Three cold calling tales of lessons learned (the hard way.)

For those of you overworked and underpaid, not yet ready to acknowledge that you can’t keep doing the same things and expect radically different results… the following will hit you as obnoxious.

For those of you ready to break free of what has been holding you back, the following will be an “Ah ha” moment.

For those of you who are top sales performers or running successful businesses, the following will evoke “ ain’t that the truth.”

A number of coaching/training experiences reminded me of these five key rules when it comes to cold calling and b2b lead generation.

Table of Contents

Five rules for cold calling success

First the rules, then the experiences.

  1. Model those already successful at what you want to accomplish.
  2. What works may not be comfortable for you or consistent with what you want to work.
  3. The latest “great idea,” “hot thing” or flavor of the month strategy will not deliver the sustained success you seek. (Broken clocks are right twice a day.)
  4. The more you vary from what successful people do, the less likely you will be successful.
  5. There are no shortcuts.


People really choke on #5.

Why do I share these cold calling rules with you?

Benefits consultant changes cold calling ways. Cashes $15K commission check.

Because of the benefits consultant in Canada stopped, started, hesitated, resisted, and refused to change his prospecting approach for six months, he did not adopt strategies that were different from what he was used to and made him uncomfortable.

Finally, frustrated with lots of trying and little results, he decided to change his approach for a week.

Secured a meeting with a top-notch prospect. Closed on the 2nd meeting. Cashed a $15,000 commission check.

Can you tell me what his question was to me? Why didn’t I just do this in the beginning?

Financial services rep pays price for poor cold calling practices

Because of the financial services rep in CA who has talked with me off and on for more than a year. Great guy with superior skills. Vaporized frequently because of “busyness” and running around doing stuff his boss’s thought were great ideas (which were actually pretty dumb and doomed to fail.) He now finds himself with little sales and his job is in jeopardy.

He now understands the importance of prioritizing success over being busy.

Appointment setter fights boss, books more discovery call

Because of the highly talented appointment setter in Madison WI working for a set fee for each sales appointment set, who was banging her head against the wall for small earnings.

Financial necessity dictated drastic changes, so she fought her boss to change list selection and the calling process. It was a proper fight because the boss wanted to her to call the same people repeatedly and not change the call process.

Bottom line. Four meetings a week set and $2,000 earned.

She insisted on doing what worked to book sales appointments rather than comply with her boss’s drivel.

Here cold outreach results could have improved a lot sooner.

There are no cold call shortcuts

Big picture. There really are no shortcuts. Sorry to deliver the news.

If it only takes a month to do it right and lay a solid foundation for future success, then a “too busy” excuse as to why you can’t do the things you should be doing, seems pretty silly after three months, six months or more of no true progress or results.

Why are people too busy to do cold calling right, but have plenty of time to invest in sales behaviors that are not working?

When you stay congruent with the behaviors used by those already successful, you walk a straight line to the success you seek.

When you vary here, change that, substitute the latest popular idea for the tried and true… your road to success has many twists and turns and no destination.

“No shortcuts” doesn’t have to mean it takes a long time. In the cold call B2B setting sales appointments world, it takes about 10 days to get setup, 10 days to ramp up, then 10 days to layer in the advanced strategies.

30 days or fewer and you are on your way to meet more qualified prospects consistently. A month or so to have a solid system and cold outreach prospecting process that works.

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