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  • Rohit Akkewar

To cold call or not to cold call



To cold call or not to cold call


I see quite a few people who are pro - cold calling and many new-age sales people who are against cold calling.


Inbound marketing, Sales 2.0, social-selling-obsessed newer generation kind of have this vested interest where they say anything about cold-calling as “old school”. 


Many say - “Never cold call again” 


Also, might say- “Why work hard when you can sit back and wait for the phone to ring”.


And,

Then, there are the ‘Kings’ and ‘Queens’ of Cold Calling - who would say cold calling is the real key to prospecting success and wouldn’t always swear by the “New School” approach.

Their top-secret formulas being - eliminate rejections, making your prospects swoon when you call and, guarantee you success.


But, what is the secret to prospecting?



Interrupt a Prospect


So how would one Interrupt?


Here is the deal -


If you want sustained success in sales career, then start interrupting your customers.

Pick up that phone

Walk in the door

Send an email or text message or WhatsApp, or,

Ping the prospect on LinkedIn, Twitter, FaceBook.


And, Interrupt someone with whom you are not in any sales discussions nor have any sales appointment fixed.


"It has never been about degree (Cold, Warm, Hot, or whatever) of the call; 

It has always been about the willingness on the part of the salesperson to interrupt."



Call to Interrupt?


Most sales reps protest and will do anything to avoid making an outbound call. It is so much easier to speak to someone who is calling you.


The problem is, most companies can't create enough qualified inbound leads to keep the pipeline full. 


The reps that work for companies, that do generate enough inbound leads to keep the phones ringing, are making far less interruptions than sales pros who are reaching out and interrupting prospects to create opportunities.



The only way to start a sales conversation with the high-value prospects is to interrupt them.



What are the challenges?


It is difficult and awkward to interrupt someone's day.


You can't control their response. That unknown leaves us vulnerable and causes fear.


Let's look at a Quick Case:


This past year, one of my clients wanted to set up an outbound prospecting team to call and reactivate dormant customers. They hired a few young, inexperienced reps to make the calls.


While training them, I observed the reps obsess over the unknowns, the “what ifs” of the highly qualified “warm” calls. They wanted to be sure they had all of their apples in the basket before they ever picked up the phone. They hesitated and agonized. 


But these were not calls to strangers. We were calling people who had done business with the company in the past. Yet, the reps demonstrated the exact same anxiety I've observed in reps who were calling complete strangers—in degrees, very cold prospects.


So, I demonstrated by grabbing the list, picking up the phone, and dialling numbers. The customers who answered the phone were receptive, and other than being initially irritated at being interrupted, took time to talk to me about their next buying window. Over the course of 25 dials, three of these former customers indicated that they were ready to buy again.


Once the reps learned how to interrupt those inactive customers and initiate sales conversations, they became phenomenally successful, going on to produce, as a team, INR 1.75 Cr (250,000 USD) in the next quarter in sales. This, by the way, became my client's most successful new sales initiative of the year, and they have expanded the outbound team and are now attacking the entire database.



Balanced Prospecting


Poor people choose now. Rich people choose balance.

— T. Harv Eker, Secrets of the Millionaire Mind



The pipeline always reveals the truth. Salespeople who gravitate to a single prospecting methodology seriously sub-optimize their productivity.


So what's the rule?


Well, there is no rule but remember-



Don't put all the eggs in one basket!

One size doesn't fit all!

The more you prospect, the luckier you get!



As Dale Carnegie says: "Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy."



Excerpts are from "Fanatical Prospecting - The ultimate guide to opening sales conversations and filling the pipeline" by Jeb Blount, along with self experiences.

________________________________________________________________________


The author is a Business Development veteran with over 14 years’ experience in cold calling.


Apart from Inside Sales consulting, he trains new teams on cold-calling techniques.


Book a free consultation session with him today!

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