social media

An Open Letter To Cold Callers

The other day, we were asked on Twitter whether we thought social media was a more productive way to build sales than cold calling. Aside from being a completely vague and open-ended question, it was also a pretty overt invite to a debate. One we gladly accepted. All that being said, we went into the discussion knowing this: there’s no such thing as winning a Twitter debate. The best you can hope for is an amicable parting. Mission accomplished, but there was a lot left unsaid. So I thought I would use this blog post to fully communicate just how ineffective we believe cold calling is as a sales strategy and leave no doubt.

Dear Cold Callers,

I hope that you’re able to take time out from your busy day of phone calling, and little else (I mean, who has the time when you have to make 100  or more calls to get one sale, right?) to read this. It’s important.

I want you to put down the phone and back away from it. Slowly. Slooooooowly. That’s it.

Now…take a deep breath and prepare to read something that will upset you.

You’re doing it wrong.

You’re wasting your time. You’re killing your brand. You’re destroying good will.

It doesn’t have to be like this. You can spend the same amount of time (or less) that you already spend working on your contact list, but rather than making one sale, you can start building profitable relationships that lead to multiple sales and long term customers.

Speaking from the perspective of someone who’s been coerced into cold calling in the past, and has also received more than his fair share of cold calls, I can tell you this: cold calling is a dead giveaway that you are out of better options. I don’t care if you’re the best cold caller in the business, 95-98% of the people you speak to will think bad thoughts about you and your business. In today’s business world, can you really afford to make that many enemies on a daily basis?

John Jantsch from the ducttape marketing blog puts it simply: “Cold calling results in about a 1-3% success rate for getting an initial appointment and it’s generally abusive to both parties. When that same call is made with a referral, the rate jumps up to 40% and even much higher when that referral comes from within the company."

Our very own Jeffrey Gitomer sheds additional light on the subject with a few statistics in this Business Record piece:

  • 98 percent or more rejection rate.
  • 100 percent interruption of the prospect.
  • 100 percent already know what you’re selling.
  • 100 percent lack of personal preparation about the customer.

Finally, when was the last time you immediately got someone on the phone who could say yes to you with authority? More often than not, the people who can say yes aren’t the ones answering the phone. In fact, the people answering the phones are usually trained in how to screen out cold callers, and their job security is based much more on keeping you off the boss’ phone than yours is based on getting connected. That’s a hurdle.

So with this many obstacles in your way, why not at least try something different? Cold calling used to have it’s place. Now it’s been replaced.

Say you’ve got a list of 500 names you plan to call. The best cold caller in the business will expect to get about 15 appointments or follow up conversations from a list that size. That’s 3%.

But what if you took the time to do a little research on the names you’ve got in front of you before calling them? Look them up on Twitter, and follow the ones who are talking about and posting about topics that are of interest to you.  Retweet a couple of their tweets that particularly resonate with you. Reply to them with a question or insightful comment. Start a conversation.

Look them up on LinkedIn and check out the groups they belong to there. Scan the recent discussions in those groups for comments or questions from those folks and then respond with a quality message of your own. Check out who you may know that they also know, and ask that mutual friend for an introduction or a referral.

Does it take longer? Sure it does. But then, maybe not.

You may be able to disqualify some of the people on your list even faster than you would on the phone while others will take some investigation. The point is that by the time you actually talk to them on the phone, they will have probably either invited you to call or agreed to your request to do so. And that can make all the difference in the world.

So cold callers of the world, I’m calling on you to quit. Cold turkey.

Please feel free to let me know how you feel about all this in the comments below. No calls please.


Top 4 Time Savers for Social Media


Many business people aiming to light up their social world set up a LinkedIn profile, a Facebook page, a Twitter account... and then halt and hope for leads to roll in. Then they realize that the daily updating, monitoring, responding, and rerouting takes time and effort.

Managing all those new accounts with no immediate payoff begins to feel like a big chore. Is social media just a waste of time?

Hang in there! Stay on top of your social world by using tools that save you time, instead of the ones that waste your time.

Here's your guide to the Top 4 social media tools that can amplify your ability to engage customers, prospects, and audiences quickly and efficiently.



Who are you, digitally? One online profile can show off your entire social persona.

Your free page takes only minutes to set up. This is a great way to connect all of your social profiles into one place, so when customers are researching you, all your accounts and links are available on one page - all about you.

PRO TIP: Be sure to use a really good high-resolution photograph for the background.

