Home > Cold Calling > How to overcome the fear of cold calling.

How to overcome the fear of cold calling.

The thought of cold calling strikes fear in the hearts of many salespeople. What methods do you use to overcome the fear of cold calling? - by Jeff Blackwell
I ask myself what's the worst that can happen. If the prospect doesn't want to talk or doesn't want what I'm selling I can still get some value from the call maybe in experience or new information. - by Mikey
I do my cold calls together at the same time. I tell myself that the first couple are for warming up and they don't count - unless I get the appointment. ;st - by Thomas
Great topic. I'm actually writing an article on this very topic right now.

Cold calling isn't much fun since we are essentially interrupting people who know where to find our service if they really need it.

I have learned to take a different approach to my cold calls to make them more enjoyable, and still get results. No one likes to be pushed into buying anything, especially from someone they have just met or have heard from for the first time.

The key is to have a paradigm shift of the whole call. Throw manipulation and "techniques" out of the window, and just take care of people. They won't necessarily care, those precious few who are having a really bad day, but for the others it makes a difference.

Bring value to the table beyond your basic offering. For instance, I sell business telephone systems, but I have consistently run across the need for clients and non clients alike to sell their old telephone systems. I am not in that business, but it didn't take me long to put together something of value for clients who are not necessarily ready for my service right now. I have made it easy to liquidate their old systems by providing a way for them to submit their bids to multiple vendors at the same time.

I took myself out of the way as a middle man, and let them go right to the source. They appreciate stuff like that, and are more likely to want to deal with someone who is willing to throw some skin in the game as far as investing in the relationship. If you give without any thought of giving back, doens't that by the very nature of how we are make you want to deal with that person over a stranger? It does for me.

Maybe your conversation over the phone goes something like this:

Mr. Prospect, Jody at the front desk sent me to you because she thought you might be able to help me. Can I ask you a quick question?

(People love to help, and this is an easy "yes" question)

Part of what my company does is show companies like yours how to lower overhead and reduce costs/increase profits by implementing "products like mine" (Whatever they may be?)

If your company were to look into such a project in the next 12 months, do you know who I might speak with?

This is very important, and any threat of an immediate sales pitch is now gone with your 12 months comment. If in fact you have been sent to the wrong person, they will happily send you to the right person or inform you of who they are. No fancy footwork, no razzle dazzle, no high pressure, just good old fashion manners and taking care of people. Treating them like you might want to be treated.

I often use phrases like "will it hit your top ten list in the next 12 months?" We have to understand people are busy, and if and when they are ready, we need to be one of those options. Rough tactics with the one call close mentality will burn more bridges than create opportunity. Of course, that has to do with the type of sale I have and the type of transaction I do. I do not have a one call close in most cases.

So I ask these questions:

What value do you bring to the table besides WIIFM attitude?
Are you presenting your product or service using the words they need to hear? (reduce overhead, increase profits, etc)
Are you treating them well over the phone?

If those things happen, cold calling becomes much less of a headache emotionally that you must prepare for. It becomes a necessary discipline to complete your job function. That we can all handle.

[/end rant]thmbp2; - by Telephone Guru
I was painfully shy as a kid all the way up to my mid twenties. When I got into sales I could always sell well once I was in front of a prospect, but the actually prospecting was tough.

Over the years I realized that it was my false perceptions related to selling that created the fear, and I personally found self-hypnosis to be the most effective way out of the problem.

I've been selling wholesale mortgage loans for years now, and I can tell you that cold calling on mortgage brokers is my favorite selling activity.

Sometimes an office will ask me to do an "on the spot" presentation to 20 or more loan officers and it's not a problem. I love it!

Hope this helps someone.

If you have any questions on self-hypnosis send me a PM.

To your continued success in selling!

TD - by FearFreeSelling
Three pieces of advice;

(1) the term COLD CALLING is extremely negative. It is the word COLD, it adds extra negatives to something that can be tough enough already. What one letter can you change to make it more positive? Try the first C, change it to G and you have Gold Calling® - which is the point of calling, to get GOLD!

Starting today, never utter the phrase COLD CALLING again, never let fellow sales staff call it that, in a fun light hearted way correct them. Offer to do a short bit at a sales meeting, simple paraphrase my paragraph above. And absolutely NEVER think the phrase, always think Gold Calling®.

This is a registered trademark but you are hereby allowed to use it in self talk and communication with other sales people. Any written use is certainly fine as long as you credit me, Steven Burke for it's ownership.

(2) Practice your opening line(s) or General Benefit Statement(s) with a friend, significant other or out loud to a mirror (if you live alone). Do them so you can do them naturally, almost as if in your sleep, certainly without reading from a script. This practice will give you confidence when you begin and finally connect with a LIVE one.

(3) On the way to work one a day when you plan to start with Gold Calling® make sure you listen to a CD about how to do it or practice your scripts again. This is a muscle and memory recall l exercise and its importance cannot be overstated because it may take you quite some time to get a LIVE one online and you want to be sharp when you do. NEVER blow a call again!

If you keep doing these three things you will begin to master the use of the phone. I can highly recommend the book Gold Calling®, which was written by myself and my father, Mr Peter Burke.

IM me for that but those three pieces of advice aught to help.

And, by the way, never ask the "front desk" for advice on who to talk to. First of all, in most medium to large companies the reception does not also answer the phone. Second, they don't know!

The majority of decisions are made at the top. And if you get delegated by the CEO or the President (Managing Director in the UK) or their Private Assistant you will and up with the real cheese buyer ... listen to me, I could write a whole thread on this topic alone. You will be far more effective if you can just remember this phrase;

"Top down works, bottom up doesn't!"
- by Gold Calling
This concept is one that the great majority of people do not relate to. All your life you have heard that PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT. Beginning with sports, through school and even from post graduate exposure to that information that impregnates habits in your brain with indelible ink, such as what we garner from writers and trainers.

I would hereby propose to resolve a different realty; "Practice does not make perfect", as the original common saying is really quite misleading as far as motivational statements go.

No where is this more important to understand this than in the sales profession. We can say that "what does not kill us makes us stronger" or that "experience eliminates fear", but for some this is really not true.

Fumbling with HOW TO use the phone no matter how often that is practiced with most sales people does not produce excellent results. Is the answer to become a more friendly sales person or to learn as a professional what motivates people and hone your skills on uncovering that quickly - in the few seconds on the phone that you have - so you can conclude a greater percentage of calls successfully?

Here is the new premise;

ONLY PERFECT PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT!

Does a MLB player eliminate a NERVOUS HITCH in his batting swing by practicing it over and over? No, absolutely not. Therefore practice does not make perfect.

Does a sales person get better results in any sales practice by practicing what is not as effective repeatedly? No, again, practice of that which is ineffective cannot magically make you the opposite (or more effective). Proof positive! Practice does not make perfect.

When I look back the only fear that I can recall is not knowing what to do ... and experience is only a portion of the solution. Gathering information about what is effective from the great professionals that came before us is the other portion. Tom Hopkins, J. Douglas Edwards, Peter Burke - these sales people are phenomenal at training. Doug was a closer, Peter a great opener ... Tom is an Edwards trainee (both men knew Doug) ... of course, there are others. But, beleive me, I put my stock not in those who preach that the world is different but in those who made a fortune through sales practices, not just writing books!

That way instead of practicing a HITCH you can have a SWEET SWING. find out what the sweet swing is from those who have honed their swing and consistently batted over 300 throughout their careers. Then make it your own.

Remember, if you want to succeed, you must ask the person in the prospective company you called on that is most affected by a decision if the benefits of what you offer are of interest ... don't ask those subordinates (for a lot of reasons). As lame as this short paragraph is in getting this point across, it is the most important thing you will ever learn about being effective in the sales practice we might choose to call The Art of Telephone Prospecting (what I choose to call Gold Calling®).

