“I don’t make cold calls,” said the seasoned senior sales rep in a
meeting I attended a few months back. She went on to talk about
all of her great warm contacts, and her good intentions for leveraging
more business by reaching out to them. Her manager and the
other leaders present said nothing and did nothing, thus endorsing
this belief and behavior. Three months later, this very tenured, very
talented salesperson has no new customers and has barely sustained
the level of business and job orders she had on the day of her
This is just one of the many examples of justifications and rationalizations
spouted by salespeople across the globe as to why they
need to make less instead of more calls. Others include:
1. They tell me they prefer to receive e-mails. 2. It always goes to
voicemail. 3. Isn’t it better to just drop in since face-to-face contact
is a better relationship builder?
Since when is it prudent to allow prospects and customers to dictate
a poor communication method, like e-mail, that can so easily be dismissed
or misunderstood? Why are salespeople looking at voicemail
as such a problem when it’s a tremendously effective branding opportunity?
While face time is valuable, does every prospect deserve
your limited and valuable time.
There is also a school of thought that cold calls are not necessary
when you integrate marketing with the sales process. While ongoing
quality marketing is prudent and does makes some calls warmer, it’s
impractical to believe that there will never be a need to make cold
calls. For example, if a sales rep learns today about a new lead that
has an immediate staffing or recruiting need and is ready to buy, it
would be unrealistic to rely on a marketing campaign to get their
attention, generate interest in speaking, and elevating the quality
of the initial call. If that were true, we would not need salespeople.
Salespeople who pick up the phone the moment they get a hot lead
often convert those into immediate clients when they sell value that
solves the customer’s problem. Can they and should they also integrate
that lead into their ongoing marketing as well? Of course!
Here’s the best course of action for growing and maintaining a
healthy book of business...pick up the d@#$ phone!
While phone calls are not the do all, end all, they are and always
will a vital part of the sales process. The phone allows you to stay in
touch more often, gain faster access to some buyers, and even allows
you to win some business without a face-to-face meeting.
Having spent the past 14 years consulting with thousands of companies
and tens of thousands of people, one fact stands out:
Those who make more calls, make more money. Those who make
less have lots of excuses and reasons why they don’t make quota.
If you’re one of those salespeople who, after reading this, still thinks
you can get away with not making more calls, I have a suggestion.
Go be one of those customers who tells salespeople to send them an