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June 12, 2005

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This has gotten interesting since I lasted visited here!

Guys, I do have a life! :) I cold call 2-3 days in the week and visit appointments for the other two days (sometimes at the beginning of the week, sometimes at the end.

What I forgot to mention is that I only manage to get on average ONE SALE a fortnight!!!! I'm just grateful that one sale covers my bills for the month! So as you all can see I'm a novice/newbie in sales e.g I stink at it!

Frank, I do have a problem closing sales and I need help. I've implemented your methods and getting much more qualified leads, but I'm wasting them by not being able to close the deal.

I do need a little help.

I see your point, and getting 4-5 leads a day from 200+ calls is a decent return ... but who on earth has time to make over 200 calls a day? That leaves zero time for any other activities ... like closing sales.

My point is that the idea that "cold calling works" is true in theory, but it doesn't pan out in the real world. There just aren't enough hours in the day. And working 12+ hours a day isn't the answer since we have only about 8 selling hours per day. Making 200+ quality calls in a day on top of running 4-5 appointments within 8 hours just isn't going to happen.

Interestingly enough, 27% of executives would take a call either usually or occasionally (according to the statistics in the link Frank provided.) Is that really so bad? Look at it this way; if you are selling a high margin service or product where the average deal is six figures how many calls would you have to make, to hit a 1 million quota?

I noticed Maxine Allen mentioned that she gets 4-5 leads per day from 200+calls. If she is a good sales person (knows how to qualify and then close) then she should be able to close at least 2 (or 3) of the 5 leads. She said she sells a high value product, so if she spends one day a week cold calling and sells 2-3 sales a week of a "high value product" that is not bad. I also believe that those 4-5 executives who show interest to a cold caller are probably much more committed to buying than 4-5 executives who come from referrals, networking or any other form of marketing. It might be tougher to get leads from cold calling, but when you get one it has a 80% close rate or higher (that is if you are not begging for appointments on a call or cajoling someone to give you an appointment...) The thought is that if you are getting some form of business or personal issues (pain) on a cold call, and a desire to fix the issue, along with a willingness to take a more serious look at the issue with you, then you got a hot lead on your hands which is worth 3-4 leads from any other marketing mechanism. The ultimate cold call should lead to a prospect asking you if you would meet with them to help fix the latent issues which you unmasked on the call. Now this is a whole different level of cold calling, which requires emotional mastery and zero fear of rejection!!! (impossible to learn in a 2-3 day seminar)

*Frank you are seasoned enough to know what sales philosophy I subscribe to...the only one that consistently works. Promise me you won't stop writing...every yin needs a yang!!!

-Sal Davidnedr

Interestingly enough, 27% of executives would take a call either usually or occasionally (according to the statistics in the link Frank provided.) Is that really so bad? Look at it this way; if you are selling a high margin service or product where the average deal is six figures how many calls would you have to make, to hit a 1 million quota?

I noticed Maxine Allen mentioned that she gets 4-5 leads per day from 200+calls. If she is a good sales person (knows how to qualify and then close) then she should be able to close at least 2 (or 3) of the 5 leads. She said she sells a high value product, so if she spends one day a week cold calling and sells 2-3 sales a week of a "high value product" that is not bad. I also believe that those 4-5 executives who show interest to a cold caller are probably much more committed to buying than 4-5 executives who come from referrals, networking or any other form of marketing. It might be tougher to get leads from cold calling, but when you get one it has a 80% close rate or higher (that is if you are not begging for appointments on a call or cajoling someone to give you an appointment...) The thought is that if you are getting some form of business or personal issues (pain) on a cold call, and a desire to fix the issue, along with a willingness to take a more serious look at the issue with you, then you got a hot lead on your hands which is worth 3-4 leads from any other marketing mechanism. The ultimate cold call should lead to a prospect asking you if you would meet with them to help fix the latent issues which you unmasked on the call. Now this is a whole different level of cold calling, which requires emotional mastery and zero fear of rejection!!! (impossible to learn in a 2-3 day seminar)

*Frank you are seasoned enough to know what sales philosophy I subscribe to...the only one that consistantly works. Promise me you won't stop writing...every yin needs a yang!!!

-Sal Davidnedr

Frank -

Here's the deal - you can't admit that there's any vailidity to cold calling - your entire business is based on based on cold calling bashing. I have read your book, and I think you've got some excellent material and great ideas that work. I also agree that most (if not all) salespeople HATE cold calling - it can be tough work. However, cold calling, when done properly and professionally can work. I consult and train salespeople in a wide variety of industries, and we work with many of them on improving cold calling skills and results. Also - the key thing to remember is that the goal in cold calling is to schedule an appointmnet - not to sell. We can document improvements of 20, 30, 40% in appointments set with new prospects. On a personal basis, I can also attest to success with cold calling. In my own training and consulting two of my largest clients, each of whom spend quite a significant annual sum, were the results of cold calling efforts. If a salesperson or company has the luxury of having telemarketers perform this task - that's great. Fact is, it's not always feasible or possible. THe best salespeople are those who can balance all forms of prospecting - from cold calling to networking, to e-mail marketing, - and recognize that the more things you have working in concert the more successful you will be.

Sorry to hear you're now being victimized by "telephone spam" in the UK. Fortunately those machines were banned here in the US as part of the 'do not call' legislation a couple of years back. Of course a few shady characters are still using them but it's quite rare now.

One particularly obnoxious and relatively new form of cold calling is what I dubbed telephone spam in the blogpost below.

The use of totally automated dialling combined with prerecorded "scammy" messages is becoming a plague, at least where I am. And apart from the "nuisance" factor, these people do manage to extract money from unsuspecting victims.

Proponents of cold calling will be quick to distance themselves from those more dubious practices and perhaps that's even a fair comment.

But when you get called by different "representatives" of the same Company several times, the "niceties" begin to become irrelevant.

There would be a great market for a device that allows a callee to build a numbers blacklist, much like an email spam filter.

http://developing-your-web-presence.blogspot.com/2005/06/telephone-spam.html

Well, I've just read the article and it's amazing to see such overwhelming evidence that cold calling isn't the most effective marketing tool in this day and age.

I'm 27yrs of age and am a novice in field sales (coming up to 1 year) and I've always been "average" when it comes to prospecting. I make more than enough money for holidays, but never enough to seriously consider any retirement plans/portfolios.... too busy cold calling!

I HATE cold calling.... but I do it anyway.... until last week! I bought that course "cold calling is a waste of time", haven't received the package yet, just the download. I put it to work immediately, just to see what happens and already I'm receiving 10 leads A DAY! Not bad at all considering I usually gain around 4-5 leads a day cold calling 200+ companies (I sell a very high value product).

I still cold call every now and then... guess it's a force of habit, but I now realise that cold calling is no longer a necessity for me.

Clearly if it's one of those black and white discussions, then you're right, Frank. Cold calling works versus cold calling doesn't work. You and the angels will all go for the second choice.

However if we acknowledge that life is usually shades of gray, you may get a different answer. Make two assumptions:
1. The callee has a vague recollection that he or she remembers you or your company.
2. The callee has some problem (pain) that you have a well-proven solution for.

In this situation, I believe you can make cold calling work for you.

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