Also - change your self talk. COLD CALLING is a terrible phrase. it absolutely DOES affect you whether you realize it or not. If you do not like Gold Calling® then use Telephone Prospecting instead. - by Gold Calling
agreed Gold Calling.

Someone once said "The stone age did not end because they ran out of stones"

man, I sure love quotes... - by Jaron Watkins
Jaron - and you can still make a living selling them!

Here is another quote; "When you think of it in this way, there is no such thing as an enemy, 100% of the time the enemy is your own ego!" (sorry, can't give you the originator!)

I can't tell you how I loath reading some hustler trying to con us into a belief that they invented a sales practice ... even if they do not comprehend they are themselves deceived (or should I say "deceiving themselves"?) .... nothing is new. Any thought you entertain that there is a new sales practice/method (let alone you being the all seeing oracle) needs to be taken before the Mecca of Sales ... LOL.

Seriously, give your head a shake. Who are you to think that in thousands of years of selling that you of all people actually invented a new way of communicating? Abandon this notion - focus on the only thing that matters; mastering sales is tough enough without attempting to be a 2nd coming!

Best of luck always ... from a madman of sales (LOL). - by Gold Calling
Not to rock the boat or anything but Sharon Drew Morgen's "Buying Facilitation" appears to be a new sales method. - by Frankie
Stephen Schiffman, who's work I greatly admire, once made a mention that 'no one ever died over telephone'. I'm paraphrasing slightly, but the point is that you can't get hurt. At WORST you can get hung up on...but that's the worst. Just smile and dial and have your facts straight and your battle plan in place... - by Defmall
Frankie;

I deliberately passed on remarking on your comments about Sharon.

Though I hear she is excellent I have no expereince to support that one way or another (and can say I respect the opinion of the owner of this forum who told me she was really good). However, I want to remark on this nonetheless, even with all this time gone by, as our very profession is undermined by such a thought, at least in my opinion. And because I beleive so strongly in what I stated that I can't leave this be.

Allow me to first predicate my opinion by stating a few facts aboiut me, to help you understand how well I have researched this topic. I am 48, now inmy 31st year as a sales pro.

I have both; (1) interviewed a lot of top sales training factions for an article, which I never wrote, originally intended for this website. In fact, that process, which took me 3 solid months, lead to the discovery that the sales training industry, with the advent of the Internet, has clearly back slid from the last time I conducted the same project; (2) 25 years ago (when I was 23).

Also, realize, I was the youngest in the history of Xerox to take and successfully complete Professional Selling Skills (PSS II, at 17, in 1977. I later became a PSS III Coach in 1983), the training course that came before SPIN, which resulted from Xerox paying a then younger Neil Rackham to go along on sales calls and quantify that which had never been done before. Neil was not a salesman by the way.

Here is a direct quote by someone who reviewed the course that was a result of Neil's work, called SPIN, that comes from a web page with the rightful title "SPIN selling is good", which is as follows;

"The original survey showed that in successful sales calls it's the buyer who does most of the talking, which means that the salespeople are asking questions."

Well, hate to pop this to you, Neil or any other sales trainer or sales professional (reader), this was well known fact long before Neil quantitified it through zsales calling tracking (which, by the way, was a tool suggested by Xerox's main training program at the time; PSS).

Here is another comment on that web page;

"The first students trained in the "SPIN" model showed an average of 17% improvement in sales results. "

And, as I said as a result of my first research survey 25 years ago into sales training factions or schools; that is because - suprise, surprise - these 'students' were not very well trained before taking SPIN.

It is the only answer that makes sense.

You see, we trained the number one Minolta sales person worldwide (our company was then called Pro-Formance Masters). He was hired part time by Minotla Business Machines in the U.S. and Canada to travel city to city on weekends and do one day sales training events ... this is the man who out performed all of the people trained in many different schools of training, including SPIN and others, too manyb to mention, and he did not work in New York, Chicago, L.A., London, England, Rio or any one of the top 10 cities in the world as you might imagine. He also did not have a patch in Connecticut where all the big insurance firms are based or anything like that. In other words, he did not get lucky ... he haioled from Toronto.

He mastered probing and closing using the PSS training skills, which are not unlike the probing taught by SPIN doctors (please excuse the obvious meaning). In fact, the only true differnecfe in what is taught between PSS and SPIN is to expand on the PAIN or the PROBLEM/CHALLENGE that your product or service can address, once the prospect has told you in their own words that this is thier issue.

Of course, to be fair, PSS was designed as a BASIC course, one that would come before or as a prerequisite to advanced skills that could and should be taught as well ... it is just that SPIN introduces them as part of the basic skills training, makign the distinbction that PROCESS is important - this is the kind of thinking you would expect from an engineer (No, I am not knocking anything - just makign acloear point about process improvment).

J. Douglas Edwards - of whom Tom Hopkins was an avid student - taught that "telling is not selling" in the 50's and 60's, right through to his death. Others have noted the same ... in fact, the earliest referance in tltierature that I am aware of comes from before the 1st world war (no, I can't quote this, as it should not be an issue 60 years later! Why must we keep proving that which has long since been evident???)!

"The art of salesmanship; helping the prospect buy what they need and may also desire" could be restated as "Buying facilitation".

Sharon may use unique ways of expressing that which is important, she may have adopted phraseology to explain sales technique(s), as we did with GOLD CALLING ® to replace cold calling. She may use slightly different tlanguage in her sales technqiues, but that does not mean sales people or prospects are any different than they were in the days of the mythcial carpet sales person - the one used to make a point in "The greatest salesman in the world", which was written by Og Mandio and made huge by Rich DeVos (by recommending it to Amway distributors).

Morality has not changed. People's motivations have not changed - and, if I may state this in a somewhat blunt way - it is and always will be to your prospect; "What's in it for me?" And that is why salesmanship has not changed.

If Sharon attracts and causes more sales people to become masters at the world's great communcation art, then I second the fact that she has found a way to make believers that salesmanship is just that; an art. That sales people have great skills, that not everyone can become a professipnal sales person - but that does not mean that I think she uncovered something the rest of us (professional sales trainers for hundreds of years, even millenium) missed.

Package it any way you like, all you have done is changed the look of that package, the wrapping may be different but not the message.

And while I aplaud the efforts of Og Mandino, J. Douglas Edwards, Tom Hopkins, Peter Burke, Neil Rackham, Sharon Drew Morgan and may others ... God helps us if we, at this perhaps thegreatest unbiased sales training web site on the Internet, cannot understand this as truth. Selling hasn't changed - the consultaative approach was not invented by Neil Rackham nor have the CPSA, DSA or any other association invented or introduced anything new in sales in the last few decades, period.

Most certainly none of the "Nouveau Sales Schools", who have done nothing remarkeable, except perhaps in their own small way driven our profession back about 50 years in development!

Sorry, can't agree. Sharon may be incredible but that does not mean anything remarkable has been developed in terms of inter personal communication skills for the selling profession (please leave email and new fangled marketing out of my intent).

FEAR is really of the unknown. You can only elminate the unknown through experience and training.

Re-read the last paragraph, that was all that was needed to effectively answer the question posed by this thread. The rest was simply expanding on that statement of ultimate truth! - by Gold Calling
I must apologize for having posted above, which is rather obviously not properly proofed. It would appear my spell checker went on vacation. And, while this is no excuse - that (the odd technical difficulty) and limited time prevent me from both contributing significantly at this site AND(occasionally) making sure what I post is properly proof read!

Thanks for your understanding. - by Gold Calling
Without that experience I have to say that it would be premature to dispute Frankie's suggestion. To get started knowing more about her, FYI she wants to be addressed as Sharon Drew, not Sharon. I have no solid opinion on her work, nor do I have a great amount of interest although I read her book. However, I'm not sure I can accept that new methods in sales cannot be introduced that could work well. That said, I am well aware of the contributions of Edwards, Hopkins, and others. - by Ace Coldiron
Quite simply: I don't do it. I'd rather be shot at dawn than cold call.

