6 Sigma Categories
Business & Career Improvement
Cold Calling is Outdated
Years ago, before the power of the web, sales reps sat on a telephone and dialed as many people as humanly possible in hopes of landing 4 out of 100 positive responses. This is a labor-intensive business model. How many hours do you think it took for sales reps to make 100 calls? The bigger question is how many sales reps would a company have to hire so that this process was impactful? The answer is thousands.
Many of those sales reps have been laid off. Why? One reason is that people are too busy to answer the phone these days. So the number of “No Answer” calls has increased substantially. Another reason is that the web has provided a wealth of information for people. This makes them more unwilling to speak with someone they do not know or do not trust.
Most traditional sales programs spend a lot of time focusing on the importance of the cold call and making an impression on someone in the first 30 seconds. Companies do not realize how much they invest in the first 30 seconds. Old cold calling techniques which were once successful have completely lost their effectiveness over the years. They just don’t work anymore. However, many salespeople are still using them because they are comfortable with them. They continue working from the same ineffective cold calling mindset. The result is they make the same mistakes consistently and have to spend much more time increasing productivity.
People are becoming more comfortable with impersonal forms of communication – like email. Companies should spend more time and money figuring out how to get someone to respond to an email rather than the old labor-intensive cold calling method. When you communicate with someone through email, they still hold the reigns. They have total control in the situation because they can respond or not respond. This is what people want.
Good sales pitches include an assumption that your product or service is a great fit for the other person. But how do you know this if you have never met them before, or had a full conversation? It’s much better to pretend you know very little about your prospect. Open the door for them to share some of concerns and issues with you. Then allow them to guide the conversation.
Although it is difficult, companies are moving away from the old sales mindset of cold calling and trying to appeal to customers using their preferred method of contact. Businesses have found that they have to cater to customers in a non-intrusive fashion. Many have done away with cold calling practices.