Cold Calling is dead. That’s right, it is dead. It is interruption marketing to the highest degree. Consumers are tuning out interruption marketing and the advertising message is not getting through.
So why do you continue to cold call? It is probably because your sales manager tells you that you should. And why does he tell you to cold call? It is probably because the sales consultant that your company spent thousands of dollars on advised that the staff should increase their cold calls to increase their sales. Of course, your company needs to see a return on this investment so they advise the sales manager to advise the sales staff to follow the recommendations and increase the amount of cold calls.
“More cold calls equals more appointments made equals more sales presentations equals more closed sales. ” This is the general thinking. So sales leads lists are purchased from companies such as InfoUsa and the troops hunker down in the “boiler room” and call business executives and decision makers hoping to set appointments. The generally accepted rule is 15 cold calls should translate into 3 appointments made which should result in 1 completed sale. This rule usually ends up being 150 (or more) cold calls equals 3 appointments made equals 1 completed sale. The reason? Have you ever tried calling a business executive? Then you know that it takes about 10 tries before you actually get through on the phone. So the intial 15 calls turns into 150 calls. Executives, by nature, are busy… appointments, meetings, travel, planning… they don’t have time for unsolicited phone calls. And, if you do manage to find them with some free time, it takes a lot of skill to get through the secretary (the gatekeeper); they are trained to filter out unimportant phone calls. And guess what? Your call is NOT IMPORTANT!
Let’s go back to the sales consultant that your company hired. How did your company decide that they needed to hire a sales consultant? Did the sales consultant cold call your company to advise that your company’s sales are not as high as they could be and that, therefore, they should hire a sales consultant to provide some recommendations? No he didn’t. The scenario was something along the following lines: The CEO of your company noticed that sales are decreasing and did a search on the internet for a sales consultant to potentially hire to help the company increase sales. The CEO called the consultant, they met, the consultant made his sales presentation, and he was hired. The sales consultant, already with a contract, just regurgitated old school sales principals, basically more cold calls. Perhaps he even drafted a few cold calling scripts. This is almost foolproof. If sales increase the consultant will say it was because of his cold calling training. If sales don’t increase he’ll say it is because the company wasn’t following his recommendations… they did not make enough cold calls.
The bottom line is this “sales expert” did not need to make a cold call to earn his income. The company CEO found him on the internet. He has a website and he lets his website do the selling for him. If the “sales expert” doesn’t need to make cold calls, then neither do you. Rather than spending thousands of dollars on sales consultants and sales lead lists, sell the way that these pros sell. Instead, spend that money on internet marketing. People that need your services are searching the internet to find somebody to provide it to them. If they are not finding you then your competitors are getting the business. If you don’t have a website, you can create a professional profile on other sites, such as trade-pals.com for free. Just remember, if you disturb somebody with a sales message it is interruption marketing. If someone finds you through searches it is permission marketing. People just don’t respond to interruption marketing anymore. If they find you, they have already made the conscious decision to use your services; half of your sales work will already have been done!
Tino Buntic is a former cold caller but is presently retired from cold calling. He now gets his sales leads through other means. His website, trade-pals.com, provides sales leads without cold calling to sales professionals across North America