Contrary to popular belief...cold calling is NOT mandatory for success in selling. Effective prospecting IS, however. - by Rainmaker
However, I'm not sure I can accept that new methods in sales cannot be introduced that could work well.
This is not directed at Ace, just referencing his comments.

We are so full of ourselves aren't we? And part of maturity is getting 'past it' ... is it not? When most of us accomplish that to some degree personally, why are we so unable to do so professionally?

Every generation is full of its own self importance. We all are geared toward thinking that we discovered something new, know more, are more insightful ... different. Heck, the whole island now known as the U.K. (England to me, it is where I was born) when you speak to them they say "We're different". As if.

This is part of the human condition. And, may I say, it is the unfortunate part. You may or may not believe in heaven and the existence of a devil but to me, the self doubt, which manifests itself in doubt of others, stops the passing of information. To that I can only say; "This is the devils work!"

What if I told you I believe cancer has been cured at least twice and yet still this is very little known. And, whether or not this is true is irrelevant, as information, the way it is passed on, how any one small piece becomes known in this vast sea of knowledge (what you can know), is not passed on easily. Hence all the more or less petty bickering in forums and why I don’t hang out in them.

As long as being a human being is full of self doubt, no matter whether they win that struggle most days, as a race we will always deal with this issue. And, quite honestly, I have not the time to attempt to explain this properly ... you either get it or you don't.

What I am saying is, everything that needed to be discovered about how to deal with another human being was and all that information is available to all of us.

Back when Rank Xerox, a different company than XEROX in North America (Rank bought the worldwide rights to Xerography from Xerox, then Xerox spent $660 million to buy 30% back some years later), were not producing the same results as North America, they hired a man who is and was basically a behavioral psychologist and definitely NOT a sales pro. This guy, with a team, went on the calls of the people who were doing well and the ones who weren't. And basically all they discovered by "charting" calls was what had already been known to Edwards and the group that did the research for Xerox Learning Systems in the U.S., a training program that was known as PSS.

Understand, one of the experts here was a guinea pig when this new school of sales thought was brought over and he - being successful already - felt that it was actually not an improvement. Nonetheless, we now have SPIN and it is approximately 25 years old.

I am not putting SPIN down. I have done my due diligence and know why these non-sales type behavioral psych guys thought they were onto to something new. I get it.

This thread is about fear. Fear is overcome by experience.

Mental attitude is not enough, skills training in prospecting makes dealing with people much easier, just as sales call training does.


But to suggest that we have suddenly after thousands of years in a few months - like a pinprick of time in 5 miles of track - have found that there is something about human needs, wants and desires that we have not already known is simply outrageous. Most of you who read this that are not full of their own self importance will get the full impact meant by this statement.

Now, I can't blame sales training groups from the proclamation that they have a "new way" or that "selling is different now" ... because it plays into the human psyche, this marketing technique is well known and works very well indeed. What I would like to suggest is that we do not believe the hype or our own B.S., whichever the case may be.

People are more or less the same as they were when Christ walked the face of this planet - slightly less patient maybe but they have the same core values. So, what do we have to change?

The best sales producers in the world, every single one that I have interviewed in 30 years of sales training, they all have similar methodologies and they all out produce the competition (both within and outside).

I have never found any piece of evidence that proves undeniably that anything is truly revolutionary. Heaven forbid we should pass on a bunch of baloney to the next generation that is now believing they are different, almost as if they were one of our teenagers that suddenly start thinking all of a sudden in about a two month period that their parents don't get it after 14 years of being real close.

EARTH SHAKING NEWS; (1) The consultative approach was not invented by our generation, not even the one before us. (2) PAIN was not a better way to express "need" (in fact, it is inferior but that is another discussion). (3) Closing is not a bad thing, what is wrong with asking for the order (even if the prospect knows what you are doing)?

I have a 79 year old partner, and I will wager you that no one on this forum can out produce him on the phone daily no matter how hard they work. That he can create more appointments daily using purely COLD calling than anyone else. And I have serious evidence in my possession that proves it.

Tell me now, how does that fit into the equation, when we are trying to prove that sales is different today? "You have to be joking, right?"

Here is another piece of evidence; this man, he is not he sharpest tool in the shed. Now, I am not saying that he is dull or a can short of a six-pack, just that he is not Professor Brainiac. Obama is sharper than the sales guy I refer to (thank God!).

Yet, daily, he out produces the sales warriors at the 2nd biggest manufacturer in the world (146 plants worldwide!).

Want to know why? Guts is a huge part of it. But he will tell you that training or, better put, skills knowledge, is absolutely imperative if you are to master salesmanship.

Take your idea that we are so self important that we have learned something in the last 30 years that was not known since Socrates and put it a pipe and smoke it, perhaps that will at least be beneficial in getting you a rush because other than that it is just stinking thinking.

Look at Rainmaker's self belief.
Contrary to popular belief...cold calling is NOT mandatory for success in selling. Effective prospecting IS, however.
You can tell, she is committed to this statement. It does not matter that this does not apply in all cases, what matters is she believes it, that it is one of her VALUES.

The challenge with it is simple. If your prospect is NOT looking for you, then you have to look for them. Prospecting is a sales technique, ads online (pay per click) and direct mail, these are marketing techniques.

The Sales 2.0 guys say "Oh, if you have something unique then it is different" - meaning that is when you can't advertise and do marketing to generate all the leads you need. Of course, this Sales 2.0 stuff was started by a search engine, to generate more interest in pay-per-click advertising. Gotta watch out of for the source of some info!!!

But it is the comment Rainmaker made that is alarming; "I'd rather be shot at dawn than cold call." Really? why? Don;t you believe that what you offer is good enough that people would want to know about it?

You see, this comes from a school of thought that is bad for our industry, passing on info that there is something wrong with calling a prospect who is most likely a good candidate for your product or service.

Remember the source, somebody sold a heck of a lot of books passing on this baloney. And, while you might want top use advertising and marketing as part or all of your lead generation portion of your business, there is no reason to believe this B.S. to the point where we have to bad mouth a professional sales practice here on a forum that is about just that.

I was in an industry for 8 years where I did not cold call, that does not mean I don't beleive in that sales practice, it just means I made a million+ a year without it.

As a sales training master I can say with complete confidence that sales skills will increase you income - all of them, that includes Gold Calling.

If I was reading this thread, I would want to know marketing, advertising and EVERYTHING about sales and master them all. Not put down one for any reason.

If you take the time to read the information from all the sales training groups, starting with the first serious research, in the generation of Xerox, starting in the 60's, and right up to today, you will find what I have found.

Each decade produces another group who thinks they know better - based on 10 or 20 years of personal experience or some psyche degree and some research - than the block of information that humanity has amassed since the beginning of time. They publish it, beat their individualistic drums, sell it, teach it and change nothing. There is not even any evidence that former top notch producers were improved by their training ..... !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Find any research that top producers are dramatically changed by any sales training program and I will eat my hat, video tape me consuming it with a little Dijon and post that clip on You Tube!

I am not saying that we ought not to take training, far from it. Repetition is a critical part of the mastery of sales skills and why we became trainers, not as a career but as a away to get paid to repeat our learning, ingrain it in our psyche. Training does boost sales of the producer, just not dramatically. It does dramatically boost the results of those that have never had training before if they apply it.

If you want to be great, start by listening to BACK TO THE FUTURE IN SALES. Pay real close attention to the bit about Values, how our core vales are established. Learn enough about behavior psychology to get what makes people tick - it will prove most of what you guessed was the case already.

