The end of year offers me a time to go through piles of things I haven’t read yet – one of which was Business 2.0’s december issue.
I like Business 2.0 very much – as someone who coordinates the Fast Company magazine readership group here in the Seattle area, I find B 2.0 a more interesting read lately – great ideas, except for the article I read called Firing Up Your Cold Calls.
First I should say that anything referencing doing actual sales activities is refreshing to me – many of the startup biz organizations and business magazines just don’t write enough about how to actually make sales happen. I was alarmed, though – when I read Paul Kaihla’s interpretation of some of the five tips (he calls them “tricks”) for business success by phone calling.
Administrative assistants everywhere will cringe at the comments made about how to “charm” the gatekeepers. People in business are not stupid, and if you attempt to be “charming” or “tricky” it could result in that person keeping you from the decision maker for as long as they work for that firm. Why not be yourself, and be a professional with vital information for an executive?
You can take a look at the whole article here. I’m not sure how to respond to Business 2.0, because there are so many bad pieces of advice with this article – I’m concerned that someone well meaning could really be led down the wrong path with some of this information.
Tip (trick) number 5: Be a little unprofessional.
My advice: Always be professional! Don’t be uptight, or unsure, or a script reader – again, be yourself. In Kaihla’s example about calling into KMart – that IS what a professional seller would do. Perhaps I am hung up with the language here – so let me revew a couple of points:
1. Selling is an admirable profession – selling is required for company sustainability and growth.
2. Calling in to a company is, for now, an accepted and important way to communicate, assuming you have valuable information and products or services that fit the company’s needs. Don’t waste people’s time.
3. Calling in cold IS a longer and harder way to reach decision makers – but the creative professionals who use a multi-facted approach can be extremely successful.
How many opportunities have you involved others in because you picked up the phone to let someone know about them? It’s possible one day, perhaps sooner than we think – that we will have to pay for that opportunity as technology changes – but for now, be yourself, be a pro, and get good advice on this most important aspect of revenue generation.