Cold Calling R.I.P.

Hi Persuader,

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grow to learn and strive for more, we have to also learn to let go of ways that we existed in the past, ways that are no longer applicable to how we’ve advanced.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)…

If you’re in the Persuasion Factor or in my Elite Coaching Club, one thing that should have come to an end already, that you, by now, have buried or flushed, is the concept of cold calling.

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

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 7 comments
Patricia Winston - October 8, 2007

I must agree with you – well stated!

Dave - October 8, 2007

This topic hits the nail squarely, as the cliche goes. Ineffective marketing can really consume a lot of resources like money, energy, and time. Developing a good marketing program essentially puts a sales person in the business of making money.

Cold calling takes a lot of time with minimal results compared to a marketing campaign where prospects contact the sales person. Imagine how much better life is when you re trying to squeeze in more prospects and having to rush a person to buy now because you have another person to meet with in five minutes.

One of the sweetest appointments I ever went on was when I was selling to a couple and they knew I had to leave for another appointment in 10 minutes. The wife actually talked the husband into making the decision to buy quickly so they could help me get the the next appointment. And while I was busy selling, my marketing mailers were out with mail deliverers causing even more pre-selected prospects to contact my office.

Now that’s a good way to market and sell.


Peter Cafik - October 8, 2007

Good point. In Real Estate, “cold doors” work better than “cold phone calls” because of human nature. On average people are more considerate and patient when “face to face” than they are on the phone.

And, on average, the dominant personality trait of Agents are that they are high in “social service” traits. And social service types of people tend to avoid the high % of rejection found in true “cold phone calling”.

Most Agents gradually build rapport with homeowners through repeated visits to thier home in a process called “Farming”.

Very few Agents in this Industry truly “cold phone call”, but those who do can make more contacts per hour, and ultimatly secure more leads than any other type of prospecting done.

Alice Flanders - October 8, 2007

I don’t do cold calling because of the do not call law, but I do hang books on doors which is a form of cold calling. I wish I knew how to get people to come to me.

Robert - October 8, 2007


The whole idea of cold calling is the hopes that you will generate sales income from them.. Think of the resistance you give when someone out of the blue shows up at your door, or calls you on the phone.. for me, it’s an instant, “get away from me” and I don’t even care what they are selling… The best way I have found to get clients is to send a letter or a brochure to them.. the letter lists the ways my company can help them, then, I will send another one.. now, I have set a pattern… Now when I call, I can refer to the letters that I have sent to them and “follow up”.. as I follow up, I elicit their criteria, as taught by Kenrick and with in minutes, about 2 to be exact, we either have a match or not.. If we have a match, I kow everything I need to know to get the sale.

Jayson - October 27, 2007

Post on marketing was edited.

Kenrick E. Cleveland; Affluent Activator - October 27, 2007


Let’s keep the comments oriented to the subject matter of the article.

There are many resources on marketing. My suggestion is to start with the classics then move on from there.


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