Am I charged up. Maybe it’s time for a conference, an informal get together or at minimum, an announcement to confront these ‘marketing gurus’ in a press release or over a panel discuss. I welcome the challenge.
Here’s why. I’m tired of these self proclaimed experts telling you that cold calling doesn’t work or that it’s dead and they have the secret proven system so that you never have to cold call again. Which I find ironic, given the percentage of people hiring me to help them develop their telephone prospecting and selling skills and strategy who have used their ‘infallible’ system…Hmmm.
Lets get the facts out of the way first before I continue with my rant. The majority of all Fortune 500 companies utilize some form of telephone selling, marketing or cold calling to complement their overall strategic sales goals. Enough said. After all if it didn’t’ work, they wouldn’t be continually building out this arm of their overall strategy to attract and retain more customers.
Bottom line; Do not abandon cold calling! Cold calling is far from dead and I see evidence of this every day. What is dead are the traditional and poorly developed cold calling efforts that salespeople still use in an attempt to generate new business. As an executive sales coach (www.profitbuilders.com) and someone who coaches and trains companies, sales teams and salespeople each day, it’s not that cold calling doesn’t work. Cold calling works fabulously well. However, it’s more about the approach that salespeople are using when cold calling that simply doesn’t work.
For now, I’m going to show you the universal disconnect, lie, untruth or contradiction in what these marketers are preaching:
1. First and foremost, how are you defining ‘cold calling.‘ Is it defined as making an initial attempt to connect with a potential prospect who you don’t know? Regardless of any of these quick fix programs, one thing is for certain. Eventually you need to get on the telephone with them or meet with them in person. And when that happens what’s your communication strategy then? My point is, it’s the message that takes precedent in this initial phone to phone or face to face contact and to me, that’s what cold calling is all about. These marketers are exploiting semantics; twisting the truth, and very successfully I might add.
2. As I mentioned before, it’s the cold calling system that sucks: Most salespeople sound exactly the same as every other person when calling on the same prospect, rather than develop their unique and compelling message that’s going to grab someone’s ear to the point where they are interested in what you have to say. And as the recipient of dozens of cold calls each day, why should a prospect want to hear the same approach time and time again? How can that possibly distinguish you? So be careful. Most people who feel cold calling doesn’t work in actuality have learned the wrong lesson. After all, if you dig a hole with a spoon, do you learn the lesson that you can’t dig holes very well or is it more about having the right tools to achieve the necessary objective.