A young man who has moved to Johannesburg to start up a computer business has been prospecting in light industrial areas for a month now with only one sale. He was running a computer business of his own in KwaZulu-Natal in a small town but now is starting up from scratch.
He’s done cold calling, knocking on doors of every business he could find in the first industrial area that he tackled. From these efforts of prospecting over several days he made one sale. He has now moved on to another light industrial area and will be prospecting there for the next few days and perhaps weeks. The young computer entrepreneur has chosen these light industrial areas because they are not too far away from where he has set up residence. Thinking ahead, he doesn’t want to be too far away from his potential customers because of the sky-high fuel costs. Continue reading “When things seem hopeless, keep prospecting”
We hear a lot about techniques and systems to sell without selling. Some so-called sales gurus will lead you to believe that you don’t have to sell. Selling has always been seen as something almost distasteful especially to those who don’t want to sell. Perhaps it’s because of early experiences people have had with “pushy” salespeople.
Cold calling or prospecting is also something that most people find it difficult to do. Perhaps it’s not so much the difficulty but not having the right mindset for cold calling. I have come across two small business owners recently whose sales need a boost and have taken to cold calling. The one is a person it in his early 30s who has moved his computer business from a small town in the Free State to Johannesburg. He has to begin his computer consulting and repair business from scratch in the city. So he has begun a programme of cold calling in person, which is actually door-to-door selling, starting with industrial areas such as Strydom Park. He tells me he can’t venture out too far to other industrial parks because he needs customers to be relatively close so that he can serve them quickly and also keep his fuel bill down. Continue reading “Can you sell without selling?”
In the summer of 1993 a young man at the bottom pole of a company was supporting a young family with two toddlers. When he got back from a holiday at the coast, he was told by the human resources manager that he would be retrenched together with 100 fellow employees.
The CEO who was trying to make a name for himself among investors put the knife into his head office specialist function employees. Blood flowed every where. Employees who had been there for many years were booted out. Only the HR manager who had worked with this CEO at a previous company survived the massacre. Continue reading “How did you learn to sell?”