Why is it when the economy tanks, article after article, webinar after webinar, sales strategy after sales strategy promote cold calling as the tried and true prospecting method? STOP cold calling. It’s a total waste of time. Your time. The prospect’s time. And wasting time is stupid. So stop, already.
Welcome to my blog. I will tell the truth and give you my points of view. I will speak out as I haven’t before. This is a forum for ideas, conversation, and dissent (you don’t have to agree with me). I will share with you what I know works in sales. If something that isn’t my area of expertise comes up, I will refer you to the expert.
Repeat After Me: I Will Not Cold Call
I want to scream every time I read one of these cold-calling articles – the authors talk about capturing a prospect’s attention in 10 seconds, crafting a message to reach the decision-maker, navigate through screeners, overcome sales resistance, create voicemail messages that get returned, and have a sales pipeline that can’t be beat. Garbage.
Cold calling is a tactic, duplicitous, not genuine, and it doesn’t work. Cold calling is a total waste of every salesperson’s time. And cold calling authors have the gall to call cold calling an “art.”
Consider the following situations:
- You call someone because you got their name came from a colleague or friend. Cold!
- You call someone and then follow up with a letter. Cold!
- The person’s name came from a specific list. Still cold!
These are all cold calls – the person doesn’t know you and is not expecting your call. Even though you think you’ve been able to avoid sounding like a telemarketer, this type of call is still cold. And cold calling is a numbers game. If you make 100 calls, you’ll talk to about 20 people, schedule 10 sales appointments, and if you’re lucky, close one new deal. That’s a 1 percent return on your time.
Whether it’s direct mail, calling on the phone, knocking on doors to make an in-person sales call, or sending unsolicited email, why would you bother with a sales system that gets such dismal results?
STOP Cold Calling
Not only does cold calling have a low percentage return, those who cold call and those who receive cold calls rarely have a positive attitude about cold calls. Research by Huthwaite® surveyed both sellers and buyers about their attitudes on prospecting:
• 63 % of salespeople say cold calling is what they most dislike about their jobs
• 88 % of salespeople work for companies that consider prospecting important
• 91% of buyers never respond to an unsolicited inquiry
• 71% of buyers find cold calls annoying
• 88% of buyers will have nothing to do with cold callers
• 94% of buyers couldn’t remember a single prospector or message they had received during the last two years
Some authors even suggest that if you cold call the “right way,” you will actually enjoy the process.
Others say that cold calling is a necessary part of every salesperson’s prospecting strategy, and we all should be doing it. Some salespeople say they are new to a job and don’t have clients or are just out of school and don’t know enough people. Excuses, excuses…
Want to succeed in sales? Stop cold calling and adopt the only sales strategy where you are pre-sold, have trust and credibility, ace out the competition, shorten your sales process, incur no sales costs, and get a new client more than 70 percent of the time.
It’s called Referral Sales. Why would you work any other way?