Although cold calling can be a great way to get new leads for your business, it is far less effective than the preferred method of obtaining a steady stream of referrals.
Let’s find out why. Cold calling requires you to put in a lot of effort in order to find one prospect. If you have a steady stream of referrals, you spend your time talking with people and explaining the benefits of your products and services. Cold calling is easiest when you go to a mall, and then watch them leave the building and walk towards their cars. It is important to not rush them. People who are in a hurry will resent contact that takes up their time. People are more open to being contacted if they are relaxed. It’s easy to say something like “I noticed you have a baby seat and a baseball cap in your car.” Many of my clients have small children. Call me for a quote. I give them a card and they walk off. I then turn my head and tell them that I can provide some information if they want. If they consent, they are qualified prospects. I smile and move on if they don’t agree. One out of 250 people who I give a call to gets a card, but seven out of seven prospects who provide me with their contact information and birthdays become my clients.
Let’s now see what happens when someone calls me. Imagine you get a call saying, “Alan, my child and I were reading Harriet’s book. This book has your photo on it and discusses how you can help families plan for their life insurance. Daria, my daughter said that he looked like a nice man and should be talked to about keeping our family safe.
It is difficult to generate a stream referrals. This requires a combination marketing and sales effort. Marketing is activities that generate interest from people who do not have direct sales contacts. Sponsored books are one solution.
Sponsored books allow you to include your photo and a brief description of what benefits you offer your clients. Your message is reinforced by the repeated reading of the book. It is shared with others. It makes you a caring professional. It does require a specific type of book. It does not help your business to put your name on a spy book.
If your clients are families, sponsoring a children’s book is a great idea. It is simple to use a sponsored book. Send a copy to clients who have children. Call them back in a few days to find out how they feel about the book. If they tell you how much you liked the book, you can offer to give it to them or to send it to them. Let me know what you think. Imagine getting a call from someone that received your book in a premium after they donated $500 to the local PBS radio station during fund drives.
You can be certain that your prospect will call you to follow-up. It will be warmer than when you call Jennifer Aniston and ask her to call you.
Sponsoring books is one form of marketing. It costs less than buying prospects lunch and takes less time. The results are longer lasting. After the lunch, it is gone and forgotten. Sponsored books can be enjoyed for many years and may result in referrals.
Alan Jordan is the author of many magazine articles, six business books, and The Monstrous on the Top of the Bed, which is a picture book for children aged 2-7. A sponsored book of one of his books, The Monster on Top of the Bed is available for purchase with as little as ten copies.