Wednesday, June 28, 2006

More About Cold-Calling

Last week I wrote a post called "Networking vs. Cold-Calling" in which I recommended that business professionals use all the tools available to them to make connections with prospects that will lead to increased sales. Too often people discredit the use of networking or cold-calling (or sometimes both), yet most of the most successful people I know do both (and more).

I recieved the following email from a reader of this blog who disagreed with my opinions about the importance of cold-calling as one of many important business skills:

Dear Thom-

Are you kidding me???? Cold call to be successful??? Anyone who recommends cold calling in this day and age has absolutely no credibility. Time to wake up and do away with the old lines from decades ago - it's a new world Thom!

You need to become much more creative and discontinue this kind of empty rhetoric.

Cold calling does a number of things:

- annoys potential customers

- frustrates sales people

- creates sales force turnover

- establishes the salesperson as a "peddler" in the mind of the customer

- establishes the salesperson as just that - a SALESPERSON dialing for dollars. Their presentation will not be viewed as consultative or expert in any will be viewed as what it is, a SALES PITCH

- wastes valuable time much better spent on just about any other activity. In fact, I would recommend a "nap" instead of cold-calling, at least that's a positive and refreshing experience!

You just have to be kidding, does anyone take this kind of "advice" seriously anymore?

First of all, I love it when people disagree with me. I am a big fan of civilized debate. Too often in today's society people are too afraid to publically voice a contrary opinion...OR when they do disagree they go NUTSO CRAZY on the other person and violently attack them personally and their point of view. I thank my reader for this letter. We exchanged emails, and he or she proved to be articulate and civil (although very very much against any form of cold-calling for any reason for any person on this planet or in any other galixy). Below I will respectfully debate his or her anti-cold-calling beliefs.

1. Cold-Calling annoys potential customers.

Yes, recieving a cold-call can be annoying. But most professionals expect some level of solicitation in the business world (unless they are one of those folks with an inflated sense of self-importance, in which case they are annoyed by everything).

2. Cold-Calling frustrates sales people.

Nobody likes rejection. Sales people who are easily frustrated by cold-calling will most likely never be successful in sales. Life is full of frustrations. Just because something is not easy does not mean it is horrible.

3. Cold-Calling creates sales force turnover.

The top people in my position at the company where I work are the most avid cold callers. They also make the most money. Oh, and they have worked there the longest.

4. Cold-Calling establishes the salesperson as a "peddler" in the mind of the customer.

If you are in sales you should never be ashamed to sell. All businesses have to sell their services to stay in business. Most professionals I know respect good sales people.

5. Cold-Calling establishes the salesperson as just that - a salesperson dialing for dollars. Their presentation will not be viewed as consultative or expert in any will be viewed as what it is, a SALES PITCH.

I am not suggesting that you call, pitch, and close on the same call. A cold-call is simply a tool to get a meeting. You have many steps to get through before you get to the "trusted advisor" stage...but if you never meet them, then you will never be viewed as anything.

6. Cold-Calling wastes valuable time that could be better spent taking a nap.

I love to nap. But napping has never led to me making a sale. Cold-calling has.

7. Anyone who recommends cold-calling in this day and age has absolutely no credibility.

Ok, this was the part where my reader was not being civil, as he or she is automatically saying that I have no credibility since I did recommend that cold-calling could be a skill that sales people use. I say that if something works for it. If it does not work, don't do it. To say that any business practice that is legal and ethical is always bad is just silly.

It is sort of funny that I have to defend cold-calling on a networking blog....but I do not believe ANYONE has the right to rip on people who cold-call. It is just silly as hell. This is just a fun little blog where some guy rants and raves about his views.

Have A Great Day.

Thom Singer

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