Death of a “Cold Calling” Salesman

Posted by John Park on Jan 27th, 2009
Jan 27

cold calling

Because I am a decision maker (DM) for my business, I get about 10 to 15 personalized emails a week from salespeople trying to sell me something.  These are elaborate and detailed emails written by sales representatives, business development managers, sales VPs and others holding equally impressive titles.  They aren’t the SPAM emails or the mass marketing emails we are all accustomed to.  These individuals are sending me emails directly and in a singular fashion with all of their direct contact information.  After receiving a few more today, I just had to pick up this business phenomenon as a blog topic.
If you are a business owner, you are getting these emails as well.  And, you’ve probably noticed the increase in frequency as the economy continues to decline.  I especially love the ones that come with attachments like PDFs and Word docs.  Do they really expect the decision makers to stop in their tracks and read the long emails as well as the attachments?
As all of you know, I am an unapologetic and “Kool-Aid drinking” fan of business technology and automation.  Having said that, this is one misuse of technology that makes me downright angry.  It makes me angry because I am one of those guys that considers my foundation and roots to be in sales.  My first corporate sales position was to cold call, door to door, at least 50 businesses a day pushing telecommunications services.  The job taught me more about securing new business than any other job I’ve held since then.
When did sales cold calling become cut-and-paste emails?
Sales by nature is not for everyone and there is a reason for this.  Rejection is a key component of sales and without getting a certain number of NOs, you’ll never get to a YES.  Whatever happened to objection handling, getting an appointment, inspiring action by communicating a benefit and etc.?  If you are doing this and you know who you are, what are your reasons for doing this instead of picking up the phone?  Is it because you can cover more ground?  Is it because you can do this in the middle of the night?  Is it because this sales tactic is making your commission checks fat?  My guess is no.  You fear rejection, the uncomfortable feeling of cold calling and sometimes being on the receiving end of rude behavior, hangups and door slams.
Sales is an important profession and if that is your role in an organization, I ask you to honor it by not abandoning the basics.
Pick-up the PHONE and make the cold calls.  I guarantee you’ll have better results.
I leave you with this amazing and true business story.
“At age 66, he lost his business and began to live on his Social Security check.  It wasn’t enough.  He went around the country selling his recipe for fried chicken.  He was turned down 1,009 times before someone said YES.  And he went on to become a multimillionaire at an age when most people are quitting.”  This story is about Colonel Sanders, founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken.
If he had the technology, do you think he would have sent out 1,009 personalized emails instead of cold calling?

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