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16 11, 2015

Are You Looking For More Retail Business? Why Not “Cold Call?”

By |2017-03-03T12:06:49-05:00November 16th, 2015|Categories: Blog, Sales|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments

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There's no such thing as cold calling.

There’s no such thing as cold calling.

It seems that all areas throughout the country are different; retail business is up or retail business is down. What seems to be steady around the country is that businesses that are out “looking” for business are thriving. We are talking about business that doesn’t come through your door from advertising.

 

Of course, you’re uncomfortable calling on people you don’t know especially if you’ve never done it before. However, maybe you do know them or someone they know. First, you have to know who to call on, so why not start with a brain storming session?

 

 

Who wants to cold call?

Who wants to cold call?

Whenever “looking” for business outside the store comes up so does a look of horror on the faces of most salespeople. Somehow they equate this with stopping complete strangers on the street and asking them to buy products. The success of outside business is to understand that there is no such thing as a cold call. The only people that make real cold calls are telemarketers. The good ones are able to make a connection with you in about 30 seconds.

 

The other day I answered the phone and the voice identifies himself from Time Life. Before I can hang up, he asks me if I like the DVD’s I bought three months ago. They were the best 10 years of Saturday Night Live. I told him they were great, and then he asks me which ones I like the best. Before we’re done, we’re both laughing. Next he’s trying to sell me another product.

 

I began to like him, but I told him that I didn’t think I wanted his next product. He was quite persistent asking me lots of questions. Didn’t I think the quality would be as good, didn’t I like what I got, didn’t I have hours of enjoyment?

 

Guess what? I bought them. I knew the product was good, and I received the CD’s immediately.

 

The same components that make a retail sale successful are identical to the ones for a cold call.

 

A few weeks ago, I was doing a training session, and one of the salespeople was trying to “match a product and price” for his church. I asked him, how long he had been going to the church; it was over 10 years. He also was an elder of the church but was sure his competitor had been in with a product he didn’t have. He was also convinced the price was cheap. My question, why didn’t he know the church needed flooring? He said he felt uncomfortable discussing business with the church members.

 

First thing, remember you are a pro, but maybe you need to retrain yourself and the skills that you already have. You just need to be more competitive and more organized. Why not check with everyone you know if they need your product? If they don’t know you have a product they can’t buy from you. Let everyone you know what you do for a living.

 

Forget the cold calling syndrome; it’s a thing of the past and the people who are successful at getting outside business don’t cold call; they find out everything they can about the customer before they call on them.  Just think the whole city belongs to you if you start networking with whom you know.

 

 

Remember profitable customers are being called on by every smart salesperson so you’re up against the pros.

 

The competition is out there trying to get the business. Some of these relationships go way back or maybe the business was just handed down but don’t give up.

 

Remember the old adage, consistency is better than good salesmanship but consistency takes focus, a ‘never give up’ attitude.

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16 08, 2013

How To Network at Your Local Chamber of Commerce

By |2017-03-03T12:07:00-05:00August 16th, 2013|Categories: Blog, Networking|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

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How can you make the most of your Chamber of Commerce.

Many of us belong to our local Chambers of Commerce. We can all use tips on how to be effective so when this was sent to me, I decided to publish it. Thanks to the Rensselaer County  Regional Chamber of Commerce located in Troy, New York .

Staff Picks: What is one networking tip you’d like to give chamber members?

Laura Amos, Accounting Assistant: Asking questions and making eye contact will let someone know that you are interested.

 

Debbie O’Donnell, Executive Assistant: Seek out those people who are by themselves and look uncomfortable.  Be prepared with a few standard questions to get the conversation flowing.

 

CJ Harkola, Membership Manager: Be yourself. Join or form a networking group, preferably start with a small group & grow it. While you are growing it, give back to the community!
Kate Ollier, Programs & Events Manager: Be yourself – being genuine is a quality that aligns itself with credibility. The more you’re “You” while still being professional, the more everyone will see you as credible, authentic and a good person to do business with. It will take you far.

 

Stephanie Scully, Controller: Don’t hesitate to talk with other members. They are all terrific.

Ryan Silva, Director of Economic Development & Government Affairs: Ask questions, learn as much as you can about a person you meet at a networking function and always follow up with them


Claudette Thornton, Vice President:
Smile. And remember, everyone is there for the same reason you are. Don’t be afraid!

 

Chyresse Wells, Communications & Marketing Coordinator: Be yourself and ask genuine questions to learn as much about their role within their organization as possible and take note of how you may be able to help them in the future. Don’t forget consistent eye contact, and always smile!

