Cold calling and telephone prospecting are not a favorite activity for the majority of us. In fact, most will avoid the task – which is fine, as long as you have other powerful marketing tactics in place. Certainly with the development of social media we have other means to market our wares, but many business models still benefit from the power of good old-fashioned cold calling.
Many sales experts now dispute the effectiveness of cold calling but I’ve worked with quite a few successful business owners who credit this daunting process for much of their sales success. And certainly the large majority of highly successful network marketers turn to their call lists when revenues need a boost. Network marketing organizations suggest cold calling as the primary means to build your business, but it’s not always that simple.
The sad truth is that most people give up on their commitment to the process after a single “no”. Cold calling is filled with rejection and anticipation of conflict, but does it have to be interpreted in this way? Is a “no” really a personal rejection? I don’t think so; after all doesn’t a person have to know something about you to reject you personally? When the recipient of your phone call says no, they are referring to your offer, not you.
Still, it can be a tough pill to swallow so why not make it a team effort, a friendly competition and a positive experience? That’s what this creative entrepreneur does to keep her sales team happy and her business thriving.
Dawn Gluskin, Founder and CEO of Florida based Soltec Electronics, actually likes cold calling. She views it as a competitive sport and shares her enthusiasm with her staff of four sales reps. “Not many people, even sales reps, look forward to cold calling,” Dawn acknowledges. “So we created the Cold Call Power Hour at Soltec. Why not make it fun and learn from the process?”
Twice a week Dawn and her sales team meet in the Soltec sales room manned with phones and call lists. No email access, no incoming calls to disrupt the process; only a determined attitude and an hour of getting into the cold calling groove.
“Hearing one another’s approach is very helpful and seeing top sales people get 'rejected' or encounter someone with an unfriendly attitude helps the less experienced reps see it happens to everyone,” says Gluskin. “We just keep going, build momentum and enjoy the results.”
Each of Soltec’s team members come to the Power Hour with a focus. “Don’t just pick up the phone and make random calls,” suggests Gluskin. “Create a targeted list of people who haven’t bought in six months, people in a specific geographic area or a certain type of business. This approach assists you in staying focused and creating a groove,” she says.
Dawn and her team see great results from their twice weekly Cold Calling Power Hour events. They even keep a chart in the conference room to show their new accounts and create a friendly competition. “We always get at least one strong lead and one of our reps even made a sale right on the phone during a recent Power Hour,” Dawn says. Participation is mandatory and it’s a date that everyone keeps. Certainly, the results reflect this dedication. Soltec Electronics has enjoyed a sizeable increase in sales since implementing the Power Hour process.
Of course, as a solopreneur, you don’t necessarily have a team of sales reps – or a conference room for that matter. BUT, you do have peers who are faced with the same aversion to telephone prospecting. Why not begin a weekly Power Hour of your own? Gather a small group of soloists and support one another in getting in the groove and getting results!
Marla Tabaka is a small-business advisor who helps entrepreneurs around the globe grow their businesses well into the millions. She has over 25 years of experience in corporate and start-up ventures and speaks widely on combining strategic and creative thinking for optimum success and happiness.