Most salespeople nowadays waste tremendous amounts of time cold calling for new business despite the fact that cold calling is an obsolete, Industrial Age sales technique that is no longer viable in our new Information Age economy. In so many areas of business and life in general, new and efficient Information Age methods have been accepted and embraced, but for some reason the sales management of most companies today continue to teach, endorse, and even force the concept of “cold calling” on their salespeople, despite the fact that cold calling no longer produces the sales results it did ten or twenty years ago and in many cases produces no results at all, other than lost revenues, high salesperson turnover, and even financial bankruptcy.
Hundreds of thousands of salespeople have been mistrained and misled by otherwise well-meaning corporate trainers, sales managers, and the literally hundreds of books that can be found in the business section of any bookstore. They continue to bang their heads against the wall, wasting hour after hour and day after day cold calling with dismal results. However, the belief that “cold calling works” has been so frequently drilled into the minds of most salespeople that they continue to do it, believing it will magically lead to success.
Following are some of the key reasons I believe cold calling should literally be banned by all sales managers and sales organizations that wish to excel:
Cold calling destroys your status as a business equal.When you approach a prospect in a cold call situation, it’s readily apparent to everyone involved that you need them and their business but they don’t need you. The prospect is instantly placed in a position of power and superiority over you. Even if your company is a business equal or superior, you are perceived as needy and inferior by the prospect. As all negotiating experts explain, perception is everything. Even if you have power, if you’re perceived as not having it, you don’t have it.
Cold calling makes timing work against you, not for you.Do doctors call you at random times to ask if you happen to be sick and therefore in need of an appointment? Do dentists call you unexpectedly and ask if you have a toothache? Do mechanics call you without warning to find out if your car happens to be broken down that day and in need of repair? Of course not. In fact, the very idea of getting these kinds of calls is ridiculous and may even have you laughing, but this is exactly what most prospects think when you cold call them. If you’re lucky enough to find a prospect who is in a buying mode for your product, chances are they’ve already called some of your competitors for proposals or quotes and the odds of your getting the sale are already stacked against you. In addition, because cold calling destroys your status as a business equal, you automatically appear inferior to your competition.
Cold calling instantly puts you in a negative light because prospects find cold calls to be intrusive, annoying, disrespectful of their time and bothersome.Businesspeople, especially those with enough importance and authority to wind up on prospect lists, are extremely busy people and the last thing they look forward to is getting ten cold calls during a stressful day. You’re seen as a burden on their time, an annoyance, and a distraction from important work.