If you tell people that you enjoy cold calling you’re either lying or crazy!
I have thoughts on why cold calling is still alive and also why it’s dead (much more here). I’m interested in hearing your thoughts too.
The ultimate cold calling method is walking up to someones door and requesting to meet with a decision maker. I’m sure he or she will give you a meeting right there on the spot (sarcasm). I’m not saying it’s impossible but it’s not likely. When I had my first big boy sales position I was set out to do just that; drum up business the old fashion way, like Zig Ziglar. My boss said I don’t want to see you in the office until 2pm (every day). Up until 2pm I was to be out on the road knocking on doors. Boy it sucked but I did it and I actually had success. I don’t believe my time was spent in the most efficient manner but this is what the boss wanted so that’s what I did.
Technology and social media really started to become more ubiquitous and at the same time an unbelievable tool for cold calling. Now I didn’t have to drive everywhere (save money) and I could reach people any where in the United States. Getting blocked by the receptionist was no longer in play because I found ways to contact the “decision maker” directly. Sounds like it’s a homerun and now cold calling is easy. Not so fast…
Cold calling is still just that, cold! The people on the other end of that call, email, LinkedIn mail, or any means of connecting doesn’t know you, and unless they have a need for what you’re selling they are probably trashing your message and thus your confidence.
Warm calling and Networking are the most successful methods; both of which I prefer much more than cold calling. Because of technology and social media we have more access to people and “friends”. Our networks are much larger than they used to be 10 – 15 years ago and our friends networks are much larger thus making the possibilities endless. If you don’t like networking I suggest you force yourself out of your comfort zone and get networking. Here’s a few tips: 1. Don’t try to sell anything at a networking event. 2. Make new friends and be clear about what you do. 3. Listen to what others are saying and what they do for a living. 4. Make introductions to people in your network; 9 out of 10 times they’ll reciprocate.
Here’s my suggestion to building more qualified leads through “cold calling”… Work smart, network smart, and do your research. Don’t be afraid to ask someone you know for an introduction/referral; just ask them if they are comfortable introducing you (it goes a long way). With all of this being said, if you’ve done your research and you still have no connection to a person or a company that you really want to do work with, then cold calling is where it’s at. Be creative, research the contact you’re calling, learn what you can, and OWN that cold call.
Good Luck Developing Business!!!