The dentist chair or cold calling?

Bruce King

According to a recent survey, 56 percent of salespeople would prefer to spend all morning in the dentist chair rather than all morning on the telephone making cold calls!

Some so called sales gurus will tell you cold calling is an old fashioned sales technique which does not work any more. They write books with titles like Why Cold Calling Does Not Work. They have websites and slogans like Cold Calling is Dead and No More Cold Calling. In my view they are talking nonsense and I believe the reason they say that is because they cannot do it well themselves and so use it an excuse.

Look at some facts…

First of all… Two years ago, the Direct Marketing Association released its “Response Rate Trend Report,” which said that cold calling customers yielded the highest response rate. The 6.16 per cent response rate for cold calling is higher than response rates for other any other direct response vehicles, such as direct mail, email, paid search and Internet displays.

Secondly – some of the most successful companies in the world run by some of the smartest business people in the world, hire large teams of people to make outbound sales and marketing calls. They do it because it works.

Thirdly – from my own experience, I have helped thousands of salespeople and business owners to build phenomenal careers and businesses by teaching them to cold call effectively. I know it works and they know it works!

So in some respects I am pleased these so called gurus think it doesn’t work and teach it doesn’t work because that is less competition for all the people I teach to do it properly.

Why cold calling is so important…

You can connect to people and promote yourself via Facebook, LinkedIn and numerous other social media sites and you can Twitter your heart out. You can blog, present webinars, conduct email marketing campaigns, post letters and brochures, take stands at exhibitions and you can network almost twenty-four hours a day. But unless you are an online, ecommerce business, in order to make a sale or make an appointment to make a sale someone almost always has to pick up the telephone and make a call.

To further reinforce my position, let us take a look at the 80/20 rule as it applies to sales…

Typically, 80 per cent of sales come from 20 per cent of the sales force and 80 per cent of sales come from 20 percent of the customers.

My view is that in the B2B market, 80 per cent of your customers should come from referrals (read my book titled Winning Sales Referrals.

But and it’s a BIG BUT – you may get 8O% of your customers from referrals BUT NOT necessarily 80% of your sales.

Let me explain …

If you are prospecting for new business – you should have a target list of perfect prospects. These should be the people and companies you most want to do business with, the people and companies who are likely to spend the most amount of money with you and the people and companies who are most likely to know other perfect prospects they can introduce you to.

The challenge is this…

The people you know and do business with and the people they know and do business with are probably NOT the people who can refer you to those perfect prospects OR it will take too long. And the further down the chain of the six degrees of separation, the weaker the referral becomes.

So you are going to have to pick up the phone because my revision to the 80/20 rule is this….

80 per cent of your sales are likely to come from the 20 per cent of the perfect prospects you first contacted via a cold call.

Have you read my recent book – Cold Calling Made Easy.

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