I had a sales manager once whose idea of giving us leads was to throw a phone book at us and say, “Start calling!”
He didn’t care whether the people we were calling had any interest in what we were selling. He just wanted us on the phone pitching the product.
Thankfully this type of cold calling is becoming a thing of the past. I call it “blind” cold calling because it is completely blind to the prospect’s potential interest in the product or service. It pays no attention to what the prospect might want because it’s focused entirely on what the salesperson wants.
I have discussed cold calling with a lot of people recently and I believe it is still a valid way to generate leads. But it is best used in certain under certain conditions.
One condition is that, as a seller, you are able to gather enough information about your leads so you have a good reason to call them. Because of your research, it’s reasonable to expect they would have an interest in your product or service. If you cannot honestly make this statement then you should not contact them via a cold call.
A second condition is that your leads should be accessible via cold calls. I know most people don’t like getting cold calls. But that’s different. Even though people may not like a lot of cold calls, some people still respond to them. Relationships begin and sales get made as a result of cold calls. I know this because my business (local publishing) is one of them where this happens on a regular basis.
On the other hand, many people simply cannot be reached with cold calls. They are in industries or positions where they have erected enough barriers that cold calls just don’t work.
If your market meets these two conditions then it might make sense to use cold calling as a way to generate leads. If it does not, then I think you would do better if you look for other ways to connect with prospects because cold calling would likely be a waste of time.
What do you think?