5 Reasons Why Cold Calling Doesn’t Work Anymore

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5 Reasons Why Cold Calling Doesn’t Work Anymore

It absolutely baffles me that salespeople still use cold calling as their main tool to generate leads. Why do so many salespeople still use this ancient weapon to get the leads they need to do business? The main reasons are that they do not know better and that there are still many active dinosaur sales managers who stopped developing in the 90s and who still force their sellers to make a number of sales per day.

Stop doing that! Cold calling doesn’t work (anymore) and here are 5 reasons why.

1. Everyone hates cold calling.

There are two categories of people who say they like the cold; Liars and sales managers. There may be an exception here and there. Some rare species (I call them masochists) love to bang their heads against a wall over and over and beat themselves to hearing “no” fifty times a day. But the most sound minded salespeople among us just hate it.

Having to do something you hate every day will not contribute to your success. We expect the “no” to every cold call we make and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. More rejections follow and the circle is complete.

Prospects hate it too. A group is very susceptible to the so-called cold. They are the ones who have installed gatekeepers; the secretary and receptionist who have strict orders to keep any cold caller away from the decision maker. Or they have a sign on the door: “No questions asked.”

Another group of perspectives will speak to the cold called; those who know how to deal with them and are not afraid to say “no” to them, whether immediately or after a meeting (Send us a proposal, send us some information, maybe in 6 months…… do you sound familiar?).

In short, if you manage to get an appointment, it will most likely be with the wrong prospect.

2. It is dis-proportionally time-consuming.

It’s like looking for a needle in a haystack. Let’s say a sales rep spends an average of 2 hours a day on cold calling and let’s say he’s pretty good at it and sets up 2 meetings. The preparation of these 2 meetings takes about 10 minutes. This means that he was busy for 1 hour and 50 minutes with no other result than annoying people who could have been a quality leader approached him differently.

I will not bore you with the math, but it boils down to fifty days per year to be busy without any result.

3. People buy from successful sellers.

It is a known fact that people buy easier, more and faster from successful sellers. In the perception of a prospect, a successful salesperson has something worthwhile to offer. Apparently it is trustworthy. Why do so many other people buy from him? So let’s unite, we can’t go wrong here.

How to deal with a cold caller? Successful salespeople don’t make cold calls. They don’t have time for that, they are busy….selling. Prospects know that. In other words, in the mind of a prospect, a cold caller is a failed salesperson. Not a great start to a relationship, huh?

4. We sell the most when we don’t need to.

Remember “Facebook Mark”? The harder he shouted “no”, the more eager companies were to buy his company. Most sellers will recognize this. We were lucky this year and reached our goal already in October. No more pressure, relaxed free on Christmas Eve and New Year. And what’s going on? We sell like crazy, almost effortlessly. Why? Because we no longer “need” it. Let’s get brave and even start playing “hard to get”. The prospects are intrigued and you want to buy from you.

And the cold phone? He yells “I need your business so bad!” all over. And if he manages to get some business, he always wonders why he has to give so much discount….

5. We need to level with our prospect.

Decision makers have respect for their peers. For most businesses, it is important to build a long-term relationship with customers. Strong relationships require both parties to see each other as equals.

You can’t seriously expect a decision maker to see a sales rep who almost asked for a meeting, to see him as a peer, can you? And the fact that the customer does not have much respect for the sales representative will reflect in the quality of the relationship, and the quality of the order and repeated sales.

So what else if cold calling doesn’t work?

Look around. Or even better, don’t look around but stay focused on your screen. A lot of the answers are in front of you, just a few clicks away. Email, Social Media, referral techniques. The list is almost endless. One thing is certain. If you really want to participate in today’s economy, stop using old tools.

Perhaps the best remark I heard about cold calling was: Cold calling is like filling a pool with a squirt gun. It works……eventually.

Happy hunting.

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