I read an article by Harry Beckwith in one of his recent newsletters that I am subscribed to. Harry is the author of Selling the Invisible. I liked his approach (actually some of the best writing on sales I have seen in the past 5 years).
One thing he talked about was the fact that word of mouth alone is not enough. Your network just doesn’t go that far today. If you have great branding and great PR then there is no such thing for you as a cold call.
If you got a call from DEL Computers or Virgin Atlantic on the phone today would it really be a cold call? Their brands already have a built in trust factor and familiarity for you.
I share this story because I got a call from the Vancouver Cigar Company today. One of their patrons thumbed through my book and asked them to get me in touch with him. I called him this morning and found that he wanted a copy of Closing Bigger.
When I asked him what he did he said “Search Engine Optimization.” Normally I would say great and then categorize him along with the other 100 people I know who do that… but I didn’t. His company name thinkprofits.com sounded credible, familiar I had heard of them.
Initially I couldn’t put my finger on it, but then it hit me, Thinkprofits.com ran an ad in Business Edge Magazine, a full page advertorial actually. I don’t recall much about the article but I do remember the logo and the great picture of their team centered in the page. I also recall reading some great client endorsements.
As sales people we often overlook the value of good branding and PR. If you’re a one person show or tend to look at the world from a person to person perspective start thinking about opportunities to sponsor, advertise and promote your organization in the media and community. Even managing a blog can help you communicate to a broader audience and build your brand locally and globally online. That exposure can make those cold calls warm and open the door for your next big deal.