Sales: Hot, Cold, and Warm – Value of Networking
Sales creates the lifeblood of your company. As an entrepreneur you can only eat what you kill, therefore you must kill to eat. And in that very aspect, it is fun as you find your humanity: you either produce, or your starve and die.
You’ve been locked in for months, maybe even years, preparing for your product launch. You’re now down to the final nuts-and-bolts: It’s time to start securing contracts for your product/service. It’s time to sell it.
Over the past 6-months the consistent theme in my research has been approach, attracting, and converting customers from a cold methodology. Naturally, this programmed me to believe that all sales was cold sales. The number 1 problem with cold sales is the low response rate because you are essentially spam.
We are going to go over cold, warm, and hot selling from the category of cold sales, why you should ditch it as your primary source method, and instead focus on warm and hot selling from the warm and hot categories.
Cold Sales Approach
Your prospective customers have business and personal goals. Cold prospects would be target customers that have no idea about you, your service, what you offer to solve, the value you bring, your prices, if it is reputable, etc. And like I said above, they will be the hardest to sell to because emails, calls, and video pitches will impact them as a pest asking for their money.
A 5% cold approach-response rate is considered awesome in business. The 5% that responds to your spam, Jordan Belfort, the Wolf of Wall Street, categorizes them into 4-groups:
- Buyers in heat: They are no longer willing to tolerate the pain
- Buyers in power: Aren’t Conciously feeling pain
- Tire kickers: Disputed as borrowers in power
- The mistakes: Come to you by accident
In the time vs sales battle, it is best to spend time on those who you know want your product. So eliminate ‘the mistakes’ and ‘tire kickers’ quickly. ‘Buyers in power‘ and ‘buyers in heat’ are your warm-to-hot prospects.
In my own personal business, only a fraction of that 5% were converting into buyers no matter how optimized my presentations and pitches were. If this fraction was going to be the law of the land, I had to find a way to turn eyeballs into dollars more effectively.
In a past post I talk about how reading a marketing book unlocked my understanding of parallels between dating and sales. Despite knowing the connections were there, I just couldn’t see them.
For men, dating is a numbers game. In the mid 2010’s, if I would go out and talk to 20 girls, maybe 12 give me their number, 10-respond to my text, 5-agree to a date, 2-confirm the date and show up. 10% conversion. Maybe we’ll dive into the specifics another time, but as I got better with girls, that confidence, reputation, and swagger upped my conversions across the board.
20 girls started to yield 5, 8, 10 dates! They were more open to talking to me, before even knowing what I was selling.
This change in my energy, despite the product being the same, conveyed a different messaging to them from a different source. That source was my ‘new energy’. And they were way more receptive to this new messaging. This changed my persepective from:
“I need to warm them up to my product”
“I need to warm them up to my approach” AND “I need to warm them up to my product”
Reading that book made me take a psychological step back to realize that a warm, hot, and cold buyer are all the same single buyer. And that I need to change that person into a warm or hot buyer with better messaging. Then, spit my game to convert them into a buyer.
Lean into Network Sales with Both Elbows
The crazy part about life is that the answers are always right in front of you, right under your nose. Just like with the ladies, your cold prospects and your warm-to-hot prospects ARE THE SAME PEOPLE. The person who rejected you today is the hot prospect tomorrow. The thing that makes them cold, instead of hot, is the median you use.
Your network is your solution:
- Who does your prospective buyer respect?
- Which person has their ear?
- Do you both have a mutual that can take your cold approach, and instantly turn it into a warm approach with the prospect?
This is the key to multiplying your response rate.
The second part of this equation is knowing your prospect’s reaction to stimuli. For example, my targets are coaches/teams. They are extremely visual. They are constantly looking at athletes in motion in real time for least 1/6 of their day. Because of that, I know that real time interaction will be my hottest open. The next category of warm openers will be with athletes and other coaches they know and respect. Along with coaches I have personal relationships with.
Just like talking to girls, the number one thing you must consider: how can I get them more open to being approached? Contact prospects through your network to drive their opening temperature through the roof. The more enthusiastic or open they are to your approach, the better the chances of them hearing you out. The best result being ‘don’t fuck it up’ game. You have likely experienced this when a colleague introduces you to someone. Or, you get a linked up by someone else to another whom they think you would gel with.
I currently have 3 partnerships going. One through my own personal relationship. The other 2 were referred to me through personal relationships. One, whom without the referral, I declined to work with in the past. The other, I wrote off up front, before being persuaded into a meeting.
As you grow your reach and influence, you can exercise your network to eliminate the need for cold approach. To the point that your influence turns would be cold approaches into hot prospects actively seeking you out, making the game easy for you. Shout out to Drake.