When looking for a sales role are you put off if you hear the job involves COLD CALLING, we agree, and here’s why…
In many years of interviewing I’m still struck by people who ask me with some trepidation if any cold calling is involved in their (potential) sales job. I don’t automatically fail them as I am far more interested to know what has motivated their statement – naked fear perhaps or maybe an extraordinarily bad experience in some forsaken call centre still under the control of some Viking longboat drivers? In that latter case I’m sure it’s that company who invariably phones me at 8.30pm on Wednesday night whilst I’m trying to watch the football trying to sell me double glazing, cavity wall insulation or timeshare – and I have to confess my response is not always as positive as you might wish to hear! Perhaps the experience is not great for the caller either!
In either case, in this modern world of business to business sales engagement, is cold calling what we really want from our sales people.
I’d like to suggest it is – but not as we’ve known it in the past. So lets take our “Viking” friends above – my beef is that they are phoning me out of nowhere in that they have no appreciation whatsoever of what I do and don’t buy and what requirements I have. So what’s the chance of making a successful call? Very remote indeed, which is why people like you don’t want to do it.
So lets improve the odds – in the business I work in we target sales directors typically as they are agents of change and we make friends with a lot of HR professionals on the way. LinkedIn is great to find these people as it tells you something about them and often what they and their businesses do as well. I’m particularly interested in people 6 -9 months into the job as chances are they are now ready to bring about change. So, armed with LinkedIn I’ll probably know who they are, where they’ve worked in the past and maybe even their university background. Then I’ll call them – not completely blind – but with a genuine interest in them, their background and their challenges.
I don’t see this as cold calling – I see it as intelligent conversations with people I’ve not been lucky enough to meet yet where I am showing them respect and genuine interest.
So if you were one of those candidates put off by sales because of the cold calling think again. Maybe this is your way forward?
...And if you were one of those individuals gracing LinkedIn who took my call...sincere thanks!
So here’s the answer.
Ethical business to business sales is NOT about cold calling, it’s about having business conversations with people who have a need for what you have.
You just need to be TRAINED on how to do it well. That’s why you should be talking to us!
This was written by David Greenwood of meta-morphose