Don’t believe the hype! Despite the bad rap cold calling has been getting in the media lately, cold calling is still a valid, if not crucial, sales function, whether you’re the sales professional doing the dialing or the sales prospect with a want or need for the product or service that a company provides. Below, Vendere Partners dispels four common cold calling myths.
1. Cold calling is dead.
Cold calling isn’t dead. People—a lot of people—do it every day. There are limits to what you can do with things like e-mail marketing and social networking, especially in the B2B space. They’re wonderful tools, but they’re really a warm-up to a conversation. The reality is that e-mail marketing, social networking, and telemarketing combined are all cold forms of contact until you warm up the lead and move it into the next phase of the sales cycle.
2. Cold calling is intrusive.
Salespeople are often told or taught to believe that cold calling is intrusive. The truer truth is that cold calling can be intrusive, but that it doesn’t have to be. In fact, your cold calls can be welcomed by prospects more often they’re not, especially if you take the time to do your homework before you make your cold calls.
When no in-house department or third-party lead qualification partner is serving as a company’s lead qualification team, salespeople have to do their own lead qualifying. Unfortunately, many cold callers aren’t trained to qualify their own leads. As a result, they simply go down their lists and call every prospect or lead, using the same generic scripts call in and call out. This is unfortunate, as cold calling is much more than a numbers game. In the absence of a pre-qualified leads list, sales representatives should be encouraged—rather than discouraged—to research prospects and leads prior to dialing. When sales professionals know that a lead has a genuine want or need for what they have to offer, or a lead’s pain points, they are better able to implement sales strategies, bend their presentations, and reach the lead on a personal level. In other words, they stand a much better chance of making their cold calls welcomed, meaningful, and successful rather than intrusive.
3. The more calls you make, the more you’ll sell.
Another truism that salespeople are taught is that the more cold calls you make in a day, the more you’ll sell. If you’ve ever been handed a bad prospects or leads list, you know that this truism isn’t entirely true, either.
As previously stated, cold calling is much more than a numbers game. Sales training, product and service knowledge, and solid lead qualification processes are just a few of the things that empower cold callers. Having a talent and passion for sales helps, too. The number of calls you make in a day matters, but the sales functions that happen behind the scenes or when you’re not on the phone can matter even more.
4. All cold calls are made from huge call centers.
People tend to think that all cold calls are made from huge call centers or boiler rooms where rows and rows of suits sit at desks or conference tables, pounding phones. Inbound customer service call centers may be accurately described in such a way, but cold calls happen all the time in all sorts of places—including cars, hotel rooms, airplanes, private offices, and yes, call centers, but call centers that typically look and feel like most any other office. At Vendere, cold calling or tele-prospecting is most often done from large cubicles, buffered by white noise, or in private offices, behind closed doors.
Despite the vast number of sales tools and technologies available today, cold calling remains an important sales function that almost no B2B product or service provider can or should avoid. Cold calling is far from dead. For the foreseeable future, it will only continue to be enhanced by new and emerging technologies.