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5 Reasons Why Cold Calling Doesn’t Work Anymore
It absolutely baffles me that salespeople still use cold calling as their main tool to generate leads. Why do so many salespeople still use this ancient weapon to get the leads they need to do business? The main reasons are that they don’t know any better and that there are still many dinosaur sales managers active that stopped developing in the 90’s and who still force their salespeople to do an amount of cold calls per day.
Stop doing that! Cold calling doesn’t work (anymore) and here are 5 reasons why.
1. Everybody hates cold calls.
There are two categories of people who say that they like cold calling; Liars and sales managers. There might be an exception here and there. Some rare species (I call them masochists) love banging their head against a wall time after time and get a kick out of hearing ‘no’ fifty times a day. But the more sound of mind sales people among us just hate it.
Having to do something you hate every day doesn’t contribute to your success. We expect the ‘no’ at every cold call we make and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. More rejections follow and the circle is complete.
Prospects hate it too. One group is very susceptible to cold calling. They are the ones that have gatekeepers installed; the secretary and receptionist who have strict orders to keep every cold caller away from the decision maker. Or they have a sign at the door: ‘No solicitations’.
Another group of prospects will talk to the cold caller; those who know how to deal with them and are not afraid to tell them ‘no’, whether it is straight away or after a meeting (Send us a proposal, send us some information, maybe in 6 months……sounds familiar?).
In short, if you manage to get an appointment, it will most likely be with the wrong prospect.
2. It is dis-proportionally time-consuming.
It’s like searching a needle in a haystack. Let’s say that a sales rep spends on average 2 hours a day cold calling and let’s say that he is quite good at it and sets up 2 meetings. Setting up those 2 meetings takes about 10 minutes. That means that he has been busy for 1 hour and 50 minutes without any other result than annoying people who might have been a quality lead if approached differently.
I won’t bore you with the math but it boils down to fifty days per year of being busy without any result.
3. People buy from successful salespeople.
It is a well-known fact that people buy easier, more and faster from successful salespeople. In a prospect’s perception, a successful salesperson has something worthwhile to offer. Apparently he is trust worthy. Why else would so many other people buy from him? So let’s join in, we can’t go wrong there.
How does that relate to a cold caller? Successful salespeople don’t do cold calls. They don’t have the time for that, they are busy…. selling. Prospects know that. In other words, in the mind of a prospect, a cold caller is a failing salesperson. Not a nice start for a relationship huh?
4. We sell the most when we don’t need to.
Remember ‘Facebook Mark’? The harder he yelled ‘no’, the more anxious companies got to buy his company. Most salespeople will recognize this. We’ve been lucky this year and hit our target already in October. No pressure anymore, relaxed freewheeling to Christmas and New Years Eve. And what happens? We sell like crazy, almost effortless. Why? Because we don’t ‘need’ it anymore. We become brave and even start playing ‘hard to get’. Prospects get intrigued and want to buy from you.
And the cold caller? He screams ‘I need your business so bad!’ all over. And if he manages to get some business, he always wonders why he has to give so much discount….
5. We need to level with our prospect.
Decision makers have respect for their peers. For most companies it is important to build a long-term relationship with clients. Strong relationships require that both parties see each other as equals.
You cannot seriously expect a decision maker to see a sales rep who almost begged for a meeting, to see him as a peer, can you? And the fact that the client doesn’t have a lot of respect for the sales rep will reflect in the quality of the relationship as well as the quality of the order and repeat sales.
So, what else if cold calling doesn’t work?
Look around. Or even better, don’t look around but stay focused on your screen. A lot of the answers are in front of you, just a few clicks away. Email, Social Media, Referral techniques. The list is almost endless. One thing is for sure. If you really want to take part in today’s economy, stop using old-fashioned tools.
Maybe the best remark I heard about cold calling was: Cold calling is like filling a swimming pool with a squirt gun. It works…… eventually.
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