Yes, that's the question I'm asking today: Is cold calling fun?
I ask because there was a time - many years ago - when I was new to sales, had no idea what to do to prospect for leads, and so I went out cold calling. My sales manager, along with the various training companies they brought in from time to time, all said it would work.
Day after day, week after week, month after month, I really went out and hit it hard. Depending on the day I'd either make over 100 phone calls, or on nice days I went out and canvassed office buildings door-to-door. I'd finish up each day with a really fantastic feeling that I'd accomplished something, just knowing that all the seeds I'd been planting would pay off with big sales numbers.
Unfortunately, those big numbers never came.
I reached the point where my attitude and my morale started to suffer, and in order to keep myself motivated to continue prospecting each day, I started to delude myself into believing that cold calling was actually fun.
I made a game of it, and made a point to enjoy the social aspect of it - the fact that I met so many new people each day as a result of all my cold calls.
I actually did reach the point where I brainwashed myself into believing that cold calling was fun - and I made more calls as a result - but unfortunately, the sales still didn't come.
I'm writing about this today because over the last several years as a sales author and trainer, I've encountered many salespeople who try to use the "cold calling is fun" delusion to keep themselves motivated, but they too fail to obtain any real results from it.
The fact of the matter is that cold calling - in this day and age - is an old, antiquated relic of a time when it really did work, because prospects didn't have access to the tools and information they have today. Likewise, salespeople didn't have access to the Internet, social media, and other Information Age tools that enable them to not only thoroughly target and research prospects before calling them, but even to make direct contact via social media, without the annoying cold call.
For the most part, qualified prospects today - particularly B2B prospects - will go out and find an appropriate provider when they have a need to make a purchase or change vendors. According to a study done by the business school at the University of North Carolina, this is the case with over 80% of B2B prospects. That means less than 1 in 5 will even entertain a cold call, let alone buy from it.
And therein lies the problem - since 1 in 5 are still accessible via cold calling, salespeople continue to get an occasional sale from cold calling, which continues the delusion that it works.
Sure, a bicycle will get you from point A to point B - it "works" - but a car or an airplane will do the job much faster and with far greater efficiency.
Likewise, while cold calling will generate a sale here and there, the return on investment of your time is downright horrible when compared with more up-to-date strategies, like the ones I mentioned above.
So, stop deluding yourself into believing that "cold calling is fun" just to keep yourself doing it. Use more efficient strategies and techniques to generate sales leads, and your numbers will skyrocket.
Frank Rumbauskas is the author of the New York Times best-seller 'Never Cold Call Again' and several other books. To learn more and download a free 37-page PDF preview of his lead-generation system, visit http://www.nevercoldcall.com