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Cold Calling is Stupid

Last May, my good friend and fellow sales trainer here at The Brooks Group, Tony Smith, wrote that Cold Calling 2.0 was really about making “warm calls.” But I’m going to take it a step further and say that… Cold Calling Is Stupid. Here’s why. Prospecting is the lifeblood of your sales career. Finding solutions to their problems is the lifeblood of your prospects. Making phone calls with the hope of building a relationship is wasteful. Allow me to explain…

  • It’s a waste of your time because you can invest your time in efforts with far greater returns. According to Peter Drucker, you stand a one-in-fourteen chance of selling something to someone who has no relationship with you or your company. Surely we can agree that building a relationship with a random phone call to your prospect is a...stupid...way to build a relationship? How many marriages began with an out-of-the-blue phone call?
  • It’s a waste of your prospect’s time because they've got better things to do than dilly-dally on the phone. Earlier this year, I wrote step-by-step instructions about how you can sell something to me. As I said, "The chances of a cold caller calling me when I'm able to pay attention to their offering is unlikely." The same is true of most prospects. Now, more than ever, people are being asked to accomplish more in less time. Find smarter ways to help them than taking more of their precious time.

In our sales training programs, we teach a front-end loaded process called IMPACT Selling. We call graduates of the course "High IMPACT Salespeople" because they invest their efforts in positioning, prospecting, and pre-call planning. They have High Impact! Their work is far more lucrative than "dialing for dollars." It's more lucrative since it reverses the relationship. If done right, it means that prospects call you. That's a lot more effective than salespeople who bang away at the phones hoping for someone to say, "Yes, I'll listen." Now, let me acknowledge that cold calling is probably never going to go away. That's because (1) it will eventually work for a small percentage of prospects and (2) there are a lot of managers out there who built a book of business on cold calling and believe "that's the way I did it, so you should, too." However, can't we all agree there are more effective ways to sell!? @JebBrooks