Finally, there’s the age-old idea of actually making a sales call! Part marketing and part sales, direct selling is when you market directly to a prospect in person. Don’t discount this process! When you think of network market- ing (also known as multi-level marketing), this is really direct selling.
The fact that you are taking the time to speak to one person is not the issue, it’s what can happen as a result. In the case of network marketing for example, this person could build a huge team for you in the future. Perhaps it’s a person who can become a monthly recurring client for you. My wife is in radio advertising sales. Outside of calling on ad agencies that she is assigned to, she has to actually call on someone! Imagine that!
If landing a client is worth the time investment of calling on someone in person, by all means do it. But do it well. And please consider the options I have shared with you so far before investing too much time in this process unless you have already developed a phenomenal system for it. In other words, you could invest the same amount of time with a referral source who can send you as many end-user clients as you want as it takes to land one end- user client. Also, make sure you have done your client-based marketing before investing too much time developing this process.
Many companies have direct sales people and do very well with this. Others, not so good. I get sick thinking about all the time that is wasted by inept sales people. People walk in our office every day selling insurance or business products of some kind. The entertainment begins as we watch them drive up. The other day, the first thing one of them did was open his car door and spit a big hocker right on the parking lot! What a great first impression! He walked in the door and asks, “Is the owner in?” How lame!
This pitiful scenario repeats itself over and over every day. These poor guys obviously haven’t been trained well (or at all). Most of them end up quitting, I’m sure. If they are successful, it’s completely by accident. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want my success to be by accident! Many small businesses don’t realize that they are failing because of a flawed system. Any strategy that has a chance of working has to be implemented properly. If an account is worth calling on, they are worth investing in.
So, here’s what you do…
Walk in with the Secret Weapon (chocolates, doughnuts, candy, or whatever). If you are calling on a lot of people who may or may not be prospects and you can’t afford to invest five bucks a call, then use this inexpensive technique: get some clear cellophane baggies with a ribbon from a package supplier. Put four or five pieces of regular candy inside and attach a business card.
Walk in and give it to the rejectionist (I mean receptionist!) and say, “Hi, I’m <your name>, and I brought you some chocolates.” She blushes, and you say, “What is your name?” She responds as she tries to gain her composure. “Well, Betty, our company is the most respected, experienced <whatever you do> in the area, and I just wanted to drop by and give you all a free gift <your free trial offer>. Who would I need to talk to about that?”
How hard is that? The candy generates the permission you need to intrigue them with your free trial offer. That gives you the permission to share your UEP, and if they take the free trial offer, you get a presentation! If your presentation is any good and they are truly prospects, not suspects, you are now simply measuring time invested with closing rates. To be effective in direct selling, you first have to give them a compelling reason to meet with you.
Focus on becoming an asset to them and building a relationship. When you get an appointment, offer them your Sales Presentation (next chapter). If you don’t, get the decision maker’s card and put that person on a follow-up system in Send Out Cards and develop a follow-up system.