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Is Cold Calling More Difficult than Closing?


perfecting art cold calling resized 600Some would argue that cold calling is more difficult than closing a deal. When you think about it, you get rejected a heck of a lot more than you typically do when trying to bring in that new deal, right? Plus when you're closing at least you have a captive audience willing to listen to what you have to offer. When you cold call, there is no guarantee what you're offering is even of remote interest to the prospects you're trying to get live. 

Sure, everyone hates to cold call, but the average hot-shot rep assumes the tales they're spinning are pure gold. I've seen many scenarios when outside sales reps tried picking up the phone and soon found out that the average cold prospect doesn't give a damn. In fact, based on our research, we see only a 2% increase in the amount of leads converted to forecast brought in by a closing rep versus a less technical member of the inside sales team. Just because you know "more" about the product offering doesn't mean you'll automatically produce more leads when you're prospecting. 

I recently came across a nice read from Don Perkins which speaks to the mindset of rep when working a deal: Are You Still Seeking Approval in Sales?

He points out that many reps that are closing generally are "seeking approval" from their prospect. Basically we feel offended and "take it personally" when we aren't able to close a deal. His stance is that we're much better off NOT looking for that approval, because we'll never feel rejected when the deal doesn't go through.  As an alternative, he suggests "testing for agreement." You need to think of every sales/discovery call as a test to reveal if a good fit for them…. and more importantly you. If you think of it that way, you'll never feel rejected.

What I like is that this clearly applies to cold calling as well. Recognizing that 90% of your activity will result in a no, there is never any point in taking it personally. All you should be looking for is a fit. If the fit isn’t there... then that’s just one more person to take off the list and another good prospect to add.

I would say that being resilient is one of the more important characteristics in the sales game. You effectively have to prepare for any scenario. Assume the worst... hope for the best. I think a day of cold calling could be considered a microcosm of what you run into when trying to close a deal except that, as I mentioned above, failure is much more commonplace when you cold call.

From what I’ve seen, success in cold calling is simply about embracing the grind and dedication to consistent follow through. If you’ve got that covered already, then in my opinion you got most of what it takes.

This kind of mindset is especially critical when you cold call. With all the rejection you get each and every day, you'll go insane if you're looking for a "yes" every time. 


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