It is that time again. Buyers are slowing down or stopping their spend. Credit markets are as tough as people can remember. Revenue forecasts are dropping like the leaves on the trees outside my office window. Sales leaders are dragging out the tired old horse from the barn…cold calling. Just the words send shivers down my spine. Cold calling brings back the worst of memories from a sales career that has spanned 20+ years.
There is ample dialogue in print, over the airwaves and on the web about what salesmakers should do when times get tough.
- Retrench and smother your remaining clients?
- Scale back or freeze headcount?
- Adjust the compensation plan?
- Exit existing geography or market segments?
- Focus on finding new business?
All of this is going on at the same time that most companies are well into their new year planning sessions. Setting sales goals, quota’s, profit expectations and decisions on how to fill the funnel for next year. Just perfect, you might be thinking. Yeah right.
One decision you can count on in most sales organizations is that activity is already underway to get the cold-calling machine fired up again. Sadly, most organizations and salesmakers will do just that. Attend a refresher course, read the standard sales books from years ago, all in preparation to get after it. Now that’s motivating.
Things have changed! There is no excuse for cold-calling to be a part of any salesmakers day. Over the next several posts, I will introduce you to a process called FirstCalling in which you can accomplish all of the objectives of cold calls but in an enjoyable are rewarding way for you and your prospective customer.