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I Was Called The Cold Calling Monster
Yes, it’s true – I once had the nickname “cold calling monster”!
It’s due to the fact that when I entered sales, I had a fierce desire to succeed. So I took the advice I was given – to cold call – and I took it to an extreme.
I performed at least one hundred cold calls, each and every day. Sometimes it was telemarketing, sometimes in person, and other days it was a mixture of both. But I never fell short of my 100 calls.
And I generated leads – lots of leads! Sure, despite what you’ve heard from me about cold calling not getting leads, I have to confess I was swamped with them. I was getting appointment after appointment, to where it was difficult to have enough hours in the day for my 100 calls, but I always figured it out.
My faith in this plan was bolstered by tales from managers and old timers about salesmen who were making over six figures a year, by scheduling out time daily to shut themselves in their office doors and make a hundred calls.
I knew my achievement would be guaranteed!
So I continued with my 100 calls a day, certain that it would not only get results but the longer it would take to get results, the more I’d succeed down the road. My schedule was crazy, and I still remember one particular afternoon when I had seven meetings and still made my 100 cold calls, primarily on foot in office buildings where I had the appointments and then making up the rest on the phone.
It was a really great feeling to go home at the end of such a productive day, with a sense of accomplishment that I’d really done something. Inactive days always gave me a lot of anxiety about not getting anything done, so a crazy day full of a hundred cold calls plus a a bunch of appointments really made me feel good.
This went on for many months and my extreme cold calling numbers kept me really motivated all the time.
But there was a problem…
The huge commissions failed to came!
You heard me – I was barely closing enough sales to scrape by, let alone earn the huge income that I had been promising myself and that all the old timers said those 100 cold calls a day would bring me.
The next question is…
Do more leads = closing more sales?
It’s common sense that more leads leads to more sales. That’s only common sense. You can’t get a sale without first having a lead – leads are the initial step of making a sale. Lack of leads means you have to prospects to meet with, which means no one to sell to and no one to close.
However, there’s a catch. (Isn’t there always a catch?) The issue is that all leads aren’t the same.
There are good leads and bad ones. And that brings us to one of life’s basic truths:
Quality always beats amount!
We all know this! However in sales, the goal is always on to get more and more and more leads, without regard to the quality of those leads.
It’s human nature to want to hurry to talk with anyone who will give us their time. After all, the common idea taught in all sales training is that sales is a numbers game. If you close 20% of your prospects, then doubling your number of leads should double your quantity of sales.
However, it doesn’t really work out that way.
I failed terribly early in my sales career, not because I was a bad salesperson, but because I was spending my days as the “cold calling monster” trying to rack up as many leads and as many appointments as possible, with no regard to the real value of those leads.
There Are Three Types of Leads
Later on, when a top producing sales rep took me under his wing to mentor me, I finally realized that there are 3 categories of leads. The majority of salespeople are spending time with the two wrong ones – people who either will never buy from them, or people who are undecided and never make a decision. (You can pick them out because they are the ones who string you along endlessly with ‘check back in 6 months’ or ‘we need to think about it first.’)
The final variety consists of people who would buy from you, if they only knew about you and had an opportunity to meet with you.
When I found that out, I soon had fewer leads and fewer appointments, but far more sales.
And since most salespeople spend nearly 100% of their free time prospecting, you can see what a huge improvement happens to your schedule when cold calling is eliminated.
So if you’re frustrated with the quality of your leads, my advice is to give up the cold calls, and begin learning new and modern techniques like online marketing and social media, along with good old-fashioned networking, that will bring you a very high quality of leads, resulting in more sales for you.
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