Cold calling is over. The only people who don’t realize it are the people still making them. Or worse – their bosses.
I am in a LinkedIn group called Sales Gravy. I’m following a thread about the ROI of cold calling (http://tiny.cc/ajaXv). It’s interesting to see how salespeople view cold calling.
As you read my posts, you will gain insight to my philosophy and get a few sales tips on how to avoid cold calling forever.
There were more than 100 other posts – here are mine:
– My definition of cold calling since 1992 has been "waste of time." I have upgraded it since the onset of the Internet to "total waste of time." Oh, some people make sales cold calling, but not nearly as many as with referrals, by a margin of 50-1. Whatever your thoughts are about cold calling – one fact is undeniable: Of all the options, the cold call is by far the lowest percentage sales call.
– Which would you rather have: 100 cold calls or 100 referrals? People have to cold call because they are transactional with customers (they have a hunter-farmer, 1970s mentality) and don't take the time to build memorable relationships that lead to referrals. Instead of spending a day cold calling, why not spend a day with existing customers to earn referrals?
– Focus on delivering real value to your best customers, and relationships will blossom. Real revenue comes from long-term relationships, not one-shot deals. Anyone trying to tell me "Cold calls work" or "I made a lot of money cold calling" will get my agreement. I did it and have made a lot of money cold calling. But I have made millions by writing, positioning, delivering value first and creating a reputation of excellence. And I recommend you do the same.
– (Someone’s post) The only accurate statistic I can quote is, "You miss 100 percent of the shots you don't take.”
– (My response) Eh, almost Bill – closer to accuracy is – you only miss 100 percent of the cold calls you do make.
– As I said in my other posts, some people have success cold calling. I have had success cold calling but with reputation, relationships and referrals, it blows away all stats on cold calling and reduces the sales cycle time from connection to sale.
There is a bright side to cold calling – it's a great place to learn how to sell. It calls for real mental agility to get to the real decision maker and preparation combined with creativity once you do. And you feel great when you finally do make the sale. But in today’s business world, where most cold calling takes place on the phone or online, you're much better off with a referral – or better – when someone calls you.
– If you're in sales, you should spend the majority of your time in front of people who can say "yes" to you. If you're making cold calls, the majority of your time is wasted on people saying "no.”
– No wonder everyone fails at cold calling, no one gets what the real objective is: Get to the decision maker and create the atmosphere where he or she wants to buy (not to sell them). Until that takes place, the ROI on cold calling is under zero. Reality: The cost of lost opportunity for not investing your time in other sales generating activities – like earning referrals – relegates you to having to cold call.