The simple answer to why decision makers hate cold calls is cold calls are one of the biggest time wasters for them.
Decision makers hate cold calls and have no interest in taking your call because all you do is waste their time. Period.
Now, you don’t see it the same way. You believe you have something of value to offer the decision maker–actually, you want to see if you have something of value for them. You have to qualify them and that’s one of the things you’re hoping to begin to do while speaking with them. All you want is a couple of minutes of their time to set an appointment and learn a little something about whether or not they’re a qualified prospect.
To you, all you’re asking is just three, four, maybe five minutes of their time and a short little 10 or 15 minute appointment. No big deal–just a moment of their time.
But look at what you’re asking from their point of view:
1. You’re not the only call they’ll get that day. They’ll get 5, 10, 15, maybe more cold calls on any given workday. You only want 5 minutes of their time? Well, that 5 minutes can add up to a half an hour, an hour, two hours or more if they spoke to everyone who called. Everyday.
2. You only want a short 10 or 15 minute meeting. Sure. They understand that you’re asking for 10 and intend to stay 45. They learned the BS about the 10 minute meeting their first week on the job.
3. You just want to ask a few questions to gather information to grab their interest to set an appointment. You sound like every other salesperson who calls. That’s what they all want. They want the decision maker to educate them about why they called, that is, to give them a reason to try to set a meeting.
4. When they politely say ‘no,’ you won’t accept it. Instead you try to probe, to flush out the objection, to give more reasons for them to meet with you. Finally, they get mad enough to slam, the phone down or tell you in no uncertain terms ‘NO.’
5. When you call, you have nothing of interest for them. They’re not thinking about your great new copier because they still have 2 years on the lease of their current copier. They’re not thinking about replacing their phone system, they’re thinking about the server that just crashed. They’re not thinking about a new accounting system because they’re thinking about the big deal they just lost that morning.
How would you like to go through that 5, 10, 15 times a day? Everyday? Without fail? What would be your resolution to the problem? Would you take those calls? You would do the same thing they do—not take any calls.
And decision makers have made it as obvious as possible that they don’t want your call. They’ve put gatekeepers in place to keep you out. They’ve got voice mail to filter who they want to talk to and who they don’t. They put signs on the door that say ‘no soliciting.’ As soon as they discover you’re a salesperson they say ‘no,’ and hang up.
Yet, you think—you hope—that you’re the exception. That they’ll take your call. That they’ll want to speak with you despite the signals they’ve given. That you’re different from other 5, 10, or 15 salespeople who will call that day.
Cold calling is viewed by many salespeople, managers, and companies as the quickest, easiest, and cheapest way to find prospects. It isn’t. It is in many ways the most difficult and expensive, because when you cold call you’re trying to connect with someone who has already indicated as plainly as they possibly can that they don’t want to speak with you. In order to overcome that, you have to make massive numbers of calls in order to find someone, anyone, you can corner.
If you choose to cold call, you’ve a hard road ahead of you. Few top producers waste their time cold calling because it is so ineffective and costly. However, if you do choose to cold call, invest in getting the best cold call training you can. Your investment will pay off with greatly increased results—you’ll still waste a lot of time; you’ll still face a tremendous amount of rejection; you’ll still have to eventually find better ways to connect with prospects; but at least, make your efforts as profitable as possible.