“I don’t make cold calls,” said the seasoned senior sales rep in a meeting I attended a few months back. She went on to talk about all of her great warm contacts, and her good intentions for leveraging more business by reaching out to them. Her manager and the other leaders present said nothing and did nothing, thus endorsing this belief and behavior. Three months later, this very tenured, very talented salesperson has no new customers and has barely sustained the level of business she had on the day of her proclamation.
This is just one of the many examples of justifications and rationalizations spouted by salespeople across the globe as to why they need to make less instead of more calls. Others include:
1. They tell me they prefer to receive e-mails.
2. It always goes to voicemail.
3. Isn’t it better to just drop in since face-to-face contact is a better relationship builder?
Since when is it prudent to allow prospects and customers to dictate a poor communication method, like e-mail, that can so easily be dismissed or misunderstood? Why are salespeople looking at voicemail as such a problem when it’s a tremendously effective branding opportunity? While face time is valuable, does every prospect deserve your limited and valuable time.
Pick up the d@#$ phone!
While phone calls are not the do all, end all, they are and always will a vital part of the sales process. The phone allows you to stay in touch more often, gain faster access to some buyers, and even allows you to win some business without a face-to-face meeting.
Having spent the past 14 years consulting with thousands of companies and tens of thousands of people, one fact stands out:
Those who make more calls, make more money. Those who make less have lots of excuses and reasons why they don’t make quota.
If you’re one of those salespeople who, after reading this, still thinks you can get away with not making more calls, I have a suggestion. Go be one of those customers who tells salespeople to send them an e-mail.