Is Cold Calling Still Relevant?

Thought I would go for a controversial article this week and you can get no more controversial than the subject of cold calling.

Was inspired by watching this video by Gary Vee .

Cold Calling Halcyon Days

When I first started in sales I was given a telephone directory and told to start calling it. There was none of this value proposition, buyer journey, persona stuff, or if there was my sales manager never told me. He just said "get on the phone". I remember getting my first meeting. Magical.

First forward 5 years and I look back with fondness on my first £1 Million ($1.3 Million) plus sale. That started with me doing research on a company and making one phone call. Again a great feeling, but investing in the time by doing research before I made that call, paid off. Don't forget, this was before the internet.

In my last company cold calling was by far the best way to get leads. (A lead being a meeting, with a prospective customer with the "need" and "authority" from BANT (Budget, Authority, Need and Timescales))

But I've seen the results from cold calling drop, for many years I would expect a lead a day, now we seem to be aiming at a lead a week. (Before I get lots of calls from people with methodologies that can get you a lead a day with calling, I too have such a methodology.)

The Times They are A-Changin'

In 1964 Bob Dylan wrote a song and had an album out with this song "The Times They are A-Changin'". It seems appropriate, in the 60s there was this belief in a big technological shift taking place. A year earlier, British politician, Harold Wilson spoke in 1963 at a Labour Party Conference on the "White Heat of technology", how technology was going to revolutionise everything. Bit like today.

This brings me back to the Gary Vee video...

Gary asks the WebSummit audience to stand up, if they don't like being called by other human beings. As you can see from the photo. most of the audience stand up. Gary argues that people get annoyed if they are interrupted or contacted in their time. There is technology available that allows us to make contact with people, the person will decide if they will call, text, email back, in their own time. Gary's view is that the days of interrupt, advertising, marketing and selling is over.

Gary's final point is that, "people in corporate America need to understand the day of stealing somebodies time is over."

If any of the Social Selling naysayers are reading this they will be thinking that totally switching to "Social Selling" is snake oil. Totally agree and so do all the Social Sellers in my network.

This is also not, yet something else you have to fit into your already busy schedule. You should be able to mix it up, make your calls and use social at the same time.

To quote from my friend Koka Sexton :

"You don't go all in with Social Selling, you still make calls, send emails, everything you do now when you prospect. But now you need to start blending in social. When you call people up, ask if you can connect to them on LinkedIn, follow your customers on Twitter etc. weave social into to what you do."

Finally, Social Selling is not some experiment that exists in a laboratory, proven by research papers. It is real life, with people generating ROI for over two years now. Social Selling is changing lives for the modern buyer and if you want to know more, let's go "old skool*" and have a telephone conversation?

*Skool is a "tongue in cheek" way of spelling school. :)