Stop the Cold Calling. Now.

It doesn’t matter how much research you conduct or how much you know about the company—if you just get a name, you’re cold calling (and, for the record, there’s no such thing as a warm call).

Every time I read a blog or an article about cold calling, it sends me over the top.

Recently, a blogger shared 10 tips for making better cold calls. In the first sentence she describes cold calling as a game. Let’s be clear: sales is not a game. Sales is a profession, a serious profession that requires skill and confidence.

Cold calling is a waste of time for a number of reasons (which I’ll get into). Do the math: Cold calling doesn’t pencil out.

Truth: Cold Calling Is a Nuisance

The last tip in the list of cold call tips, “Don’t be a nuisance.” This one flies directly in the face of my sales philosophy, and I have to write about it.

“Know the history of your company’s attempts to reach a prospect before you ask for his or her time. It doesn’t make sense to contact prospects with the same scripted message if others from your company have already tried (and failed) to make a connection. Figure out a new approach, or move on to the next call.”

The writer tells us not to be a nuisance. Don’t contact prospects whom others in your company have tried to reach…with no avail.

Cold calling is a demeaning sales tactic, and it’s a total waste of every salesperson’s time. Cold calling is humiliating. It doesn’t matter how much research you conduct, how much you know about the company and the trigger events, if you just get a name, you’re a cold caller. You’re like every other bothersome salesperson out there. Yes, bothersome. You bother people, interrupt them, and can’t wait to give your pitch. You’re the reason sales gets a bad name. (Watch the video, “Why Salespeople Should Never Cold Call”)

Truth: Referrals Deliver More Business in Less Time

One of my clients told me she received a referral introduction to an important prospect and closed a significant deal. Her company cold-called this same prospect for months and never reached the decision maker. What a total waste of time, effort, and money. (Want a tip? Referrals get you past the gatekeeper.)

Referral selling trumps cold calling every day of the week. You’re a nuisance and you demean the reputation of all sales professionals. Cold calling is the bottom of the barrel.

Yes, sales is a profession. So start acting like a professional and stop cold calling

Ice the Cold Calling and Comment Here

Where to you belong? Where do you want to be? Are you a cold-calling nuisance or a successful referral generator? Comment here. I personally respond to all thoughtful posts.

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13 Responses to Stop the Cold Calling. Now.

  1. vin says:

    what do you tell companies that are just getting started and don’t have customers yet? Do you segment the responsibility of pre customer stage to the marketing people. note…I hate cold calling. believe 100 percent in your ideology. there are just some situations that call for a “cold” introduction. additionally, believe this or not, some industries will NOT refer you if you provide a solution that gives a customer a competitive advantage. think about it. why would I refer a solution that enhances my customer acquisition capability to my competition. additionally, what about EARLY stage companies that have a small number of customers? should we lean on them making referrals for us a full time job???

  2. Joanne Black says:

    Hi Vin:

    Thanks for writing.

    Referrals come from many sources–not just current customers. People refer people, not companies. I’d encourage you to reach out to everyone you know. Chapter 4 “The World is Your Sales Team” in my book, outlines some excellent strategies. http://www.nomorecoldcalling.com/wp/products/book/

    Be sure to describe why you want a referral in terms of the business results or impact of your solution.

    I agree that no one will refer you to a competitor. So steer clear of that trap and focus on all of your relationships and how you can leverage your connections.

    A great way to get started is to invite one of your contacts to meet with you–either in person, on the phone, or through web videos. Your purpose is to discover how you can help each other. You’ll look for opportunities to refer business, but you’ll also find other ways to help. Maybe you have a great idea, you’ll refer them to a colleague or point them to a website that will help their business.

    Check out my blog http://www.nomorecoldcalling.com/wp/look-to-internal-referrals-for-the-secret-to-sales-success/ for more tips.

  3. Mary says:

    Customers are being fooled by cold calling

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