After a meeting yesterday I was able to add another subject to my ‘Things I Don’t Want To Do’ list, Cold-Calling. I’ve been writing this list since I was a teenager and it has all sorts of things on it. The list allows me to remember things I have done and do not want to waste time pursuing because I now know I don’t like it.
I sat in a chair for 5 hours and made around 60-75 phone calls to strangers during a recent interview. I was told these people were target candidates for the company’s product. I know that cold-calling is a numbers game. You need to call 100 people in order to speak with 10 and you need to speak with 100 people to earn 1 sale. Now I know there are salesman that perform better than that, but I guarantee they are not cold-calling. They are researching or receiving referrals or doing something different from simply cold-calling people on a list. Or if they truly are cold calling then they have a product that everyone wants. Cheers to anyone that matches that last part.
When I was younger I was taught to not only work hard, but also work smart. Simple things such as the idea to set up your saw next to the pile of 2x4s so you don’t have to carry each board as far. If you think critically you can save yourself a lot of time and effort and still achieve great results.
While I was calling the strangers on my list, I kept thinking about how terrible this method of selling is. There must be a better way to let people know a product can help them. If the product truly does what it advertises then it should be fairly easy to build a following of customers. I will not invest in a company that generates sales by cold-calling customers. I will not invest money or, more importantly, my time.
I look at my experience as a learning process full of valuable information. I was given the opportunity to evaluate a job opportunity not only by reading a description, but by actually doing the job. Some of you might say I wasted five hours sitting at a desk calling strangers. I learned more during the time making those calls than I would have learned by reading job descriptions and reviews.
I enjoy being a salesman, but I want to sell a product that I KNOW will make a person’s life better. Most times my conscience supersedes my desire for a commission check. If I don’t believe a product will make you happy, or your life better; I don’t want you to buy it from me. Now I just need to figure out what IT is…
Are you a salesperson? Do you think cold-calling is a dying breed or has it evolved into something else?