The following legislation has been in place for some time. I felt the timing was right to reprint the article – Lately, people have asked me lots of questions about the new bill that passed on the subject of phone solicitations, which we affectionately call “cold calls.”
“So, Greta, don’t you think it’s unfair that they don’t allow people to do their job? Thousands of people are employed by these ‘marketing’ companies, and they’ll be out of work.”
First, let’s understand the legislation. It does not say that you cannot solicit on the telephone; it allows people to put their name on a national list so they will not be called. I have not seen the percentage of potential prospects that actually have made that request, but do you really think it will decrease your business?
Second, stop whining. Our country was built on entrepreneurs creating businesses based on opportunities. The telephone, and the wide usage of it, led to the brilliant idea of using it to solicit business. Times change, however, and so do ways of doing business.
Third – and most of all (some of you are not going to like this) – stop cold-calling. Okay, maybe in some cases, at least in the beginning, you need to do some cold-calling. But are you developing a system for referrals and networking? Are you asking for referrals as a part of your business plan, or is your plan haphazard?
Don’t you want to conduct business in the most effective, efficient, and pleasant way, which is through networking and referrals?
How many of us would rather do business with someone we were referred to? The meeting is more pleasant, more interactive, and, if someone referred a customer to you, someone probably has already sung your praises. (Which is so much better that your doing it, right?)
Here are some tips:
1. Create a system to generate more referrals. That means actually setting goals for how many referral meetings you will hold in a particular week or month. Then talk to as many clients, friends, colleagues, etc., until you meet your goal.
2. When you have those meetings, remember, they are not about you. The philosophy is “givers gain®*” – straight out of the Business Network International handbook. That means ask about the people attending, their businesses, and how you can help them. Help them grow their business, and they will help you grow yours.
3. Create a picture for them. I have a great example I heard from Wendy Widmann, an office-products sales consultant who said, “A good referral for me would be if you see on e of those big red office products trucks parked in front of an office building, give me a call.” I bet when you see one today, you’ll remember this article.
4. Make a top-10 list. When someone asks if they can help you, be very specific and help them picture your ideal customer. Show them your list – of the top 10 companies you would like to be introduced to. You never know whom they know.
So don’t worry about rules and changes. After all, change makes us better: It forces us to think in other ways. This is growth. Have at it.
*® is a registered trademark of Dr. Ivan Misner.
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