I was recently having a discussion with
a sales rep and he was sharing frustration that his firm switched CRM
applications at the time he was hired. He went on to explain that there was not
much previous data for which he could rely on to make cold calls. And then he
shared with me that it was time consuming to build his own lead lists, do a
little research on who the right person would be to call, and then make the
calls. He was hoping I would be sympathetic.
Well, if you’ve read any of my posts
before, I was far from sympathetic. I asked him one question: how long has he
been in sales. His answer: 20 years. He then asked me: why? This is where my no
sympathy approach kicked in. I simply shared that I thought it was a shame that
with his years of experience he clearly never mastered the basics of sales.
You see there is no need for CRM
applications, purchased lead lists, or anything else to be successful in sales.
You need a telephone, names to call (which you can Google quite easily), and
the sheer will power to want to be successful. Those are the basics. Let me
break these down for you.
Long before the Internet and cell phone
there were land line telephones. And as long as there have been telephones
there have been people to call. Businesses once listed their numbers in the
Yellowpages. And yes, the Internet and Google came along, but the basic concept
of seeking a company name and contact person has not changed. If you can look
someone up then you can make a call.
Now the company names are not that hard
to find, but what about the actual correct contact person. Again, Google it.
Many companies post their directories or key contacts on their websites. There
are also third-party directories, financial reporting news, or other websites
where key personnel are referenced. And, while we’re on the topic of the
Internet, there’s this little website called LinkedIn. If you cannot find a
contact person through LinkedIn, you may want to consider another career
And finally, you need the will power to
be successful, because sales is not easy nor is it for the faint of heart. When
I meet people who rely on CRM applications, bought lists, inbound leads versus
cold calling, account management versus new business development, then I’ve
simply met someone that is seeking the easiest way to make a sale and someone
that has no concept of the basics of selling. These sales reps will never be
anything more the a ‘B-‘ level sales person.