Then find a solid training program that teaches basics, uncovering needs, supporting needs and how to deal with attitudes.

Then go back to Edwards, listen to his tapes on closing.

Then go on a thousand sales calls ... master prospecting. Maximize your results by getting more calls in during a day (on average) ...

Forget about trying to create a NEW way. Forget about your own discovery (other than discovering that what worked still works), learn from the masters, it will save boat loads of time and as a result you will make more money.

Best of luck. - by Gold Calling
If you want to be great...

...Learn enough about behavior psychology to get what makes people tick.
Where can a salesperson go to learn this?

... Then find a solid training program that teaches basics, uncovering needs, supporting needs and how to deal with attitudes.
Where can a salesperson go to find this?

...Forget about your own discovery (other than discovering that what worked still works), learn from the masters...
Where can a salesperson go to find out who is one of "the masters" they should be learning from? - by Slick
And basically all they discovered by "charting" calls was what had already been known to Edwards and the group that did the research for Xerox Learning Systems in the U.S., a training program that was known as PSS.
Which was what? What was their discovery?


But to suggest that we have suddenly after thousands of years in a few months - like a pinprick of time in 5 miles of track - have found that there is something about human needs, wants and desires that we have not already known is simply outrageous.
If nobody ever told you, it was unknown to you and most everybody else, that success in sales was X and you then discovered this on your own wouldn't you believe you had discovered something new and want to tell the world about it?


The best sales producers in the world, every single one that I have interviewed in 30 years of sales training, they all have similar methodologies and they all out produce the competition (both within and outside).
What are these "similar methodologies"? - by Slick
If nobody ever told you, it was unknown to you and most everybody else, that success in sales was X and you then discovered this on your own wouldn't you believe you had discovered something new and want to tell the world about it?
Yes, and that opens a whole other discussion I really haven't the time for. But I can impart this now in relation to your questions.

I was trained at 17, youngest ever to take XEROX PSS II, one of the youngest PSS III Coaches, I am one who could say "Hey, I discovered a secret to sales success!"

Quite literally I did.

I was working for a Xerox competitor, the plan by training with Xerox was to find out everything they knew, picking he mind of the competition. That began it for me, I discovered I learned much faster mastering all sides, which was why I hoped right on learning about SPIN when it was spun out in North America.

Really, what came of it was I realized what an amazing man my dad really was, despite his faults.

Want to know my secret? I learned that I could be the top sales rep in any company if I mastered that which was proven before me ... recently I re-did the project, calling all the top sales training organizations since the last time I checked up (early 1990's) ... I re-learned that valuable secret.

Technology changes but people are pretty much the same.

If you want resources, simply go to MySalesTrainer and sign up, they will all be sent to you. That is part of the process of education, knowing what to review.

As for what SPIN understood, it really had to do with value. If you show the prospect how they can get enough benefit from your product or service and they don't buy, it is rare. The part I do not like about SPIN is that it does not deal with what Xerox already knew; which is attitudes and personalities. There are some cases, which the Huthwaite (SPIN) people admitted to me, such as the LOW REACTOR, where this does not conclude the sale.

In other words, PSS was superior.

A sale is built on building blocks, these are needs that you can satisfy with your product or service. And, I really could care less if you want to think of needs as PAIN or DESIRES or WANTS ... this is redirect.

One satisfied need can make a sale. However, in B2B sellign, usually you need more than one, the most common being three. If you get to two and can't uncover a third close - if you got to three and didn't close, ala Spin, this to me is a mistake.

No matter the value, people still say; "I want to think about it"

Then you end up SPINing right out of the office without an order, which need not have been teh case.

I started young, tried to sell without selling, then realized that to not offend you need to sell but be better at it. Master it. And to master sellign you can't help but spoiling some fruit, that is really all there is to it.

I will help you discover the masters ... just click the link below and you will be very glad you did. It is totally free. - by Gold Calling
I try to ENJOY what I'm doing. I know it's difficult, I know it can make one nervous but we have do it so why not have fun with it.

I love the adrenaline rush I get when I'm about to call someone (and not only for selling but in general - like talking to a girl for the first time :P). I find that 'i-am-so-scared-i-could-vomit' feeling right before I get to be fun. It's an experience, it's a thrill - to me.

That's how I try to look at it. It helps me see that fear and anxiety in a positive light. Haven't had problems so far... :)

Regards,
Sagar - by Sagar Mehta
Yes, and that opens a whole other discussion I really haven't the time for.
If the information isn't readily available to most people then it seems odd to get upset that someone reinvented the wheel or what looked like a wheel and called it "NEW".

You brought up that the best sales producers have "similar methodologies" but you have not said what those similar methodologies are nor described them in a manner that someone reading could benefit from (not readily available). This isn't a complaint merely an observation. - by Slick
If the information isn't readily available to most people then it seems odd to get upset that someone reinvented the wheel or what looked like a wheel and called it "NEW".

You brought up that the best sales producers have "similar methodologies" but you have not said what those similar methodologies are nor described them in a manner that someone reading could benefit from (not readily available). This isn't a complaint merely an observation.
First, I am unsure where you may be thinking that I displayed the emotion of "upset" or "anger" through text in this forum thread, other than I is disappointing to see the low quality information that passes in Scripture.

If you were thinking this thread caused my feelings you are mistaken, understandably no doubt as I probably did not take the time to properly communicate where my general impression of the people claiming they are reborn (new) came from.

There is a disconnect here though, I must go back and read what I wrote, as I might have misrepresented the facts mistakenly. Again, I really cannot waste the time to do so – therefore I will just address your last post …. As follows;

Second, the information about sales, sales masters form the past and present is as available to you or any sales person as it is to me. For instance, you can see the results of Huthwaite's sales tracking and evaluation in the SPIN SELLING book and on their site. Their competition too is well represented online.

If you want to assess the schools of sales training you can, it is very available, though time consuming. And, my information is available for free too, right through MySalesTrainer (link below) ... I would just prefer not to provide it twice, since I have put a great deal of effort into making it available once (why duplicate?).

As for similar behavior exhibited by top producers, please allow me to clarify somewhat.

I do not mean style, other than they are all more aggressive than leaning toward passive - relatively speaking. I also do not mean scripts, as the best rarely say anything exactly the same twice ... we are not "canned".

Methodology as a word in this case was used more to refer to needs analysis (called a need PAIN if you insist) and needs satisfaction, dealing with attitudes and low reactors, asking for the business (closing) more often rather than less often (again relatively speaking).

The topic is vast. I hope you do not expect a novel in a forum.

The concept of understanding that people really have not changed is where the beginning of mastering sales comes from. Once you have firmly realized that needs do not change - as in people will and always have had them - then you can see that the Sales 2.0 and so called new age selling is bunk. And then you can get on with it.

Edwards through Back to the Future in Sales is a must, available from Tom Hopkins website (he owns the rights to J. Douglas Edwards stuff). I would read SPIN SELLING but not get to caught up in consultative approach, as it was not new, and start learning and keep working on the basic skills.

Some like Janus, Carnegie, Huthwaite and others, which are likely okay for basics, though I cannot say for sure as I have not sat through their courses.

Repetition was and always will be the key. That is why I dedicate some of my time every month to the creation of a newsletter.

A sale is built on building blocks, these are needs that you can satisfy with your product or service. And, I really could care less if you want to think of or refer to needs as PAIN or DESIRES or WANTS ... this is redirect.

One satisfied need can make a sale. However, in B2B selling, usually you need more than one, the most common being three. If you get to two and can't uncover a third => close. If you got to three and didn't close when the customer didn't say "where do I sign up", a la Spin, this to me is criminal.
I just quoted myself, making a correction or two.

One can't help cringing when those who never really learned sales stand up on their soap box and claim that the customer knows what we are dong, that selling has changed and you need to change or become a dinosaur when the greats keep producing week after week, month after month and year after year.

