Myth – Cold Calling Is Dead…

Inspired from Rain Today

Buyers Preference vs Sellers Actual Method of Outreach

Blogs and articles pressing on the idea that “COLD CALLING IS DEAD” get a lot of readers. Many sellers don’t want to cold call, so they want this to be true. It’s not. The phone is essential for prospecting, especially when you are selling to C-level and VP buyers. I know this personally because I’ve built my consulting firm around using cold calling as a tactic for the clients I work with. It’s one of the best tactics, especially if you are working from a highly targeted list matched to your positioning.

According to buyers in the research performed by RainToday, 70% of sellers connect with them and generate meetings using the phone. This is second only to email.

Sellers who prospect agree the phone is essential, including cold calls.

According to sellers, of the 15 most effective outreach methods we studied, using the phone represents three of the top five statistics, including making phone calls to existing clients, past clients, and new contacts.

Both buyers and sellers agree: cold calling works and it’s still one of the most effective ways to generate initial sales conversations.


Four Steps When Troubleshooting…

I feel lucky in business because I’m the one with the birds eye view on my clients’ organizations. It’s easier to see internally issues playing out when you aren’t in the “box” of their world. When you are internal to the organization, troubleshooting is one way to see more clearly and helps in identifying root causes and fixing them. You can think of troubleshooting as a particular mindset in which you ask a series of questions in an attempt to gain a new perspective on a business problem you may be having. It’s extremely helpful to be curious and open-minded, rather than quick to judge or show up in the “know it all” version of yourself.

Sometimes you find out what you thought was problem actually wasn’t at all. 95% of what we worry about isn’t even true. Our perception about an issue is often clouded and inaccurate. Meditation and yoga helps keep a clear mind… just throwing that out there! The troubleshooting mindset can be applied to all sorts of problems.

Four steps when troubleshooting:

  1. Is there an actual problem? Before you start solving a problem, make sure that the thing you are are solving is actually a problem. You can do this by defining and clarifying the problem. Is it simply annoying? Not necessarily a problem. Is there a clear threat to your business future? Definitely a problem.
  2. Isolate all distinct parts. After you’ve determined that you definitely have a problem, it’s time to isolate all distinct parts. Hats off to engineers – they typically are very good at this kind of stuff! In my business world, I often see clients reluctant to do certain things – adhering to an annual plan or budget and networking are often reoccurring issues when working with clients. The isolated parts on networking would be: pressure to be on billable projects, not seeing the benefits of networking, having fears about networking, preferring to spend their time in a different way, expecting other colleagues to do it, etc.
  3. Testing. This is about taking each isolated part and testing it. In my example above, I’d be asking my client to be honest about their resistance in each component. We would narrow down what they are specifically having issues with. From there, we see the root cause – let’s say it boils down to feeling pressure to be on billable projects. We see they could delegate more to their junior staff, and that then frees them to network occasionally.
  4. Course correct. Finally, we continue to course correct on a regular basis to ensure any other issues are properly addressed at the root level.

Rather than make assumptions, it’s good to implement the troubleshooting process in any area of your business or life. You get to the root cause on issues and can then take the right steps to modify. It becomes easier the more often you practice.

Presentation Skills – 10 Points To Consider…

I recently heard these percentages about what’s important during presentations:

55% – how you look

38% – how you speak (delivery style)

7% – your content (what’s on your slides)







Whether these are accurate, we all can attest to remembering the presenter and not necessarily their slide deck! Here are ten points to consider prior to your next presentation:

  1. Set the stage. How do you enter the room? Are you positive, grounded, confident, engaged, and attentive to your audience?
  2. Body Language. Stand firm, grounded, but not like a statue. Don’t be small – don’t fold into yourself. Offer a big presence with minimal ego. Don’t intimidate. Open up your body/language. Gesture and hold the gesture. Don’t be frenetic/fast. Have purposeful movement – move, then stand and maintain balance.
  3. Facial Expression. Your face is prime real estate. Use it! Don’t be expressionless. Don’t be afraid to let your emotions show! And if you get nervous, breathe and fake it until you become it.
  4. Voice. Find YOUR voice. How do you say what you say? Project your voice for authority. Lower your pitch (especially some women). Be careful not to up-speak, where you sound like you are asking a question at the end of your comment.
  5. Eye Contact. Make connections with your eyes. Connect with each person in your audience if you can. Don’t allow your eyes to graze the room. Don’t read from your power point. Be natural. Don’t lock eyes, but do pause and connect. Remember – eye contact = point of trust!
  6. Energy. (I’m a yoga instructor too – of course I’m going to slide in something on energy…!) Find your natural energy – attune to your authentic energy. Show off your own personality and human-ness. Find the best version of yourself. Confident. Positive. Excited to win the project/etc. Don’t be too serious because you’ll end of being robotic. Remember being serious doesn’t mean that you’ll be taken seriously.
  7. Power of the Pause. Nothing commands the listener like the appropriately planned pause! Pauses are highly respectful towards your audience, allowing them time to absorb content. Pauses give you the opportunity to gather your thoughts.
  8. Content. Less is more. Spoken communication has a weight limit – like a bridge between you and your audience. Don’t overweight your message. Tell stories – and tell them in a way where everyone can visualize the meaning and depth of the point you are trying to convey. People remember stories because they relate to stories.
  9. Q & A is where selling really happens. This is where you become very credible. Embrace the questions! Prepare for the questions – as yourself what questions you do not want to be asked and be prepared to answer those! Your answer should address “why hire me/us?” Offer tight, concise answers and send any supplemental information as a follow up after your presentation. Tight answers show you know your stuff.
  10. Last but not least… Breathe! Be Yourself! and Have Fun!

