Most people HATE cold calling. Matter of fact when I have interviewed experienced sales people, one of the first questions asked is, “will there be any cold calling or will you provide me with a list of people to call?” In a world of pay-per-click, website sign-ups, etc cold calling is a lost art. It is unfortunate because it is a great way to build a business. I am not just talking about the revenue potential that comes with cold calling but the vast amount of true marketing, strategic, business plan and market positioning information that comes from cold calling.
It all starts off with having the right frame of mind about cold calling. If you are thinking of dialing digits, spewing your pitch and asking for an order, you are setting yourself up for a lot of frustration. If you are passionate about your business and you are looking for stakeholders to share your idea/business premise with, you will be thrilled with the results.
The most obvious benefit of cold calling is the revenue that comes out of it. Most start-up sales presentations are put together in conference rooms where people within the company “think” about what their value prop is and what the benefits are to the marketplace. I recommend less thinking in a conference room and having more conversations with potential customers. If you are calling people and leaving voice mails and/or emails and no one is returning your message, I can assure you, your message isn’t compelling enough. Try different approaches and different angles to determine what is resonating within your marketplace.
If you don’t have a massive multi-million or billion dollar marketing budget, how do you think people that are in the market–to buy right now–will think of you? Every company I have ever started, I have been able to ‘catch’ people that just happened to be in the market for what my business was all about. If I didn’t have the cold calling discipline, they never would have found me.
Other major benefits of cold calling and having conversations about your idea/passion are immense. You will find people that will want to invest, want to help you along your journey because they share the vision, have other contacts you should talk to, have valuable competitive information you cannot find on the Internet, think of other benefits of your idea, think of other markets for your idea, challenge your idea, industry groups and conferences you should attend, suppliers you should talk to, influential people in your market you need to talk with, winning sales strategies that will help you build your training program, other solutions and services you should offer or develop in the future.
Starting a business is about passion and belief in the idea. As a founder, if you don’t have the passion to pick up the phone and discuss the benefits of your company, don’t expect employees to come off the street and have the passion.
Pick up the phone, call 10 people and sit back and think about what you have learned.