Four Bad Reasons to Skip Cold Calling

cold calling
Cold calling is key.

Few salespeople enjoy cold calling. However, even fewer salespeople can manage to get all the prospects they need from other sources. Unless you manage to build a world-class referral network or develop a stunningly powerful social media presence, you're stuck with cold calling. Yet even experienced salespeople struggle with periods when they just can't get themselves motivated to cold call. Take a look at these four profiles and see if any of them sound familiar.

The reluctant salesperson. Many salespeople more or less fell into sales when they couldn't get jobs in their intended career paths. Instead of being proud to be salespeople, some of these folks are a bit embarrassed by the job. When asked what they do for a living, they tend to come up with titles like "account manager" or other non-sales sounding names. Because they're ashamed of being salespeople, they tend to think that anyone they call will be highly offended. So reluctant salespeople avoid cold calling as much as possible, and when they absolutely must make a cold call, they're very apologetic about it. Reluctant salespeople need to realize that they have nothing to be embarrassed about. Being a salesperson today is not like pitching snake oil from the back of a wagon. A salesperson's true role is to identify people who have a need for a certain product, and then connect those people with that product.

It's a win-win-win job: the new customer solves a problem, the company that makes the product gets paid for it, and the salesperson pockets a commission.

The fearful salesperson. Anyone making cold calls will sooner or later run into a really unpleasant person who will react with totally inappropriate anger to the poor cold caller.

Salespeople making cold calls get cursed at, hung up on, and generally abused – but only on rare occasions. However, the fearful salesperson has a very hard time getting over those unpleasant calls. He may be a new salesperson, someone with low self-esteem, or simply a very sensitive person. For whatever reason, because he dreads confrontation, he avoids cold calls as much as possible and when he does call, he is very timid on the phone. Fearful salespeople need to find a way to become more emotionally resilient about being rejected or otherwise abused during cold calls. Growing a thicker skin just takes persistence and determination, along with a slight change to the mindset.

The perfectionist salesperson. Doing pre-call research is extremely helpful when making cold calls, but some salespeople take this to the extreme. The perfectionist salesperson feels that the more she knows about a prospect, the better she will be able to sell to him – which is true. However, spending an hour researching each prospect is taking this concept way too far. An extremely large prospect might be worth this level of attention, but putting that much research time into every single prospect means never having the time to actually sell to these people.

Perfectionist salespeople need to accept that they simply can't devote enough time to learn everything about every prospect. One way to resolve this problem is to put yourself on a timer and only allow a certain number of minutes of research before you actually pick up the phone and try to talk to the prospect.

The superstar salesperson. Success can be an even bigger problem than failure, if the person in question doesn't handle it well. Some salespeople who've experienced the excitement of landing major sales become addicted to the heady feeling and want to spend all their time closing the next huge sale.

Sweating it out in the trenches making cold call after cold call has no appeal compared with bursting into the office and announcing that you've landed another huge sale. Of course, the only problem with this mindset is that without those cold calls, you never make it to the big sale in the first place. Yes, cold calling is not fun, but superstars have to realize that it's part of the job and a prerequisite to those exciting monster sales.

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