The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show that the UK held off from falling into recession in 2022. However, with the country experiencing zero economic growth between October and December, many businesses are still experiencing tough times. In light of this, UK sales transformation specialist Sales Talent is supporting businesses to remember the value of going back to basics when it comes to selling their goods and services.
Sales Talent MD, Paul Owen, said: “Selling over social media can be effective but it can also become very expensive, very fast. That’s far from ideal when budgets are stretched. Thankfully, traditional techniques like picking up the phone still work, particularly in certain sectors.
“I work with a lot of firms in London’s commercial property market and many of them find that 90% or more of their business comes from cold calling.” Cold calling doesn’t mean not being prepared – it’s not a case of randomly picking up the phone and hoping to make a sale.
According to the UK edition of the LinkedIn State of Sales Report 2022, 82% of top performing salespeople (those who hit 150% or more of their sales target) always research their prospects before reaching out. This means they can be ready to share details of the value that they offer to each prospect.
Some 34% of salespeople in the UK use cold calling as a tactic. Studies by LinkedIn and Leap Job have found that 2% or less of cold calls result in an appointment or meeting, but the figures alone only tell half the story, as Sales Talent’s Paul Owen explains:
Many people are nervous of cold calling, but Owen points out that it is a skill that can be learned, just like any other. Nerves are usually due to lack of confidence or to the salesperson selling in a way that doesn’t fit with their internal moral compass.
The key to resolving this is to ensure that all selling processes are built around the concepts of honesty, consistency and confidence – armed with those, the idea of picking up the phone suddenly becomes far less daunting. Combined with a refocusing of cold calling on opening up conversations, this can lead to a positive shift in mindset among sales teams.
This isn’t to say that salespeople should abandon technology entirely. Far from it, as research from LinkedIn has shown that top performing salespeople are twice as likely to use sales technology on a daily basis. Sales Talent is simply reminding businesses that traditional sales approaches still have a very valid place in the modern company’s approach.
Paul said: “For businesses that are struggling, these ‘back to basics’ sales techniques can support a shift in both mindset and sales performance. Sales isn’t about tricking people into buying products they don’t want or need, but about supporting them to find solutions to their problems. Open, honest conversations can help that happen. And those conversations can start with a simple phone call.”