Imagine you have limited experience in dating and approaching other men or women. Then you are forced to go to the best looking people in the bar, to try to make a move. You fumble with your words and your pitch sounds weird. Logically you get a very swift sometimes embarrassing rejection from the other person and you fail miserably. Once in a while you succeed and get a phone number. You think you have scored the date, but in the end the date never happens and it is back to the same old bar over and over again…..
Yes! That’s exactly how cold calling can feel and what it is like in many companies. Maybe it worked back in the 80’s and 90’s, when people had oceans of time and were writing letters and still making phone calls. So now let’s get one thing straight and out of the way: I am a firm believer, that cold calling your potential customers on a regular basis does not work! OK…. So why bother, why writing this post on a Sunday afternoon and spending time? It is because for cold-calling version 2.0 there is still hope. Today I am sharing with you my 3 reasons, why you should still learn how to cold call and practise this once in a while.
1: Boost your self confidence and check-in to reality
Although I hated cold calling, it has helped me grow my self confidence tremendously Especially throughout the early years of my career. When you are new to sales, this is what you must learn to do. Cold calling will teach you how to handle objections, rejections and later will help you in turning it around into something positive. And the kick and rush it gives you, after at first failing and then booking a meeting or actual sale is fantastic. Even better, when you can share this feeling with your other colleagues doing the same. Later, If you have some experience on the side with cold calling, you will be much more confident in first time face-to-face meetings. Or talking to potential customers passing by at a conference. Cold calling can be great for experienced sales people, who are so confident and think they know it all and believe that their sales pitch is the best. Cold calling is the best check-in back to reality.
2: Creating killer elevator pitches
Exposure to cold calling can help you, in delivering a great elevator pitch. You have a very limited amount of time on the phone, to make your statement and pitch your products or services. Whatever you are going to ask or say, has to be well rehearsed and streamlined to perfection. This is great because the experience from cold calling can be used, when you are writing to a prospect on LinkedIn or via e-mail. Or when the person passing by on the conference, asks you what your company is all about. And you have 20 seconds to explain what you do. Experience in cold calling will help you closing deals and finding prospects in other situations, besides over the phone.
3: Case studies and synergies
Cold calling used as a stand alone strategy does not work. But it can work great when combined with “warm calling” (following up an inbound lead), e-mail, AdWords, social selling (LinkedIn), fairs, conferences and referrals. Look for example at your customer’s direct competitors, suppliers, peers and approach them with a credible case study. Don’t spend too much time preparing, but just make only 1 cold call per day as part of your daily routine and overall mix of activities. That one call per day can give you so much information about your potential clients and your own pitch. It will help in becoming a better sales person.
So what do you think? Are you still cold calling on a daily basis or have you completely stopped using it? And did you also start your career out cold calling and what was it like?
I would love to hear from you. Send me a message or comment below and feel free to share this article.
This is an excerpt from the book “The corporate sales winners guide” by Gerrit Jan de Vries. View the ebook and the paperback version on Amazon.