Dont Trust The Cash Cow

26 replies
So guys, after all this praising threads - here something from the reality.

I sent out 120 letters - not a single appointment. (Sent out over the course of 3 weeks since Easter)
I am just finished cold calling today, a well researched list of about 100 businesses. Not a single business owner is interested in it.

Tomorrow, when the rain has stopped, i'm going to hit the streets and go from shop to shop lol. I havent even talked about the costs. They listened and understood my point, and even though they admit that it would be nice and useful and would make them money, guess what they say.

"We only have a website to have a website"
"Our customers come directly into our shop and dont go online"
"We dont do that, we dont do that, we dont do that (endless repeating over and over again)"
"Yes, but no thanks."

The list goes on and on. Its crazy. First they agree with everything i say, and then suddenly switch gears. No idea whats going on. I think they dont get the whole "list" thing... And if you want to tell them about it they think that you think they are stupid and you want to sell them snake-oil. Seriously.

And those without a website? They refuse even to listen. They claim they havent needed one in the past and wont do in the future. I am going nuts here. But the worst thing is when you say "I saw your website, i have a few questions about it" and they start chanting like a maniac "We dont do that, we dont do that, [...]" - in most cases even "But you already have a website, i just have a few questions about it?!" wont stop them.

F§$% it, i am going straight in their face tomorrow.
#cash #cow #trust
  • Profile picture of the author Jill Carpenter
    Can I ask what is involved in your sales pitch?

    Have you got some research to show people? IE some actual facts and figures to show them what having a crappy or non existent online presence is doing to them?

    I know personally when traveling or moving the first thing I do is resort to the internet to find my favorite places ahead of time.

    Perhaps take some online polls for your own research and share the results with those business owners and point out what a mistake it is to just have a page up and how it won't do diddly for them unless it is done right. Also how much improvement they can expect from utilizing your services.

    And depending on where you are geographically you may have to offer to do this at no cost up front and that you will accept payment upon them getting desired results.

    I know it's better to get the money up front - but get a few in your pocket first and use them to get the rest of your future clients.
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  • Profile picture of the author Darth Executor
    Maybe they got burned by all the scammers some of the gurus sent out to do this without having the slightest clue about what they're doing.
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    • Profile picture of the author lucasmurray
      Face -to-face is the only way to sell in some markets. Have research ready to show the direct benefits of your service. Be prepared by answering alot of objection ahead of time in your own mind. No problem getting the objection out of the way first by having all of that information upfront. Sales is about volume contacts and very few hits.
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  • Profile picture of the author stsnelson
    Not sure what you're saying but my experience is totally different. I find when I just inquire and listen I learn exactly what they want.

    Not every potential client signs up but I do well with the few that I contact each week. To be honest, you only need (in my experience) to contact 10 a week to get 1 paying client. Just focus a little more and hone your listening and closing skills.

    Here's the kicker...

    ...I use email and set up a phone session with them. Never wasted time mailing out a packet.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kirk Ward
    Hello Karsten,

    I've been waiting to see when a response like this about the "Cash Cow" would get posted. You are running into the same thing any beginner outside or self-employed sales rep runs into. Just remember to stay positive and continue to forge ahead, paying attention to what works for you, and making notes on it.

    Getting clients is not easy, when you're starting out. I don't care how much you hear it said by someone who is selling you their "secret." Direct sales is a hard way to make a living ... but once you learn how, you can make a helluva good living at it.

    I have some suggestions for you that I would rather put in a PM than list out here on the forum. They worked for me when I finally got past the point where the "Cash Cow" method has you now. And, the techniques I used turned out to be a lot more fun and profitable.

    If you're interested, PM me. I don't check in here every five minutes or so like some folks, so it may be a few days before I respond. If you want, you can also email me. My email is kirk (at) kirk-ward.com


    Cheers

    BTW - 120 letters is not a good sample. A small DM sample would be 5,000 letters. If your list is limited, you're going to need to turn it into a series and rely on repetitive impressions to turn the prospect. Plus, the suggestion about telephone followup is okay, but you need to get to the point where the prospect is seeking you out.

    Originally Posted by Allegro View Post

    So guys, after all this praising threads - here something from the reality.

    I sent out 120 letters - not a single appointment. (Sent out over the course of 3 weeks since Easter)
    I am just finished cold calling today, a well researched list of about 100 businesses. Not a single business owner is interested in it.

    Tomorrow, when the rain has stopped, i'm going to hit the streets and go from shop to shop lol. I havent even talked about the costs. They listened and understood my point, and even though they admit that it would be nice and useful and would make them money, guess what they say.

