Seth Godin on Cold Calling

One of my colleagues sent me Seth Godin's post about seeing a local bank representative cold calling in person at his offices.

He said that he considers door-to-door selling to be struggling.

I agree, in part - but it depends on the context of what the bank is doing.

Banking is one of the industries that doesn't "get" how to build on a positive customer interaction and they are the worst at cross-selling their services. If I have a mortgage, a teller never offers me ancillary services - even though my potential as a customer over time is very valuable. When I call in and get transferred, I have to give my account information over and over - no use of technology to offer me a seamless interaction. Banks don't get it.

However, where I may differ with Mr. Godin is on how to get the word out about your services - especially if you are a neighbor business.

A multi-faceted approach is the way to build a business and get more people out there as supporters, referrers, and influencers. I wonder if the AVP (common title for new guy at the bank) was working within a strategy, or if he was totally struggling to do anything to get a sale. My hunch is that he has a certain amount of in-person contacts to make, which come from networking events, chamber events, and knocking on doors nearby the bank.

Web-based marketing doesn't work for a bank, and selling really is a "one-on-one" interaction. With the marketing that the bank is doing from their corporate offices, I imagine that there still is a desire for a "neighborhood bank" feel - hence the in-person introductions.

I am all for reinventing - and hosting an event in the neighborhood might be a much better and quicker way to go "one-to-many" to get the same results from the local neighboring businesses.

Cold-calling still works - it is not the quickest way to do business nor should it be the main way to get business. Good marketing should bring prospects to your attention, as well as referral selling through people who know you and trust you and "get" what it is that you do well.

So give this guy a break, Seth - perhaps he has a bigger plan and this was just a part of it.

Topics: Sales Ideas & Skills

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