I’ve noticed a polarization of views in regards to cold-calling (speaking with people you don’t know yet, whether in person or over the phone) recently through various books and articles written on the subject.
Some claim it’s going the way of the dinosaur (or should); that only “old-timers” are using it because they can’t let go of the past.
Others say this way of prospecting is essential; a necessary part of the life of a salesperson. Proponents on this side of the argument insist on taking a proactive approach to prospecting, as opposed to a reactionary one (waiting for clients to come to you).
I hate to be politically correct, but the truth lies somewhere in the middle.
There are all kinds of ways to reach out and connect with people (as there should be). Rather than arguing over the minutiae of the topic, what’s more effective is choosing to engage in whatever it is that you’re comfortable with and that you’ll actually do!
I won’t deny there are efficiencies with marketing and selling via the web, emails, and social media, but this is not the only way to go. While there are other effective ways to reach people and develop relationships, being face-to-face and belly-to-belly with someone and the opportunity for them to become your client is definitely tried and true and serves a purpose: feedback.
The best way to get feedback on your prospect’s position is to interact with them personally. This enables you to not only hear their words, but also to pick up on the subtleties of their message through inflection, tone, or body language. These can all help you better understand their feelings and position. Cold-calling allows this dynamic to take place.
As I mentioned in a previous post, it’s important not to become a victim of analysis paralysis. While there are many ways to reach out and contact people, the means by which you do it doesn’t much matter. just as long as you actually do it! What matters is that you listen and find ways to help them. Only then can you move them in some way.