I'm a manager within a sales organization. I think of myself as a sales guy. I very much believe in talking on the phone with customers and prospects. I still think cold calling should be left in 1987.
I work at Google so I guess people assume I'm rich. I probably have one person a week who calls my office asking if I want them to manage my "portfolio" or invest in their firm... I also have head hunters calling me about "can't miss opportunities" regularly. I can't imagine, in 2013 who this cold call tactic works on. Conversion percentages have to be less than banner ad click-thru rates.
Why do I think cold calling should die?
Here are my top 5 reasons:
1) Phone calls are personal. They take time and demand concentration. These are limited aspects of everyone's day. Respect that!
2) Cold calls are "tricks." No one in the world actually is hoping that someone is going to cold call them (maybe except this guy). I can't see a sales call starting off worse than someone being annoyed or disrespected.
3) There are better ways to communicate today. Email and social networks in particular. If I really am a good prospect - then you should be able to give me the opportunity to engage on my terms. I talk to my clients on the phone regularly, but I can't tell you the last time that I called one blind and actually had them pick-up with a productive conversation. I email them, send a calendar invite, etc. They come into the conversation with the right expectations and frame of mind. It benefits everyone. This is just the new reality.
4) There's no way to stand-out (in a positive way). At this point - every trick in the book is a negative cliche'. "What would you say to 30% returns? - Huh? huh?" (CLICK).
5) It makes people resent picking up the phone. As sales people - we don't want that. Because I get these random cold calls - the odds of me picking up the phone for a number I don't recognize rise. This is bad. On time, I had a CMO leave me voicemail when I sitting at my desk. This drove me crazy because it took another week to get them on the phone. I blamed cold callers.
If you're a good sales person than you've done some research before picking up the phone. I'm hoping that cold callers have done some research on ME before calling me blindly, seen this post, and decide an alternative form of first contact... Thanks for listening.