I am currently writing this from a small town north of Toronto, Ontario. I had lunch with an old friend who is a steel salesperson today. He spends his time driving from metal shop to metal shop across the province meeting with owners to close sales and build his network. He is old school and it works for him.
I asked him for his advice on how he makes sales and he told me to knock on some doors.
Most of my business at Futureforth comes from word of mouth. The trouble is, I sometimes depend on it too much. Instead of knocking on doors, I wait for the business owners to knock on mine. It doesn't sound very proactive, right? It isn't.
Instead of driving back to his office after our lunch, he was going to pop into a few businesses he noticed as he drove to meet me. He literally will walk in unannounced and introduce himself. He's not a pushy, sales guy. He simply wants to meet the owners and get on their radar.
People do business with those they know and like.
He will ask the owners if they need any steel now. If so, he will offer to get a quote. If the owner says no, he will suggest that he give them a quote to share his prices. My friend is a charming, good guy. He's not a slick, sales jerk.
His main goal is to make people like him. He reminded me that people do business with those they know and like. If they like him, they will decide to give him a chance for business. Once he makes a sale, he's in with that new customer.
It all starts with knocking on some doors. It was a good reminder for me to do the same. How about you?