If you know me or have read previous
posts prepare yourself because I’m about to “beat a dead horse”. This past
Tuesday I was provided an opportunity to not only attend a client sponsored
conference, I was also asked to be a speaker. Various topics were shared
throughout the program, but they all led back to one key component for all
growth minded organizations, ‘A’ level sales people/teams. In the span of about
four hours we covered the importance of hiring and retaining ‘A’ level sales
people, sales processes that support the ‘A’ level person or team, and what
separates the ‘A’s’ from ‘B’s’ and ‘C’s’. By the time the third speaker was
wrapping up, I almost burst out laughing.
Cold calling was an attribute that was
mentioned in all three of the presentations before I stepped up to the
microphone. And, when the audience was polled by show of hands how many valued cold calling from their sales teams, the result was almost unanimous. What’s
even more reassuring to a senior sales guy like me, the audience represented about
two dozen different industries. There was manufacturing and software development,
logistics and advertising, financial services and construction.
In some respects we could have renamed
the conference “cold calling is not dead”. Now, don’t get me wrong, this wasn’t
a teaching program on how to cold call. No one was comparing numbers or
statistics. It just came down to the fact that each and every attendee
acknowledged that cold calling was as important today as its ever been in their
business development efforts.
I’ve preached about cold calling
throughout my entire career. Some sales people are better than others. Maybe I’d
go so far as to say there is a little art form to cold calling. But, to hear
younger sales people or those not classified as ‘A’ level sales people tell me
cold calling doesn’t work in a digital age, my response is: bullshit.
The single-most important factor with
cold calling is patience. And, what do you think one of the top attributes is
in an ‘A’ level sales person? Patience. Cold calling is not dead, far from it.
Sales people need to embrace the cold call. Even the best inbound marketing
programs, those that drive tons of leads to your company, can be supplemented
by cold calling. What’s more, as a sales person myself, there are companies out
there that I’d really like to meet with, but I don’t necessarily have a warm
lead in. So, I cold call them.
Cold calling is not dead, oh no, it’s
alive and well. If you don’t accept this as fact, don’t embrace cold calling as a
part of your sales process, then be careful, because your competition mostly