"Are Cold Callers Actually Compulsive Gamblers?"
I was doing a bit of thinking about the bad old days when I was still brainwashed to believe that cold calling would eventually work.
I'd go out all day long, or if the weather was bad I'd sit at the phone all day long, making cold call after cold call after cold call.
Regardless of whether or not I got any appointments, or whether those appointments were even qualified leads in the first place, I always had a strong feeling of accomplishment, and was convinced that I was getting closer and closer to that "tipping point" where I'd laid so much groundwork that the big killing would come in soon.
At the time, I was living in Las Vegas, and an old friend from high school came to visit. And boy did he love to gamble!
I personally don't like to gamble myself - if I lose even $10 in a slot machine, I'll be annoyed for a week that I threw it away with nothing to show for it. I'd rather spend the $10 on a good sandwich and at least know I got my money's worth!
In any case, even though I don't gamble, I tagged along with him to the casino.
And what I saw astonished me.
He'd sit down at the machine and pull a huge stack of $100 bills out of his pocket. I sat there in disbelief as he fed $100 after $100 bill into the machine, waiting for it to "hit."
He explained that if you play the slots, you have to keep "feeding" the machine until you tip the odds in your favor, and eventually it will hit.
And yes, it did hit sometimes. The first night I watched him win $3,000 after putting about $800 into the machine. And that got him hooked on returning to the same machine, every single day he was in town.
But gambling being what it is, you can't count on that happening every time. There's a reason for the old saying, "The casino always has the advantage." For the rest of his 5-day visit I watched this same spectacle unfold before my eyes. Feeding the machine with loads of cash, waiting for it to "hit."
Sometimes it hit, sometimes it didn't. Like I said, it's not a reliable way to make money, and at the end of the week he went home poorer than when he'd arrived.
Why Cold Calling = Gambling
When I was a cold caller myself, I bought into the same myth that it was a "numbers game" and that if I simply cold called enough people, I'd eventually "hit it."
And I did sometimes.
And so do other salespeople. That's why they're like compulsive gamblers: When they get a "hit," they get fired up to go back to massive amounts of cold calling, looking for that next big "hit."
Each “hit” causes your brain to release some dopamine - the “feel good” hormone - and it’s dopamine that causes every kind of addiction, from drugs to alcohol to cold calling.
But like my friend who learned a hard lesson in Las Vegas, I didn't "hit" often enough to make my numbers, to keep the bills paid reliably, and to live as comfortably as I'd wanted to live. (And guess what - most salespeople tell me the same thing. That's why they signed up for my newsletter or bought my course in the first place.)
As to freedom, there was none, not when you're shackled to making hundreds of cold calls each week just to survive. Even if you happen to have a good month now and then, it's with that nagging feeling that you have to go back and do it all over again next month just to survive, not to mention the craving for that next dopamine hit to soothe your withdrawals.
So if you're still cold calling, it's time to stop. Realize that each time you get a rush from making a sale by cold calling, you're experiencing the same chemical reaction in your brain that gamblers experience when they happen to win - a dopamine rush.
But we all know what happens to gamblers in the end: At the end of the day, they lose. Big time. Don't be like that. Find new and better ways of sales prospecting - methods that actually work in today's Information Age economy without annoying and infuriating people - and you'll start to experience real sales success!
Learn how you can stop cold calling forever and become a sales rock star by downloading a free 37-page PDF preview of the Never Cold Call Again System.
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