You first have to stop and ask yourself if there is a return on your investment for making cold calls.
Is cold calling a viable way to get customers or is it merely an activity to occupy your time until some good prospects emerge out of thin air?
What is surprising to me is very few salespeople can answer the first question objectively, and few want to honestly answer the second question.
Here’s the deal from where I stand. Cold calling is tough even in the best of situations, but there are industries or areas where cold calling can payout quite well. For the vast majority of salespeople, cold calling has a return on investment only if it’s done properly.
The problem is the majority of salespeople don’t do it properly.
You have to be benchmarking all of your prospecting activity. Failure to do so will only result in one of two outcomes: You will spend too much time on activities that have little to no return on investment… or, you will spend too little time on those activities that do have a high payout.
If we’re not taking the time to benchmark our activities, we end up relying too much on our gut feeling. Sure, this can be good at times, but not good enough to build and sustain long-term success.
Unfortunately, the prospecting process is too varied for me to be able to provide you with a standard score sheet you can use to magically begin evaluating your prospecting process.
What you can do no matter what type of product or service you’re selling is keep a log of every prospecting call you make and the piece of information you used to drive the call.
This requires discipline, no matter what CRM system you might be using. If you’re not willing to track this information and then monitor what happens to the prospecting calls you make, then how can you ever expect to determine if making cold-calls is a good use of your time?
I encourage you to not jump to generalized conclusions about whether cold calling is “good” or “bad.” Instead, let the results of the data you collect tell you the best way to invest your time on this type of prospecting.
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Copyright 2012, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.