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A Cold Call Lesson I learnt the hard way

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I spent a little bit of time this month calling some businesses to discuss some training that we are holding. Being an analytical person I had to keep track of some things.

So out of 30 calls made, I managed:

  • To speak to 1 person directly.
  • 3 people I left a voicemail asking for a call back.
  • 6 people I was told to call them back.
  • And a massive 20 I asked for a call back.
  • I had 1 person I had called who had recently passed away.
  • And 1 call (admittedly only 1) where someone was frankly not very pleasant. Oh and did I mention that these people are in the Business to Consumer market?

Maybe I should take a look at improving my cold calling skills (it's not something I specialise in and – hey, we all have areas to improve on), but I did actually find this quite astounding. Truly astounding! And it led me to think of several things.


-         We are all very, very busy people. But what with? I wonder, if you were to analyse the day into what you did and what was really necessary and the time spent – what we would find? So many meetings …so many meetings! When you couple this with the fact that 50% of UK office workers think that meetings are a waste of time, this is quite a frightening scenario. 66% of people I called were in a meeting.

-         The lack of 'call backs' was amazing! More than 2/3rds of people didn’t call back. So that makes me think why?

  • Okay, so they didn’t know me, is that justification?
  • They may have not got the message (oh dear).
  • They got the message and just forgot to do it – (hey stuff happens).
  • They didn’t like the sound of me or my company so decided not to call.
  • They just couldn’t be bothered.
  • They had in their mind more important things to do.

-         How do we get business done at that kind of rate of contact? Yes, maybe they were not looking for my services, nor interested or maybe they perceived they had no time, but what if I was wanting to buy something, would it still be the same? How do they know that I wasn't looking to be their next big customer?

Lots of “learns” for me I guess – but the most notable –

- Make a very special effort to call everyone back. Yes – I haven’t always done it – but from now on in it will be a focus of mine.

- The old nutshell of treat others as you wish to be treated is so true.

- Call them back - you just don’t know what it may bring, or cost you if you don’t, and actually – it is just really quite rude.

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Published on 19/05/2013 by Emma Harle.

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