Saturday Morning Sales

Kevin Latchford

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Cold Calling Is Not Dead - May 20, 2017

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 like is.

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