Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Harry Trott, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, Pat Romanski

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 session at @ThingsExpo, Dr. Robert Cohen, an economist and senior fellow at the Economic Strategy Institute, presented the findings of a series of six detailed case studies of how large corporations are implementing IoT. The session explored how IoT has improved their economic performance, had major impacts on business models and resulted in impressive ROIs. The companies covered span manufacturing and services firms. He also explored servicification, how manufacturing firms shift from se...
WebRTC is the future of browser-to-browser communications, and continues to make inroads into the traditional, difficult, plug-in web communications world. The 6th WebRTC Summit continues our tradition of delivering the latest and greatest presentations within the world of WebRTC. Topics include voice calling, video chat, P2P file sharing, and use cases that have already leveraged the power and convenience of WebRTC.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named “Platinum Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 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 planning to development to management to security, CA creates software that fuels transformation for companies in the applic...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Secure Channels, a cybersecurity firm, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Secure Channels, Inc. offers several products and solutions to its many clients, helping them protect critical data from being compromised and access to computer networks from the unauthorized. The company develops comprehensive data encryption security strategie...
An increasing number of companies are creating products that combine data with analytical capabilities. Running interactive queries on Big Data requires complex architectures to store and query data effectively, typically involving data streams, an choosing efficient file format/database and multiple independent systems that are tied together through custom-engineered pipelines. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Tomer Levi, a senior software engineer at Intel’s Advanced Analytics ...
Internet-of-Things discussions can end up either going down the consumer gadget rabbit hole or focused on the sort of data logging that industrial manufacturers have been doing forever. However, in fact, companies today are already using IoT data both to optimize their operational technology and to improve the experience of customer interactions in novel ways. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Gordon Haff, Red Hat Technology Evangelist, shared examples from a wide range of industries – including en...
Detecting internal user threats in the Big Data eco-system is challenging and cumbersome. Many organizations monitor internal usage of the Big Data eco-system using a set of alerts. This is not a scalable process given the increase in the number of alerts with the accelerating growth in data volume and user base. Organizations are increasingly leveraging machine learning to monitor only those data elements that are sensitive and critical, autonomously establish monitoring policies, and to detect...
"We're a cybersecurity firm that specializes in engineering security solutions both at the software and hardware level. Security cannot be an after-the-fact afterthought, which is what it's become," stated Richard Blech, Chief Executive Officer at Secure Channels, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. Jack Norris reviews best practices to show how companies develop, deploy, and dynamically update these applications and how this data-first...
Intelligent Automation is now one of the key business imperatives for CIOs and CISOs impacting all areas of business today. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Brian Boeggeman, VP Alliances & Partnerships at Ayehu, will talk about how business value is created and delivered through intelligent automation to today’s enterprises. The open ecosystem platform approach toward Intelligent Automation that Ayehu delivers to the market is core to enabling the creation of the self-driving enterprise.
The question before companies today is not whether to become intelligent, it’s a question of how and how fast. The key is to adopt and deploy an intelligent application strategy while simultaneously preparing to scale that intelligence. In her session at 21st Cloud Expo, Sangeeta Chakraborty, Chief Customer Officer at Ayasdi, will provide a tactical framework to become a truly intelligent enterprise, including how to identify the right applications for AI, how to build a Center of Excellence to ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Massive Networks will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Massive Networks mission is simple. To help your business operate seamlessly with fast, reliable, and secure internet and network solutions. Improve your customer's experience with outstanding connections to your cloud.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Datera, that offers a radically new data management architecture, has been named "Exhibitor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Datera is transforming the traditional datacenter model through modern cloud simplicity. The technology industry is at another major inflection point. The rise of mobile, the Internet of Things, data storage and Big...
Because IoT devices are deployed in mission-critical environments more than ever before, it’s increasingly imperative they be truly smart. IoT sensors simply stockpiling data isn’t useful. IoT must be artificially and naturally intelligent in order to provide more value In his session at @ThingsExpo, John Crupi, Vice President and Engineering System Architect at Greenwave Systems, will discuss how IoT artificial intelligence (AI) can be carried out via edge analytics and machine learning techn...
Everything run by electricity will eventually be connected to the Internet. Get ahead of the Internet of Things revolution and join Akvelon expert and IoT industry leader, Sergey Grebnov, in his session at @ThingsExpo, for an educational dive into the world of managing your home, workplace and all the devices they contain with the power of machine-based AI and intelligent Bot services for a completely streamlined experience.
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Arvind Radhakrishnen discussed how IoT offers new business models in banking and financial services organizations with the capability to revolutionize products, payments, channels, business processes and asset management built on strong architectural foundation. The following topics were covered: How IoT stands to impact various business parameters including customer experience, cost and risk management within BFS organizations.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named "Platinum Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 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 planning to development to management to security, CA creates software that fuels transformation for companies in the applic...
From 2013, NTT Communications has been providing cPaaS service, SkyWay. Its customer’s expectations for leveraging WebRTC technology are not only typical real-time communication use cases such as Web conference, remote education, but also IoT use cases such as remote camera monitoring, smart-glass, and robotic. Because of this, NTT Communications has numerous IoT business use-cases that its customers are developing on top of PaaS. WebRTC will lead IoT businesses to be more innovative and address...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devic...
WebRTC is great technology to build your own communication tools. It will be even more exciting experience it with advanced devices, such as a 360 Camera, 360 microphone, and a depth sensor camera. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Masashi Ganeko, a manager at INFOCOM Corporation, will introduce two experimental projects from his team and what they learned from them. "Shotoku Tamago" uses the robot audition software HARK to track speakers in 360 video of a remote party. "Virtual Teleport" uses a...