Many of you may remember an article I wrote some time ago with tips on growing your firm. But this time I wanted to address the reasons businesses don’t grow. And there are a lot of them.
- Mis-management of your current clientele. There is nothing worse than focusing all of your attention on landing new accounts while letting your existing book of business fall by the wayside. I sometimes land cold calling accounts because the client needs to bring in business fast and expects cold calling to accomplish this. Or worse, the client expects cold calling to save a flailing business. Cold calling, just to be very clear, is not a cure all for what ails your business. It is not designed to bring in fast and dirty sales in 30 days or less. It is not going to bring in sales to pay for itself in 2 weeks. Cold calling if done correctly is an investment in the future. The calls and appointments you make today will more than likely garner sales sometime down the road. I rarely hear of circumstances in which an appointment is set and a sale is made the next day. It takes quite a number of calls and meetings to close the deal. That’s what lead generation is. Don’t confuse a lot of appointments with a lot of sales.
- And speaking of cold calling. Another way of keeping your business from growing is to stop a cold calling program in the middle of a contract. I have had clients who call me and ask if I can hold off calling for a couple of weeks until they can catch up with their other duties. Meanwhile the leads that have been generated are getting cold. It takes time to get to the decision maker, to send literature, follow up on the literature and determine I there is interest and ultimately set the appointment and close the sale. All of this is usually done over weeks and there is a system to making this work. What do you think happens when you stop the system for weeks at a time? You guessed it. Nothing or at least very little. That’s why cold calling correctly is so important because it’s a process.
- And by the way don’t confuse effective cold calling with a “ boiler room operation”. A boiler room operation is when you have a room full of cold callers “smiling and dialing” prospects without understanding the purpose of the call. This is part of the reason why cold callers get such a bad rap. I cringe when I hear how cold callers run through a script without asking the prospect any questions about what their needs are. How can you sell someone anything if you don’t know what they need? How does this relate to the topic at hand? Think about it this way. If all your cold callers are focused on is making quota, how effective do you think their sales/appointments will be?