As a marketer, I know two things to be absolutely true about all consumers: they won’t buy from egg-heads, and they won’t buy from Natural Light-toting frat-boys.
So when I saw A Sales Guy advocating that my friends and colleagues abandon their suits and ties and abandon professionalism, I was admittedly uncomfortable. Though I know Keenan only means to swap dry professionalism for passionate, natural speech and intuition, what he fails to acknowledge (and what good marketers know) is that just pitching on passion alone ignores mountains of data-driven brand intelligence available to you.
You have to pitch with data.
What is Data-Driven Pitching?
As a marketer, I’ve never cold called – but I’d guess it goes something like this:
“Steve, I’ve been looking into your company a bit, and I think you guys are headed for a rocky Q2. Seriously man, the drops in your stock over the last few quarters, they tell me your sales are down which is either an indication that you’re struggling with prospecting or you have a terrible sales manager (laughs). We had a similar thing happen over here, and it was the result of bad prospecting lists… etc.
“What makes this different from what I do,” you might ask (or you may just think I’m bad at cold-calling). “I engage people, sell the ‘sizzle not the steak’ and am personal.”
From both marketing and rhetorical perspectives, the difference is this:
- I engage prospects as people with problems: To me, to marketers, to speechwriters and professional rhetoricians, pain points aren’t boxes to be checked. The very nature of any single conversation involving me getting you to do something originates from a deep understanding of your suffering as an employee, as a representative of a business, and as a human being.
- I make your problems my own: You have bad CRM data? Me too! A cold? I just got over one. And I’m prepared to talk to you about it, in detail, because I know A LOT about you. I’ve checked out your social profiles, looked at any- and everything I can regarding your business.
- I’m passionate, but I’m only so passionate as is appropriate: When we first start talking, I have a pretty good idea about how you like to be talked to. I’ve seen how your friends do it on Facebook, how your colleagues do it on LinkedIn, and it’s my mission to fall somewhere in between. This is an “I’ll be whatever you want me to be so we can keep talking” situation, one that I know will turn into a sale eventually because I know you’re hurting and I know I can help.
- I sell the brand and the product: Though it may seem like I know a bit about you, on a scale of how much marketers know from data crunching, it’s very little. Marketers know A WHOLE LOT about how different audiences respond to different messaging (some down to the linguistic construction of sentences). When I’m talking to you, yes, I use my instinct and my personal research to talk with you, but there’s also a layer of marketing data informing my pitch.
- I don’t take myself too seriously: No one wants to talk to cold-callers. That’s just a fact. But give those cold-callers a script, and people start engineering ways to strangle themselves with mobile phones. I don’t call to sell something. I call to empathize with you, to laugh with you, and sure, I mention my product, but what I really want to do is tell you something relevant to your life.
By bringing together data, rhetorical theory, and the basics of being a person engaging with another one, you can bring the semblance of passion to any sales pitch with more intelligence than your gut could ever produce. Passion is important–you should never just be “going through the motions”–but as you probably know, data is better.
And, to ensure that you always reach your prospects, use the CircleBack app for iOS or Android. CircleBack uses artificial intelligence and passive crowdsourcing to keep all of your professional contacts updated and accurate, always.