Yep! I used the words “art” and “cold calling” in the same sentence. We sponsored a webinar last week by our good friend Wendy Weiss, “The Queen of Cold Calling.” Pretty much anyone who uses the phone as a selling tool knows Wendy. If you don’t, you really need to jump on her next webinar. Wendy covered quite a bit of ground and offered us some great tips. I want to take this opportunity to provide some of the highlights as well as my own thoughts on cold calling. At the end of this post I will provide a link so you can replay the webinar and get Wendy’s expertise first hand.
As a provider of cold calling software, I am still surprised by the number of prospects who come to us simply looking for more dials. They seem to care about little else; they just want more. I think there was a song back in the 70’s which said more of a bad thing is no good. That is true of love, and true of selling. Sure, if you pound away enough you will find a yes, get a sell and inflate your numbers, but is that really a strategy? Does more really equal more?
Think about this little nugget.
“Cold Calling is the only appointment setting or lead generating activity that is directly under your control.”
You may ask, “Really Ken?” Sure, do the math. We usually have to count on marketing to drive the leads, or we work a trade show and wait for someone to stop in. We might work our referral network, and so on. However, in a cold call, you have the power, you pull the trigger and you make it happen. It is totally dependent on you or your team. I find it fascinating that the one approach which is completely under our control is often the one in which we do not invest.
Make an Investment! Remember – successful cold calling is a marriage between people and technology
1) Invest in knowledge. Don’t sell cold calling short. It is not about making a bunch of calls and hoping to wear down a “no” or luck into a “yes.” There is preparation to be done, calling lists to hone, scripts to draft and training to complete. Take advantage of the great free resources that are available from people like Wendy. Invest in books and training to find out how successful experts have turned cold calling into a predictable revenue stream.
2) Embrace technology. Don’t show up to the game with a great plan and well trained sales people armed with yesterday’s technology. Today, the right cold calling platform can super charge your effort and increase your results by as much as 40%. Get rid of the paper call list or the traditional CRM. Move to a platform that has sales enablement features like auto dialing, next best lead routing, and call recording for training. If you are setting appointments, make sure you select a platform that has the latest appointment setting software features, including multiple calendar views, time block, and a closed-system that ensures each and every appointment is worked and reported on.
It has always been about people, process and technology. Being really good at two of them is OK. Building a cold calling campaign that masters all three is priceless. Don’t take your cold calling effort as a lesser form of selling. Remember, it is the one activity that is completely under your control. Get it right and win the day.