Go Grow!


What’s the Best Format for Email Marketing…

I thought I’d share this recent post by Ian Brodie, as I tend to agree with him. What have you found to be the best way to format your email marketing campaigns?

By Ian Brodie –

“What’s the best format for emails?”

My email marketing system provider, Ontraport, recently added a whole bunch of fancy new templates for emails to their system.

I don’t know how much time and money they spent doing this, but the problem is that almost every test run on email formats has shown that fancy formatting hurts your results.

The classic test was done by MarketingExperiments a few years ago. They discovered that:

  • Emails that use lots of graphics and formatting got 34% fewer clicks than plain text emails.
  • Emails that had a little bit of formatting: the occasional underline or bold text and highlighted links got 55% more clicks than plain text.

In a more recent test here, WhichTestWon tested a graphical sales email vs a plain one and found the plain email got a 195% increase in clicks and a 304% increase in sales.

Although we can never know exactly why, I reckon the reason simple, lightly formatted emails do so well is that they look like the emails we get from people we know and trust. Friends and business colleagues.

Graphics heavy emails look like advertisements and so when we read them our self-defence mechanisms kick in.

Fancy graphics often play havoc with mobile devices too. At best, they make the text appear tiny. At worst, the email is unreadable.

So my advice: stick to simple, lightly formatted emails.

Use Targeted Lead Nurture Programs To Cultivate Prospects…

Author: Webmarketing123

Shockingly, 65% of B2B marketers have yet to establish lead nurturing campaigns. This is especially shocking given a previous study that demonstrated a 35% lift in lead generation ROI by marketers that employ lead nurturing programs (MarketingSherpa). Nurturing can take shape in many forms. (Webmarketing 123) recommends leveraging the power of marketing automation to track and score your “not-ready-yet” leads, and send triggered emails based on demographic and behavioral information. Behavioral information includes website visits, whitepaper downloads, webinar registration, and similar activities that indicate interest in your products. Long and complex B2B sales cycles make nurture programs a must to stay top of mind and to guide prospects towards a purchase. See all 8 Online Lead Generation Best Practices


Positioning Thought Leadership Requires Quality Plus Exposure…

By Mike Shultz & John Doerr

Exposure MINUS Quality – You want to be known in your market, and you have fabulous market exposure and reach…but something’s missing, and your audience knows it. Most empty speeches, empty books, and empty suits get judged correctly and are set aside.

Quality MINUS Exposure – If a great white paper falls in the woods and nobody is there to hear it, does it make a sound? You may be the real deal when it comes to your quality ideas and relevance within your market. But if you’re known by no one, you’ll influence no one. The “leadership” part of thought leadership implies that there are people who follow your action. Without the followers, you’re out of luck.

Quality PLUS Exposure – Your ideas are relevant and helpful. When people engage your “real deal” thinking, it makes a positive difference in their businesses. You’ve connected with the market, broadened your sphere of recognition and reputation, and marketed your packaged ideas in a way that allows your ideas and contributions to disperse among the people in your market. You win.

8 Simple Tips To Help You Feel Comfortable Networking – when you don’t…

Networking is absolutely critical for your overall business development efforts. But it’s an uncomfortable activity for many people.  If this is the case for you, change your perspective about what networking is all about! Networking isn’t about working a room, collecting as many business cards as you can, imposing yourself upon people, or force-feeding people information about your business. Networking is about creating lasting meaningful relationships and gives you the opportunity to have incredible conversations with a wide variety of people. A few tips to help you feel comfortable networking:

  1. Be yourself. Authenticity always has an audience.
  2. Be a magnet. Have a positive mental attitude and keep your conversations positive.
  3. Be a listener. Understand the different between talking and creating a conversation.
  4. Be personal. “Get real” and create a real relationship.
  5. Be a resource. Educating, inspiring, and informing cannot be understated.
  6. Be on time. Show your dedication, commitment, and reliability.
  7. Be visible. Participate and add value to organizations you are passionate about.
  8. Be true to your core. If you don’t have good chemistry with someone, don’t waste your time (or theirs) trying to nurture a relationship.

