"That's impossible. It can't be done."
That's what my friend Bill said to me one day. Bill and I worked together at my first sales job many years ago. We both left the company and moved on to greener pastures after some time, and we lost touch until I ran into him one day.
Bill and I were still very much alike - with one exception: Bill was still working hard, struggling to make his numbers, while I was enjoying success as a top-performing salesperson - and enjoying the income that came with it!
What Made The Difference?
After going through initial sales training, both Bill and I went out into the field and spent hours upon hours cold calling, just as we were told. However, after a few months of doing that and getting no results from it, I realized there must be a better way.
Bill kept on making those cold calls, dialing for dollars and pounding the pavement, eternally in search of the light at the end of the tunnel.
It never came.
I, on the other hand, had reached that state of mind known as "inspirational dissatisfaction" after many failures. I was fired from my first sales job. And my second. And third. At that point I decided it was time to "just say no" to cold calling and look for a better solution.
And I found it.
At job number four, I felt a surge of hope when my new sales manager saw me cold calling, pulled me aside, and explained, "We didn't spend thousands of dollars to hire you and send you to training to have you doing the job of an unskilled minimum-wage telemarketer. There are better ways to generate leads, and that's what I want you doing."
My boss teamed me up with the top-producing rep in the office, Joe, who took me under his wing. On the way to our first appointment together, he told me in the car, "Calling people at random is a waste of time. A certain percentage of the market is pre-disposed to buy from you; all you need to do is position yourself to identify those people and get in front of them, or better yet, get them to contact YOU."
That day at my new job changed my life…
(I found this gem the other day while looking for something in my safe - this is the very same job that changed my career and my destiny by teaching me to never cold call again!)
You're probably still wondering what made Bill say, "That's impossible. It can't be done." It was when I ran into him and told him I'm on top of my game, blowing out my numbers and taking home a huge commission check each and every month, all while working short hours. But it was when I told him I hadn't made a cold call in YEARS that blew his mind.
See, Bill went on cold calling. He became totally brainwashed that making 100 calls a day would lead to success. He believed the sales manager's lies that every call is worth X number of dollars in your pocket. (And that IS a big lie, because if it weren't, they'd pay you per call instead of per sale!)
The saddest part of all this is that, to this day, Bill still believes in cold calling and really thinks it's "impossible" to make a six-figure income without it. He accused me of being buddies with the boss and getting free leads, which was nothing further from the truth.
Bill needs to hear Napoleon Hill's story of how he cut the word "impossible" out of a new dictionary every time he bought one!
A System Is Born
Although I was enjoying massive success by that time, I will admit to you that it wasn't all easy. Nobody gave me a formula or plan on that fateful day. They just put the seed of knowledge in my mind and left me to discover the path in my own way.
First of all, I threw out all those mindless sales books and tapes with their ridiculous mantra of "it's a numbers game, make more calls, pester people until they buy," and so on. I know you've heard the same, and that it didn't work for you.
Then I spent months and years in a long, trial-and-error process of testing dozens of new ways to get leads, eliminating the ones that didn't work, and expanding the ones that did, all the while adding new strategies as they became available (like internet marketing and social media).
I also sought out top sales professionals in my community and spent as much time with them learning as much as possible. And most of that information really surprised me - it was nothing of what I expected!
I took all of that knowledge and created a system. I learned how to generate an endless supply of hot, qualified leads without cold calling.
Before I knew it I was taking home over five figures per month in commissions, and I never made another cold call again. (This also had a lot to do with convincing my employer to let me resign and sign on as an independent agent with no salary and a much higher commission rate.)
More importantly, I was finally happy. I no longer lived in fear of losing my job, and I never had to worry about paying my bills again. Life was suddenly stress-free and easy.
Knowledge Is Power
The great thing about my strategies is that they don't require any skill to implement. You don't have to be a born salesperson - in fact, I was a terrible salesperson starting out!
As my friends at work would taunt me, "You can't close the lid on a jar."
You'll find that sales just happen - people simply buy - when you're in front of a prospect who has a current need and is ready and willing to buy from you.
In fact, once I had perfected my systems, my colleagues were amazed that I'd go to a first appointment and usually return with a check and contract in hand! They were baffled since they were still going on with corporate's "three appointment rule" - what they failed to realize is that an ideal, qualified prospect with a current need doesn't want to sit through three appointments.
They want to BUY RIGHT NOW.
An Added Bonus
Myself and many others who use my lead-generation strategies all received an added bonus - more time. Yes, some used that time to gain more customers and earn more income but countless others have created more time to live their lives, spend time with friends and families -- enjoy hobbies, sports and other activities to balance their lives. They have more control. Does that make your ears perk up? Just a little?
I've received heart-warming letters from a dad who increased his income while cutting his working hours from 12 to 6 each day - now he gets to spend time with his kids again.
I've heard from a single mom who was so grateful to have much more freedom and be with her children more once cold calling was eliminated from her life.
Nobody, and I mean nobody, likes making cold calls. Make 50 cold calls and how many “no’s” do you get? About 50, right?
So you know it doesn’t work. So why on earth would you keep doing it? Probably because you don’t know what else to do.
And that's not your fault!
It's the fault of dinosaur sales directors who haven't been in the field for 20 years, and the fault of the scam sales training industry, where sales trainers keep people failing by cold calling, and therefore coming back for more and more and more training that doesn't work.
Your responsibility is education. As Napoleon Hill said, you get 8 hours to sleep, 8 hours to work, and 8 hours of spare time. It's what you do with that spare time that decides your fate. Do you waste it watching television and sports or going out drinking?
Do you listen to music or mindless talk radio in your car instead of spending that time listening to valuable audiobooks like I do?
Don't waste your spare time. Remember, knowledge is power. Study modern prospecting methodology and read sales and success books in your spare time, along with motivational recordings like Earl Nightingale's The Strangest Secret.
Remember, knowledge is power, and that knowledge will set you free.
-Frank J. Rumbauskas
PS: The names have been changed in this article to protect the identities of "Bill" and "Joe."
If you're not up to speed on modern, Information Age lead-generation methods, learn how you can stop cold calling forever and become a sales rock star by downloading a 37-page PDF preview of the Never Cold Call Again System here.
New York Times best-selling author Frank Rumbauskas is the creator 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 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