I don’t take “Cold Calls”.
Last week I asked our reception team to not let any calls through to me from those “calling on behalf of…” people. Reception will take their details and if I’m interested (unlikely) I’ll call or e-mail them back, when I am ready.
I have had enough of cold callers interrupting my day and wasting my time. Now they need not waste their own time either.
In case you don’t know, cold calling is where someone is running through a list of what they call leads or prospects and basically run though a script in order to book a further appointment or meeting.
Not only is it annoying for the person being called, the stats on how ineffective this approach can be are rather staggering in that the caller will get one appointment from 300 calls:
I didn’t need a university study to see how hard cold calling can be, I tried it myself.
I did pretty much what was in the cold calling manual (get business numbers, call using a script, get an appointment) and found that it was one of the toughest nerve wracking, hand wringing things I’ve done. The results were not good and when I did get to the hallowed appointment stage it was pretty clear (though not at the time) that these were poor quality leads who were not interested in why I was there. If they had been interested then they would have called me in the first place.
Last week I took what I hope will be my last cold call, at least for a while, from Michael. I asked him how he felt about what he was doing and he had no trouble admitting that it was a waste of time and how bad he felt doing it. He had already abandoned he script he is supposed to use so he sounds more genuine. So why does he cold call? In his own words, it “pays the bills”.
You see Michael was calling on behalf of another company. Even the firm that wants the sale knows that it is a waste of time to use their own staff for such a bad sales generation tool. Better to get someone else to throw a line out rather than use valuable company time and people skills that are better used elsewhere.
Michael was quite philosophical about the whole thing really and was pretty happy to have 10 people want to receive another call from the company latter on from the 300 or so he’d contacted that week.
He certainly has a thicker skin than I do.
If any prospective sellers out there that want to know an effective method to get through to the likes of busy people like me, here it is:
Referrals: I listen to what my colleagues and peers say about who they deal with and I also tell them what I think of who I deal with and I do my own research too.
I’m pretty sure that most other people do this too, including the people that make cold calls.
I’m also pretty sure that I’m not the only one who has good gatekeepers like our reception team too.