The Big Sales Lies: 30 Second Commercials and Cold Calls
I have to say, I cringe when I see articles, courses, and consultants pushing sales people and business owners to hone the skill of the 30-second commercial – the old school sales technique where you have to tell someone exactly who you are and what you do in 30 seconds. According to the ‘believers’ that 30 second rant should help you connect quickly and memorably with people that matter.
My take? It’s annoying. I often feel like I’m living in a bad version of “Glen Gary, Glen Ross” when I’m approached by someone at an event and they immediately toss a business card in my hand, smile, and for 30 seconds (give or take) I’m being told who they are, what they do, and why I should buy from them.
In the digital world, this has transcended to LinkedIn. I connect with someone and immediately I get an InMail with their 30 second commercial. Unlink. Delete.
I don’t know them, now I don’t like them, and I surely don’t have enough information to trust them. The deal is dead before it started.
The sad truth is – these people might actually be good at what they do, their product or service may be valuable. I simply can’t get past the push for the sale and connection before the KLT – Know, Like, Trust.
The key to a great sales career: Relationships, not broad net fishing. Not dialing for dollars hoping you might actually get someone on the phone that may give you the name of the “buyer”. Not running around a Chamber meeting handing out The Big Sales Lies: 30 Second Commercials and Cold Calls business cards, and surely not spending hours on LinkedIn spamming InMail boxes with your pitch.
It’s about finding the right people – people you like, people who understand you on a core values level, people who appreciate your brain, and what you can deliver to them as a problem solver.
28 years ago, as a young insurance agent, I decided that construction and home builders were one of the niche markets I would focus on. I had the same grandiose idea as 90% of commercial insurance agents out there. Construction and Manufacturing are the two big dogs – in that pretty much every large agency “specializes” in those worlds. I was a little fish in a big sea but getting swallowed up wasn’t an option.
I was young and let’s not forget, I’m a woman in a male dominated world – both in insurance AND in construction. I knew that cold calling would fail – no one was going to take my call. I knew sending out sales letters would fail – I’d kill a tree and add to a landfill because 99% of those letters would be tossed. I knew I had to get in front of the people that mattered – that’s Sales 101. I joined the Home Builders and Remodelers Association’s local chapter here in Connecticut. I immediately met some of the smartest (and nicest) people with whom I immediately connected with. I got involved and adopted a mindset of “Give to Get”. I sat on committees, I fundraised, I educated, I helped… and helped some more – next year, I am honored to lead HBRA of Fairfield County as their President.
28 years, not 30 seconds . . . When you want to make a difference, when you want to create sticky relationships, you need to adopt a mindset of giving. At DiMatteo Insurance, I give every one of my employees the book “The Go-Giver: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea” by Bob Burg and John David Mann. That book changed our culture… and changed me.
Go-Getter versus Go-Giver.
When you change your focus to giving versus getting – the world changes. When you put other’s interests first and continually add value to others’ lives – the magic happens. Core Values are aligned, and relationships deepen and by default the sales happen.
In hindsight, being a “giver” was always part of our family values – I just never connected it to the business world until I joined HBRA and read “The Go-Giver”. It all came together for me – for our business. I knew the answer to creating a successful sales culture wasn’t herding in a group of sales people, sticking them in a conference room with a list of names, and seeing who came out after an exhausting 8-hour day with an appointment. I knew it went deeper than that – it was about giving back to the community in which you live, work, and play. It’s about building relationships – deep relationships. It’s about Give to Get.
Can you make a sale with a 30-second commercial, a cold call, or a cold InMail? Sure, people do it all the time. My gut tells me most of those sales won’t be sticky because the next flashy commercial will woo them to the next flashy salesperson. I prefer the long haul – the marathon mentality.
Do the work. Spend the time. Slow and Steady. Give to Get.
Kim Marie DiMatteo, DiMatteo Insurance 203-924-5429