 Lisbeth Calandrino helps businesses build customer service and sales strategies. She is a member of the Rensselaer County Regional Chamber of Commerce.
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20 10, 2009

Want To Do More Business? Get Out and Attend That Business Networking Event

By |2017-03-03T12:07:15-05:00October 20th, 2009|Categories: Networking|Tags: , , |0 Comments

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As a business consultant, I often talk with business owners and salespeople about the importance of networking: basically getting out and meeting people. Unfortunately many people aren't too positive about the whole idea. They tell me it's a lot of work, that they don’t know what to say and they won’t know anyone at the event. I would agree with a couple of them—it does take work and you might not know anyone. But as Woody Allen once said, "90 percent of success is showing up."  

I guess to win the game you’ve got to be willing to play.

It’s more than just showing up, though. I would say it’s showing up with a purpose. Sometimes things "just happen," like forgetting your umbrella and getting drenched, but maybe that’s not even a "just happen" type of thing. As Dr. Ivan Misner, the Founder & Chairman of BNI, the world's largest business networking organization, put it, "Networking isn’t about netsit or neteat. It’s about network."  

Many of you know or belong to BNI but might not know that last year alone it generated 5.6 million referrals resulting in $2.3 billion dollars worth of business for its members.

Last week, Internet Marketing Inc., located on 1115 Broadway in NYC, with additional offices in Las Vegas, San Diego, and Miami, hosted a networking party at their offices.

Who is Internet Marketing Inc. and what do they do? As they say, "They build, market and manage your online presence. They don’t create proposals and reports, they create and experience and build relations." 

I would call them a company with expertise in the future. I haven’t met everyone, but if the rest of the offices are like the New York one, they do it with excitement, enthusiasm and good will. I recently met Todd Soiefer, President of the Northeast Region, when I was speaking at an event in Princeton, NJ. Speaking about networking, I offered a business consultation as a door prize and guess who won it? Now you know how I wound up speaking at the Internet Marketing event.  What did I speak on? What else: Growing Your Business through Social Networking. 

I consider Todd Soiefer and Nicole Stillings, Senior Marketing Consultant, as masters of networking.  Throughout the night over 60 people stopped in to meet, enjoy some food and spirits as well as each other’s company. 

The event was held at their offices, in Select Office Suites, on the 12th floor and all the businesses in the building were invited as well as clients and friends. Nicole Stillings was in charge of seeing that everyone got to the event and felt welcome. Nicole had mobilized her interns, had them on the phone calling people and seeing that the arriving guests were comfortable while she went off and managed the caterers. It was obvious that Nicole is comfortable making things happen as well as hosting large events.  

"It’s most important for people to feel welcome and comfortable," Nicole says. "We appreciate them coming to join us in making the event successful so we want them to take away what they need. Not everyone is comfortable speaking to strangers so it’s our job to make sure that the event works for everyone." 

After speaking, I took the opportunity to eat some good food and speak with a couple of the guests to see what would bring them out on a rainy, New York night. They came out to meet people and hopefully do business, since this was a serious crowd.  

Drew Franklin, Senior Marketing Manager for ENT and Allergy Associates, LLP (the largest ENT Doctor group), headquartered in Tarrytown, NY, talked about building relationships.



"In order to be pioneers in our business, we have to know what we can do to attract customers," Drew said. "We might be experts in our own field but we have to learn from the experience of leaders in other businesses if we are going to grow."
Drew seemed to enjoy the event and meeting new people. 

Jim Bond, Managing Partner of The Private Travel Group, a company providing customized private jet travel also located in New York City, was of the same opinion. 

"The only way people will want to do business with us is if I can identify and fill their needs," he said. "It takes time to build relationships and the only way it will happen is if I spend time meeting and getting to know other people." 

People were laughing, exchanging cards and really getting acquainted. Interestingly enough there were musicians as well as agents, bankers, investment brokers, teachers, public relations firms and people looking for employment. 

One of the things that was most noticeable was the atmosphere of good will. Even though they say the economy is "challenged" this was definitely a positive place to be. I asked Todd what makes an event like this work and why do it. 

"Everyone is so isolated and over worked that we that we need to have events where people can do business and have fun," Todd says. "Since we talk networking we should walk the walk." 

Todd’s suggestions for a successful event: 

  • Make it simple — not too much to drink or eat, since the purpose is networking. Keep the party moving. The party doesn’t have to be long or elaborate, just inviting and friendly. 
  • When inviting people, consider who would benefit from the event. We like to invite our customers so they can make new contacts and hopefully do business from the event.  
  • Vary the age group and the experience level of the guests, this way people get to meet people they wouldn’t ordinarily meet. 
  • Hosting a face-to-face networking party is part of building your online presence. It’s important to take pictures and/or videos and then connect them to your social networking sites. Put out a tweet or two so people will know what you’re doing. 

"The most important thing for us," Todd adds, "is to keep the buzz going. We are an internet marketing company; we need to show our customers how traditional networking events paired with social online marketing can help grow their business. They need to be comfortable with the social networking tools that we provide for them. This is a good way to show them we know how to talk-the talk and walk –the-walk." 

Exactly!

Check out the recap of the event on Internet Marketing Inc.'s blog, which includes the below video they shot of my presentation.

Enjoy!

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