"Goes to show that cold calling does work!"
I saw Wall Street, one of my two all-time favorite movies, this past weekend again for the first time in a long time!
Naturally, considering what I do for a living, I had to laugh when Bud Fox gets promoted to his new corner office and the sales manager says over the loudspeaker, "Goes to show that cold calling does work."
Of course the irony of the scene is that Bud wasn't cold calling at all. (What he was doing is illegal, but that's another story altogether!) And just before that announcement, one of the cold calling reps was fired. Go figure.
This nonsense goes on in just about all sales offices. Ask any sales manager what their top performers are doing and they'll tell you they're cold calling.
Of course they're not. If they were, they wouldn't be top performers - they'd probably be on probation, or out of a job completely!
It happened to me all the time when I was new to sales and trying to find my way. It goes without saying that all sales managers - except for one - told me to cold call, but it was even more frustrating when I'd approach top sales reps who told me the same thing.
It drove me nuts because I'd watch them and observe them and clearly see that they were not cold calling.
Finally I started at a new job where the sales manager had a brain, and when he saw me start cold calling, because I didn't know what else to do, he pulled me aside and said, "Frank, I didn't spend thousands to hire and train you to have you doing the job of a minimum-wage telemarketer."
That's when he let me in on the dirty little secret:
COLD CALLING IS A SHAM AND A TOTAL WASTE OF TIME!
He teamed me up with the top sales rep in that office. We went to our first appointment together where I could watch him work his magic.
On the way over, he explained, "Calling people at random is a complete waste of time. There is a certain percentage of the market who is pre-disposed to buy from you. Your job is to get those people to know about you so they call you and you become their order taker."
That's when the light bulb turned on for me.
He told me that 20% of the market absolutely will never buy from me, 20% will buy if they know about me, and the other 60% are up in the air and need to be "sold."
The failure of most salespeople comes about because they waste their time calling on the 20% who will say 'no' and the 60% who will say 'maybe' instead of spending all of their time in front of that 20% who will definitely say 'yes' and BUY.
By the way, that 60% 'maybe' crowd is the worst of all because most of them will string you along and waste your time without buying! At least the 'no' people will say no and not waste your time. (I bring this up because most sales managers will instruct salespeople to go after that 60%, which makes no sense to me. Under my sales philosophy, you work with them only after they move into the 20% 'yes' crowd.)
In any case, that day was a HUGE eye-opener for me.
From that point forward I only spent my time with top sales pros. I asked lots of questions, observed, took them to lunch, whatever I needed to do to gain their knowledge.
Over time I learned all of their lead-generation tactics, worked them into a system, and began using that system to the point where I had more leads than I could handle, and since most of those leads were in the 20%, pre-disposed 'yes' crowd, my closing rate was an astonishing 80%, compared with the 20% average in my company!
And guess what - if I can do it, then you can do it. I was a terrible salesperson until I learned this "secret" that's no secret at all - calling on unqualified prospects with a cold calling shotgun approach is a waste of time. Identifying the portion of the market that is pre-disposed to buy from you is how the sales game is won.
New York Times best-selling author Frank Rumbauskas is the author of the Never Cold Call Again® System and has won numerous accolades, such as Readers Choice for Business Book of the Year from 800-CEO-READ, and has been named one of Fast Company’s top 30 most influential people. To learn more, and to download a free 37-page PDF preview of his Never Cold Call Again lead-generation system, visit NeverColdCall.com
Frank has been developing and improving company sales processes and marketing strategies for countless clients since 2003, and thousands have attended his sales workshops and seminars. When you’re ready to massively increase your revenue and greatly reduce sales force turnover, contact Frank at firstname.lastname@example.org