It’s time for me to go on a rant about cold-calling.

I’ve had it with the sales pundits who proclaim cold calling has no place in today’s business world.

I will give a disclaimer up front that many of these sales pundits who say cold calling is dead are friends and business associates of mine.  It’s just the time has come for me to make another declaration as to why I don’t agree with them.

Cold calling works!

Does it work as well as it did a few years ago?  No. Anyone who has been in sales for any period of time knows that.  However, I’m not willing to throw the baby out with the bath water.

The definition I use for cold calling is to call somebody on the telephone who you do not know and the other person does not know you.

I’m a firm believer that cold calling works in today’s business environment. It just has to be done as part of a sales development strategy. Cold calling with the telephone works when it’s combined with tools including email, regular mail, business media (aka: social media) and other tools.

The first thing that has to be accepted with a cold calling strategy is it is going to include the active use of voicemail.   Up until a few years ago, I was not an advocate of using voicemail as part of the cold-calling strategy except in dire situations.  Today, my philosophy is different.

Leaving a short and tight voice mail that is no more 15 seconds in length and includes a strong benefit statement can and will work.  It works for two reasons.

First, it’s about creating awareness of who you are.  Second, it’s about passing along valuable information that demonstrates competency.  What I’m talking about here is not leaving a statement about what it is you’re selling. That’s feature dumping and it has no place in cold-calling.

What I’m talking about is leaving a timely benefit statement — something similar to what is called a sound-byte on a news show.  It’s a short single sentence that conveys one piece of information the other person should see as valuable.

Yes, you still have to be ready for the occasional phone call that gets answered live, but the vast majority of calls are going to wind up being a voicemail message designed to create awareness.

The key is to make the voicemail you leave as one of a series of messages designed to create awareness.  Each message must contain a different short benefit statement.   The objective is for the person you’re attempting to reach to see you as a value added person and not a salesperson out for the quick sale.

Cold calling works. (If you’re doing it right).

Copyright 2012, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.


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