I know. This might be hard for you to believe. Or, maybe more likely, you believe it on some level, but question the effectiveness and efficiency of the method. Or, you just don’t like it and don’t want to have to do it. I don’t either. Because I know it’s literally one of the least efficient ways for a business to generate good sales leads. But it does in fact work, and I suggest you do whatever it is you need to to steel yourself to the idea and get to work. That’s what I’m doing today. And I do it any other time my pipeline is drying-up, and I want to stir things up.
“The thing about John is that he’s always out there stirring things-up.”
That really reinforced the idea for me. I looked up to and respected my Dad very much. He was a salesman too. And cold-calling was exactly what he did when he needed to find customers for Warren Printing; and it worked for him too.
The challenge is that because it’s not the most efficient thing you’ll do to generate leads, it’s easy to get discouraged and very quickly, or avoid the work altogether. Cold-calling also doesn’t often produce an immediat result. And that can be even more demorilizing.
Today is my last day of work for the week. I’m headed to San Antonio Texas to go watch my son Carl graduate from Air Force Boot Camp. I’ll tell more of that story in the coming weeks. It’s a good one. My real point here is that following a massive quarter of sales in Q2, my pipeline is as dry as the Califonia desert and if I’m going to hit my numbers for July, today is a day when I need to make things happen. Or, at the very least, go stir some things up – as many things as I can – so that upon my return on Monday, the seeds I planted already this month, and especially today, will have begun to reach for the sun.
I know this will work.
I’ve done it countless times before.
…and yet it would be so easy today to get lazy, head into my vacation a little early mentally and promise to hit the phones hard on Monday.
Nope! Time to get to work.
No matter what, today I bring my ladel; and I get to work stirring things up.
I suggest you do the same.
PS It doesn’t matter what kind of business you’re in. Cold call selling still works. The story I read this morning that inspired this post was one where a local business had been drop-in called on by a pizza shop owner, a baker, and a computer salesperson. All three made sales. The observation was that 40% of these kinds of calls will yield business, especially when combined with a special offer. It reminds me of my work as a pizza delivery man for Dominoes while in gradutate school…we used to head out in the middle of the afternoon and spend a few hours hanging coupons on doorknobs. This ALWAYS produced a great night at the shop. It literally NEVER failed to bring more business than we would have had otherwise.
PPS The image above is that of mailbox stuffer I received this spring. I still do my own lawn, but I think about this guy every time I go out to do it. Especially when the temperature tops 85-90 degrees. He didn’t get me this year, but he almost did and if I ever do need help, this is the guy I’ll call. I’m sure he landed plenty of other business with his efforts this spring. He came around twice.
I received a great email newsletter from Eddie Shleyner of Very Good Copy this week.
He was talking about how good copywriters are often sentimental people. I agree. Listen to the 3-minute podcast above and see if the leading passage doesn’t stir you emotionally. And then ask yourself how you can connect on that same level of humanity with your readers, and disocover the powerful ability to draw them closer.
I totally recommend Eddie’s email newsletter. You can get it here.
Hello and thanks for being here. Be sure to subscribe for regular updates. This video along with all the others I shot during the winter and have not yet edited, is overdo; and I wanted you to know I’m doing the best I can.
the ash flash is my passion but the day job still pays the bills 🙂
The posting schedule will become a little less frequent and a little more more erratic for the summer, because when you live in Wisconsin, you go outside and explore the outdoors as often as you can during the warmer months. It’s called survival!
I’ll keep you posted on my fishing and canoeing adventures as much as possible, but wanted you to know that I have not given up on my commitment to this blog. I just feel like even though there are not thousands of you yet, I want the subscribers who are here to know how committed I am to the mission of keeping you inspired for your life and business. Thanks again for being here and for all your support.
with inspiration from my new favorite book, ‘On Writing Well’ by William Zinsser
The essence of writing is re-writing. A universal truth I have worked to instill in my son who seems to believe like so many others in his generation that one round into the keyboard is enough. I have to make it a point now to ask him if he’s actually read his work out loud to himself at least once before sending to me for review. This has been a telling experience for him, and he is learning slowly that the essence of writing is re-writing. He doesn’t like it so much. Because when you have to approach it that way, it feels more like a job.
When I first started learning about how and why to blog for business growth, I remember reading in countless places the suggestion that authenticity ruled and that just getting the words out there, regardless of their cleanliness, was the most important thing. Perfect is the enemy of done as I like to often say.
Many of those older posts still exist here on the ash flash and when I come across some of them, I cringe and secretly hope no one is looking. I really don’t like how exposed they sound. They are raw and incomplete. I know there’s value in just getting things out there but I think the problem is that it drives this unnecessary feeling that as soon as you’ve written something, you need to get it posted and live and public because somehow that validates your effort. I stopped thinking and acting this way a few years ago and instead have put my focus back where it belongs. On the craft. I started writing again just for the sake of the craft and how it makes me feel when I’m engaged with it. That’s the really truly important thing. That’s it. No one is sitting around right now and waiting for what John might post today. For the few devoted readers I do have, I want them to know that I’m putting in the effort and that I truly appreciate them being here. Taking the time to read what I have shared.
As Mr. Zinsser has pointed out, “…a badly written message can do a lot of damage. So can a badly written website. The new age, for all it’s technological wizardry is still writing based.”
Email, for example, is an impromptu medium, not conducive to slowing down or looking back. Ideal for the never-ending up-keep of daily life. If your writing here is disorderly, no real harm is done. But it is also very important to remember that email is where much of the world’s business is done. Millions of email messages every day give people the information they need to do their job, and a badly written message can in fact do a lot of damage.
But these are universal concepts and important reminders about how too much stuff can accumulate over time both in your mind and in the physical spaces of your life; and lead to feelings of being trapped, stuck, and incredibly frustrated and angry.
The pandemic has certainly been a catalyst for this, and in this 8-minute podcast, I hope you’ll gain some great insight and a few simple strategies you can start implementing immediately.
Good luck and have fun!
How to free yourself from too much stuff and open the universal channels that will bring you contentment in your life and business.
Views expressed here are my own and not the official views of Frazer Consultants.
It takes great imagination to pretend that the capital riot did not place on January 6th of this year. Along with a wide variety of varying and cockeyed belief systems. But that’s not the point of this story, just an example that helps reenforce the idea I’ve introduced in my headline.
A more positive example of how this ‘reality-bending’ can work is the ‘reality distortion tour’ that Steve Jobs created in order to put his ‘dent in the universe.’ You’re likely reading this post, in fact, on a device originally conceived by Steve himself.
My points here today are not political or hypothetical.
The point I really want to make here is one of marketing strategy. One in which you create unreasonable comparisons that favor your product or service. Because one really strategic way you can build perceived value in your products and services is by comparing what you offer to something that is totally different; and maybe even something that your prospect would never even want to buy.
The only limit in this game is your imagination.
The comparison need not be fair.
There are NO Rules – that’s what I really love about this strategy.
You can invest, for example, thousands of dollars a year in an expert coach to help you succeed. Someone who will hold you accountable to your goals, provide expert strategical guidance along the way, and all kinds of support to help keep you propped-up and pursuing your success with steadfast gusto, while your bank account drains at a dramatic and unproductive rate.
You can subscribe to the ash flash for free, stop by now and again, and very likely run into a post, podcast or video that will so dramatically change your thinking and perspective on a subject, that it will prove to be at the very least 10 times more valuable than hiring me directly as your guide.