There is absolutely no proof that the human condition is different than it was when the Roman Empire had a strangle hold on approximately three fifths of the globe, none!

There is massive proof to the contrary.

However, those core values sneak in. Those who have not mastered sales and never been mentored, if they believe that what they are doing is not right and they are uncomfortable and along comes someone who says "I wouldn't be caught dead doing that. There is a better way" ... as was exhibited and experienced right here in this thread ... they eat it up.

Human nature. How many sales people take a night course at University about Human Psychology? Almost none. Does that mean the information is not readily available?

Uhhh ... duh!

What is at your core and your prospect's core wasn't consciously decided by you or them. It was instilled in you by parenting, back before you began to 2nd guess your parents, then strengthened by peers and the media.

No wonder people think selling is bad, many were exposed to parents who had bad expereinces with sales people, then they said "I hate sales people" and/or; "That person was so pushy" and/or; "How dare they" and/or; "I would never treat anyone like that" ... they have no choice but to believe it.

No wonder when someone comes along and plays into it that they are willing to believe it.

People, if the Internet would create more than enough leads why are there four thousand telemarketing companies cranking leads? Why is a 79 year old man making $30,000 a month just making appointments?

Well, the simple reason why is; it works. So consider the source, there is a lot of useless and misleading information out there. And this suggestion or insistence comes from a many who created 16,000+ clients online and had an e-zing with 40,000+ subscribers in 1999!

It is "give your head a shake" time.

I love the adrenaline rush I get when I'm about to call someone (and not only for selling but in general - like talking to a girl for the first time :P). I find that 'i-am-so-scared-i-could-vomit' feeling right before I get to be fun. It's an experience, it's a thrill - to me.
Never loose that feeling Sagar. If you approach all sales with that level of importance, that gut check, you will convey that you truly care to the prospect, which works in your favour big time.

It is those who really do not care that cannot compete with your results, great reading ... very original post! - by Gold Calling
Every generation is full of its own self importance. We all are geared toward thinking that we discovered something new, know more, are more insightful ... different.
OLD methodology...NEW methodology...

What's the significance in labeling? What difference does it make if you find something that works for you from a book that just came out, or one that was published 50 years ago? Sales is about results. If it works, it's valid. If it doesn't--it's bunk.

The fundamentals never change. People don't really change. Sales is really all about people. Technique is only technique and should be kept in that perspective.

There is a quadrapelgic who paints amazing pictures with a brush in her mouth. That doesn't make her paintings any less valid than those painted by traditional artists just because her methods are a little less orthodox and even unthinkable to some.

Technology marches forward with new tools opening up new avenues for prospecting, and changing the picture with seemingly endless new resources. Me...I still use index cards (believe it or not). To each their own.

Gold Calling, I'm sure you wouldn't dream of selling without cold calling...I have a distaste for it, so I have created alternate ways to effectively prospect without cold calling. One isn't better or worse than the other--if they both get the job done. Results are the only litmus test. Opinions--for or against--don't really matter.

Frankly, I get a little sick of all the reinventing, but reinventing the wheel isn't pompous--it's enterprising.

Why are people so driven to re-slant selling? It's simple. One reason and one reason only: MONEY.

Books, tapes, seminars...It's the free market at work. Power to them. They have just as much a right to create wealth for themselves as I do. No publisher is going to sign an author who doesn't have some magical slant to sell books and draw in readers. Publishers don't know what sells cars, for example, but the DO know what sells books.

It's just life. It's the nature of the world. We can choose to pull some good from the "new," possibly, or it can serve to illustrate to us how the old methods are still the best, by contrast... But we can't shut down Amazon! - by Rainmaker
I love the adrenaline rush I get when I'm about to call someone (and not only for selling but in general - like talking to a girl for the first time :P). I find that 'i-am-so-scared-i-could-vomit' feeling right before I get to be fun. It's an experience, it's a thrill - to me.
This doesn't exactly sound like fun...but I like the honesty in it. ;sm I'm guessing you only get the feeling before the first call of the day, and then it calms down. I relate your feeling to what I get in the form of stage fright. I don't experience it with making calls--not to THAT extreme, anyway--but your description rang a bell for me in another area of my life. - by Rainmaker
This is not directed at Ace, just referencing his comments.
Gold Calling, I find myself liking you and it is not a mystery why. You spend time telling people what you believe. As a matter of fact you have a passion for telling people what you believe--AND-- you are passionate about what you believe IN. To me, that plays a large part in the measure of a human being.

You and I both know that a lot of people stumble through life not appearing to believe in anything, and their lack of passion makes them the most mundane creatures on earth.

I know and respect that you were not addressing your remarks to me, although I take some responsibility for prompting them.

You and I have some things in common. I know this because I took some time to read some of your posts. Some of them were a little long, but that's OK. So here are just a few things:

We both are not spring chickens. (I'm a few years your senior.)
WE both have spent decades in sales. (I've been at it a liitle longer.)
We are both highly successful. (Relative term...Bill Gates wins.)
We both started in our teens. ( You at age 17, me at age 14).
We both learned from our fathers who were experts at cold calling.
We both were top trainers in mega organizations.
We both own our own businesses.
We both have been top producers in sales.
We both are passionate about what we believe.
We both have encyclopediac knowledge about the history of selling. (Big deal.)
We both learned originally under J. Douglas Edwards training.
We both find that "new agers" get under our skin. (Although we use the term differently.)

Here is where we may differ. I pride myself on KNOWING WHAT I DON'T KNOW. In addition, I think my learning journey will never end. I am simply not the last word on the topic of sales. (Sorry--you aren't either.)

I say all this because I respect the time you devote to your passion for helping others in sales. I truly mean that. But I need to ask you to eat a little humble pie. You addressed some remarks to--and about--a member here called Rainmaker. Because her remarks are always humble, light in spirit, and always intended to further her own understanding, I think you mistook her for someone at a lower level than yourself. I happen to know Rainmaker. She is not as experienced as you or I. She has not closed nearly as many sales. But because I share with you a passion for stating what I believe, I will tell you that she is the most gifted and profound sales mind I have ever known. She is a sales warrior that has overcome enormous obstacles in her life. She has a passion for selling that would humble both of us. And she deserves your respect.

Gold Calling, I like, respect, and admire you. And I enjoy your contributions. But I could not let your post go unanswered. - by Ace Coldiron
The fundamentals never change. People don't really change. Sales is really all about people. Technique is only technique and should be kept in that perspective.
High marks for this distinction RM. From where I sit this is the key that is missing from many teachings. - by Slick
High marks for this distinction RM. From where I sit this is the key that is missing from many teachings. thmbp2;
Thank you, Slick. There are many ways to skin a cat, but the cat is always a cat.

(I wonder where that expression came from...no offense to cat lovers. I have one, too) - by Rainmaker
Gold Calling:
For starters, maybe you should return to Jeff's original post and purpose in starting this thread. He asked: What methods do YOU use to overcome the fear of cold calling? NOT 'What is the best or only way to overcome your fear of cold calling.'

MY method comes from NO NEW AGE SCHOOL OF THOUGHT outside of MY personal experience and the school of hard knocks. It is what I needed to do at the time I developed my prospecting system, in order to SURVIVE in sales.

You selectively ignored my followup statement about prospecting and continued on to define the difference between marketing and prospecting--making the false assumption that since I don't cold call, I must engage in marketing--as opposed to prospecting.

Since you seem to feel you were able to sum up my "self beliefs" by two statements (one of which you disregarded), let me tell you something about my "self beliefs."

I don't sit around waiting for business to come to me as a result of some marketing efforts. The only time MY phone rings with business is referral business. Every other piece of business I have ever written is drenched in my hard earned sweat. I went out and made it happen.

