OK I need to come out of the closet.
In the last two posts I did a bunch of math. I wanted to boil down cold calling vs. social selling data so we could do a somewhat fair comparison. Here’s the punchline.
- Cold calling: 11 hours to get an appointment
- Social selling: 3 hours to get an appointment
So obviously my axe to grind is that I think social selling is the way to go when prospecting as it’s almost 4 (3.66) times more efficient/faster. But there’s more…
Increase your assets
Social prospecting relies on leveraging your network. You can only leverage your network when you have maintained your network. You maintain your network by maintaining your relationships with the humans that you know. As you do this your relationships get stronger.
Relationships with humans are what make the biggest difference in business and hence your career. As you build your network to help your employer sell more you will actually be helping yourself. You will actually be building an asset for you. You will actually be building an asset that will move with you to your next gig. Think of this as another retirement account.
Have some fun
I know there are real men that love cold calling. They often have been in the marines and they love pain and growing through pain. They enjoy being rejected by people day-after-day. They love the feeling of battling through 329 “no’s” to get that one “yes”.
As you can tell, I am not one of these blokes. I am soft. I don’t want to be bashed for most of my day. I would rather talk to my friends. I would rather talk to the friends in my network and have them introduce me to people that may become future friends. I think this is fun.
My network sucks
It’s true. Your network may be built in the wrong place. It may turn out that your network cannot introduce you to the kind of people you need to sell your stuff. Or maybe it can introduce to only a couple of the right people.
What do you do in this case? You mix traditional prospecting with building out your network in the right direction.
You can build your network by getting introduced to a couple of well-connected people in the market. You can volunteer to help with organizations that service your target market. It will take time to rebuild your network in this way but if you do the prospecting math will be on your side.
So yes, I think you should focus on social selling approaches when prospecting. Can you forget cold calling altogether? No, not in every situation, but you should not forget your network either. Your network (actually the humans in it) can change your life.