02-21-2011 02:22 PM
I understand that it depends on the industry (in many it is not possible) but I am not a proponent of it. I like doing my cold-calls at my desk where I can do my research and look at any notes that my company might have had in past conversations. It seems that every 4 months there is a new salesman in another division of my company who comes in and is all ramped up to walk into the door of every business he sees. This often makes us look bad when they try to sell to a company that is using my division and turns what could have been a warm call into a cold-call that makes my company look like we don't even know who our customers are. I often try to cross sell with that division and send leads their way, so it is frusterating when they try to come into my accounts and try sell to them when I usually have talked to the customer about that division and have notes of their needs or lack there of. I am just wondering if there are any sales people who feel as strongly about walking into a business to get information as I do about calling on first contact, and why that is.
02-21-2011 03:21 PM
Seems like you have worked at the same sales jobs like I have in the past. New blood comes in guns ablazing with a renegade attitude of batten down the hatches there is a new sherriff in town and he's not taking any prisoners. (Hmmm seems like I've used every cliche in the book)
I think your post is more about new salesreps rather then B2B practicality imho.
I think though that B2B sales is really difficult with larger orgs then with smaller orgs. All the companies that are Fortune 1000 that I've met with had security guards who wouldn't let you in without the proper ID/name of who you are meetign with..
With smaller companies door-to-door is more realistic since you mainly have the no solicitation sign and also the receptionist to deal with.
02-22-2011 05:59 PM
Absolutely, doing in-person stop-bys is an excellent way to cultivate B2B sales. Right now, the two largest deals I am working and many of the smaller ones are a direct result of cold calls. Nothing compares to walking in the door, smiling a friendly hi at the front desk staff, stating your purpose for being there and asking to whom you should direct your inquiry. You can learn much by eye-balling the facility from the front desk , perhaps more than you can from stuff you find on the internet, if in fact you can find relevant data. The front desk staffer is far likelier to treat you humanely and actually help you out, vs. consider you some disembodied voice to be sent to voice mail **bleep**. Sometimes I even get to meet the decision maker on my first stop! Also, I think that many decision makers appreciate the chutzpah of a sales person who will take the effort to actually come by to earn their business as someone who will literally go the extra mile for their business, over someone who sends an email blast or leaves a few messages. Admittedly, cold calling may not work on all targets, especially very large ones, but I find stopping by helps me assess the level of activity in their parking lot, the physical size of the business, and get a better feel for the organization. Try it, you might like it. Beats being behind a computer all day long!
02-23-2011 10:14 AM
I try to use both (phone and D2D) when approaching clients large and small. It's a great way to triangulate and find out who the decision maker is - which is who you should be talking to. I've walked into fairly large companies and met the CEO at the front desk. My main goal when going door to door is competitive info, decision maker and length of time remaining on their contract. This arms me for the call to the decision maker I make that afternoon.
03-02-2011 03:33 PM
In this day and age?
By door to door are you suggesting going door to door blind without appointments?
Wouldn't be applicable in my line of work. Execs in B2B are busy these days and have very little time to spend at the "Dew Drop Inn" nowadays.
If you're not in B2B but B2C, depending on the neighbourhood you could be playing Russian Roulette!
Schedule your time. Books appointments. You can't juggle more prospects through email and phone calls that you could visit in person and save the trips for the big important deals that require face time. Chances are if you're out there cold calling face to face your prospects will not only regret the imposition on their time but they soon may wonder just how your firm can employ methods other firms can't afford today! Ultimately they will figure out that it's only through higher prices that your firm can continue to subsidize outdated sales methodologies.
I loved that commerical one of the web conference companies used to run. Showed two reps. One on the road, driving from place to place, stressed and not able to close anything. Meanwhile the other rep calmly did a web conference, closed the deal, had a break and won a sales contest all from the office.
Bottomline. Leverage modern methods and technologies as much as you can. You're compeition internally and externally is. If you don't you will lose. Everybody is given the same amount of time. It's how efficiently you use it that makes the difference between success and failure!
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