    "We only have a website to have a website"
    "Our customers come directly into our shop and dont go online"
    "We dont do that, we dont do that, we dont do that (endless repeating over and over again)"
    "Yes, but no thanks."

    The list goes on and on. Its crazy. First they agree with everything i say, and then suddenly switch gears. No idea whats going on. I think they dont get the whole "list" thing... And if you want to tell them about it they think that you think they are stupid and you want to sell them snake-oil. Seriously.

    And those without a website? They refuse even to listen. They claim they havent needed one in the past and wont do in the future. I am going nuts here. But the worst thing is when you say "I saw your website, i have a few questions about it" and they start chanting like a maniac "We dont do that, we dont do that, [...]" - in most cases even "But you already have a website, i just have a few questions about it?!" wont stop them.

    F§$% it, i am going straight in their face tomorrow.
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    "We are not here to sell a parcel of boilers and vats, but the potentiality of growing rich beyond the dreams of avarice."

    Dr. Samuel Johnson (Presiding at the sale of Thrales brewery, London, 1781)
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  • Profile picture of the author Loren Woirhaye
    I think you are losing rapport and then the objections (you
    make them seem hostile and viscious) come out. You have
    to understand that people play games with guys trying to
    sell them stuff - they have defense mechanisms set-up
    and business owners, because they are accustomed to
    dealing with sales reps, know all the tricks.

    You have to uncover what their desire is and if you can
    genuinely help them get there you can win a customer.

    Seriously you should read "The Closers" by Ben Gay III -
    it's the most white-knuckled, brutally honest sales book
    I've read. You can learn how to size-up prospects,
    uncover their pain, stick a knife in their bellies, and
    twist. That sounds mean, but you probably don't realize
    just how painful the sales process can be for the buyer -
    and it is your job to make sure he feels the intensity
    of his pain so he can really understand the price
    he is paying for not fixing the problem.

    There is a lot to it. You really have to prepare yourself
    for a battle - because sometimes you'll get one and
    the guy will buy.
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    • Profile picture of the author oleskool
      In sales we are told that it take so many no's to get to the yes. You need to know how many no's you need to get to that yes but you also need to know that once you get to that first yes you will be able to go back through your process to see how you got there and what you need to do to get there quicker. Each time it does get easier. Also keep in mind that some days you will not get a yes. And then some days you will get nothing but yes.

      In my experience when a person told me no I would ask why. First, it would surprise them so much that I would ask why not that they had to stop and think about why not. We as people are conditioned to say no before we fully understand what the other person is saying to us.

      What ever you do don't quit. Follow up with the people that said no, give them more information and ask again.
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  • Profile picture of the author Allegro
    Thanks for the replies so far. My closing skills suck really hard. Tomorrow i'm going face to face with small businesses, lets see how that works out...

    Edit: I missed some replies while i was posting, so thanks especially to the last two posters! I will send you an email Kirk, and i will see if i can find that book Loren...
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    Nothing to see here. Move along, citizen.

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  • Profile picture of the author DanielFonda
    I've also tried the cash cow method before. It really depends on how you approrach prospects. You can't just come out of nowhere and expect them to take up on your offer. You have to build rapport and gain their trust, or else they'll think you're another salesman.
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  • Profile picture of the author MarthaD.
    I'm not sure what your product or service is all about but I use to be in sales - both outside and retail and I can tell you this much:
    Don't, I repeat, don't do all the talking! Listening is much more effective! Don't - rattle off all the great features of your product/service - ask them what if anything is their biggest problem, issue, etc. and be prepared to offer a specific solution for one thing at a time - but don't interupt them with it, wait till they finish and then repeat what they said as their concerns and follow with a question such as, "if I could show you how to blah, blah, what would that do for you? Let them discover the benefit for themselves and their perspective of it changes from being "sold" to sort of "selling themselves", you didn't sell them, they sold themselves! People are much more comfortable with that perspective since we ALL hate "being sold"! Of course, I'm assuming here you actually do have a good value product/service to begin with and not just another gadget, etc. Again, DO NOT offer EVERYTHING your product/service can do all at once. What happens when you do so is that you've emptied all your great services, etc. and left with nothing to say when they may feel you still have not covered their specific needs. Or, you come off sounding too much of a typical salesman vs. showing a true concern for what they want/need. This type of approach almost always causes people to immediately put up a shield and block out whatever you're saying.
    Don't talk features, talk benefits - but only to their specific concerns. You may have a hundred features but they may only be interested in 4 of them. Save the rest to use as your "conversation", not "sales pitch", progresses over time. Build a rapport with people first, be sincere in wanting to "help them" not just "make the sale".
    Hope this helps, best of luck.
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    MarthaD.

