“Hi, my name is John Smith. You need widgets. Our TruBlu Widgets will exceed your expectations. Would you like to write me a check now?”The above approach is simple, straightforward, brief…and of course it would never work. But it highlights a problem that faces our industry: the myth that cold calling, when done properly, produces instantaneous results. Somehow, the thinking goes, if you can reach your decision maker, ask a few questions, set up an on-site meeting and, in a one-call close (possibly even that afternoon), you have a new customer. This myth got started with some real-life accounts of a few people in the 70’s and 80’s who were able to achieve such results, and it became the standard measure of lead generation success rather quickly.
But, truth is, those were exceptional results even back then, before faxes and cell phones and email and laptops were ubiquitous. People are exponentially busier than they were, and for 7 out of 8 of us, your product and/or service is likely to be considerably more complex.
And still, because we were trained that way and our bosses were trained that way and their bosses were trained that way, we try to cram what realistically is a 3 to 4 day new business process of building rapport,identifying problems, framing the solution and closing the deal, into a single 3 to 4 minute call.
It’s a matter of quality versus quantity. The more time you invest in properly cultivating your sales leads, the more success you’ll have in closing. The question is whether we can break out of our 3-minute mentality long enough to actually establish relationships, and turn prospects into business partners.