Cold Calling R.I.P.
Sometimes it’s hard to let go. We’ve all been there… not wanting to say goodbye to something that we’ve outgrown, not letting go of someone who wasn’t good for us.
Think about a time you had to put a beloved pet to sleep because you knew it was the absolute best thing you could do to end their suffering.
As the things in our lives become outmoded, as we grow to learn and strive for more, we have to also learn to let go of ways that we existed in the past, ways that are no longer applicable to how we’ve advanced.
I’m about to reveal to you 1 of 2 things that I absolutely believe you should NOT be doing in persuasion. These things are NOT part of persuasion and will hinder your results when you carry them out (hint: the 2nd of the two is in the last sentence of this post)…
I had a student ask me in a seminar recently how the process of criteria elicitation applies to cold calling. The hard, cold truth is: you cannot apply this to cold calling as a general rule.
Cold calls are not selling. Cold calls are marketing. For those of you that do cold calls, stop it. Learn how to market. Spend some money and actually market your product or service. Marketing works.
If you’re in a business in which you must cold call, supplement it with real marketing.
Some businesses have to cold call. For example, realtors farm area, at least an awful lot of them do. There are other ways to do it, but some will choose to cold call. It does work in that profession.
Some stock brokers choose to prospect by telephone. It isn’t easy, nor is it fun. But in some ways, the game is rigged. If they work for a company that has a compliance department, they may not allow them to do much else.
Nowadays, if you’re an advisor of any kind, you probably aren’t even allowed to send an email through the company’s system to a customer, and if you did you probably can’t say more than “hi” or compliance will stop it.
So in that instance, maybe all you have available to you is cold calling. Even if that’s the case, don’t confuse it with selling.
In sales, we are simply looking for someone with their hand raised. Cold calling is nothing more than getting someone to raise their hand. When they raise their hand you switch hats and move from marketing to sales. Now criteria becomes an issue, whereas in the ‘marketing’ side it was not.
The minute there’s an interest, the context is present in which to do criteria. Before there’s a context you can’t elicit criteria. It won’t do you any good. You won’t get any answers and there’s no rapport.
If you can, stop cold calling. Sell to current clients. Develop new clients from your current clients. Work with getting new clients through some systematic method of advertising that will create a steady stream of traffic.
It’s time to let this one go. Sorry old pal, your time has come. As with ‘features and benefits’, our time together must come to an end.
Until Next Time,
Kenrick E. Cleveland