That question was first coined by Dan Kennedy, way back in 1974.
Yes, even in the pre-Internet, pre-Social Media days, when cold calling was still in vogue, wayyyyy back then, someone STILL had the common sense to explain why cold calling was ineffective versus the direct-response marketing methods of the day!
Having given you the history - and proper credit - on where that phrase came from, you have to ask yourself, which one are you?
The Annoying Pest
I deal with the annoying pest as a business owner, although the problem is getting less and less common, partly because both myself and technology have improved at blocking out annoying pests, and partly because of the generational shift in selling - in other words, the newer, younger generation of sales managers who are taking over who understand that cold calling is a relic of the 1950s and won't have their sales teams doing it.
By the way, who is the annoying pest?
I'll answer that question with a question: Do you cold call?
If you said "yes" then YOU, my friend, are the annoying pest!
And the annoying pest is no longer welcome in the modern world of commerce.
In fact, the annoying pest hasn't been welcome in a VERY long time, but far too many people simply don't get it.
The Welcome Guest
The welcome guest is what some call the "new" breed of salesperson but there's really nothing "new" about it. I was the welcome guest back in the 1990s after I'd learned, and had it taught to me by a brilliant sales manager, that cold calling is for lazy morons who don't have the brainpower to prospect intelligently.
Yes, you heard me: Cold calling is LAZY. It's for people who don't want to THINKand learn something new and different. As Henry Ford once said, thinking is the hardest thing there is. That's why almost no one does it.
The welcome guest, on the other hand, is just that - welcome. The welcome guest is someone who can solve a problem. Someone who can add value. Someone who can benefit all involved.
The welcome guest doesn't irritate people with the rude, intrusive behavior of cold calling.
And most importantly of all, the welcome guest is SUCCESSFUL and PROSPEROUS.
The annoying pest is a FAILURE, and usually a frustrated one at that, thanks to the lousy personality that develops over time due to the never-ending confrontation and negativity of cold calling.
The irony in all this is that, for a few years, I was an ANNOYING PEST!
I cold called because I didn't know any better. I was new and young and dumb and I simply did what I was told to do. After all, wasn't I supposed to follow orders from my manager?
Nope. Not when the manager himself had spent life as an annoying pest.
Finally I got a clue - from a new sales manager who practically hit the ceiling when he saw me cold calling the first day on my new job and pulled me aside to tell me I was too good to do the job of an unskilled telemarketer.
This was a shock to my system, but there began a process of many years of learning and trial-and-error method that taught me how to generate endless hot leads, without ever making another cold call, ever again.
Suddenly I was working fewer hours, going on fewer appointments, yet I was making a lot more sales.
Best of all, I had a lot more free time. I was selling more by doing less work - by focusing only on people who were pre-disposed to buy from me, I was closing 4 out of 5 sales, instead of my previous record of 1 in 5 when the leads came from cold calling.
After I had mastered this concept and developed a system of lead-generation strategies that brought me an endless supply of hot leads - people who were ready to buy right now - I began teaching that system to others, and you know what they told me?
The same thing happened to them: They began selling a lot more while doing far less work.
Making the transition from annoying pest to welcome guest is a great feeling - I know, because I achieved it. (Oh yeah, and your stress level goes down.)
And now it's your turn.
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