Would you believe that some people thought from last week’s episode that I was saying not to cold call? However did you get that impression? 🙂
As expected, I got a lot of passionate feedback about last week’s episode. Some were passionate about how right I was, some were passionate about how wrong I was, and some questioned how I could even SUGGEST that people not cold call.
Well here’s the thing, I did not say that you shouldn’t cold call.
Yes, I said that cold calling has probably stopped many potential salespeople in their tracks and killed sales careers. I then further said that it’s not actually cold calling that killed those careers, but rather fear of cold calling. In other words, they were so scared they just quit. They couldn’t bear up under the pressure.
Or refusal to take action. They were so scared of the idea of cold calling that they were genuinely paralyzed into inaction.
I also mentioned that more likely it was the mistaken notion that there are no alternatives to cold calling. It’s like the desperation of a person who feels there’s no way out.
You think I’m exaggerating? Then you haven’t talked to nearly as many salespeople as I have.
In any event, I did NOT say you shouldn’t cold call. I said it’s not always necessary and I went on to say that beyond that, it’s NEVER actually necessary. Then I said it doesn’t often lead to a successful sales process.
Guilty, Guilty, and Guilty.
But that’s not the same thing as saying you shouldn’t do it. Now if you have listened closely to the last episode, you might also have heard me say that I don’t recommend that you cold call. I will concede that while it’s not the same, it is pretty close to saying don’t do it. But did I say don’t do it?
No, I did not.
Each form of first contact says something to your prospect about you. If I call you on the phone completely out of the blue, that says one thing. If I meet you at an event because we’re members of the same networking group, it says another. If I send you a high-quality self-promotion item through the mail, then give you a call to make sure you received it, that says something else.
So if I’m not actually saying that you shouldn’t cold call, am I saying that you should?
What I am saying is that cold calling is one method of First Contact, and it’s not always the best method. I still maintain that it’s often one of the worst from a positioning standpoint.
However, some people are great at cold calling and have a lot of success with it. If you’re truly successful at cold calling, then you possess a very rare and very valuable skill. If that’s the case, I would not recommend you stop it. I would recommend you continue doing it.
But I would also recommend you test it against other forms of first contact that will very likely work a whole lot better for you.
Because if you’re able to do well with a really tough approach like cold calling, just imagine how much better you might do with a warmer approach!
So here’s what I would encourage you to do…
If you are cold calling, track your results. Track how many cold calls you made and how many of those calls turned into sales within 3 months, 6 months and 1 year.
Compare that with other forms of first contact you might have initiated.
What’s the conversion percentage, for example — over the same period of time — for those you personally were referred to?
What’s the conversion percentage of those you meet at networking functions?
What’s the conversion percentage of those you meet via social media?
If you follow up consistently and effectively to every form of first contact you initiate and track your results, you will very likely find that you’ll close more people with approaches that did not begin with cold calling.
Why? Same reason we discussed last week: positioning. You will simply be better positioned to succeed.
But don’t take my word for it. Track your own results, for yourself. When you have the actual numbers, you’ll know exactly which approach works best for you.
Maybe it’s cold calling. Maybe it’s something else. Either way, the answer will no longer be just an opinion. It will be a scientific result.
You will have identified the first contact approach that works best for you… until you find something better.
In the meantime, if you’re serious about getting new clients and if you want to do it far more effectively, why not test-drive my Top Secret of Customer Acquisition system risk-free in your business for one full year? Test out the approach, try on a few of our proven, bullet-pointed phone scripts. Don’t just read them, make them your own. See what it does to your response rates. Let me help you improve your results over the next full year. If it doesn’t make or save you at least ten times its cost, in increased sales or bottom line savings, send it back for a full refund. Or get the digital version and you don’t even have to send anything back. But you do have to do take action on it, ’cause it’s not for looky-loos!