When I first set up my business, one of my goals was to never work in the 'summer'. If you interpret summer as August and work as delivering a keynote then I have done very well; if you include July and work done from home, not so much.
Anyway, what it does mean is that in August I have more time than usual to think, more time to consider thoughts that I would normally push to one side. Yesterday I was thinking about how we often throw away things that work in favour of something new and sparkly, and it was cold calling that started this train of thought...
I know that there are a lot of people out there who use my cold calling techniques still to win business and make money. I know businesses that combine them with modern technology and information and use them as a powerful weapon in their sales arsenals! I also know that cold calling has lost favour. I know that lots of people hate it. I know that people don't want to do it (not that they ever did, of course). I know that the general opinion is that it does not work anymore.
And these days, I work mostly with CEOs and business leaders helping them to transform themselves and their businesses using my mental toughness principles. And that might include advising on sales in general but it does not include teaching people to cold call.
Meanwhile, everybody has dived on the social media bandwagon. For some, this has been brilliantly successful, but I also know many who are getting just more than a little jaded with constantly pushing content out into the big wide world through a myriad of platforms:- chatting with anyone who will speak to them whether they are a prospect or not; trying to get their messages seen in an over-saturated market place of blogs and podcasts and webinars; LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram; and, and, and...
And never reaching any real decision makers.
Yesterday, I saw an old video of Gary Vaynerchuk. For those who don't know him, Gary is a social media darling, marketing guru, best-selling author, video playboy, and all round internet business celebrity. He really appears to be THE poster boy for 'no cold calling'.
In this video, Gary is talking about monetising a blog. And he talks about a blog on wine (his original business) and securing paid advertising. Gary shares his thoughts about the kind of prospect who might want to reach his audience and then does a quick Google search to see who is already paying for advertising in this area.
Then, before you can say, "Blimey, Jack Robinson, are you going to...?", he picks up the phone and rings the company. I AM paraphrasing but he says something like, "I have a site. I see you advertise. Would you be interested?" With some other sentences and rapport thrown in here and there.
Gary Vaynerchuk picked the phone up. Gary picked the phone up. Gary made a cold call.
Gary Vaynerchuk, King of Social Media, Emperor of the Internet, Leader of the Free World Online made a flipping cold call.
Can I hear a boom?
This message is not about cold calling or the rights or wrong of cold calling. It really isn't. I don't teach it, I have no product in this area, I don't really care; I don't; but I do have an interest and care about you, your business and your success. My concern is...
Do we too easily throw the baby out with the bath water?
The trend has been all social media, no cold calling... but why not both? You can have bread and butter, or bread and jam, but why not together? Much better.
If everyone did this with cold calling, where else have you done this in your business? Where else have you abandoned the old to embrace the all new spangly version? Where else have you released your flighty magpie rather than your inner owl?
And, as I said, this is not about cold calling. Maybe ditching it was for the better for you, maybe not. The point is that sometimes you have to look at the old school classics and work out if and where they would make a difference for you and for your business.
By Gavin Ingham, sales speaker, executive coach and an avid seeker of sales excellence. He is the author of several books including “Motivate People”. Gavin helps businesses and sales professionals be the best that they can be. If you want to know more about creating the mindset of a sales rockstar then make sure that you have joined his free newsletter. He is also a speaker on sales and mental toughness. Got a conference or away day coming up? Want a dynamic and inspirational speaker? Give Gavin a call on +44(0) 845 838 5958.