Will you have to cold call for the rest of your sales career? While I might have said yes to this statement five years ago, I’m not sure anymore. As I moved in my sales career over to becoming a sales director, I found myself struggling to remember the last time I actually made a 100% pure cold call.
Every salesperson once made cold calls
Please make no mistake about it. Every salesperson starting out needs to be able to cold call with some success. After all, the biggest reason why most people get out of the sales profession is that their lead generation is inadequate.
Therefore by default, they simply do not have enough prospects to sell to. This leads a salesperson down the path to either a loss of a job or not enough income to justify staying in the sales profession.
However, after you have survived in sales for a few years, the monotony of cold calling will start to burn you out. It is awful hard to be seen as an expert salesperson by so many of your customers and then have to pick up the phone to cold call. In other words, to make hundreds of cold calls to people who don’t want to speak with you.
Prejudices about cold calling
Garbage in = Garbage out (usually). I don’t care how strong your desire or attitude is – it is very hard to displace all of the negativity that comes with cold calling. This is especially true when so many alternative lead generation options are available. Yet, amazingly, I still know many salespeople who use this as their primary or only way to obtain leads.
Lead generation needs time
Most alternative lead generation activities take time and much effort before they become effective. If cold calling is your primary way of obtaining new customers, I’m certainly not advocating that you stop this tomorrow. What you need to do instead is to start building and developing other lead generation methods to replace your cold calling activities over time.
Reaching true leads
When you move from being a mediocre salesperson to a top-producing salesperson, you will find that your biggest problem is not filling your lead bucket but rather having the time to get to everyone who is in the bucket. The happy trouble of having too many eager people to do business with you (only for you to turn them down due to time constraints or lack of qualifications) should be your #1 goal.
You simply won’t have the time to cold call when this happens. Listen up, as this is important. After all, you don’t stop cold calling because you don’t like it – you only stop cold calling when you don’t have the time because your lead bucket is overflowing.
So, will you always need cold calling?
So the short answer to the question would be – no- you probably won’t have to continue cold calling for the rest of your sales career. However, this will only become true if you take the time to learn & develop alternative lead generation methods.
At the same time, you don’t want to paint yourself in a corner by believing it will never become plausible for the need to cold call in the future, either. If your alternative lead generation activities dry up or become inadequate for whatever reason, you must be prepared to cold call your way back to being a sales success.