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.
3. These Marketing Gurus’ secret weapon to generating more leads isn’t such a secret. Are you ready? I’m going to give it to you now, for free. Networking and referrals. Wow! what an epiphany. I bet you dint’ know that. You must be blown away by this awesome and unique insight. Personally, I think you’re much smarter than these folks give you credit for. Maybe you already know this and are doing it. Maybe you know this and you’re still not doing this. And maybe you’re doing this and it’s not working as well as you want. Regardless of your situation, once again; at the core, you need a strong compelling opening statement to grab someone’s interest. Once again, this is the definition of cold calling. Still, no difference here.
1. The Contradictions These Gurus Preach: One of these innovators who preaches that cold calling is dead delivers more of a conflicting message than value. In his promotional materials, he talks about developing the core marketing message, which includes the issues and challenges you address, and the solutions and outcomes you deliver. So far, this is the exact definition of what I attest to when crafting a laser introduction to use during a networking event or an opening statement you deliver when making a cold call. No argument from me so far.
However, this person then continues by saying when you make your first connection with this person (i.e. first contact i.e. cold call!) you have the opportunity to communicate your core marketing message (i.e. your cold calling opening statement). Then, and this is where it gets a bit more humorous, he writes if you deliver this message correctly, you generate attention and interest without cold-calling. And in the same breath, he reminds you that this prospect isn’t a client yet and there still may be some resistance to your message but at least you have their attention. HELLO! THIS IS COLD CALLING BABY!
You can call it what you want. Warm calling, prospecting, mining for clients, shopping for customers or easy marketing 101. Whatever makes you position cold calling in your mind that makes it easier for you to internalize and digest. Bottom line; with a strong prospecting and cold calling system that is mapped out step by step; which also includes the compelling opening statement you need, the reasons why someone should listen to you in the first place (rather than asking for an appointment, demo, proposal, etc.) well crafted questions to determine if there’s even a fit between you and your prospect, as well as a strong voice mail and follow up strategy, you will see what a competitive edge “cold calling” can give you. (Not to sound self promoting, but I’d suggest grabbing a copy of my book, “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Cold Calling” which is sure to give you the tools you need to sell more than you ever did via the phone.)
Finally, I am happy to share with you my cold calling and prospecting checklist that will give you the foundation and outline you need to develop a powerful cold calling campaign. This is also mapped out in my book. Here’s the link.
I can tell you this, for every person I speak with who tells me their cold calling efforts aren’t producing the results they want, I can assure you that there are holes and gaps in their approach which you can now identify with this checklist. Plug up the holes and you will see how effective your cold calling efforts can be, now that you’ve developed your true competitive edge.
If you have any other questions, feel free to contact me anytime at www.profitbuilders.com or 1-888-262-2450. Hope this helps!