The brain loves to store and process sequences. We tend to rank success by the probability that a sequence will end in a positive or negative result. This is due to our limbic brains and the fight or flight response.
- A person standing against a wall has a better chance of survival than a person in an open field when it comes to defending himself against a Saber-Tooth Tiger.
- If a door has a push sign on it, there is a 999:1 chance that if you push on the door it will open.
- If you cold call 1000 random businesses, you have a 999:1 chance that it will go to voicemail, just ring forever, or you will be hung up on (before you can hang up with them.)
Just like it took 1000 tries for Thomas Edison to perfect the lightbulb (or some other folklore to at least get a glow.) Sometimes persistence is warranted. While other times, it is just our ego and inner narrative saying this will work.
Yes, there have been countless people who have been told and believed (to no good ends) that you can outrun a Saber-Tooth Tiger, all doors are pushable, and cold calling works.
But hey, if you change the game and cold call on social media the rules are different right? There is a sequence?
- Friend or connect with them.
- Wait… (a day or at least a few hours if you can control your excitement)
- Compliment them and ask how they are doing
- Then add them to your automated sales sequence
This will show them how your product will solve all their problems (acne, not being rich, working for DA MAN, and just like a country song played backward… bring their girl, truck, and dog back). Surely this will work because the guy that sold me the course had to learn it from somewhere?
I Got Your Loan RIGHT HERE…
The other day, I was working and minding my own business. Then my phone rang. Keep in mind that we are in the middle of multiple transactions associated with a home sale and purchase and there are a lot of moving parts, so I just can't ignore every call like I could a while ago. It did not say spam or some other trigger phrase so I picked it up.
On the other end of the line was some Goombah from the east coast asking, “You have business loans?” I said “Yes.” He asked, “How is that working out for ya?” I said, “GREAT! I have all the money I need and love my partner and I had no needs.” He said, “Is it private equity or commercial lending?” I said, “Private.” He quipped, “Well? What if I could save you money on your rate?” I said, “I don't care, I am happy with the relationship and not willing to make a change!”
I thought that would end it, but… he asked, “Well? How did you form that relationship?” I said, it took years of meeting at networking events, then meeting over coffee to build up trust, and then we started to discuss options and I liked what I heard.” Then I added, “AND… he didn't badger me for business!” He said… “YOU THINK THIS IS BADGERING YOU, A-HOLE? I WOULDN'T WANNA DO BUSINESS WITH YOU ANYWAY.” And I got my desired result… he hung up!
Moral of the story:
I do agree with him on one thing… you have to start somewhere to build a relationship. But I am not going to trust my money or my business with some Goombah Loan Shark from the Jersey Shore. You just have to have patience and do some research to see if who you are calling could be a good fit without playing a snarky game of 20 Questions.
B2b business relationships take time. If you are not willing to take the time to invest in it, chances are the person is not going to be willing to take their chances with you.
You Buy What I Sell!
This is not so much of a story as a recurring theme. Let's call it the Facebook B2b Sales Pitch. First off, at least 5 years ago I considered myself a business coach. I was working with small businesses to help them with their internet marketing. Then I pivoted to work with only larger companies ($10-100 million and sales teams of at least 5 people). Somehow, Facebook never got the memo.
If you dig deep into your settings, you can find ads and other categories that you can enable and disable. I am here to tell you that is just the tip of the iceberg. I could not find where I have a dog, am an older male, business owner, and other categories that I constantly get hit up with ads for. Also, Facebook saves its best demographic info for its ad system. It does not give your name away to advertisers, nor does it let you change or remove any of that.
Somewhere along the way, our names get captured on email lists, our phone numbers are revealed, and they are used on the open market to target us.
The most annoying part is the number of 20-or-30-something business coaches who hit me up to help me improve my business. First, I already have a business coach. Just like the loan guy, they ask “Well? What if I could help you do better?” Most of those connect-and-pitch transactions end after the first “No thanks.” But occasionally, I get barrages with direct messages of “My NEW Super Secret Succuss Formula Mastermind Group,” and, “I am giving you FREE Access to my best people to this closed group where I can target pitch you until you start throwing money my way!”
You can unfriend them, but that does not stop the flow of direct messages, annoying texts, and other ways to annoy you into submission.
Moral of the story:
Facebook demographics are outdated, and often kept that way to improve their chances of selling ads. Your privacy is a fallacy. They are not in the social media business or relationship marketing business, they are in the advertising business.
Facebook is probably not the platform you want to use to build and maintain B2b business relationships. You can digitally hang up on people, but that does not mean they get the message. That's why it's best not to accept any friend request without researching the person first!
There really is no way to just bypass the normal course of B2b business to make a sale. Even if you do, the chances of that becoming a long and established business relationship are small.
Think of yourself as that Saber-Tooth Tiger who just caught its prey. All is well until a bigger and stronger tiger wrestles that lunch away for itself and you are left hungry, searching for your next meal. It will be much harder for that lone tiger to take the meal when you are surrounded by friends (people at the company where you have established long-term relationships and a history of success).
“No one cares what YOU want, they only care about themselves.”
I would love to hear how you feel about being cold-called or cold-pitched. Have you ever bought from these people? How does it make you feel when they interrupt your workflow and day? Tell me about your challenges or successes in establishing long-term business relationships!
Comment below and share your thoughts, ideas, or questions about the things that don't work for your B2b business.
To learn more about this and other topics on B2b Sales & Marketing, visit our podcast website at The Bacon Podcast.