Tuesday, June 20, 2006
Some people think that there is a diabolical contest between the importance of networking and cold calling in the pursuit of higher sales numbers and advancing marketshare.
To be successful in your business it is not choosing between "networking" or "cold calling".....it is a combination of cultivating both skills....and actively using both to increase your level of success.
If you only cold-call you are placing your future success in the hands of strangers, and by only networking you are relying 100% on those you already know. To own your future yourself you must do both (plus other stuff too!).
Neither of these business disciplines is difficult, but professionals often shriek in fear at the thought of both of these very importance business practices. There are countless examples of professionals who have been wildly successful using just one of these skills, but most who reach the top are experts at both. (*I do not know of any who have increased their sales by avoiding both skills). Ask any sales person and she will tell you that she uses a variety of techniques to achieve her goals.
I believe that the networking and cold-calling should work together. If you develop a good network of contacts and have a reputation of high integrity, then you will get more referrals. While you will still need cold-call on potential customers, if you and your company are well known in your business community, then your calls wont be "chilly". Quickly establishing that you have mutual contacts in business will lead to a better chance the other person will take an interest in your product or service.
Remember, your networking and cold calling efforts are both tools that can lead to more sales. You need to appreciate both and learn to improve your skills. Do not make up excuses about why networking or cold-calling do not work. They do work for millions of other business professionals. If they are not working for you, then figure out why and adjust how your approach. There are countless books, tapes, websites, blogs and seminars that can help you improve your business skills.
Have A Great Day.