Ever seen those LinkedIn articles titled “Why cold calling still works” – or something to that affect? These articles tend to show statistics on how cold calls lead to more business than time spent focusing on networking, blogging, etc. These stats probably hold true for the most part when it comes to product sales. But what about those of us who aren’t selling products? Our sales pitch is a lot more complicated because people aren’t buying a product, they are buying wisdom, knowledge, and most importantly trust. They are buying a relationship.
Think about the people you trust the most in your own life; did they cold call you? Did your relationship begin when you bought a product from them? Do you often wonder if they have your best interest in mind or if they may have a hidden agenda? I hope to the good Lord that the answer to those questions is no. Nobody decides to initiate a long-term relationship on a 10-minute phone call because relationships aren’t produced, they are formed over time. If I’m selling a product, I can make 100 cold calls a day and likely convince a handful of people to buy my product. If I’m providing legal advice or financial planning for example, 100 phone calls a day simply isn’t an option – it’s more so a fool’s errand.
Take financial planning as an example. Rarely is someone going to answer my cold call or read my cold email and say, “You know what, you are exactly what I’ve been looking for – count me in!” Thats just not how this stuff works! We have to let people into our headspace and focus on creating trusting relationships above all else. As Guy Kawasaki said – “The goal is to provide inspiring information that moves people to action”.
Writing gives people an opportunity to hear your opinion, understand your mission, gage your knowledge, and decide whether their values align with yours before they even meet you. This is the core of relationship building, and foundational to building trust. For the most part, people seek services like financial planning in times of transition. If someone has followed your writing over time, the subsequent is true: They value your opinion, understand your mission, recognize your intelligence, and their values align with your own. So, who do you think someone will seek out when the time comes to utilize your service – the cold calling salesman, or you?