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Increase sales by cold calling? You would rather stick needles in your eyes, right?

Seasoned sales pros hate cold calling. Did you know that? It is true.

They do it because they think it gets sales. And cold calling does work. The problem it that it is a brutal game. Loaded with rejection. Doing it means you have to build up a steely shell and an iron will.

I have done it. Smiled and dialed my way through lists callings hundreds a day. Yes, you read that right – hundreds.

In fact, during that time I was using Skype. Being clever with Excel I discovered I could click a number in a cell, and auto-dial using Skype. I also found out – to my utter shock – that Skype has a “fair use” policy. (Unlimited does NOT mean unlimited). I was calling so many people that I got a very nasty email from Skype.  (Thank you Microsoft). It said, in scary legal terms, to “cease and desist”. Or they would ban me from using Skype. Forever. No warnings even!

Ok, that is a story for another day. Today I listened to a fantastic business podcast on cold calling. (I will share link below).

Here are some tips I gleaned:

Tip #1 – Cold Calling is NOT a Numbers Game

Yup. Not a numbers game. Wait a minute. Since the invention of the phone has not this been common knowledge?

Commonly believed does not equal common sense.

Here is the problem. A big list is not a targeted list. You will end up calling a lot of non-qualified leads.

I have bought lists from list brokers. I made the mistake of thinking it was targeted. These bought lists were casting too big a net.

In the podcast the expert, David Walter, says something different. Only call very targeted leads.

Here is the example he gives. The boss tells the sales guy to – “go out and make calls”. They make calls. More calls = more sales.

The boss tells his Executive Assistant: “go get in touch with John’s attorney”. That is what he/she will do.

See the difference? One is shotgun. The other a rifle.

This leads me to…

Tip #2 – You Are Selling to the 80% That Are Happy with What They Have

What? How do you sell to the 80% that are happy with what they have? Makes no sense, right?

If you are like me, I bet you thought you are scouting for the 10% that are unhappy with what they have, correct? (The other 10% are just rude and will hang up on you).

How the heck do you sell to the 80% that are happy?

Because they do not know any other way than the way they do it now.

What you say is (as example) something along these lines –

“I know you are probably very happy with what you have in the area of ______, am I right?”

Then the punchline: “as a businessperson, I bet you like to keep your options open, yes?”

You are looking to set an appointment (or online demo) to show them another way. A way that is better, cheaper, faster, stronger than what they have! (You get the idea).

Tip #3 – Never Leave Voicemail

I did some cold calling the other day. I left some voicemails.

The challenge is – I now have zero control. What are the odds they will call me back? Zip.

What you do is this:

…you call the same targeted person – over and over – until you reach them. Three times a day if needed.

Do not leave voicemail.

In Summary

There is much more in the podcast than what I wrote above.

In these tough times when you may want to add more sales, try calling the prospects you want as clients.

Take a listen:

Why Cold Calling Goes Wrong

Thanks for reading…