In a conversation over the last week on RBC the subject of cold calling came up. One responder said that cold calling is unprofessional. Now to this person's defense, they were saying that they believe warm calls are more professional and that you should know something about who you are calling before you call. As I spent much of the past week cold calling, I chuckled some and thought a little about this conversation and perspective. My perspective is that this is an apples and oranges kind of thing. There are cold callers who are unprofessional. That does not mean that cold calling is unprofessional at all. Professionalism is about respect, a clear message, delivery, empathy, personality. These things can be on display in a cold call, a warm call, an in person meeting, even in an e-mail.
I was on the receiving end of a cold call later in the week that brought this even more to light. The person who called did know my name (not too tough when you're calling Todd Kmiec & Associates). They did not know, however, that my business would not have a need for their service. When I informed them that I wouldn't have a need for what they provide, they respectfully asked for referrals. I told them I couldn't give names, but if they want to send me a note explaining what they offer and what they charge I would refer people if the need comes up. This person, who did not research me and my company thoroughly before calling, respectfully and very professionally followed up via e-mail with the appropriate information. That was a professional cold call.
I once had a manager who said the answer to all problems was to make more cold calls. Having a bad month? Make more cold calls. Need more production? Make more cold calls. Don't like your car or house? Make more cold calls. Girlfriend trouble? Make more cold calls. It was a big joke, but the point was made well. There are a lot of ways to skin a cat. You don't have to cold call, you can find other ways. For me, cold calling works great, and I am far from unprofessional. The bigger point is however you handle it, more good activity will yield more good results.
Todd Kmiec & Associates
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