Most salespeople are uncomfortable with cold calls. Nobody enjoys making them. I can always identify dishonest people in a room of salespeople by asking who loves to make cold calls. Inevitably, some people will raise their hands—they’re liars.
Cold calls are not fun. They are hard. No matter how good you are at making cold calls, you will still get hung up on, cut off, and rejected frequently. It’s a tough racket. I have made more of them than I care to count, but I’ve also made a lot of money by making cold calls.
Low-level prospects provide salespeople with instant gratification because they’re happy to waste a salesperson’s time, but they rarely ever buy.
If a salesperson sells widgets to manufacturers, for example, he may call anyone with the title of “buyer.” This is a huge mistake. Selling to a buyer is hard. These folks are inundated with calls all day long and they’re the savviest when it comes to handling salespeople. Often, they aren’t even the economic buyers—they usually need to get permission from their bosses just to change vendors.
Salespeople should be calling people in the highest positions relevant to the sale. In some cases, it might be the CEO; in others it might be the VP of Operations.
This is called Cloud Calling because you’re aiming up toward the clouds rather than down into the mud. I know it sounds intimidating, but it works. From now on, change your mindset to one of always calling to the very top. It is just as difficult, yet the results and infinitely better.
Does calling high make you nervous? If so or if not, please share your thoughts.
By Marc Wayshak, the author of Game Plan Selling and a sales trainer in Boston, MA.