Cold calling for sales leads? Blech. The mere mention of using the phone to “surprise people” brings me back to my early 20s when I was tasked with cold calling local businesses to find buyers or renters. I worked in a luxury high rise building where tenants could buy and/or rent our lavish units. Something about it felt like an oxymoron; when you’re charging New York prices in Dallas ($6,000 a month for rent!), you don’t go begging any unvetted Joe Schmoe to come see “exclusive residences.” And years later when I started my own business, I resolved to throw cold calling for sales (and emailing, for that matter) out the window. Here’s why following that mantra has been a boon for B Squared …
I’ll never forget my second big speaking gig; I was barely in business a year and was having a major case of impostor syndrome. I was so nervous to speak to women entrepreneurs from New York City! What could I teach these women CEOs about branding their businesses through social media? But all I had to do was embrace storytelling and I was able to meet four women who have since asked for, or sent me, business. And trust me, you can too.
Last year I had 19 kids and this year I have 13. I’m teaching another semester of, “Customization and Personalization of the Offer” at Baruch College in NYC — it’s a class on consumer behavior where my students learn how to customize or personalize the offer. “The offer” refers to anything you’re offering online, whether it’s content or items for purchase through e-commerce. If you’re selling it, pitching it, or asking for something in return for it, it’s an offer. Last semester I wrote about the difference between customization and personalization. This semester I want to get clear on how and why you need to be doing this NOW.
It’s hard to believe, but the concepts and technologies behind online shopping and e-commerce have been around longer than some of us have been old enough to use the Internet. Even though connections were painstakingly slow (although we thought 56k speeds through dial-up were “all that”), and web design left a lot to be desired back then, the first e-commerce technologies were being developed – even as far back as the late 1970’s. Now let’s fast forward to the 1990s…you know, when the Internet began to look at least a little more sophisticated: It wasn’t until 1994 that e-commerce (as we know it today) really began to accelerate with the introduction of security protocols and high speed internet connections such as DSL, allowing for much faster connection speeds and faster online transaction capability. Industry “experts” predicted explosive growth in e-commerce related businesses. Source: Spirecast: History of E-Commerce It was in 1995 that Jeffrey Bezos sold his first book from his newly launched online bookstore, Amazon.com. And so, e-commerce – at least as we know it today – was born…although it would be many years further down the road before the first online storefront appeared on the internet.
Most marketers and business owners already realize the necessity of lead generation for their company’s success. However, they should also understand the importance of another critical component of their sales funnels: lead conversion. The steps that it takes to convert leads into customers may seem arduous to some. But, in order to thrive and survive, your business needs clients. Your business may have no trouble acquiring leads. But what if there is something “broken” in your lead nurturing process which keeps those leads from moving through the funnel? You may be asking yourself, “Why am I unable to convert leads into customers”? A little background on the lead conversion process may help answer that question.