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  • Profile picture of the author Tyrus Antas
    I wonder how cultural differences play out in getting results with these kind of strategies. You're from Germany right? Traditionally Europeans are more conservative about any kind of business investment than Americans and that shows when cold-colling, sending letters. A lot of value is put on relationship building, business coming later.

    Tyrus
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    • Profile picture of the author Richard Tunnah
      Originally Posted by Tyrus Antas View Post

      I wonder how cultural differences play out in getting results with these kind of strategies. You're from Germany right? Traditionally Europeans are more conservative about any kind of business investment than Americans and that shows when cold-colling, sending letters. A lot of value is put on relationship building, business coming later.

      Tyrus
      Tyrus,
      There is definitely a difference in my experience. There's still a need in many countries but the approach needs tailoring and testing to your market.

      Rich
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  • Profile picture of the author Melanie Crouse
    At what point in your conversation does it all go south? Is it always around the same spot in your "pitch"? If so, take a look at what you're saying and change it up at that point.

    As someone else said above - Empathize, empathize, empathize! Find their problem, weak point, whatever and empathize with it and ease into a solution.

    You could also make casual reference to how well a competitor is doing with his/her website these days, or something like that...
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  • Profile picture of the author Richard Tunnah
    Hi Karsten,
    I've been doing offline marketing for about 10 months now. It certainly isn't one glove fits all. Different countries and different people need slightly different approaches. There's some successful offline marketers in Australia, canada and US but their system out of the box didn't work or convert well for me in my town in the UK. It was a matter of twisting the methods and testing. I did a much larger test than you (tracking all the time). Once you start to get appointments I think it's vital to chat without a hard sell. Many businesses will get hit hard with sharp salespeople. You need to try to distance yourself from them. Try and find out what the business owner's issues are with online marketing. Do they realise the potential. Many don't understand. Once you know the problems and build up repoire then you can offer solutions.

    Rich
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  • Profile picture of the author Allegro
    I think my problems begin already when they realize that i dont called/visited them to buy something from them, but that i want to offer them something. You can see it in their eyes, as soon as they hear that i dont want to buy but to talk business they go into defensive mode. They dont even care what i do, i could offer them to live forever or the cure for aids and cancer at the same time - they just dont want to talk business.

    I think that is a general problem in the german market, like George Wright (was it him?) pointed out in one of his threads... nevertheless, people like Chris Bryns still are successful. I will just continue with my quest i guess...
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    Nothing to see here. Move along, citizen.

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    • Profile picture of the author Richard Tunnah
      Originally Posted by Allegro View Post

      I think my problems begin already when they realize that i dont called/visited them to buy something from them, but that i want to offer them something. You can see it in their eyes, as soon as they hear that i dont want to buy but to talk business they go into defensive mode. They dont even care what i do, i could offer them to live forever or the cure for aids and cancer at the same time - they just dont want to talk business.

      I think that is a general problem in the german market, like George Wright (was it him?) pointed out in one of his threads... nevertheless, people like Chris Bryns still are successful. I will just continue with my quest i guess...
      I doubt there isn't a need for your help in your local German market but as I said above you'll have to tailor your approach to find a way that works. If you really aren't great at talking to them then what about hiring some commissioned sales people that are more versed in business to business market?

      Rich
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    • Profile picture of the author BrianMcLeod
      Originally Posted by Allegro View Post

      I think my problems begin already when they realize that i dont called/visited them to buy something from them, but that i want to offer them something. You can see it in their eyes, as soon as they hear that i dont want to buy but to talk business they go into defensive mode.
      And there you have it, Karsten... The problem is not the German market.

      The problem is that you are not effective yet as a salesperson.

      The objections you're getting are all saying the same thing to you:

      "I don't know you or trust you enough to even invest any time listening to what you have to say"

      In other words, they've told you to go pound sand... Just like they told the PPC company that called and the 15 other marketing companies that also "checked out their website" -- in the owner's mind, the second he hears that, his Spidey Senses start tingling.

      This is a selling problem, not a problem with the market.

      Don't give up. Get better. Learn. Experiment. Become AWARE.

      Don't react, respond. Your response to this experiment should be:

      "my pitch sucks..."

      Start at your offer... What are you offering?

      If you start to form one word about websites or blogs or lists you are missing the boat by a mile.

      You're selling a future experience -- a result.

      Rethink the way you're phrasing your offer.

