As the daughter of a salesman, I grew up listening to old sales stories about how my father used to go door-to-door selling encyclopedias in the middle of the summer in the Arizona heat and the anthems he would sing each morning to get himself in the right mindset. My father also had a library of books all related to the sales profession in some degree that he would make my brother and I read and give detailed summaries on what we’d learned. While I still remember lessons in those books today, it would probably be painful for my father to hear me say these words “Cold Calling is Going Cold.”
It seems like 20, even 10 years ago, cold calling was seen as a successful sales formula, still generating decent conversion rates and returns. However, as technology and communicating almost entirely electronically has taken over the old days of phone calls and in-person meetings, it’s more difficult than ever to “break in.”
In every position in my marketing career, which can still be considered short (almost nine years), I’ve been on the receiving end of thousands of B-to-B cold calls. I’ve heard and seen it all; some with impressive strategies and techniques, and some who were probably not in the best suited profession.
From my experience in the field thus far, here are just a few reasons why unfortunately I believe cold calling is becoming a negatively-viewed approach.
What’s Giving Cold Calling a Bad Rap?
- Can be viewed as disrespectful of one’s work schedule and time There have been several occasions where a sales rep has called me more than once, and when I did not return their call immediately, they become almost offended. If you’re in a position like mine, you can get up to 20 sales calls a day, making it difficult to answer every unknown number or check every voicemail, all while doing your day job. It’s almost like dating, if someone isn’t calling you back … It’s best to not email prices back and forth or schedule a meeting if it’s going to lead the other person on.
Now for some positive thoughts — from my interactions, here are some simple ways to “break in.”
Danielle Downing is the Marketing Manager for the Birmingham, Ala.-based law firm of Burr & Forman LLP, an AM Law 200 firm with 300 attorneys and nine offices in the Southeast.