TIME SAVER: Give out your page link anytime you need to provide your complete social profile. Instead of copying and pasting your social links to Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and seven other web pages, simply direct traffic to this one page and the visitor can choose how to dig into your social world from one elegantly branded hub.

2. Klout


Having a high Klout score tells people what kind of social impact, social reputation, and social activity you have online.

Everyone starts at 10. Justin Bieber is at 100. You're probably somewhere in between.

Klout will analyze your profiles, your posting frequency, and your followers to determine your true social reach.

This number will change over time - hopefully by moving up. It's an easy metric to measure how successful your personal brand is across the internet.

PROTIP: Research the Klout score of your competition! Challenge yourself to out-Klout them in 6 months.

TIME SAVER: Klout allows you to sign in with your Twitter or Facebook account. No need to create and remember an additional password.

3. Feedly


Monitoring all of the blogs of your prospective customers individually can be overwhelming. But using an RSS reader can bring all of their latest posts into one dashboard for you to review at a glance.

RSS (that is, Really Simple Syndication) is a real-time feed that sends out an alert whenever a blog or website is updated. As far as RSS readers go, Feedly is one of the best.

It integrates with Google Reader and imports your RSS subscriptions into a magazine-style layout. When you open Feedly (available for mobile devices or as a browser extension) you can see all of the most relevant posts at a glance.

Stay on top of the latest news by subscribing to influential blogs in your industry, and comment on these blogs as they publish new posts. Being an active commenter can create dialogue and engagement with the writer of the blog, and it's a great way to open doors to further discussions. (How to Use Someone Else's Blog to Build Your Brand.)

PROTIP: Make Feedly a manageable part of your day by allocating a certain time to open it up, browse for relevant articles, and post a few comments to engage the bloggers and their audience.

TIME SAVER: Setting up your RSS subscriptions may take you an afternoon or two, but the rewards in saved time are enormous.



If This, Then That is one of the silent backbones of the social media universe.

You can link all of your social accounts (which should be easily accessible from your page, right?) and set rules for how they interact with each other.

There's plenty of other ways to aggregate your social media posting, but setting up a blog-to-social-media notification is one of the biggest time savers there is.

Every time you publish a blog post, IFTTT can automatically send a post title, link, and image to all of your social profiles. At least, all of the social platforms that have an API - Google+ and Pinterest being the two notable exceptions from IFTTT's large roster of integrated services.

PRO TIP: You can also set your profiles to automatically update from any RSS feed on the web. For instance, you can set your Tumblr blog to automatically repost any post by any user that you follow on Tumblr. Be careful, though; you can easily overdo it here, and create a 'bot' that mindlessly regurgitates whatever garbage it can. That's an easy way to alert search engines that your brand is a spammer, so wield this power wisely.

TIMESAVER: Set a reminder on your calendar at least twice a month to review the rules you use with IFTTT. This will give you a triggered time to make sure everything is current with your posting rules.

Have you used any of these tools in the past? Do you have any clever tricks you'd like to share? Leave us a comment below.

The Top 3 Social Media Auto-Posting Tools Compared


It's 2:00 AM. On your way to the fridge for a late-night snack, your best tweet ever pops into your mind! What should you do? Post it right then and there when the world is sleeping (and risk almost no one seeing your brilliance), or wait until the morning when you're busy getting ready for work (and possibly forget to post it at all)?

No need to worry about this ever again! When you use an auto-poster like Hootsuite, TweetDeck, or the new kid on the block, Buffer, you can engage social media followers and customers around the clock. Schedule messages and campaigns on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn at the perfect time.

These aggregator apps help you use your time more efficiently (and schedule those amazing late-night tweets for the next day). You can sit down, write a week's worth of tweets, and load them up. You won't need to log in again all week. Your social media accounts will remain active without your presence. (You'll still need to comment and interact as needed, but that's the fun part!)

Let's take a look at THE BIG 3 apps:



Arguably, this is the most popular social media posting application. Hootsuite has integrations for most major social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook Profiles and Pages, LinkedIn Profiles and Groups, and Google +).

What makes Hootsuite the Cadillac of autoposting programs is the social analytics. There are a whole slew of reports you can use to track your shareability and success.

Hootsuite does have a Bulk Uploading tool, but it's clunky. Unless you want to brave the difficulties of CSV exporting, you'll need to schedule your posts one by one.

If you upgrade to a paid plan ($5.99/month), you can add a team member to handle your social media management. You can monitor their upcoming posts, and approve or discard them in advance.



Like Hootsuite, the TweetDeck application lets you view feeds from multiple social media accounts on one dashboard. You can post to different accounts on different platforms with just a click.