      Best,

      Brian
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  • Profile picture of the author Jeremy Kelsall
    I didn't read the whole thread....But, here are a couple of "niches" you might want to hit when you hit the streets

    Katate or martial arts schools -- Offer to shoot videos for them and put them on the website.

    Tattoo Shops -- Offer to put pictures and opt in.

    Dry Cleaners -- Don't know why, but they convert really well
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Riddle
    Allegro,

    Yes I agree with you the first mistake is you are going in to sell them something.

    DON'T

    I worked for many years in radio advertising, and this was a common rookie mistake.

    I would assign the rookies to go into the stores ask if the store is open on Saturdays" (it could be Sunday or holidays) Or any question that would not be obvious by just walking in.

    You don't ask a bike shop if they have bikes, etc.

    And get out your pocket sized pad and your pencil and write down the answer, and say Thanks, and head out the door.

    If the owner didn't ask why you wanted to know, you would just head out the door, no introduction of who you are, what you do or anything.

    If someone did ask why you asked, then you would introduce who you are and that they were new at the station, and they were going around town to get familiar with what kinds of business' are in the area.

    If the shop owner or who ever you were talking to, wanted to talk, talk with them for 5 or 10 minutes and head on to the next shop.

    at the end of the day you would make stacks of people who talked and people who didn't talk and count them.

    Also write a report of what you were told that day it wasn't important if you didn't remember who it was, if you do note it but that's not the purpose.

    about 3-4 days of doing this almost by magic, the number of people who didn't talk more with you would go down to almost zero.

    If after a week of the rate of no question to questions stayed the same, then you had to let them go.

    What this actually does is it takes the deer in the head lights look out of the new sales persons eyes, and gives them a level of comfort of just walking in to stores and asking simple questions.

    Mark Riddle
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    Today isn't Yesterday, - Products are everywhere if your eyes are Tuned!
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  • Your approach is all wrong. Offer them a free consultation, listen to them, assess their business needs and offer them a customized solution. It sounds like you're trying to "sell" when what you should be doing is trying to help.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sylvia Meier
    I think alot of people approach the offline thing all wrong, instead of cold calling prospects, why not begin your skills with those around you that you have a relationship already established with. Think about the professionals you deal with, your doctor, your dentist, your optomitrist, etc and begin there. Once you have a little more confidence begin approaching others and this way you will have a usable portfolio from those you have already begun work with, and you never know how well word of mouth can get you more clients.

    And this is not directed at you, but some people just are not salesmen, others seem born to do it... knowing your own comfort level and capabilities help. Online marketing is way easier than hitting the pavement.

    Another option...instead of going after cash, try to work out a barter... it may go over much better when you are no longer trying to take their money...but instead trading your services for theirs.

    Best of luck,
    Sylvia
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  • Profile picture of the author Allegro
    Wow some pretty good stuff guys (and ladies, of course). I think i should really reflect more what happens. Also a great posting about responding, not reacting, thanks for it!
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    Nothing to see here. Move along, citizen.

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    • Profile picture of the author ExRat
      Hi Allegro,

      Uncanny!

      Three quotes below - I can attest to their accuracy/validity -

      Sylvia said -

      I think alot of people approach the offline thing all wrong, instead of cold calling prospects, why not begin your skills with those around you that you have a relationship already established with. Think about the professionals you deal with, your doctor, your dentist, your optomitrist, etc and begin there. Once you have a little more confidence begin approaching others and this way you will have a usable portfolio from those you have already begun work with, and you never know how well word of mouth can get you more clients.
      ...and Richard said -

      I doubt there isn't a need for your help in your local German market
      ....while Brian said -

      And there you have it, Karsten... The problem is not the German market.
      I don't 'do' this type of 'offline' work, I usually (as a rule) only work on my own business - without clients, and often without customers (affiliate marketing).

      But I recently landed a contract that would have been diffcult to refuse from someone I have got to know as a friend and sports partner - who happens to be German and has an Anglo/German organisation.

      I just confirmed my flights today to go to Dusseldorf next week.

      Uncanny!

      My point - those quotes above are correct and you should keep hammering away at your market. You can't get past objections and rejection on a continual basis without developing the habit of having unshakeable (often unjustifiable) belief that your 'gut' is leading you in the right direction and that all you need to bring along is dogged persistence.
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      Roger Davis

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      • Profile picture of the author TimCastleman
        So you sent out 120 and you're ready to call it a career? If you had a child and after the first day they couldn't walk would you stop them from trying again?

        Persistence is the key. Not to mention you admit your lacking in the sales department. Nothing a few hundred rejections and some good sales books are out there.

        Direct mail works, cold calling works, direct sales work, etc

        Best of luck.
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