All posts by Leigh.Harris

About Leigh.Harris

Sales Trainer

What is the Goal of a Cold Call?

The goal of a cold call has been widely argued and for good reason.  It is where salespeople make a crucial mistake in their expectations.  And they do it in 1 of 2 ways:

1. They don’t expect enough

Many salespeople use a cold call to “Say hello” and “Introduce myself” and “Send some information”.  They don’t typically have much of a plan beyond that.  They may do a slight pitch of some kind but there are typically no concrete next steps.   They usually ends up logging a lot of phone time with very little results.

2. They expect too much

Some salespeople expect to go through an entire sales cycle on a cold call.  By the end of the call they have pitched their entire solution and are ready to send over a contract.  I have heard this referred to as “show up and throw up” (or would it be phone up and throw up?)  While this methodology certainly gets a lot of contracts out the door (which take a lot of time to produce) they typically take a long time to come back (like almost never).

Both of these mistakes are frustrating for the salesperson and often result in him or her looking at alternative ways to find business, never to cold call again.

The challenge in cold calling is that no one blocks time out of their day to answer them.  Every cold call by its very definition is unexpected.  It can last 30 seconds or 30 minutes.  The salesperson has no way of knowing because the prospect is in control and can hang up at any time.

So…..knowing the prospect can hang up at any time…..what can a salesperson reasonably expect to get out of a cold call that has value?

More time.

To put it simply, the best thing a salesperson can reasonably expect to get from a cold call is an APPOINTMENT.

An appointment is expected.  An appointment has a time frame.  An appointment gives a salesperson the best opportunity to qualify a prospect for their product or service.  On an appointment the salesperson is in control.

Most salespeople fail, not because they can’t sell, but because they don’t get enough time in front of enough prospective buyers.  When a salesperson ends a cold call with an appointment it means they have gotten permission to spend time in front of a prospective buyer!

What has more value than that?

As always i welcome your comments.  Thank you all for reading!