"An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes that can be made in a very narrow field."

~ Physicist Niels Bohr, quoted in the Harvard Business Review ~

Smoke and Mirrors: Cold Call Sales Training 101

Why you really should make those cold calls no matter who you think you are… 

...Or how important you think you are…

…Or worse, why you feel people who make cold calls are all bad or merchant bankers.

My favourite subject, Smoke and Mirrors. To be really successful in sales on the phone you have to be super-confident. What knocks everyone's confidence in telephone sales and appointment making is often the public perception and your own office perception of what telephone sales is all about. This perception is taken from rabid newspaper articles and investigative television programmes all seeking out the seedier side of life. The image of the shady boiler room and the hard sell tactics as seen in the media: Charity chuggers and telephone muggers preying on the elderly and infirm. We all know the picture and these low life's do very much exist and flourish forever and are even condoned by their masters at head offices of charities and multinationals across the world as well as in the dark gloomy corridors of stockbrokers, money managers and get rich quick merchants. Every last one of them in it for themselves. But scamming is scamming and is a deliberate plot. Somewhat different to business to business introductory calls and we all need to see and accept that. If you don't see it or can't see it that making calls to other businesses is how you get business get out of business immediately. It's not for you.

Also, what none of us are ever properly informed about is the duplicitousness and scamming nature of the media itself and the shenanigans of big business. High street banks, Supermarkets, insurers, high profile accountancy firms, mortgage providers, government consultancies, the list is endless all scamming each other and us on a daily basis with their cartoon character adverts inhabiting a world that does not exist. There is good and bad in every single line of business from undertakers to money lenders and back again. Don't be fooled into thinking that telephone sales itself is the culprit. That's like saying guns themselves do the shooting. In the right hands telephones are the very best means of communication and selling in business and In the wrong hands telephones are still the best means of communication and selling. If you are the "wrong hands" then you already know this and yet you are still here reading, well I guess you would be.

My point is the good, normal business people trying to do business with other good normal business people should never be afraid of picking up the phone and making some exploratory calls. The higher up the organisation the better you will be suited to making these calls. Inertia and fear of contacting people is endemic throughout business, it is everybody's least favourite task, even those who say it's their favourite. We all feel tainted by being seen as the dreaded cold caller. The truth is that some of the cornerstone accounts in every single business large or small will have been kick-started by a cold call from a lowly employee or some senior partner in a firm. There is no escaping that. The reason for not making these calls being fear of perception, fear of rejection or being labelled badly should be far outweighed by the possibility of getting yourself the biggest fish your company has ever landed and starting it all with a cold call. 

Cold calling, telephone canvassing, introductory calls, permission calls, call the calls what you like, but make them and make them regularly. Don't hide behind the smoke and mirrors of your own perception of others who make poor or scam telephone calls. Get out there and be proud to be your company's best ambassador on the telephone.

If you struggle with this concept, if you struggle with the calls, if you are defeated by the results of these calls then you need a telephone sales coach. Not a trainer, you and your company train yourself. Your telesales coach makes sure you are the very best version of you when you engage upon these calls. There is a science to this. Let me help you apply that science.

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