For those of you that are millennials or younger, James Bond, aka 007, was a famous fictional character by Ian Fleming, based loosely on his life during World War II as a British naval intelligence officer. Most of us that know the James Bond character, know him as the world’s greatest secret agent. Unfortunately, some people just getting into sales come off as James Bond themselves. Are you keeping a secret from your friends, family and connections about what you sell for a living? You cannot afford to be the James Bond of sales.
It is never comfortable for a new sales person to contact friends and family to sell them your product or service. You may starve to death cold calling or buying expensive leads only to find a half dozen other sales people bought the same lead 10 minutes before you. So, how do you overcome this new hurdle? Through referring, not selling.
Example, you need good leads and referrals to sell your widget. You call a friend and ask to meet for help. Friends hate to buy, but love to help. Don’t pitch your friend, instead, ask the friend to listen to your pitch and help you think of people they know that may need this widget. Now the pressure is off, and they can actually help you. The funny part is when you take this approach, sometimes the friend wants to buy your widget. Remember, people want to buy, but hate to be sold. If you repeat this process with your best family members and good friends you will build a warm list and jump start your sales career.
Another good way to build a referral network is to join an organization such as Chamber of Commerce, Rotary, Kiwanis or Ruritan if you are in a rural area. These organizations give you a chance to volunteer for a good cause, but also network with like-minded souls to build your network. A great organization to consider that specifically based to network is BNI. You will learn networking skills and build important relationships to grow referrals to sell more widgets.
“A horse is dangerous at both ends and uncomfortable in the middle.”—Ian Fleming
Image by Inside the World of James Bond at http://www.007.com/
Tim Wilhoit is owner/principal of Your Friend 4 Life Insurance Agency in Nashville, TN. He is a family man, father of 3, grandfather of 2, entrepreneur, insurance agent, life insurance broker, employee benefit specialist, salesman, sales trainer, recruiter, public speaker, blogger, author and team leader with over 30 years of experience in sales and marketing in the insurance and beverage industries.