Frank Belzer is the Sales Archaeologist and Author of Sales Shift.
Let me begin by inviting you to dowload this case study on a technology company which you might find to be an extremely interesting way to learn more about the power of what we do here at Kurlan and Associates.
Now on to today's post:
I was finally back in the office after being somewhat of a nomad, I had been on the road for weeks. The holidays and other distractions related to the year-end were behind business owners and most executives could get back to work. That meant having a good year in 2012 appeared to be the focus again. This is a great time to prospect I thought!
Just as I was thinking that I received a cold call. I NEVER receive cold calls (I am not actually the decision maker on most of the items that people would call us for; however I could and have influenced buying decisions) The person was selling advertising space for a pretty big New England event. Here is how the call went.
Them – Hello Frank I am calling from ____ to see if you might want to ____in this year’s ____?
Me – I don’t know, probably not……
Them – OK, thanks anyway.
Are you kidding me! That was it and it was awful. They finally got me to answer the phone and they had a chance to get my attention and they didn’t. I said probably not and they heard no. There was no selling and I cannot imagine anyone saying yes based on this experience.
- The message didn’t resonate
- They didn’t overcome even the slightest resistance
- There were no real qualifying questions
- They ended the call early
There have been many conversations and discussions about the cold call being dead or part of history and many of these come from the very vocal inbound marketing disciples. I happen to believe in inbound marketing but wouldn’t you agree that even when it comes to that there is a right way and a wrong way? There is an effective method and also an ineffective method? I am guessing that many people that dismiss the value of cold calling are basing that opinion on the horrible version of cold calling that I describe above.
I think that this perception - that cold calling is dead or that it will never work puts the blame in the wrong place. Simply blogging, tweeting, maximizing keywords, optimizing SEO and buying some ppc would hardly guarantee results - what if that summed up your inbound marketing effort? If it didn't work could you then say that Inbound marketing is dead! I don't think so, because so much of the success would come down to how you utilized these tools.
In fact let's go a step further - cold calling and inbound lead generation both need to do the same things to be effective. Get attantion, deliver relevant information or content, get the prospect thinking and the final step in both is a call to action that results in a conversation.
The facts show us that effective cold callers still generate leads and business and that ineffective cold callers do not!
Regardless of how you get to the point where you are having a conversation a good question to ask might be "how effective am I at generating real traction during a sales conversation?"