There are two reasons that cold calling takes a beating. The first reason is that most salespeople aren’t very good at it (most people like to do work at which they are above average, especially when it is noticeable). These salespeople complain about cold calling. The second reason cold calling gets bashed is the fact that a whole cottage industry has popped up to sell the idea that cold calling is dead to the group of salespeople who aren’t very good at it and wish for an easier way to set appointments.
The anti-cold calling crowd preys on weak salespeople. These charlatans are no different than the charlatans that sell the idea that you can lose weight without exercise or diet, that you can get rich quickly without working, and that affiliate marketing creates millionaires (which it does, but the millionaires are the folks who sell the picks and shovels, not those that are standing in the stream panning for gold). Cold calling has much in common with weight loss, fitness, and getting rich. Like all of these, cold calling is hard work. Cold calling is also a perquisite for success in sales, just like diet and exercise are prerequisites for weight loss and fitness, and spending less and saving more are prerequisites for becoming wealthy.
To succeed at prospecting today, you need to use every weapon in your arsenal, cold calling, warm calling, networking, referrals, traditional marketing, social media and more. You cannot leave cold calling out of your arsenal; it is just too valuable a skill for a sales person.
If you don’t like cold calling, consider that you might not like it simply because it is hard to be really good at cold calling. Treat cold calling like anything else that you want to be really good at and dedicate the time and resources necessary.
- Read a book on cold calling. Read two books.
- Ask someone who is great to listen to you make calls and offer suggestions.
- Record all of your calls and listen back to them to hear how you sound to the prospect. The do something to make your calls better, stronger.
- Rewrite your scripts to make them more compelling to the prospect.
- Get a coach.
- Buy a cold calling program on cd and listen to it on the way to and from work.
If you work at it, you can and will get better. If you work especially hard at it, you can get better even faster. Whatever you do, don’t buy the dream sold by charlatans and con-artists. If you plan to do well in sales, plan to get good at cold calling.