Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Martin Verwijmeren, Elizabeth White, XebiaLabs Blog, PagerDuty Blog

Blog Feed Post

Pick Up the Damn Phone — or Suffer the Consequences

Pick Up Phone

According to Joanne Black, author of Pick Up the Damn Phone, too many sellers are hiding behind their computers, expecting to get business. After hearing that bold statement, I knew I needed to share her thinking with you. Check out my interview below. 

(Note: Click here to download two free chapters of this excellent new book.)

JILL: Wow. Pick Up the Damn Phone: How People, Not Technology Seal the Deal is quite a book title. Sounds like it's a pet peeve of yours. Do you have something against technology? 

Joanne Black: Technology addiction is taking over our personal and business lives. Everyone is too busy conversing online to have real, meaningful conversations with the people right in front of them. 

Technology can be a great tool; salespeople can begin their relationships and connections on social media. The not so good news is that too many salespeople think technology can do their jobs for them, and that they don't have to talk to anyone.

Let's focus in on social media like LinkedIn, Twitter, blogs, and Facebook. You don't think they're worthless -- or do you?

Joanne Black:  Social-selling tools are great for research, identifying trigger events, and finding mutual connections.

But even if you gather all the social intelligence available on a prospect, that information isn’t going to give you much of an advantage over your competitors, who have access to the same  tools and information.

What will differentiate you from the rest and get you in front of the decision-maker hasn't changed a bit; it's still a personal connection and a referral from someone the client trusts.

And you don't think that social media is good for getting referrals? 

Joanne Black: No. It’s not the place to ask for referrals. Once you’ve identified a common connection to a prospect, reach out to your contact and have a real conversation. Find out how they know the person you want to meet and ask for an introduction.

It's not social intelligence we need; it's relationship intelligence.

Use technology, but don't rely on it to make sales. Pick up the damn phone and talk to your prospects and clients! If you don’t, someone else will.

You define “cold calling” as reaching out to someone who doesn't know you and isn't expecting your call. How has that definition changed in the days of social media?

Joanne Black: The definition hasn’t changed. Unless you know the prospect or have a referral introduction from someone that person knows and trusts, you’re cold calling. 

What has changed is the way salespeople now delude themselves. With social media, there’s a new version of what I call the “warm call fantasy.” It goes something like this:

You’ve done your research about your prospects on social media and maybe even identified a common LinkedIn connection or two. Then you send emails making the business case for why your prospects should talk to you. You really believe you’re not cold calling, because you know all about your prospects and ”know” the same people. Your outreach isn't cold, right?

Wrong! There’s no such thing as a warm email, a warm phone call, or even a warm knock on the door. Unless you have a referral introduction, you’re cold calling. And cold prospects really don't want to hear from you.

In Pick Up the Damn Phone!, you stress the importance of face-to-face communication. What counts as face-to-face?

Joanne Black: Any connection you make when you're not typing. You can pick up the phone, use your webcam, or (gulp) actually meet in person. Drive your car, take a train, or get on an airplane—whatever it takes to make connections that count.

Get face-to-face with every major client or prospect, and you won’t have to worry about making quota anymore. You’ll have a rich referral network that keeps your pipeline full of qualified leads.

Bottom line: People do business with people, not with technology. And that isn’t going to change anytime soon.

What advice would you give to senior marketing and sales executives for the coming months?

Joanne Black: I'd first say that they need to avoid pounding their team with numbers, numbers, numbers. Everyone can sense desperation. And they should do these things as well:

  • Stop the cold emails and cold calls—mindless activities that don't build relationships or close deals.
  • Make sure your sales teams know how to have executive-level conversations. Don't just give them a phone, a list, and a password and have them go at it.
  • Focus on the activities that matter. Don't get sucked into the digital snake-oil universe. Make connections that count.

Recently Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google, told the 2012 graduating class of Boston University: "Take one hour a day and turn that thing off. Take your eyes off that screen and look into the eyes of the person you love. Have a conversation, a real conversation."

I challenge all salespeople to do the same.

Do you have any final words of wisdom? 

Joanne Black: Never stop nurturing your referral network. Referral selling is the only business-development strategy that converts prospects into clients more than 50 percent of the time. So keep in touch, keep those relationships strong, and ask for referrals. Bottom line: If you don’t ask, you don’t get.

Thanks a million, Joanne. And, readers: Click here to read a preview of Pick Up the Damn Phone!. Or, you can go right to Amazon or Barnes & Noble to get a paperback or digital (Kindle or Nook) version of this book. 

 

About Joanne Black

Joanne BlackJoanne Black is America’s leading authority on referral selling—the only business-development strategy proven to convert prospects into clients more than 50 percent of the time.

Joanne helps salespeople and business owners build their referral networks, attract more business and ace out the competition. She's the author of NO MORE COLD CALLING™ and Pick Up the Damn Phone! 

To learn more, visit www.NoMoreColdCalling.comhttp://www.nomorecoldcalling.com/ or call 415-461-8763.

