(This is a guest post from my friend, Diane Helbig. Her book is called Lemonade Stand Selling.)
You bought a franchise because you believe in the product or service. Good for you! Now how are you going to grow it? You can cold call; walk in and out of 40 doors a day. Or you can develop a strategy to approach qualified prospects. I don’t know about you but idea #2 sounds better to me.
Here’s the down side of the cold call walk – you run the risk of irritating more people than you do of connecting with them. The truth is that people do business with people they like and trust. The minute you walk in the door unannounced and without an appointment you’ve made a bad impression. What will motivate the potential prospect to give you the opportunity to make a second impression? Not much!
So, if sales is about relationship building and matching a solution to a need, approach #2 makes more sense. Determine what problem your product or service solves; what pain it eliminates. Now define the target market(s) for that solution. Who are they? Wher are they? What do they look like?
Now that you have that list in hand, start researching them. Do you have a connection there? What can you learn about them that can help you start a conversation? Ready? Great! Reach out to schedule a meeting. This meeting is designed as information gathering – not selling. You want to have a chance to really talk about what their needs are, how they do business. During this conversation you are not only helping them learn to trust you, but you are learning about them and whether you want to do business with them. If there is synergy and connection, you will do business with them.
Does it take time and energy? Yes it does. Is it time well spent? I believe so. Frankly I think it’s time better spent than walking the street. While you will interact with fewer people, these interactions will be more useful and powerful. Moreover, you will leave a better impression on them whether or not you do business with them. That impression will serve you well as you grow your business.
(Learn more about Diane at SeizeThisDayCoaching.com. She knows sales!)