Unlike Hootsuite, which is a browser-based application, TweetDeck can be downloaded onto your computer. If you want the ability to compose and schedule tweets while you are offline, and upload your work later, TweetDeck is the way to go.

I suggest creating a column for your competitors, so you can monitor their activity. Create another column for power Twitter users that also speak to your type of audience. You can use this feed as a ‘swipe file’ to get ideas for your own posts.



The newest addition to the social posting arena is Buffer. You can only add the three major social media platforms (Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook - including brand pages) but what Buffer lacks in integration, it makes up for in ease of use.

Select an account in Buffer, and write post, after post, after post. Share all of your links. The application will automatically ‘buffer’ them to be separated according to a default time spacing (for example, posting every 4 hours), or you can adjust the ‘buffers’ as you like. You can also reorder your upcoming posts with a drag and drop interface.

You can Buffer any cool article you find into your feed with a single click by using a browser extension. As you surf the web, you can update your weekly social media activity with almost no effort.

What’s your favorite social media tool? Let us know in the comments below.

The 50 Sales & Marketing Masters You Must Follow on Twitter


Who should you follow on Twitter?

If you're looking for people to follow on Twitter who excel at sales and self-marketing, we've compiled this list of 50 of the most influential self-marketers on Twitter.

 1. Sally Hogshead



Author of FASCINATE, creator of the Fascination Advantage™ personality test at



2. Keith Ferrazzi



Thought leader. Relationship Guru. Consultant. Author of “Never Eat Alone" and “Who’s got Your Back."



3. S. Anthony Iannarino



Catalyst. Instigator. Agitator.



4. Mari Smith




Leading Social Media Strategist, Speaker, Author | Premier Facebook Marketing Expert



5. Ali Brown




Entrepreneur, mentor, & philanthropist helping women around the world start and grow businesses to live their best lives.



6. Jeffrey Gitomer




king of sales, dad, granddad, writer, friend.



7.  Andy Horner




Ace of Sales CEO (, Marketing and Brand Consultant, Spokesperson for Originality



8. Dale Carnegie




Dale Carnegie Training – Leadership Training, Sales Management, Communication Skills



9. Harvey Mackay



Official Twitter - NY Times #1 BestSelling Author of Swim With The Sharks. Sports Nut, Father, Grandfather, Husband.



10. Robert Terson



Master Salesman and Motivator, Author and Speaker.



11. Ian Brodie



Straight talking marketing advice for consultants and coaches. Blogger, speaker, budding author.



12. Dan Waldschmidt



an ordinary dude with an outrageous vision…



13. Doug Davidoff



Reinventing the way companies sell, so you look forward to the words, The salesperson is here to see you. Vistage/EO speaker.



14.  Jennifer Abernethy



Social Business Marketing Stylist Multi-Million $ expert. Author: Idiot's Guide to Social Media Marketing 2010.



15. SalesDog



Sales and Marketing advice. Money and Motivation. Ideas and Answers. Entertaining weekly Sales newsletter.



16. Nancy Nardin



We are a content development & advisory firm specializing in sales productivity tools & advanced selling strategies.



 17. Jill Konrath



Fresh strategies for selling to crazy-busy people; author of SNAP Selling (#1 Amazon sales) & Selling to Big Companies.



18. Andy Paul



Author of Zero-Time Selling. Leading expert on the speed of selling and the strategies, tactics and processes to make it happen.



19. David A Brock



Passionate about helping sales and business professionals achieve extraordinary goals.



20. Frank Rumbauskas



Author of the breakthrough best-seller Never Cold Call Again



21. Brad Sugars



Brad Sugars, ActionCOACH CEO. Find or become a business coach at



22. Joanne Black



America's Authority On Referral Selling



23. Sam Richter



Award-winning author of Take the Cold Out of Cold Calling; world-renowned speaker; Know More! founder and CEO.



24. Marcus Sheridan



Passionately writing about all things inbound & content marketing, business, & life success principles.



25. Melinda Emerson



Forbes #1 Influential Woman for Entrepreneurs, Host #SmallBizChat, Author Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months.



26. Paul McCord



Trainer & author teaching sales teams, biz owners & professionals how to find & connect w/ great prospects.



27. Miles Austin



The Web Tools Guy. Sales & Marketing Technologist, speaking & writing on web tools that improve business.



28. Shameless Shamus



Shameless Salesman, Persuader, and Covert Influencer. Master Sales Coach and Consultant. Insightful and irreverent sales advice.