Cold calling a well accepted method of prospecting, but it is not the ONLY one. It is the one that works for you--and surely many others--but not for me. Jeff asked what I do, not what you think I should do. I said I would rather be shot at dawn--not Everyone else who successfully cold calls should be shot at dawn. This was a personal question, asking for MY personal experience. It was not about you or your beliefs at all--as they relate to my answer.

Gold calling, not everyone has the luxury of growing up in a sales evironment where they can learn, practice, and hone their skills as a teenager from a place of security. I was THRUST into sales due to an unfortunate personal situation where I--with no skills, background, or training--had to put food on the table for my kids FAST or face life on the street. I didn't have time for learning curves or to wait to develop a "thick skin" to rejection or spend weeks testing, studying, or mofifying scripts until I learned the ropes and figured out what the heck I was supposed to say to get appointments. I had to get past prospecting and get in front of warm bodies if I had a prayer of surviving.

So... instead of calling everyone in the phone book and "working the numbers game," I focused in on specific targets and mounted creative efforts to set the stage for my calls, so that WHEN I CALLED...my calls were put through. Instead of making 50 calls and getting 3 appointments, I make 20 calls and get 10 appointments. It was a creative "design around" based on necessity. I did not have the mental fortitude, at that time because of my already stressful circumstances, to plod through the phone book and get hung up on, so I "invented" another way. Not to sell books, or to change the world in any way, but to feed my children.

Make no mistake...I still made the calls. I still set appointments. The sole source of my income (outside of referrals) is a result of prospecting--even to this day. In fact, prospecting is probably strongest asset.

NOW, I could go back, with the experience I have, and successfully cold call...but why? I already have a highly effective method of prospecting. I don't have to deal much with rejection because I have created a system that doesn't generate the kind of rejection encountered by cold calls.

THAT is HOW I dealt with overcoming rejection, and THAT was the only question asked, so I shared my answer--even though it was not readily accepted. I simply answered the question asked... in an honest way. There is no right or wrong answer to a "What do YOU do...." question.

Please accept my apology, in advance, Gold Calling, if you do not like the tone of my response; but I did not feel you had the right to make sweeping statements about my "self beliefs" based on such little information, so I wanted to give you more information to better understand the nature and drive behind my statement. - by Rainmaker
The fundamentals never change. People don't really change. Sales is really all about people. Technique is only technique ...

Yes, the human condition is almost exactly the same as it was thousands of years ago. That was why Og Mandino rightly chose the biblical carpet sales person in "The Greatest Salesman In The World", which was a best seller.

Og knew, that though his mythical character/sales hero was 2,000 years old, the teachings were the same. There are those who would have us believe that the last 40 years brought about changes that the previous several thousand did not. Absolutely incredible and totally misleading.

Rain ... I read your post and just feel this thread is getting further off track. Nonetheless, I will address it.
Starting with stating that I made no personal remarks as to where what you do comes from, this is an assumption on your part. I only commented on a small part of your post.

There is a very good reason for drawing the attention to the fact that "new age" is bunk and other things in this thread, like suggestions that to overcome fears we should simply not use a certain sales practice;

... to save the readers here from wasting years in the discovery that they were simply mislead, that they trusted information that caused them not to develop into a complete professional.

To me, this is the main reason for spending time at this forum, the impressionable need great information or at least good information ... they need mentors to keep them from getting off track - if they are to earn as much as they are capable of and aspire to their dreams.

So, please, let's not say here "who cares". First, I do. And; second, those who don't know any better will care, especially if they do not learn as well as they might have. That makes any forum like this one an awesome responsibly to anyone of my stature in our profession.

As for what you have learned to do or what I do - I do have two direct come backs;

(1) I spent 8 years in a business where Gold Calling® wasn't required. If I can generate leads for what I sell without cold calling that would mean that I was more effective. In other words, rather than spending time researching suspected prospects then calling to arrange an appointment to begin the sales process, I would already be selling, saving time. This is a no brainer.

However, the reality is; within most industries you cannot max-out your capability with the Internet and/or Direct Mail and/or Auto-Dialing and/or Postcards and/or through any form of Advertising. That means you need to master prospecting. It is that simple.

(2) Again, I admire your commitment to what you do. I hope it works extraordinarily well for you. And have no problem with you not needing to use the phone to prospect - it is just that this is not possible for sales people in all industries or not every sales person within any given one to generate enough quality prospects without learning to prospect (other than through direct marketing methods).

RECAP

In a place where professional sales practices are discussed, no one practice should be presented as unprofessional or degrading or beneath us, for many reasons if not just because there are those who are still learning our trade.

Jeff did ask what each of us do, not specifically. Rather, he asked what we do to overcome fear in regards to one sales practice. Clearly, if you would not be caught dead phone prospecting, you have not overcome the fear, correct?

This is harsh so is the next comment but it really needs to be stated and to become profound knowledge;

Any sales person who deplores the phone for introducing themselves to suspected prospects to find out if they may be qualified prospects - to generate new business - almost always did not learn how to use this tool effectively in the first place.

If you are good enough, there is no sales skill you cannot master. And even though there are times when certain skills are not used, mastering them all gives you more confidence, more capability, fills those times when you are not as busy as you could be and generally makes you a better person!

Yes, you do change as an individual by conquering your fears.

Niche said "what doesn't kill me makes me stronger" and, though as a man and a philosopher he was considered to be somewhat of a mad man, this statement has a certain eloquence doesn't it? It fit especially well with this thread's topic.

I wish to conclude my involvement in this thread. And would ask that all respect my commitment to Sales Practice and not take exception to this or any other post, in whole or any specific portion. Thank you.

One more thing;

ACE - I do not believe I am not learning. I firmly believe I am learning all the time. I also believe strongly that you either improve or do the opposite, that there is no status quo in the performing arts.

However, within the masters of sales there is much yet to apply, to relearn, to try again a different way and so on. As I study new age info, I find nothing worth following, that does not mean I am not learning, far from it. I am now and always remain a student of sales.

Oh and I did not start sales at 17, I just took Xerox’s training program called PSS II at that age. I began on the phone calling business at 15, if it matters. And I would argue Bill Gates is not the winner (his software is buggy, not intuitive and has other serious issues. And I can comment on that because I developed Success on Contact©)but that is another

No Ace, you got me pegged all wrong.

I spend time here looking out for those who are not at your level, if that involves locking horns with someone who is, for their betterment rather than one or another that we might call a Grey Hair, then so be it.

Today I am learning more about mentor-ship. Not sales, not even sales training, but development of one individual in close contact. In fact, I recently reviewed Doug's stuff on sales training - still have the audio!

Best of luck always ... - by Gold Calling
I was still editing that bit above ... stupid system did not allow me to complete it, so here is the final bit in a cleaned up form.

ACE
- I do not believe I am not learning. I firmly believe I am learning all the time. I also believe strongly that you either improve or do the opposite, that there is no status quo in the performing arts, which sales definitely qualifies as.

However, within the masters of sales and the mastery they imparted, there is much yet to apply, to relearn, to try again a different way (imparting style) and so on. As I study new age info, I find nothing worth following, especially form the Sales 2.0 crowd. But that does not mean I am not learning, far from it. I am now and always remain a student of sales.

What I have done that few if any have done is actually study all sales schools. This puts me in unique position to comment on what has or has not changed in the sales training industry. Not to say I am the greatest most knowledgeable sales person in the world, just that I am perhaps more aware of what various sales factions teach. Like being a philosopher who knows all the philosophies - that does not suggest that I am the greatest philosopher of my times (even though I am ... just a little humor!).

Oh and I did not start sales at 17, I just took Xerox’s training program called PSS II at that age (began my sales train career at 17). I began sellign, beginning with working on the phone calling business, at the tender age of 15, if it matters.

