The Evolution of Cold Calling: Understanding The Biggest Paradigm Shift in Prospecting

Cold calling is getting a bad reputation. In B2B situations, the best sales training teams are replacing cold calling with Smart Calling or Intelligent Calling.

The latter is defined as the use of a combination of sales and marketing communication channels (i.e., the web, phone, video, physical mail, email, advertising, etc.) to gain Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action (AIDA). The difference today is that, for a salesperson to become more effective, each of these sales enablement strategies need to be combined.

Of course the best approach will always be where the prospect responds and the end result is a sale. Using research is vital if it can be used  to build a compelling and targeted message a prospect will relate and respond to. (By research I mean data from a variety of sources including client interviews, interviews of non-decision-makers who work at a prospective client’s company—not just the Internet.)

Cold Calling is not really going away. Rather, it is changing into a combination of social selling, phone prospecting and the use of a variety of channels in an effort to reach the prospect. The idea is to find out where the prospects “hang out” –before you deliver your best sales pitch. Once you’re in the same place, and have a good idea of their situation, then you can start the conversation.

Our job as salespeople is to help prospects buy the way they want to buy, which may not be the way we want to sell. I had a rep in a class insist on dropping off materials to the prospect after the prospect told him multiple times over the phone to please send the information first for review by their committee. The end result…no to dropping off the materials…no meeting…no sale.

A good approach—once you have narrowed your target market and defined your decision-maker’s persona—is to:

  1. Explore and list the Benefits (faster/slower, easier/harder, less expensively, gain an advantage, avoid a loss or do something better or more effectively) and the Effects a.k.a. the corresponding Results your solutions have produced for your clients.
  2. Tie these Benefits to the corresponding Results (increase or decreases, more or less).
  3. Then try to quantify (in terms of currency, percentages, number of resources) if possible, over a period of time (weeks, months, quarters or years).

This is the basis of creating a compelling message. When relayed to a prospect through a communication channel that appeals to them (visual, auditory or kinesthetic/feeling), it will cause Attention, Interest, Desire and Action if the message is produced and delivered correctly. To sharpen the delivery of this compelling message, access the many sales enablement tools, online sales training platforms, and interactive video training applications to perfect the best sales pitch delivery.

The reality is, what prospects care about is: “What’s in it for me and my company?” The fact is, what prospects really want are solutions that produce results. Whether you use Cold Calling, Social Selling or Intelligent Calling, the secret to the best sales training process is to tailor and deliver your message in a problem-solving or opportunity-causing way that will attract the prospect’s attention and cause them to act upon it.