Plus, get your copy of Pick Up the Damn Phone!: How People, Not Technology, Seal the Deal on Amazon and at Barnes & Noble. Or get the digital version for your Kindle or Nook.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Jill Konrath

Jill Konrath’s career is defined by her relentless search for fresh sales strategies that actually work in today’s business environment. She loves to work on tough sales challenges, big issues and unsolvable problems. Her first book, Selling to Big Companies, was hailed as an "instant classic." Fortune selected it as a "must read" and it's been an Amazon Top 25 sales book for 4+ years. Her newest book, SNAP Selling, was just released to rave reviews. She also writes a popular blog and publishes a leading newsletter. As an in-demand speaker an annual sales meetings and conferences, Jill helps sellers crack into new accounts, speed up sales cycles and win more business. Her clients include IBM, Microsoft, Hilton, Accenture, 3M and Staples. Her expertise is frequently published in top business media such as ABC News, Success, Inc., WSJ Start-Up Journal, Entrepreneur, New York Times, Business Journal, Selling Power and Sales & Marketing Management.

@ThingsExpo Stories
In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Adobe Campaign, explored the key ingredients of cross-channel marketing in a digital world. Learn how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects).
SYS-CON Events announced today that Hitrons Solutions will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Hitrons Solutions Inc. is distributor in the North American market for unique products and services of small and medium-size businesses, including cloud services and solutions, SEO marketing platforms, and mobile applications.
With the introduction of IoT and Smart Living in every aspect of our lives, one question has become relevant: What are the security implications? To answer this, first we have to look and explore the security models of the technologies that IoT is founded upon. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nevi Kaja, a Research Engineer at Ford Motor Company, will discuss some of the security challenges of the IoT infrastructure and relate how these aspects impact Smart Living. The material will be delivered i...
Your homes and cars can be automated and self-serviced. Why can't your storage? From simply asking questions to analyze and troubleshoot your infrastructure, to provisioning storage with snapshots, recovery and replication, your wildest sci-fi dream has come true. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Dan Florea, Director of Product Management at Tintri, will provide a ChatOps demo where you can talk to your storage and manage it from anywhere, through Slack and similar services ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named “Platinum Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CA Technologies helps customers succeed in a future where every business – from apparel to energy – is being rewritten by software. From ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudistics, an on-premises cloud computing company, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Cloudistics delivers a complete public cloud experience with composable on-premises infrastructures to medium and large enterprises. Its software-defined technology natively converges network, storage, compute, virtualization, and management into a ...
Keeping pace with advancements in software delivery processes and tooling is taxing even for the most proficient organizations. Point tools, platforms, open source and the increasing adoption of private and public cloud services requires strong engineering rigor - all in the face of developer demands to use the tools of choice. As Agile has settled in as a mainstream practice, now DevOps has emerged as the next wave to improve software delivery speed and output. To make DevOps work, organization...
My team embarked on building a data lake for our sales and marketing data to better understand customer journeys. This required building a hybrid data pipeline to connect our cloud CRM with the new Hadoop Data Lake. One challenge is that IT was not in a position to provide support until we proved value and marketing did not have the experience, so we embarked on the journey ourselves within the product marketing team for our line of business within Progress. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Sum...
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ocean9will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Ocean9 provides cloud services for Backup, Disaster Recovery (DRaaS) and instant Innovation, and redefines enterprise infrastructure with its cloud native subscription offerings for mission critical SAP workloads.
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @CloudExpo | @ThingsExpo, June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY and October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
SYS-CON Events announced today that T-Mobile will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. As America's Un-carrier, T-Mobile US, Inc., is redefining the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through leading product and service innovation. The Company's advanced nationwide 4G LTE network delivers outstanding wireless experiences to 67.4 million customers who are unwilling to compromise on ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6–8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buyers...
The taxi industry never saw Uber coming. Startups are a threat to incumbents like never before, and a major enabler for startups is that they are instantly “cloud ready.” If innovation moves at the pace of IT, then your company is in trouble. Why? Because your data center will not keep up with frenetic pace AWS, Microsoft and Google are rolling out new capabilities In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Don Browning, VP of Cloud Architecture at Turner, will posit that disruption is inevitable for c...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Infranics will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Since 2000, Infranics has developed SysMaster Suite, which is required for the stable and efficient management of ICT infrastructure. The ICT management solution developed and provided by Infranics continues to add intelligence to the ICT infrastructure through the IMC (Infra Management Cycle) based on mathemat...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SD Times | BZ Media has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6–8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. BZ Media LLC is a high-tech media company that produces technical conferences and expositions, and publishes a magazine, newsletters and websites in the software development, SharePoint, mobile development and commercial UAV markets.
Now that the world has connected “things,” we need to build these devices as truly intelligent in order to create instantaneous and precise results. This means you have to do as much of the processing at the point of entry as you can: at the edge. The killer use cases for IoT are becoming manifest through AI engines on edge devices. An autonomous car has this dual edge/cloud analytics model, producing precise, real-time results. In his session at @ThingsExpo, John Crupi, Vice President and Eng...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6–8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.
In his General Session at 16th Cloud Expo, David Shacochis, host of The Hybrid IT Files podcast and Vice President at CenturyLink, investigated three key trends of the “gigabit economy" though the story of a Fortune 500 communications company in transformation. Narrating how multi-modal hybrid IT, service automation, and agile delivery all intersect, he will cover the role of storytelling and empathy in achieving strategic alignment between the enterprise and its information technology.