With all due respect to the red-headed step children in the audience, cold calling is exactly that in the world of sales. It appears that every pundit, consultant, and bottom-line-enhancing guru is calling for the end to this once in vogue methodology. What did cold calling ever do to you?
Outside of the constant rejection, debilitating phone phobia, and self-esteem cratering reprimands we receive from our potential clients on the other end, not much. With gifts such as these, who can blame a sales professional for giving this method the (excuse the pun) “cold” shoulder? Not this guy!
However, in cold calling’s defense, I would argue that it’s not so much the game as it is the player. When done properly, cold calling can be the best weapon in your arsenal. When nurtured and given the time and attention it deserves, nothing can elevate your bottom line as quickly and efficiently as cold calling.
If I had a dollar for every time someone rolled their eyes, snickered, or shook their head when I told them that I work with sales professionals to elevate their cold call success rate, believe me, I would not need to be writing this article. Some of the responses immediately emanating from their lips include:
- “Get with the times! Nobody cold calls anymore!”
- “Hey, the 1950’s called; they would like their solicitation strategy back!”
- “So how was the Eisenhower administration anyway?”
- “I get more referrals than I can handle and don’t need to cold call”
Nothing gets me riled up as much as the last objection. This one doesn’t just push my buttons, it palms them! It doesn’t just palms them, it five-finger death punches them! It doesn’t just five-finger death punch them…well, you get the idea.
Let me ask you an honest question: who is your ideal client? If you could only work with one type of individual or business from now on, who would it be and why? What would this client look like? What are the characteristics that make this entity ideal?
A financial advisor friend of mine answered this question for me in a heartbeat (no coincidence, he is also an avid cold caller). Here is how he described his ideal client to me recently:
- Between the age of 50-65
- Currently going through a divorce
- Lives within 30-miles of his office
- Has changed his job twice during his working career
- Has over $1,000,000 in investable assets
- Is a male
Now, Mr. Hot Shot Big Time Referral Getter, how many of the appointments that you are running, meetings you are taking part in, and conversations that you are having are with people that meet your exact criteria to a tee? 10%? 5%? 0?%
If we are honest with ourselves, there is a tremendous difference between staying busy with potential clients and staying busy with our ideal clients. True, we will gladly work with friends, family, and associates of our clients who generously refer us. That’s a given.
It’s also true that we will work with individuals that walk into our businesses and ask for our help. There is a difference, however, between working with individuals reactively versus working with individuals proactively. Cold calling, when done properly, is, and always must remain, an exercise in proactivity.
One of your clients sings your praises and has his brother-in-law call you to schedule an appointment. Reactive! Someone living two blocks down from you who passes your office to and from work each day stops in to get a quote. Reactive! You have literally zero control as to the quality of the individual who speaks with you in either scenario.
When it comes to cold calling, who you call, when you call, where you call, and how you call are all, 100%, entirely up to you. Everyone should be cold calling because nobody is meeting with their ideal clients every day. Everyone should be cold calling because, if left to their own devices, your ideal clients are not, with any consistency, going to go out of their way to call you.
In defense of cold calling, the reason that we hate it so much is because we have not been as strategic in our call placement, or effective in our message. I have a 98.6% cold call success rate and view Cold Calling as one of my children. Want a better relationship with this ultimate secret weapon? Let me know and let’s begin the process of making amends with this useful ally! Please visit www.coldcallcoach.net to learn more.