I have read so many times that cold calling is dead. It’s all about social selling and why would anyone dare call someone to have a human conversation? Are we mad, as sale people, to think this is still part of our strategy…?

Here are just a few reasons why everyone is talking about cold calling being dead.

It’s called ‘cold calling’

This is not a good start. We’ve labelled it, and we’ve called it ‘COLD’. No wonder the mere thought of this action puts pure fear and dread into the caller and the recipient of that call. Let’s just stop calling it cold, and think of it as an act of connecting. I don’t care whether you think that’s a bit ‘woo-woo’ but it is a fact. Salespeople would like a conversation with someone who has a potential challenge that they would like to solve. That’s not really ‘cold’ is it? I have banned the phrase ‘cold calling’ from my training programmes and mentoring sessions for this very reason. Mindset is key in life and sales.

‘Cold callers’ are trained badly

A call to a prospective client should be all about them, NOT about you. The reason why there is such a bad reputation attached to speaking to people on the phone, is because we are used to a person calling and launching into a sales pitch all about them. There is nothing appealing about someone who has no interest in you. Companies throw some of these callers in at the deep end with no proper training and the wrong objectives. Often those being – make as many calls as you can, as that is considered a sign of success. It’s not actually quite the numbers game that people think – quality not quantity. What a lot of wasted energy.

Scripts

Yes it is a sad fact that companies still ask callers to use scripts. It is guaranteed to kill any personality they have, and you can also be sure that if someone wants to stray from the script they will be left truly stumped. If they are trained and understand why they are actually making the call then why shouldn’t we trust that they could actually use their own conversation….? Imagine that!

We have lost the art of human interaction

This one is a big statement, but it is worth having in this blog. I believe this is happening and in some cases has absolutely happened. Our new strategies are emails – then we don’t have to talk. Add to that we can send them every day, ok maybe every other day. They can be long and full of obvious content that builds us up and leads us to the … call to action. These emails have no personality. I know some people would argue with this, because we can be really creative with email, BUT it is so transparent. The fact is this ‘preferred’ way of selling is one where everyone copies everyone else. It’s boring and predictable.

What’s my point?

You will have gathered by now that I am actually passionate about human conversation. I am passionate about the fact that people buy people and we are all unique. We can call and have human conversations in our own unique way that can’t be replicated by anyone else. We can make that conversation about the other person because we are actually interested in how they currently do things. We can find out where their pain points are and offer a solution that is all about them, not us. We can also form a relationship of trust and working together will feel genuine and beneficial.

My battle is a huge one; because of the reasons above, the whole ‘cold calling’ strategy has been ruined. The act of actually speaking together is being slated. We are being told it no longer works.

How about this though…we could start now, and train our people correctly and focus on the client rather than what we sell. Focus on the why and not the what and the how – and yes Simon Sinek agrees with me! I’ve always know that this makes perfect sense in sales and life.

‘Cold’ calling IS dead – I agree.

A human conversation is very much alive and will always survive over an email and a faceless piece of communication almost identical to the last one you read.

If you are interested in exploring how to create a human sales strategy, please do get in touch – I would love a human conversation with you.

Happy calling !

Jules White

Jules White is a professional sales coach whose business allows her to do what she loves, helping entrepreneurs and businesses to succeed at sales and to fall in love with selling. She has over 30 years' experience of business and sales, including winning investment from Peter Jones on Dragons' Den, making her a real dragon slayer. She is a regular public speaker and hosts the podcast 'The Human Conversation' on iTunes.

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