During a conversation I had with one of my past sales mentor’s, he described his first sales experience back in the early 80’s. He said that he was seated at a desk with a phone, given a copy of the yellow pages, and was told to start making cold calls.
No one sat down with him to coach him, there was no established cold calling process in place, and no one told him about his target clients or laid out a profile of his target market. All he had was a landline, a copy of the Yellow Pages for the city, and his good looks. He started making cold calls relying only on the communication skills built from his everyday life experiences.
Forget for the moment that most of us rely on home grown communication skills, the stuff we learned in grade school, high school, and at home. Not the skills we learn when we have the opportunity to enroll in a program with a skilled communications coach. We’ll come back to that in another post.
Let’s stick with the phone book concept. Back then, the primary, and easiest source for leads was the Yellow Pages and sales reps relied on their “gift of gab” to engage potential clients during their cold calls campaigns – which really were cold.
However, even back then there were other sources for acquiring leads that required a little more activity and involvement.
In today’s constantly connected world, the phone book may be on the brink of becoming the next extinct dinosaur as everyone migrates over to using the web with their smart phones, notepads, mobile computing devices, and of course, Google Voice to find what they need.
The other sources, however, continue to offer viable supplements to our online activities, at least for now.
Activities like hosting a seminar or leveraging the power of your business cards still work. In fact, in one seminar I recently attended, the speaker had a very interesting and unique business card made out of a lightweight metal.
The information on those business cards may change. It may highlight a Twitter handle over a FAX number. But you can still distribute your business cards at any networking event you choose to attend, sponsor, host, and especially those you choose to be a guest speaker.
And as for the phone book, well now you can find even more information using your web browser and Google, Bing, and Yahoo!