Perhaps you’ve heard the expression in business that “nothing happens until someone sells something.” Smiling and dialing is an important step in the sales process. If you want to increase sales you have to do more than just let people know your product exists. You have to sell them on the benefits they will derive in exchange for the money they will pay you.
A little background
Twenty years ago smiling and dialing meant just that: Put a smile on your face, pick up the phone and call your most promising prospects. Or in some cases it meant cold call a list of suspects you had purchased or otherwise obtained. In the age of inbound marketing, many people have real issues with cold calling to suspects, but in the business to business (b2b) world it’s a reality that won’t soon go away.
There’s gold in them there prospects
During a recent slow down in business, we went back the the basics. Smiling and dialing is one of those basics. We decided to clean up our own database that has been built over the course of almost 20 years in business. We did this by developing a methodology to review each contact in the database. This involved several steps and the end result is that we are working toward a clean, up-to-date list. We’ve also generated sales by getting back in touch with people we had not reached out to in awhile.
The thing about modern day smiling and dialing is that there are tools like LinkedIn and other digital resources that make it easier to find folks you’ve lost track of. You also, don’t always have to pick up the phone and dial. Sometimes it makes more sense to just send an email and ask for updated contact information. When you ask nicely, you’d be shocked how often people reply letting you know their preferred method of communication.
Modern day smiling and dialing
What I’m really talking about in the modern digital age is keeping in better touch with your suspects, prospects and existing clients. It’s also about taking care of as much of the sales process as you can from your home base vs. out on the road. Some of this you can do through automation like an email newsletter list or webinars attended by potentially hundreds of prospects.
However, depending upon your product, it’s likely that before the sales process is complete you’re going to need to pick up the phone and talk to someone in the b2b world. That’s where smiling and dialing really comes into play. Once you’ve taken the time to clean up your list, it’s time to set aside time each week to makes calls to the brightest prospects.
The goal is to spend less time on the road where you can only effectively meet with two or three clients a day. It’s also more expensive to be on the road than working from your office. A good rule of thumb is spending three weeks in the office smiling and dialing for each week out on the road. And when you are out on the road, you should be closing sales you couldn’t via phone and web meetings.
Forget inbox zero and focus on CRM zero
For smiling and dialing to be effective, you will need a customer relationship management system (CRM). We use one called Highrise, but the product doesn’t matter. If you’re focused on email inbox zero, you are focused on what is important to other people. If you are focused on CRM zero, you are focused on what is important to you and your business. The tool that makes smiling and dialing work is your CRM. And what’s scheduled for your day there is what matters.
Now get out there and sell something!