways to start relationships with qualified, high minded, business leaders and decision makers.


And equals do not cold call each other.

Do you remember when the internet first made it on the scene in the business world? I do.

Sales teachers and trainers lauded this as a new way to research your prospects - and believe it or not, there were sales people who do not research or look into anything on the internet. So, if like me, one did go to the internet, we had a competitive advantage in the form of intelligence.

This advantage, this uniqueness, had a half-life of about 0.5 seconds. Before you knew it, everyone had all their prospects' Value Prop and Mission Statement memorized.

So what?

Today, EVERYBODY hits the 'net. Konica Minolta reps, CINTAS reps, Waste Management Reps, CISCO Reps, they're all going to FaceBook, LinkedIn, yaddee, yaddee...

And Cold calls? "...100 dials, gets 10 conversations, gets one appointment, 10 appointments get one close..." - ummm..really? wow.

"eight touches" before an appointment is earned.

Networking at the Chamber - omg, really? Are we selling Avon?(not that there is anything wrong with that)

And direct mail still has a 1% return rate.

Are we insane? Yes, actually, we are. Because everybody is sticking to old models. Models that include Cold Calling.


How can you remain relevant in this crowded "me too" world?  I mean, "how relevant are YOU to your prospect?"

Not Xerox. Not Rikon.  Not Canon.


The best way to be relevant is to be 'recommended' at some or any level.

In this effort:
  • I recommend working your existing copier accounts.
  • I recommend working with your OEM partners and THEIR existing relationships.
  • I recommend building a small, "John/Jane Doe, Professional" community by exploring the relationships you or your dealership already own. And then spinning off of those.
Common sense, right?

Three ideas part and parcel of almost every sales class/course/seminar/12 week mentoring program; from selling copiers to AFLAC.

What is different today, more than ever, is the ability for you and I to develop something called "Brand You". (it's been around since 1997) 

Without getting too deep, stepping out of line is more important today - 99 other people are vying for your prospects' attention.  Utilize everything from FB, LinkedIn to Twitter in an effort to build Brand You - don't just work the internet as a super-duper yellow pages, travel the internet.

Nobody from the latest MPS training crowd is going to tell you to "keep your resume fresh" or create "Brand Greg"...

Only here on DOTC - makes you feel kinda special, doesn't it?  Cool.

It sure as hell is not about your company's Value Prop or the next Cold Call Blitz.

It isn't about "Push Marketing", it's about attracting desperate followers with your unique brand.

Go further, find that edge and jump.

Yes. As a LifeCoach and an ordained minister in the state of Texas, I am available for private sessions.

No, I do not live in a van, down by the river...

Better yet, let's discuss Napoleon Hill's Chapter 11. 

Click to email me.

1 comment:

  1. I think you hit it right on the spot. I definitely agree with you. Being an MPS Sales person, I understand exactly what you mean about cold calling CIO's. It's a tough world out here especially with a new technology concept. Go with the "low hanging fruit" first. Your own customers then use those experiences for future sales examples.