29. Lori Richardson



Never confuse activity w/ accomplishment. Love seeing b2b sales reps hit quota! (& love coffee) Sales blogger.



30. Gerhard Gschwandtner



Founder of Selling Power magazine and host of the Sales 2.0 Conference. Passionate about advancing the Sales 2.0 conversation.



31. Brian Vellmure



Executive, Analyst, Consultant, Keynote Speaker, Writer and Blogger.



32. ZoomInfo



The only multi-sourced, continuously-updated business information database available. 6m companies, 65m professionals.



33. Jim Keenan



Sr. Partner, A Sales Guy Consulting. Professional Ski Instructor (aka Ski Bum) Dad of 3 crazy, in a good way, girls.



34. Mark Hunter



Sales motivation tips and proven sales training techniques to help you increase sales, profitably



35.  Sharon Drew Morgen



Visionary, change management, coach, consultant, sales guru. Developer of Buying Facilitation™, a decision facilitation method.



36. Tom Searcy



Author of RFPS SUCK! and WHALE HUNTING, big deal hunter, teacher, keynote speaker, blogger, leader & Vistage speaker.



37. Gavin Ingham



Sales author, motivational speaker & seminar leader.



38. Alen Mayer, CSP


Canadian Sales Expert, Trainer and Author; Certified Advanced NLP Sales Specialist. To know is to sell.



39. Chad Levitt



Sales Rep on the front line of innovation @hubspot | Author of the New Sales Economy blog | Modern Sales & Marketing Strategist



 40. drjimanderson



Soft Skills For Tech Folks: Negotiating, Product Mgmt, Public Speaking, CIO Skills; Consultant, Speaker, Coach, and Trainer



41. MediaSalesToday



Insights and Ideas for Media Sales Professionals. Sponsored by @admall and @salestouchcrm



42. Kristin Zhivago



Revenue Coach (; author (; blogger (;



43. Donal Daly



Exploring the Sales 2.0 landscape.



44. Craig Elias



Creator of Trigger Event Selling™, $1,000,000 prize winner in Billion Dollar Idea Competition, Dadpreneur



45. Talking Media Sales



Talking Media Sales is the ultimate resource for direct sales people across all forms of media.



46. Josiane Feigon



CEO of TeleSmart, Bestselling author of Smart Selling on the Phone and Online Inside sales futurist



47. Mark Suster



2x entrepreneur. Sold both companies (last to Turned VC looking to invest in passionate entrepreneurs



48. Charles H. Green



The Trusted Advisor and Trusted Advisor Fieldbook co-author; Trust-based Selling author; speaker, trainer, coach.



49. Paul Williams



Remarkable marketer at Idea Sandbox. Delivering creativity and innovation by the sandbox-ful.



50. Ace of Sales



Make sales, close deals & build loyal relationships. Ace of Sales helps you attract, engage, differentiate, thank, stay in touch & WOW your customers!


 Who did we miss?

Is there anyone you think should have been included in this list? Leave a comment below with some Twitter handles!

5 New Ways to Use Pinterest For Business


Pinterest is the fastest growing social network of 2012. Its visual interface makes it addicting to browse, and its easy Twitter integration makes it simple to sign up and start pinning. What is Pinterest? It's the digital version of a pinboard. You know, like the kind people pin photos, news, ideas, and flyers on in their cubicles or workrooms. More specifically, it's a social sharing service that allows you to collect and share visual content from around the web. You can share anything you find – photos, infographics, screenshots, icons, and just about any type of image.

Here are 5 innovative ways to use Pinterest to promote your personal brand:

1. SEO Keyword Dominance – If you have any sort of SEO strategy in place, you know what your keywords are. If you’re a real estate agent in Brooklyn, for example, your clients will be searching for things like “Brooklyn Real Estate Agent." Create your Pinterest boards using SEO keywords to improve your search ranking on Pinterest – and on your website.

2. Use Pinterest to Promote Your Blog Posts – Pin all your blog post images on your Pinterest account. When visitors click the pin of your blog image on Pinterest, they'll click through to your actual blog article. (See how we did it on this Pinterest board.) Users can 'repin' your pins. When they do, your images appear on THEIR Pinterest board. It's just like when someone retweets your tweet. Their followers can follow your pin links to your blog – creating a whole new channel of blog traffic for you. The important hint here is to make sure your blog images are eye-catching and compelling – something someone would want to share!


