"I want Frank to come and speak to us."
This is the voicemail that my speaking coordinator, Kate, received, so naturally she called right back. Unlike most authors, I don't actively seek paid speaking engagements, but certainly don't turn them away when they are offered, and this was the second one in a day.
On returning the call, what Kate was told was quite different than what she expected: "We don't really want Frank to come and speak. I lied in the voicemail message in order to get someone on the phone to hear me out."
Naturally, Kate was furious, and still so when she related the story to me at the end of the day. There's nothing more maddening than having your day interrupted and time wasted by a desperate, cold calling salesperson, but it's even worse when they lie in order to trick you into calling them back.
Unfortunately, this isn't uncommon at all, and happens all the time. It goes by different names - lately it's "Cold Calling 2.0" or "Reverse Cold Calling" or whatever the snake-oil pitchmen happen to be calling it this week, but no matter what you call it, it's deceptive....
...and IT DOESN'T WORK.
Sure, you'll get a call back. You'll also get an iron-clad guarantee that the prospect you just pissed off will remember it forever and will never, ever buy from you.
If you're part of the school of thought that measures "results" by number of return calls or number of appointments, then you need to learn what real results are: SALES.
I talk a lot about honesty and integrity in my books. It's the only way a salesperson or a business can succeed long-term. My friend and fellow author Dave Lakhani has defined the very fine distinction between persuasion and manipulation as follows:
Persuasion is the act of convincing someone to take a desired action, in this case to buy, for the mutual benefit of both buyer and seller.
Manipulation is tricking someone into buying for the benefit of the seller and to thedetriment of the buyer. (Example: a sleazy used car lot.)
This ridiculous idea of lying in a voicemail or email in order to get a return call is one of the worst forms of manipulation. In fact, it hardly deserves the title of manipulation, because at least a master manipulator will get a sale in the end! The idiot who lies in voicemails may get a call back, but will never make a sale!
A few years ago, in a testimonial success story email, someone told me they paid $500 for one of the "Cold Calling 2.0" courses, and the program was centered around the idea of calling and asking for a fake name, and when they say there is no one by that name, saying, "Oh I'm sorry, who handles that department now?"
Folks, there are better and easier ways to get that information. Ever heard of the internet?
Even better than that is not having to bother looking up contact names and trying to get people on the phone in the first place. The most successful salespeople today don't make those calls. They use modern prospecting & self-marketing strategies to get people to call THEM. (By the way, my Never Cold Call Again system explains those techniques and strategies in detail!)
So, do this right now:
1. Weed out all dishonest activities you may have engaged in, like 'Cold Calling 2.0' where you lie to people to get return calls.
2. Weed out cold calling in general, because as Jeffrey Gitomer loves to point out, it has the lowest percentage of all sales activities and isn't worth your time, and if anyone knows sales, it's Gitomer.
Frank Rumbauskas is the author of the New York Times best-seller Never Cold Call Again 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 online. To learn more, and to download a free 37-page preview of his Never Cold Call Again lead-generation system, visit http://www.nevercoldcall.com