Death by Cold Calling

Happy New Year!

This past New Years Eve I was talking to a friend of mine and the topic of cold calling came up. He related cold calling to being in a sweat box – a sales tactic that’s torturous to do! I thought that was a humorous and rather accurate analogy.  The question is often asked of me, “What are your thoughts about cold calling?”  So I thought I’d take a moment to comment on this topic to kick off the new year of sales!

Cold calling is one of those necessary evils. Now understand that sales activity for each industry varies greatly. So don’t get me wrong, what I’m about to say may not necessarily apply to you. However, if it can apply, then I want to begin by saying that you MUST be disciplined and cold call frequently. Too often I encounter passive sales people out in the market place. In today’s economy there is no place for passivity. What does Zig Ziglar say, “Timid sales people have skinny children?” That’s so true. So make cold calling a new year’s resolution.

Cold calling doesn’t always have to be so cold. Review your script. Be sure to personalize and warm it up a bit. If you start the conversation cold then the person you’re calling will likely be frozen!

Pre-heat the prospect in advance. Now if you’re dialing for dollars, then this might not necessarily apply. However, if you have time, try to find an email or mailing address for your lead. LinkedIn is a very useful tool to find contact information. Send them a message or letter/brochure, then followup with a phone call. Doing this primes the pump and let’s the lead know who you are in advance to your call.

Discipline your cold calling efforts. Establish set hours each day that you plan on making cold calls. And whether you like it or not step into that sweat box.

Do more than just cold calling. While I am a firm believer of cold calling, you need to be well rounded. Your personal sales/marketing plan should implement complimentary tactics such as, networking, direct mailing, seminar selling, etc.

Think happy thoughts! Sounds lame, I know, but sometimes you need the motivation of a good song or fun family photos to keep you positive while in the sweat box.  It just might the one thing to keep you alive!

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