Braveheart Sales Performance recently conducted research on the subject of cold calling in today’s atmosphere. This information is presented in the white paper, Cold Calling in the 21st Century.
I have been telling salespeople for years that if they must cold call it is because they are not getting enough good quality leads, referrals and introductions. So if they must, they must, but it is a hard way to achieve sales success.
I have also been telling any sales manager who will listen that one will have significantly more success by prioritizing their calling efforts first – “Whom does the salesperson really want to do business with?” and, “What are they willing to do to get to talk with them?” Start with these questions to direct your sales team, then help them with their tactics because the results are in.
In a nutshell, what we learned through our research is this: Your sales force will have the best chance of talking with the intended target, if they call them every day and leave a very brief, non-descriptive message asking for a call back, for a number of days. In our work, we chose 8 days.
This study did not address the topic of not leaving any message, it only intended to determine what the most effective type of message was, if one was left. If the intention is to actually speak with the person, then the research shows, hands down, that your cold calling will have the best chance with the aforementioned tactic. If, however, the intention is to just leave a marketing message, like so many so-called salespeople do, then continue to allow them to leave those lengthy, descriptive, boring messages about why they called, and allow the target to make decisions without talking to the salesperson. But, also expect to continue to get results on callbacks that are less impressive than they could be from other cold calling examples.
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