Before I offend anyone who’s built their business around the
art of cold calling, I will say that cold calling is a valuable part of selling
and should never be overlooked. With that said, the question remains, “As a
sales manager, how much time do you encourage your sales force to spend in this
The other day I picked up an old e-mail someone had
originally printed for a technician in the field. Somehow it was placed on one
of the numerous piles of paper scattered atop my desk. It had the name and
phone number of a key decision maker for whom we did a little service work last
year. We had tried to up sell the guy on a preventive maintenance plan - since
their emergency repair was a direct result of no maintenance - but it wasn’t in
their budget. Enough time had passed since then though and I decided it was
time for me to ask for the sale again.
Happily greeted by the decision maker Terry on the other end
of the phone, a 20-minute conversation ensued as he took it upon himself to
counter sell me on what his company had to offer. Touché’ to my fellow sales
person as I let him know I was more than happy to listen to his pitch and loved
his technique for turning the call. When all was said and done, he agreed to
meet me for lunch so that he could introduce me to the new decision maker, as
Terry had changed from facilities to sales and promotions.
Now I know that wasn’t exactly a cold call; but what spurred
this blog was that during the course of our conversation we had discussed his
new role as a sales person and which sales methods he was using. During that
discussion we both agreed that cold calling is still a necessary tool in our
arsenals but with the change in today’s technology - and the use of voicemail,
e-mail, and text messaging - it was easy for people to avoid cold calls.
So with that background information, I’d like to get more people
involved in the conversation. How much cold calling are you doing and what
other sales methods are working best for you? Don’t be shy. Take this
opportunity to connect with people like you and voice your opinions and
experiences. Iron sharpens Iron!