Who says cold calling doesn’t work? Strategic ones still do…


This past couple of weeks, I have begun some cold calling a little to obtain new clients. My goal is 5 new businesses a day.  It’s not a lot, I grant you that.  However, mixed in with doing my work, teaching and coaching for clients, I have been making sure that I am committed to my business development since some contracts are ending and dwindling in the next month or two.

I also call on 5 clients I have worked with to see what’s possible for us now as well and to check up on them too.

I am here to tell you in the two weeks I have made this promise and commitment I have 3 appointments booked and 5 possible deals happening. 

Cold calling does work! Strategic cold calling works! (Maybe I need to clarify that).

If it works, why is there so much fear around calling a company and around the whole idea of selling?

When I teach my cold calling classes, I always ask this question at the start of the class, “How many of you love to cold call?” You can imagine the response! Maybe one or two individuals in a class put up their hand. The rest of them hate cold calling. They hate selling. Why is that?

There are two reasons really: we fear rejection and we fear looking foolish.

We fear rejection. No one likes it. But here is the deal—they aren’t rejecting you personally. They are rejecting the idea that you’re offering because chances are darn good that they don’t need what you have at the very time you’re making the call.
So, to counteract the fear of rejection you must understand what a cold call is. Let me preface this discussion on a critical issue I am seeing in the “selling” world.

Many authors and business consultants are claiming that you don’t need to cold call to build your business.  Personally, I believe that’s baloney.  Why?  Well for starters, someone once said you can’t get a cheque or a signed purchase order through email. I find currently too many of us don’t want to connect to our clients.  We want to do business at arm’s length.  A rejection by email is less painful than one by phone.

A sales letter or an email blast is not going to close a sale for you.  You are going to close a sale for you and you must cold call or prospect.

But let’s look at the cold call differently. My business colleague Michel Neray (Chief Differentiation Officer for The Essential Message, an online branding firm) begins every call with a conversation. Do you agree? I do. Michel goes on to say that you began with a conversation.  Your dad had to get your mom in the mood to produce you!

So, that’s all a cold call is.  It’s a conversation.  It’s a chance to learn about the client, pitch, ask questions, to uncover needs and to probe.

The key to good cold calling is to “stop” selling anything.  All you want is a chance to entice and interest the prospect enough so that they will want to continue to work with you and to book that first meeting! 

When I call, I want to interest my client in the possibility of increasing their business. What I ask for is about an hour or so to meet them and discuss their challenges, needs, wants, and goals.  I am not selling my services on the call.  I just want a meeting to see if there is a fit between me and my prospect.

Sometimes the prospecting process can take years before you close a sale.  That’s okay.  As you’re working with that prospect you must be working with at least 50 or 100 more…so your pipeline is always full; and transactions are always taking place.

So, stay with it.  Use the cold call as a chance to excite and inspire the person on the other end of the phone to want to know more about you.  Once you’ve got a bite, ask to meet the client to uncover buying motives, needs, budgets and the client’s pain.  Ask to follow up with a “problem-oriented” solution that’s timely, smart and on budget.

Now, if you want more information on this be sure to register for a 4 week webinar series I am doing in November with the Mississauga Business Enterprise Centre every Wednesday Night in November from 7-8 pm

Here is more information on what the Mississauga Business Enterprise Centre and how they help you run your venture!