Films like The Wolves of Wall Street, The Boiler Room or Glengarry Glenross, memorialize the punishing ritual that salespeople undergo as they learn to cold call. Indeed, cold calling is baked into American business culture. It is a little harder today: many folks do not have desk phones, you may have difficulty finding their mobile numbers, and even if you do, they’ll likely screen their calls. So, the cold calling process – still robust – has moved to short emails, thoughtful notes, or referrals (even if faint) from mutually known parties. Systematically, doggedly “working” a prospect list is still essential in making sales happen.
The marketing world is awash with content in all forms imaginable, and most of it is mediocre. Without a massive marketing budget, you have few ways of differentiating yourself from the crowd. In fact, you have almost no ways to do this. Generating content that folks actually want to consume, that is relevant and concise can only be generated by you. You cannot shortcut your way to this: think about what your audience cares about, wants to understand, may need help with, and generate short, sharp pieces of content (Written visual, video.) that meet these requirements.
Email is at once one of the most powerful inventions in the last 25 years and the channel that plagues almost everyone. Keep your emails concise and sharp. Think about every word, every phrase. Make the subject line clear and moderate (No hype). An intro, a body and a conclusion, often one sentence each separated by paragraphs that give the reader context and ask for action are key. Make it easy for the reader to evaluate and move on – no one has time for anymore than this.
In recent years a number of sites have popped up that offer photos for use on your website and social media feeds that you can license for a modest fee. You should avoid both using amazing photos you scrape from an image search (You can get dinged for this) and the typically bland corporate looking photos of good looking young folks shaking hands or giving each other high fives. The latter is a sign that you do not care enough about your product to but a non-generic face on it.
A pipeline of deals – or a funnel – needs to be tended to with great regularity so that it can provide accurate data to you and your senior management team. Opportunities should be edited, updated or abandoned as factors on the ground change. This takes work – you need to give your sales team time to attend to their pipelines no less often that weekly.