Wendy Weiss joins me on the first ever Salesman Podcast to discuss the nemesis of many sales people – cold calling.
We start the show with Wendy explaining why she is known as the queen of cold calling, her history in ballet and how this lead to a career in business development.
Is cold calling something that people are naturally good at?
I ask Wendy if cold calling is a skill or something that people are born naturally good at.
“There is this myth out there Will, the myth of the born sales person. Nobody is born knowing how to do this”
Next we move onto something that really grinds my gears, the myth of the born salesman. Sales is just a skill like any other and Wendy and I discuss this point further.
Cold calling success – Script vs sales skill
I ask Wendy how much of the gut feeling of ‘yes this sounds interesting’ when someone cold calls me is down to an excellent script vs great selling skill.
Wendy explains that it’s around 50/50 most of the time. The mindset of most salesmen who cold call is that they hate it and this comes across on the phone. One of the biggest upgrades you can have is to turn this on it’s head and believe that you’re actually doing the prospect a favor by calling them – you’re going to make their life better, save them money or increase their turnover.
They’re going to be really grateful you called.
But it never gets me anywhere
Wendy and I then discuss how useful cold calling is as a tool. You should be having a reasonably high success rate in closing a second followup from a cold call otherwise something isn’t going right in your preparation.
“There are only two reasons why a prospect says their not interested. The first is that you’re not talking to the right person…”
Wendy explains that if you’re not having success in cold calling you need to look at two areas of your preparation –
- Are you talking to the right people?
- Are you saying anything interesting?
These are the two main issues beginner sales people have when they first start attempting to cold call prospects.
Is email killing cold calling?
I ask Wendy if email is now a better alternative to cold calling (playing devils advocate a little here) and her response is that most deals close on the phone. So even if you’re sending prospecting emails out before cold calling you’re going to need to speak with that individual on the phone before you can do any real selling.
I totally agree with this and although I sometimes do use a system of emailing first to get appointments on the phone set up, the goal of the email is always to get the phone appointment, never to try and win business right there and then in text.
Wendy Weiss, who is known as The Queen of Cold Calling™, is an author, speaker, sales trainer, and sales coach. She is recognized as one of the leading authorities on lead generation, cold calling and new business development and she helps clients speed up their sales cycle, reach more prospects directly and generate more sales revenue. Her clients include Avon Products, ADP, Sprint and thousands of entrepreneurs throughout the country.
Wendy has been featured in the New York Times, BusinessWeek, Entrepreneur Magazine, Selling Power, Inc, Forbes and various other business and sales publications. She is the author of Cold Calling for Women:Opening Doors & Closing Sales and The Sales Winner’s Handbook: Essential Scripts & Strategies to Skyrocket Sales Performance.
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