And I would argue Bill Gates is not the winner (his software is buggy, not intuitive and has other serious issues. And I can comment on that because I developed Success on Contact©) but that is another topic.

No Ace, you got me pegged all wrong.

I spend time here looking out for those who are not at your level, if that involves locking horns with someone who is, for their betterment rather than one or another that we might call a Grey Hair, then so be it.

I have found that when I do hang out here, which is rare, I end up challenging my gray haired counterparts to try really think about what they are posting and perhaps to try harder. Perhaps, that will happen to you ... and, if so, it is not pistols at dawn.

Today I am learning more about mentor-ship. Not sales, not even sales training, but development of one individual in close contact. In fact, I recently reviewed Doug's stuff on sales training - still have the audio!

Best of luck always ... - by Gold Calling
I'm in Insurance sales, and my cold calling list is actually "warm". The names are all from people that have recently had babies, and during their initial hospital visit, signed on with a networking group that would introduce them to photographers, people that sell baby gear, RESP's, insurance or books.
In the first year, I had a few of these "warm" leads turn on me during the course of the call ("how do you sleep at night knowing that you're tricking pregnant women?") and my "warm" leads suddenly seemed cold.
I was paralyzed, on and off, for more than a year, and my sales showed it!
Since then, I have gotten better through experience.
I have realized that out of every twenty calls, I will be able to book at least five appointments. Of every twenty appointments, at least half will stand me up. Of every twenty presentations, I will sell to at least half and of those that buy, half will buy more than one product.
On paper, that looks like six sales from every sheet that has twenty-one names on it, and I think of those sales as treasure. My job is treasure hunting, and I don't mind if I have to turn a few stones to find it.
For me, it's a mind game that I play with myself, and at least it works. - by becomingkate
Minimize the risk in your own mind. If you mess up there are other people you can call on. - by Seth
Well learned scripts and practice is my solution. Find the scripts that are known to produce excellent results, learn them like the back of your hand and practice, practice, practice. - by Iceman
I WOULD HIGHLY RECOMMEND ANY AND EVERYONE WHO HAS FEAR OF COLD CALLING TO CHECK OUT MY WEB SITE, WHICH TARGETS THAT SPECIFIC TYPE OF SALES

WWW.PROSALESGUIDLE.COM

First thing is first, all you need is an introduction, and the rest is just building rapport. You can do everything from doing something unorthodox, to start off with a quick joke. Think about a nice girl/guy you see at the bar and you want to introduce yourself. That is a very similar approach you can take. - by Jumpman
OLD methodology...NEW methodology...

What's the significance in labeling? What difference does it make if you find something that works for you from a book that just came out, or one that was published 50 years ago? Sales is about results. If it works, it's valid. If it doesn't--it's bunk.
I have to state something here; things do work. That does not make them the best way to sell - it is what works with the highest degree of potential success that should be most often practiced.

Stating that COLD CALLING doesn't work any longer, that we all need to Direct Mail or use Pay-Per-Click or Referrals Only instead of phone prospecting ... this is misinformation. And, there are those at this site that will be influenced negatively by being told that one sales practice is ineffective.

Now, it seems to be that the spirit of this site is to support all sales practices, which I do with one exception MAIL and Call (I don't do this for several reasons, that does not mean it can't or doesn't work, it means I have discovered that mail can work against me!). If that is what is intended by the site, then it is reasonable for people who contribute to clearly state what makes sense and try to stop people from brow beating others into ridiculous beliefs with effective arguments.

Several people have been booted from the forum for selling inappropriate ideas to those who don't know better. And I am one individual who has not stood for that being done.

I don't care if you don't want to call it the OLD WAY ... clearly, I don't think there is an old way. I am certain my posts support this argument ... but anyone who references this expression must be supporting a NEW WAY - that which I would spend a career arguing is "bunk".

It is only valid for us to use these two terms in that they are being flung around and that there are people who are only naturally misunderstanding, impressionable people who are not at an advanced point in their learning and career.

The fundamentals never change. People don't really change. Sales is really all about people. Technique is only technique and should be kept in that perspective.
Absolutely!

Technology marches forward with new tools opening up new avenues for prospecting, and changing the picture with seemingly endless new resources. Me...I still use index cards (believe it or not). To each their own.
So does my dad and he out prospects people a third of his age (literally) that use a PC better than I do (remember I developed a contact management software).

Sure a fax machine changed how we did business - we no longer need to go and have a contract signed in person - as did the the phone before it, the Internet and email too,. which allow us to send information faster ... sure, sure, sure. All agreed.

But did it change how we deal with people? I know this is what you are saying too, I am just agreeing with you.

Gold Calling, I'm sure you wouldn't dream of selling without cold calling...I have have created alternate ways to effectively prospect without cold calling. One isn't better or worse than the other--if they both get the job done.
What is best is decided by how active you are or want to be. If you are maxed consistently then what you do works well ... does it work for all types of sales? I can confirm that no set of strategies for generating business, at least in every type of B2B selling, will lead to top performance that does not include some form of hard nosed prospecting.

Re-read that line again - only in a very few industries is it possible to stay as active as you can be without prospecting.

I am the last guy who will tell you to stop taking referrals if you are maxed out by them or any direct marketing approach or channel marketing, if that is all you need to do then great. However, if not maxed, you need to prospect. And, I have yet to find anyone who is maxed out on referrals alone or the web in combination with referrals!

Frankly, I get a little sick of all the reinventing, but reinventing the wheel isn't pompous--it's enterprising.

If it works it is enterprising. If not it was not inventive or creative, it was a waste of time and effort. And one of those two you can never get back!

Why are people so driven to re-slant selling? It's simple. One reason and one reason only: MONEY.
Bang on again. Very similar to many of the things I have said at this forum myself in more than one thread.

Books, tapes, seminars...It's the free market at work. Power to them. They have just as much a right to create wealth for themselves as I do.
RIGHT is the issue I am concerned with. It is the young newbie in sales has the right to learn what works best, this is the most important value of this site to me. And any slant that will sell books because people never learned to prospect well enough and hate doing it is not in their best interest.

We have the ability to affect this, right here, in a positive way. Simply by continuing to state that picking up the phone or walking into a suspected prospect's office works. That does not mean that referrals aren't great, mail doesn't generate clients, PPC doesn't qualify some prospects - that all of the other things you do don't generate business. Not at all.

No publisher is going to sign an author who doesn't have some magical slant to sell books and draw in readers. Publishers don't know what sells cars, for example, but the DO know what sells books.
This last bit is incorrect. You don't need a publisher today. And you don't have to go into debt any longer to release a book ... called self publishing.

Self publishing is easy today with print-on-demand-technology. You no longer have to print a minimum of 5,000 to get started. Same with CD's ... Amazon offers this service through a business that I am getting a demo from today (as it happens). The order comes in and they print the book and ship it, this is wild but this technology is here right now!

And the danger with this is - books create credibility - that can cause young and impressionable sales people and those who ought to be real pros already to get caught up buying stuff that isn't valid, having their potential wasted, sometimes for years. That is why we need to say what we say in this forum - this is an unbiased place to educate.

It's just life. It's the nature of the world. We can choose to pull some good from the "new" possibly, or it can serve to illustrate to us how the old methods are still the best, by contrast... But we can't shut down Amazon!
No, we can't. Amazon is great ... true.

What we can do is simply point out what is baloney. For instance, this is my stand;
  1. The suggestion that referrals only works in all types of B2B sales businesses is total BUNK (misleading);
  2. The suggestion that you need only mail (letters & or postcards) - again in all B2B businesses - is bunk (bad advice);
  3. The suggestion that all leads should be generated online - again in all B2B businesses - is bunk (worse than bad advice) - as in many businesses we create opportunities by contacting prospects that did not have a clear understood need before we called them (your market is smaller if you don't prospect, which doesn't mean you ought not to have a website to generate leads);
  4. The suggestion that phone prospecting in B2B businesses no longer works is the worst thing I have ever read or heard in terms of sales training advice in my 30 years of sales expereince, PERIOD, FULL STOP, BAR NONE!
I know we are saying mostly the same things here Rainmaker ... and I, for one, appreciate your effort at this forum big time. Just be careful - we are leaders. And as the leadership of this forum we need to make sure the best example is put forward - in my opinion that includes debunking.

