Why Cold Calling Gets a Bad Rap

July 30, 2020

If you Google “Cold Calling” or “Teleprospecting” you’ll be bombarded with articles and blogs about the subject: “Why Cold Calling is Dead”, “You Never have to Cold Call Again!”, “Inbound Lead Generation is the Future of Marketing”, “How to Make Cold Calls Pay Off”. I’ve even written my own blogs on the subject.

Let’s cut through the noise for a minute and get to the heart of the matter — cold calling works if done well. The problem is that cold calling/teleprospecting gets a bad rap because we’ve all received cold calls that made us cringe.

Here’s a real-world example. I got a cold call the other day from a company trying to sell an HR compliance report. I wanted to give the sales rep a chance but there were 3 major issues with her call:

1. She didn’t know who I was

She asked me who was responsible for HR at demandDrive. She didn’t reference where she found my name nor had she done any research on our company’s size or need for HR compliance.

She didn’t even tell me who she was or where she was calling from — she just asked me who was responsible for HR. It had me wondering — “who is this mysterious woman and what does she want with my HR department?”

It was all very clandestine.

2. She talked at me for 45 seconds

Once I confirmed that I was responsible for HR she went into a 45 second speech about every last feature of her HR compliance report. “It even comes in a 3 ring binder WITH dividers to make it easy to find what you are looking for!”

There was barely any context to what she was talking about — it seemed like she had a piece of paper in front of her and was rattling off a list of features, most of which weren’t even relevant to my business.

3. She didn’t ask a single question (except for the first one)

Once she came up for air I told her that I probably wouldn’t have a need for the compliance report. She then thanked me for my time and told me to have a good day. She didn’t even try to understand what it was that I might have a need for! A simple, “what areas of HR are you looking to improve on?” would have been a good start. She didn’t build any rapport or try to understand how her solution could positively impact my business.

I felt like a name on a list that she had to get through to hit some sort of daily call quota. These are the types of calls that cause prospects not to pick up the phone.

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aj alonzo

AJ Alonzo is the Head of Marketing at demandDrive. A former SDR turned marketing leader, he's made it his goal to develop resources for sales reps who are looking to level up and for managers who are looking for guidance. Outside of work you can find him trying to shoot under par at his local disc golf course, sipping on a bourbon on the rocks, or continuing his quest to be the very best like no one ever was.
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