“The general lack of confidence in the news media as an institution aligns with findings last fall that showed trust in the mass media at an all-time low.” – Quote from June 28, 2017, article on Gallup.com by Art Swift
Recent public polling indicates that, on average, barely one in four Americans expresses high confidence in the media.
They just don’t believe what they read or hear. Reasons “why” vary. The big takeaway is that skepticism abounds regarding content from “traditional” news outlets.
You might count Inc.com among those media sources viewed with an increasingly questioning glint. It’s certainly been around a long time.
Count me among the new skeptics. As detailed in my last post, a recent column on Inc.com about cold calling was so pompous, dismissive and wrong that I’m wondering if the editors were napping when the author submitted his text.
Give Up Hope, all Ye Who Enter …
The article, titled “Cold Calling Is a Waste of Time,” tried to make the case that, yes, cold calling is an exercise in futility, and those who enter its realm shall abandon all hope immediately.
That’s right, don’t even pick up the phone. Societal changes have left you behind. Cold calling is dead. Oh, and you’re doomed, too.
Geez, where to start?
Geoffrey James, the column’s writer, recites several alleged obstacles to cold calling success. Some have been around forever. Others are newer.
All are blather.
Gated Community? Seriously?
Let’s begin with the gatekeeper, in keeping with history. We all know who he/she is. Salespeople have schemed for decades about how to get behind, under or over this person.
Well, instead of trying to get past them, why not engage him/her and create an advocate? It’s not that hard. Use a greeting that’s disarming and assumes familiarity. Treat them like a human being, not a wall.
You see, the opening seconds of a call are sacred. Your success relies on what you say, and how you say it. If you sound like a salesperson, you’re dead. So don’t!
Yes, Mail it In
Even if you get past the gatekeeper, Mr. James notes, there’s voicemail to contend with. Oh no! Not that! Anything but voicemail!
Yeah, right. If you know how to leave an effective voicemail, you’ll be amazed how many messages are returned.
The key? Once again, avoid sounding like a salesperson. Play defense. Don’t tip your hand. Make your message one that piques interest, arouses curiosity and spurs action.
Are you seeing a pattern here? The Inc. column presumes that salespeople are still staring at a list of numbers, script in hand, and dialing one after the next. Well, times have changed. Maybe the author needs to get out more.
Successful cold calling is possible with preparation and strategy. No two calls are alike. You should be mentally nimble, and ready for any response. Do this, and the results might surprise you.
We’re going to continue dissecting this mash of misleading media in my next post. Heck, I’m loving this.
Of course, you don’t have to believe me … even though I’ve taught hundreds of people the techniques of successful cold calling. Just promise that you’ll trust me more than the media.