Go grow!

Kick-Start Your 2014 Business Development Efforts With Cold-Calling…

I often hear from architects and engineers and other b2b business owners that cold calling doesn”t work for them. I sometimes hear it is a dead tactic or an old-school tactic. Those are true statements if you don”t develop a strategy and stick with your efforts. Cold calling works – ask any of my clients who have worked with me to develop and execute their efforts.

Effective cold calling takes:

  • Building the right list, with multiple key contacts.
  • Developing positioning credit report free annual does have a termination date, right? credit report free annual is just the promise to deliver money at a later date. statements.
  • Building a “series” campaign that builds credibility and awareness about your firm.
  • Using a touch schedule to keep you on track.
  • And using both calling and emailing as part of your overall efforts.

Cold calling generates meetings with prospects, aids in your fact-finding, research, and lead generation efforts. It can help you “connect dots” and add significant value to your company”s business development efforts.  Cold calling can become a major factor in your firm”s growth and success. Take time to develop a straightforward cold calling strategy and implement your strategy using a team member with the right skill set and personality. Develop a process to streamline and organize your efforts and simultaneously keep track of information. Salesforce is a great tool, and if you are on a budget Outlook can be extremely effective.

If you need help, reach out – I do this type of work for clients all the time.

Go Grow!

Building and Sustaining Relationships through Networking…

Networking is building and sustaining relationships with people. Often, professionals think of networking as quickly moving around a room, insincerely glad-handing, continuously elevator pitching, and exchanging business cards. This isn”t it at all.

Effective networking is about creating authentic and honest relationships. By focusing on how we can help others succeed, we contribute to their success as well as our own. Networking happens as explicitly stated networking events, but also anywhere: conferences, charity and association meetings, sports events, worship centers, and in being active on social media sites. Networking is a great way to begin, develop, and nurture strong relationships.

Networking is typically good for:

  • Making initial connections
  • Generating referrals
  • Building relationships
  • Maintaining and nurturing relationships over the long-term

Ideas to consider:

  • Networking is about creating relationships, not gathering business cards.
  • If you get involved in a trade organization, become a leader.
  • People like people who are good conversationalists. Don’t be self-absorbed. Learn to connect with people in conversation.
  • Focus on important people who are interesting to you and those whom you have something to offer.
  • Learn to use social media to expand your networking opportunities.
  • Don’t have a heavy selling agenda. You will turn people off.
  • Nurture your relationships – send relevant news that pertain to their issues – not simply items that are interesting to you.
  • Be a giver and become a great resource.
  • Work at networking events, don’t simply attend. Go with the goal to meet several new and interesting people and catch up with folks you already know. Don’t just hang out with your colleagues and people who you already know. Push yourself to meet new people.
  • Build relationships before you need them.
  • Don’t network with people you don’t like or whose values don’t match your own.
  • Don’t confuse your network with your holiday card list – networks are relationships built over time. Having a network is not the same as having a list of people you send holiday cards to once a year.
  • Constantly add to your network while continuing to provide value to those who are already in it.
Written with inspiration from author Mike Schultz

Four Ideas For Your Email Marketing…

Email marketing is an inexpensive and easy way to consistently stay visible and position your organization as a thought leader in your industry. Ideas worth considering…

  1. Get personal Take the time to ensure you are being relevant and personal. Don”t just blanket people with a generic email; find ways to make it more personal and relevant. At a minimum, categorize your contacts by industry or title or type (etc. etc. etc.) and send only topics of interest to each group.
  2. Test and tweak Haphazardly sending emails isn”t going to get you anywhere. Come up with ways to test different strategies and gauge what works best. Split-test by dividing your contacts in half and send the same e-mail to both groups, with a slight change to one. Perhaps a different subject line. See which works best. Learn what motivates people to reply to back to you and/or click through to your website. Then, use what you discover to replicate success on future campaigns.
  3. Stay committed Keep up the conversation and continue to share valuable and relevant information over an extended period of time. Understand that your goal in email marketing is to create awareness, stay visible, and position yourself as a thought leader. It”s unlikely you will “sell” anything through your email marketing tactic. You might get a meeting, online casino if you are lucky – and this is a good segue into a final idea…
  4. Integrate email marketing with other tactics Email marketing is ONE tactic – all companies need to select several tactics that are well-aligned to your business goals and company culture. Again, your email campaigns are probably not going to get you a “sale” – but they will help keep you top of mind and if the content is relevant and insightful, you will position yourself as an expert. Integrate your email marketing tactic with other tactics that are best for your business situation. Cold-warm calling, speaking engagements, being visible and active on social media and within your clients industry organizations, getting published…. If you need help figuring out what tactics are best for you, reach out – I”d be delighted to help.

Go Grow!

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