My goals here are to help impressionable people make more money. I donate my time ... there is next to nothing in it for me except every post increases my PAGE RANK of my various websites.

Good yakking at you! - by Gold Calling
I agree with everything you said, Gold Calling.

The information you shared about Amazon and books on demand is downright SCARY. Books DO give credibility. Beginners buy what SOUNDS good--and what they want to hear. Often what sounds good, is NOT what's best for us. If it were, every teenager would own the book titled: Why You Should NEVER Clean Your Room. (I have a teenager, can you tell?)

I know we are saying mostly the same things here Rainmaker ... and I, for one, appreciate your effort at this forum big time. Just be careful - we are leaders. And as the leadership of this forum we need to make sure the best example is put forward - in my opinion that includes debunking.
I am not positioned as a "leader" here. I joined Salespractice probably 4 years ago...when it was brand new. I knew little about selling and I posted like crazy and learned by trial and error and by following some very good direction from a very small handful of people whose posts made sense to me.

As I have done since the beginning...I share my experiences. The good, the bad, and the ugly. This forum is filled with my posts (I had well over 700, when my account was eventually deleted due to inactivity a year or two ago...). It is a living, breathing, chronology of growth and development in sales--and nothing more.

I don't participate much, anymore, because the atmosphere of this forum has changed significantly. Occasionally, I will post, but never for the purpose of teaching methodology. I am not a sales trainer. In the past few years, I have had a few "light bulb momonts" that were serious milestones in my success. Because those moments were so significant to ME, I am inclined to share them. I share things that matter to ME..that affected ME--often profoundly.

Perhaps that is why there is no longer a place for me on this forum. I am far from the newbie, who first joined this forum, but I would never position myself as an "expert" as it is used here, on this forum.

I don't share my "expertise," but instead share my honest experiences because I have learned from them. Every post I have ever made on this forum is dead honest--straight from my world--not from books, for the most part. They are unfiltered, and have no agenda.

They simply ARE.

If someone finds a gem from my sweat on the streets, I invite them to use it. Or...they can shrug their shoulders...and say "So what?" I don't post about theory or give regurgitations of things I read from books (There ARE many good books out there, I know). But my posts come from my life--or I would not share them. I don't care if they are "approved" by anyone (not referring to you, in particular, Gold..). They are valid because they come from real life--and they are offered in the context of experience sharing, along my journey--which is never ending...nothing more.

I expect people to draw their own conclusions. - by Rainmaker
In my opinion the only way to overcome the fear of cold calling is to cold call!

I have overcome my fear in face to face cold calling...as a matter of fact I love cold calling. It energizes me. I do however,dislike doing phone cold calling and I think it is that I am so OLD SCHOOL. I feel as if I am at a disadvantage because someone can to easily tell me no on the phone. Also, it is to hard for me to read how the prospect is reacting if I can't see his/her face. - by MPrince
In my opinion the only way to overcome the fear of cold calling is to cold call.
MPrince, we get what you are saying but you must admit, knowing what works through training does help - meaning it is not JUST doing it but doing it well because you are better trained that leads to higher levels of achievement and the accompanying snowball-ing of confidence.

One can't exist without the other. Training without practice is a waste of time but both are what is needed.

I agree with everything you said, Gold Calling.

The information you shared about Amazon and books on demand is downright SCARY. Books DO give credibility. Beginners buy what SOUNDS good--and what they want to hear. Often what sounds good, is NOT what's best for us. If it were, every teenager would own the book titled: Why You Should NEVER Clean Your Room. (I have a teenager, can you tell?)
Yes, Rainmaker, you are bang on with my point. If teenagers even bought books, one entitled something like "Why You Should NEVER Clean Your Room and; How you can convince your parents to hire a housekeeper" would sell about 10 million copies in the first press run alone.

This is exactly why we saw a best seller about COLD CALLING being DEAD in the last couple of years and why REFERRALS ONLY school of sales trainign gets such serious traction when I could easily prove that referrals cannot keep most sales people busy.

Take mortgage brokers, some have relationships with banks, so they can arrange credit for "C" credit people banks routinely turn down (well, this may have dried up a bit now but ...). The BANK wins because they were able to help their client who still deposits regularly. And the broker gets referral business, a win - win - win.

But - and this is a big but - what would happen if every mortgage broker called on their local area banks? would those bankers be able to feed all of them leads? No. This is a simple example of the Law of Supply and Demand.

In the investment adviser business many beleive that they should only work with referrals (and, really they are right because they don't know how to sell, think they are in a business other than professional sales and never will learn salesmanship). Okay, great. But what would happen if they all did this and none actually learned to prospect? The industry would shrink to about 20 or 25% of the size it is now. The fact that it supports many more people because they practice prospecting skills show why they are important.

Since I know better, I am never going to try and teach sales people to exclusively use direct mail, or exclusively use the Internet or exclusively use referrals to generate new business. And, even though I supply prospecting services, you can see I am positioning myself as a trainer, not a new business generation service provider.

I also will not teach exclusively using a combination of direct marketing skills (Internet, mail and referrals/channel marketing) to generate new business. Why? Because it know it will not work in all business and that it is severely limiting in terms of income potential.

You have nothing but time people. For God's sake, learn to prospect too. And good luck. - by Gold Calling
Yes Gold...it took training...but I can be trained till the cows come home and if I don't use that training it is worthless. You have to get out and make the calls to overcome the fear. You have to face a fear to overcome it. - by MPrince
This is actually something I know quite a bit about..

Didn't the term Gold Calling come from the 70's? I've always heard the term prospecting for gold and gold calling from the days I started selling... that was for cemetary lots and funeral plans back then, but did you invent that term back then?

Irrelevant... cold calling is something that I understand explicitly. The fear of cold calling comes from, IN MY OPINION, not knowing what to say. Cold calling requires a positive attitude of the outcome. It also requires an understanding of the logistics of making phone calls and personal calls. There are problems with phonecalls in that there are too many lists out there now days and some neighborhoods get really bombarded with phone calls from the likes of me... I digress...

Phone calls are simple arithmatic to sales. I know of a recent blitz that netted an average of 100 calls per appointment. That is shocking, but it is a real number. The sales from each of those one appointments almost was pathetic... for what it took in that blitz (this was a blitz generated on behalf of one of Americas most easily identified companies). 6 appointments netted two follow-ups both of which netted sales. The commissions from these two sales amounted to roughly $1,000. Lets see... 600 calls, $1,000, $1.30 a call. Gold! Dismal and not worth the time.

Enter in a new script, some rehearsal, and calls made with a trainer from actually 200 miles away via conference calling. The next 60 calls netted roughly 10 appointments which netted approximately the same commissions... 60 calls and $1,000 now is roughly $13.00 a call.... almost makes it worth it, but not quite... has to go to $26 a call to be worth it... so its either better results with appointments or learn how to sell better once you get in the door.. two different problems... getting more appointments didn't seem to be too doable sooo...

But here is what I've learned about cold calling... do it is right. Do it right is necessarily right too... and here is where training, rehearsal, and mentoring I believe is crucial. Have the recruit make calls with a mentor.. a conference call that is, so they can witness the process and the mentor can himself also witness the interactions of his recruit and the callee... Taping these if possible is possibly illegal, but useful for critiquing and critiquing is crucial, crucial, crucial.. almost like location.

Alohal.... - by rattus58
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