The Chilling Reasons why Cold Calling
Could Leave You Out in the Cold
Does anybody really like cold calling? Whether you’re the caller
or the recipient there not much to like. The extroverted personality may
think it’s OK to contact people he doesn’t know and who were not expecting his phone
call, trainers talk about having thick skin and being able to handle rejection.
Others say that you will have to make 80, 90, or 100 phone calls per day, every
day to be successful.
A recent study by Huthwaite concludes the following:
- 63 percent of salespeople say cold calling is what they most dislike about their
- 88 percent of salespeople work for companies that consider prospecting important.
- 91 percent of buyers never respond to an unsolicited inquiry.
- 71 percent of buyers find cold calls annoying.
- 88 percent of buyers will have nothing to do with cold callers.
Those numbers can lead you to only one conclusion. There are some bad attitudes on
both sides of
Is there really anything wrong with the idea of cold calling, or is it the way
that cold calling is done that gives it a negative connotation? It;s difficult to
say cold calling is bad because, quite frankly, there are some people out there
who are very good at it, and there are some people out there who don’t mind getting
the calls. The issue has much more to do with your personality as a sales person
and where your comfort zone lies. If you are truly well prepared to make a cold
call, your rejection rate may be a little lower. If you have practiced and made
a bunch of calls to hone your skills, fewer people might hang up on you. If you’ve
resigned yourself to the fact that you may close only 1% of your prospects through
cold calls, then go for it.
There is no magic formula here. Skilled prospectors spend a great deal of time making
calls and realize that their priorities may not always match those of the prospect.
The resulting rejection is accepted by the caller and they move on to the next call.
It’s straightforward, to the point, and intended for those who do not fear rejection.
Unfortunately, most people don’t fit this personality type and cold calling scares
people to the point where they simply will not do it.
On the other side of things are the so-called marketing gurus claiming that they
can teach you how to make “warm calls and take away the pressure and rejection
of the cold call. The problem is that a warm call is basically a cold call without
the sell. Maybe there was a letter that preceded the phone call, but you’re not
calling on someone you actually know. Other than having glanced at your letter,
they still consider you a relative stranger. So why is this any different than a
cold call? It’s not, and it does absolutely nothing to build a relationship between
you and the contact.
Recently the term “hot calling” has been thrown around on the Internet and in sales
training classes. What is a hot call you ask? In theory, a hot call is a call that
is made to people that you actually know. During the call, you go for the sale AND
try to get a list of people whom they would refer. On top of that, you ask that
they introduce you to their referrals to make it easier on you. Is that really a
hot call? It seems like it would be more of an awkward and embarrassing call where
you are reduced to begging your friends and family for sales and referrals. Seems
kind of sleazy. There must be a better way.
How about just “a call” to a friend or acquaintance? It’s a novel approach, but
it just might work. There are many, many people out there who know you. If you aren’t
friends, at least they know who you are well enough to talk with you. What’s the
harm in giving them a call just to see how they are doing? Don’t sell, just talk.
Talk about things that interest them, catch up, ask about the family. If the question
comes up about your situation, you can just mention briefly what you do. You may
be able to talk about yourself for a while, but if you sense that they are losing
interest, direct the conversation back to them. You might even ask your contact
to meet you for coffee or lunch sometime, just to catch up.
Here’s the good thing you will get an opportunity to renew some old contacts. Here’s
the bad thing you will not make an immediate sale that day, based on that phone
call. So now it’s time to answer the big question: What’s more important, the immediate
sale or the relationship? Do you lose any respect in the eyes of your contact because
you did not try to sell to him? Actually what you did was just the opposite. You
opened up communications and strengthened a relationship that could lead to much
more than a quick sale. Furthermore, you have laid the groundwork that will create
an ally as you look for future sales and referrals.
Best of all, there was not a single thing you did to make your contact feel uncomfortable.
Come to think of it, you didn’t feel uncomfortable either. Sounds pretty good. And
guess what? Next time you talk you may actually feel comfortable enough to bring
up your business and seek any knowledge that your contact may have. At the very
least, you can add him or her to your list of people with whom you should stay in
Whether it’s cold calling, warm calling, hot calling, or something else entirely,
there is no “right” way to deal with prospects. There’s no one way either.
With all the forms of communication available to you, keeping in touch with prospects
is easier to do than ever. Use email, mail, phone calls and anything else you can
dream up. But remember, it’s not always about the sale. Usually it’s about the relationship.
Strong, trusting relationships always bring good things, and among those things
you will find excellent leads and plenty of sales. Be patient, be yourself and watch
your business grow.
Next time we will find out the true value of a customer and why you MUST know that
in order to get the most out of your relationship for the long-term.
Follow Your Customer Inc.
Previous lessons in this series include:
- 7 Techniques to Building a “Die Hard Customer Base
- Why People Buy Learn the Secret to Getting in Their Heads
- Timing is Everything, but Great Timing What You Really Need
- Referrals that Rule 7 Steps to Getting Referrals from Everyone you Know
The Chilling Reasons