I still get in heated discussions by commercial sales consultants who tell me they started their careers cold calling and it was how they built their business. That does not mean it is the best method to grow sales, at the time most sales consultants had no formal training on how to properly grow the business. I am not against cold calling. In fact, when I am in the field with sales consultants and we are on an appointment call, I will always ask this question: “Mr. Prospect, thanks so much for taking the time to meet with us, your time was appreciated. Could I ask one more question? Do you happen to have a relationship with any of the businesses around you?” If the prospect says yes, I ask “Would you mind if we dropped in just to leave a business card and mention that we had just met with you?” They always say yes! Now your next call becomes a warm call since you have a referral source!
I decided to dig deeper about cold calling and found two university studies. The first one done several years ago, by the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina concluded that 4 out of 5 business to business decision makers in the United States (80%) positively would not buy as the result of cold calling. More recent research was done by Baylor University at the Keller Research Center in Texas. The study was based on a group of 50 experienced and qualified sales professionals who made a total of 6,264 phone based cold calls over a two-week period. The results?
If you think it gets better in person, it does but only slightly. Here are the facts:
Why are so many sales people determined to make cold calling their base of operation? Here are the reasons:
I love the scene out of “Dumb and Dumber” where Jim Carrey asks the attractive young girl if he has a chance to win her romantically. Here answer is “one in a million.” Jim Carrey’s character gets excited and shouts “yes, there’s a chance!” Well, that’s how some people feel about cold calling, there’s at least a chance.
One of the things of which I am proud is we find so many warm prospects that a sales consultant would never have to make a cold call under our system. In our next article, I will go over the many ways to get appointments and a method we use to get endless quality referrals, guaranteed! It’s time to come out of the cold, trust me, warm is better!
About Ken Taylor: