The debate rages endlessly. Does cold calling work?
If you read the articles and posts coming from the leading edge marketing writers and Sales 2.0 experts, it seems that the consensus is that cold calling is dead. Their reasoning for cold calling being a thing of the past is because no-one wants to get cold calls. Well, since no one ever wanted to get cold calls, I don’t think of that as a strong rationale.
Recently I noticed a post to a group on Linked In with the heading “Does Cold Calling Work? Stop Whining….it Does..” written by Jeff Goldberg. Thanks for the “Stop Whining” in the header, Jeff.
Jeff is a major proponent of cold calling and his career has been built on teaching people to master the art of the cold call. In his article, he refers to recent meetings he has set with VPs and decision makers at large corporations. If cold calling didn’t work, this would not have been possible.
I’m totally with Jeff on this one. Cold calling works. It always has and it always will. I’ll also add that most sales people have always hated cold calling and that’s not likely going to change either.
The biggest hurdle of cold calling, besides being willing to simply pick up the phone, is making the connection to the person you want to reach. Of all the aspects of cold calling, nothing has changed as dramatically as the connection rate. Only 5 years ago you could easily expect to reach at least 10 out of every 100 business contacts on your list. Now that number is averaging between 2 and 7. Gate keepers are probably less of an obstacle than they used to be, but now one of the culprits is Call Display. The person you are trying to reach doesn’t know you, they don’t know what you want and they aren’t going to pick up the phone.
This is the perfect opportunity to make Call Display work to your advantage. Never fail to leave a voicemail when you don’t connect. Identify yourself and the purpose of your call. Leave a timely, clear, respectful message and lead with your benefit.
Combine a short message like this with some intelligent persistence and patience and eventually the name and number that appear on Call Display will be familiar enough to help you make a connection.