Cold Calling Pressure Reduction

Who likes cold calling?

Most salespeople don't like cold calling, and do as little of it as possible. There are a number of reasons why most of us don't like it. One reason is the way we view cold calling. People who don't like cold calling view each call as do or die. They think of cold calling as a war in which they have to win most of the battles in order to win the war. A sales rep good at cold calling is considered a sales god. A sales rep who is poor at cold calling is a sniveling wimp.

The reality about cold calling is much different. You don't have to win all nor even most of the battles to win the war. Cold calling is the reconnaissance before any battle begins. Cold calling is not where the sale happens. Cold calling is simply advertising done by sales reps.

Yes, I said that you are doing advertising when you are cold calling.

Cold calling is a means of identifying potential prospects for your sales efforts. And the purpose of advertising is to identify or attract potential prospects - in other words to generate leads.

Think of cold calling this way. Every time you make a cold call, it is as if you grabbed your prospect by the shirt, shoved a billboard ad for your product in their face, and said "Do you want to buy this?"

Obviously, real cold calling is more involved than pressing their nose up to your ad. Specifically, cold calling should be mostly about asking questions rather than a sales pitch monologue.

Just like a newspaper ad or a billboard, all you are trying to do when cold calling is to get someone's attention. And if they don't want or need what you are offering right now, that's OK.

With your new view of cold calling as advertising in mind, you should focus your cold calling goals a little differently. One of the surest ways to get frustrated in sales (and an ulcer) is to take responsibility for things that are beyond your control as a sales rep. You really cannot control whether the person you are cold calling needs or wants your product.

What you can control is how many cold calls you make, and the quality of your techniques while cold calling.

Set your cold calling targets and define your success criteria around the number of calls or dials that you will make. Judge the quality of your calls by how well you stick to a cold calling formula that you have defined in advance.

If your cold calling goal is set as "To Make $300,000 in Sales Next Month", you are just setting yourself up. This kind of cold calling goal might be useful if you are a tele*sales* person responsible for actually closing business by phone. But in professional business-to-business selling, cold calling is too far removed from the actual close to directly influence such a goal.

Instead, you can backwards plan how many cold calling "advertisements" you need to run in order to make $300,000 in sales next month. Use your own or other sales reps activity numbers to figure out how many sales will result *on average* if you make 1000 dials when cold calling. Then you can determine the time period needed to make 1000 dials worth of cold calling advertisements in order to make your sales goals.

Look at cold calling as one-to-one advertising and focus on the number of dials you have to make and you'll find cold calling a lot easier to do.

© 1999-2004 Shamus Brown, All Rights Reserved.

Shamus Brown is a Professional Sales Coach and former high-tech sales pro who began his career selling for IBM. Shamus has written more than 50 articles on selling and is the creator of the popular Persuasive Selling Skills CD Audio Program. You can read more of Shamus Brown's sales tips at and you can learn more about his persuasive sales skills training at

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