With all due respect to the red-headed step children in the audience, cold calling is exactly that in the sales world. Virtually every consultant and bottom-line-enhancing guru is calling for the end to this once in-vogue methodology.
What did cold calling ever do to you?
Outside of the constant rejection and self-esteem cratering reprimands from our potential clients on the other end, not much. With gifts such as these, who can blame a sales professional for giving this method the (excuse the pun) “cold” shoulder?
However, in cold calling’s defense, it’s not so much the game as it is the player. When done properly and given the time and attention it deserves, nothing can elevate your bottom line as quickly as cold calling.
My Defense Is Simple: It Works
If I had a dollar for every time someone rolled their eyes when I told them that I work with sales professionals to elevate their cold call success rate, I would not need to be writing this article.
Some of their responses include:
- “Hey, the 1950’s called; they would like their solicitation strategy back!”
- “So how was the Eisenhower administration anyway?”
- “I get more referrals than I can handle and don’t need to cold call”
Nothing gets me riled up as much as the last objection. This one doesn’t just push my buttons, it palms them! It doesn’t just palm them, it five-finger death punches them! It doesn’t just five-finger death punch them…well, you get the idea. That’s my defense.
Let me ask you a question:
Who is your ideal client?
If you could only work with one type of client from now on, who would it be and why?
Creating The Ideal Client
A financial advisor answered this question for me in a heartbeat (no coincidence, he is also an avid cold caller). Here is how he described his ideal client:
- Between the age of 50-65
- Currently going through a divorce
- Lives within 30-miles of his office
- Has changed his job twice during his working career
- Has over $1,000,000 in assets
- Is a male
Now, Mr. Hot Shot Referral Getter, how many of the appointments that you run and conversations that you have are with people that meet your exact criteria? 10%? 0?%?
If we are honest with ourselves, there is a difference between staying busy with clients and staying busy with our ideal clients. True, we will work with friends, family, and associates of our clients who generously refer us. That’s a given.
Reactive Vs. Proactive
We will also work with individuals that walk into our businesses and ask for help. There is a difference, however, between working with individuals reactively versus proactively. Cold calling, when done properly, is always a proactive exercise.
One of your clients sings your praises and has his brother call you. Reactive! Someone living two blocks down who passes your office each day stops in to get a quote. Reactive! You have zero control as to the quality of the individual who speaks with you in either scenario.
Cold Calling Is Entrepreneurial
When it comes to cold calling, who you call, when you call, and how you call are all up to you. Everyone should be cold calling because nobody is meeting with their ideal clients every day. Everyone should be cold calling because, if left to their own devices, your ideal clients are not consistently going to go out of their way to call you.
The reason that we hate it is because we have not been as strategic in the process. I have a 98.6% cold call success rate and view Cold Calling as one of my children. Want a better relationship with this secret weapon? Let’s begin the process of making amends with this useful ally!