3. Sell Products – Pinterest is the new way to window shop on the web! In addition to pinning images from your blog posts, you can also pin images of products you sell on your website. Pinterest even offers a price banner you can add to the upper left hand corner of each pin. It's a visual trigger that designates your pin as an item for sale. Your Pinterest visitors can clickthrough to your online shop and buy. This technique makes your products more sharable.

4. Pin Videos – Many Pinterest users aren't aware videos can be pinned to their boards too. Just add your "embed link" to your pin and your video will play right inside Pinterest. It's perfect for product demos, video testimonials, and value messages to share with customers. In turn, they may repin them and share them with their friends.

Does your audience like watching videos about certain subjects? Become a video curator! Create a pinboard full of the valuable videos that your audience will find helpful. As you become a trusted resource for discovering and sharing great video content, followers will likely send more traffic your way which can translate to referrals. Get the picture?

5. Discover Who's Pinning Your Images – A great way to identify your biggest fans on Pinterest is to go to Replace ‘’ with YOUR website domain, like "". You'll see your pins that have been re-pinned and who re-pinned them. Reach out to your biggest fans and thank them for spreading the word. Follow them back and stay in touch to build loyalty and connections.

Pinterest, like all social media communities, has just as many business applications as personal. All you have to do is identify how to best use this powerful new service to connect with people that love what you do.

How to Rev Up Social Media Customer Interaction


Many of your customers are using social media. They're reading blogs. They're sharing on Facebook. They're tweeting and retweeting on Twitter. Polls conducted by Touch Agency indicate that 24% of a company's customers follow or are willing to follow them on Twitter. Imagine what that number could be if you added Facebook, LinkedIn, and your blog.

That would be a customer engagement coup.

So, how do you get started?

You invite them with email.

Send an email to your contact list for each of your social media accounts. In each email, include one of your top tweets, Facebook threads, or LinkedIn discussion group topics to give your recipients a taste of the conversation and content that awaits them.

Killer Combo: Social Media and Email


March is a big month for Gitomer readers and customers! Jeffrey’s new business social media book “Social Boom" is landing in bookstores everywhere. And we just announced the launch of “Ace of Sales 2.0" – the latest and even easier to use update to Jeffrey’s hit selling program that helps you engage customers, develop relationships, and build your personal brand.

With all that going on, it seemed fitting to offer some ideas on how you can use email and social media as a killer combo for expanding your social network.

Announce your blog posts.

Until you have thousands of subscribers, one way to build your readership and promote your blog is to alert customers to a new post with an email.

Let’s say you’re a real estate agent and you just wrote a humdinger of an article about the state of the housing market in your locality with tips to sell fast. Many of your contacts would love to read this, but they don’t know your blog exists or that you just posted such a great article.

To drive readers to it, send them a vibrant email that includes the same compelling photo you used in your blog post. Add your logo, photo, contact info AND the first paragraph of the article. End the email with “Read the full article." Link it to your excellent blog post. Make sure your blog allows readers to tweet it, like it, and email the article to their friends. Once a week or every two weeks is a good timeframe to email out your “new post" announcements.

Highlight your tweets.

Next issue of your personal ezine (you do have one don’t you?), add a new mini-section to your sidebar. Copy and paste 3 or 4 of your best tweets to the section and title it “Latest Tweets." Or if you take our real estate agent example from above, you could call the sidebar section “Home Tweet Home." You get extra points for creativity and fun!

Keep an eye on LinkedIn.

Keep an eye on your LinkedIn network feed. When you see that one of your connections has been promoted to a higher position or been hired at a new company, send them a congratulations email. Ace of Sales 2.0 features a new, easy-to-browse gallery filled with fun, friendly, and humorous designs you can use to say thanks, hello, what’s up?, and... CONGRATS!

Promote a Facebook Event.

Running events on your business Facebook page is a great way to kick start your Facebook community and get the activity popping. Run a big contest or customer appreciation giveaway campaign. Announce a no cost, live webinar with an industry expert or a visit by a local speaker or celebrity. Keep your Facebook page fresh with all the details, photos, and exciting updates from the event.

Then, use branded emails splashed with images and teasers from the event to funnel traffic to your Facebook page where they can find all the thrilling details. Send 3 emails over the course of the event – a kick-off email, a jump-into-the-fun email at the height of the event, and a wrap up email. Try doing one event per month!

To create branded emails like I’ve described above, I invite you to use Ace of Sales. The new 2.0 version makes it so easy to get out in front of your contacts and customers with beautiful, branded emails and ezines that look amazing.

Watch the Ace of Sales 2.0 Intro Video »

Try Ace of Sales for 45 days free »

Get Jeffrey's latest book "Social Boom!" »