April 19, 2023

#75 - Cold Calling... Does it work?

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Making ‘cold calls.’ Everyone talks about it. Everyone has tips and tricks. And lots of people promise results. But does cold calling work? And should you be doing it?

In this quick episode, Brendan and Bob dig into the pros and cons of picking up the phone and calling people that you don’t know. You may not like what you hear (or maybe you will), but it will save you valuable time and effort. To learn more about B2B sales and get regular updates, sales tips, templates and other resources, sign up for Brendan's newsletter here. And to purchase Sales Craft: Proven Tips, Practices and Ideas to Advance your Sales Success, click here.


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Hey Bob, guess what? 

I'm on the edge of my seat, what Brendan?

Could it be?

It's another episode. 

It's another episode of Let's Chat Sales. 

Let's Chat Sales!

And for this quick episode, we're gonna talk about what happens when people don't answer their


or let's talk about why it is that people don't answer their phone.


Can I set this up real quick? 



So I'm having this situation. 


I have someone that I've hired to make calls from my company. 


And they are calling a number of business numbers. 


They are not getting people answering the business phone number or


They're getting answering machines.


Which is pretty much being thrown into purgatory. 


They're getting hangups. 


Or they're getting, do not call me ever again. 



Makes sense. 

Rarely do they talk to a human being. 



Rarely do they get to actually do what I would call the cold calling. 


So I'm, I'm coming to you with a genuine, help me, help me. 

I don't know that I'm gonna have a lot of help for you here because

I think we're in a world where people don't answer their phone unless they know who the person. 

I just don't know that cold calling works anymore. 

I think we've gotten a point where we've done such a job at eliminating trust in the phone, in the

possibility of a productive phone call.

The only way you have a productive phone call is, 

if it's scheduled or it's someone that you've already established trust with.



I don't know that phone calling someone out of the blue is gonna work. 

And I'm coming to your point of view, but if I have someone making calls for me, would you recommend that they leave a voicemail?

Yeah, a couple decades ago, I would say yes, a decade ago maybe. 

I'm stuck in 2022 right now. 

I know. But today, I gotta tell you, the only value of a voicemail is,

they now can be transcribed and a lot of people can see and read their voicemails as opposed to

listen to 'em.

As a general rule, I don't leave voicemails for anybody, cuz I feel like I'm now burdened them. 

They've gotta go somewhere. 

They've gotta log in and look at something and they're act I'm actually doing them an inconvenience. 

I'm better off sending 'em a text or a voice or an email, so I don't leave someone a message.

Well, that's assuming you have their cell phone, business line, 

you're not gonna leave a voicemail to, or you're not gonna leave a text message usually. 



And then again, this is a little bit like in the category of spam.

I sort of think the the days of calling someone out of the blue are just, I think they're behind us.

So what does that mean for a founder? 

It means that I think that the way when you go about doing any kind of marketing, the possibility that someone might read an email is still there. 



But, I think the more and more, and this is not my idea, this is like Seth Godin and others.

Is that you really have to develop some level of trust for them to want to invest time in some

interruption because what you're doing is you're basically interrupting them and, 


So I think you're much better off creating an environment where your email gives them the right to

schedule time with you.

And this is why I go back to this idea of having something like Calendly or something and saying,

Hey, here's what we do and here's a link if it fits what you do.

And you know, set up a five or 10 minute conversation. 

And the idea is, can someone afford, can someone afford five or 10 minutes? 


But not 30 and certainly not an hour.

And so if you're gonna ask someone to invest time with you, 

you have to make the offer very compelling. 

And I think you have to make the exit for them really easy. 

Oh, you know, you asked for 10 minutes. 

Here's 10, we're up to 10 minutes, I gotta go. 



If it's compelling, then you'll figure out some way to say, listen, we only offer, you know, we set aside 10 minutes.

I don't wanna waste your time.

If you'd like to talk more, we can book another time or we can keep going. 


But I wanna be conscientious and courteous of your time. 


Yada yada. 


That make sense? 

Do you think this will have a showing effect on the ability of companies to grow?

No, I think growth is independent of whether or not someone answers their phone. 


I think they'll still wanna grow. 

I think they're just gonna be much more selective about how they get the information 

and the sort of interruption they're gonna tolerate right from somebody else.

It's much easier these days for people to find out about you. 

And learn a lot about you through LinkedIn and what your presence on Twitter or Facebook or

what have you 

and what's on your website and whatever, and your podcast and 


Those sorts of things. 

And get a feel for whether or not you're the kind of person they wanna work with.

And so I think that this whole content forward kind of strategy is at some level, you know,


The one thing I would say is, is that in my experience, that whole content engine approach can be

a monster to feed. 

You know, it's the beast. 

You have to keep feeding. 

And so in some ways, I think if you have some description, some in-depth, thoughtful description about who you are.

That someone can get a real good feel for you on a website or in a thought paper or on your

LinkedIn profile, that may be enough and you may not have to feed the monster as much, 

but I think people have to find a way to figure out if you're worth talking to, and then you have to

make it really easy for them to set up time to talk to you.

That's the way I look. 


That was helpful.

I appreciate that. 


Does that make sense?

It makes sense. 

It's disappointing, but I think it's probably the reality. 

Well, here's the thing that I find like with phones nowadays is like, for example, my iPhone, 

if someone calls me and your phone number's not in my address book, it doesn't ring.

I can't even answer the call.

It just goes right to voicemail.

It goes to some...

Well, you've set that up to do that. 

Yeah, but I mean, I think a lot of people have done that.

And if I have a call with a customer, an existing customer, I almost invariably schedule 15 minutes

or 30 minutes with them.

I very seldom call someone out of the blue now.


It's just the odds of them picking up the phone are tough.

I will say also is that, historically, I've been pretty good at getting along well with the administrative


but again, this is another thing that's largely going away.

It's not that many people that have an administrative person 

or you don't say secretary anymore, but someone that that kind of manages them and kind of a



Gatekeeper of sorts. 

And so, even that, I mean, not only does the person answer their own phone, they don't answer

their own phone anymore.

It goes right to voicemail. 

It goes into the abyss that you talked about early, right? 



So very much so, yes. 

Oh, well this is disheartening. 

So Brendan pump me back up with the movie recommendation. 


Well you mentioned it the other day.

Another movie Tar. Right. And this is with with, Cate.

Kate Winsley. 




Yeah, right. 

You're right. 


Yeah, I'm looking it up. 


So, it is right. 

I'm looking as we speak, Cate Blanchett. 

You're right.



So, yeah, Cate Blanchett and she is a conductor of a very prestigious symphony. 



I think I had heard somewhere that it was loosely modeled on the Marin Alsop. 

The Marin Alsop the Baltimore Conductor Baltimore. 

I don't know if that's true or not. 

It's not that if, I don't know if it's that.

If it is, and if it is, it's not that complimentary. 

In some ways and long story short, she's fan, she's phenomenal in it.

Blanchett is phenomenal. 

It's long, it's two and a half hours long. 

It could easily have been a half hour shorter. 

It's a little, there's some loose ends that are a little weird, but it's not a bad movie, but it's long.

So that's my review. 

I'm not a big fan of long ones.

That's right. 

So, alright.

This is where I'm getting antsy. 

That's right.

Alright, so Bob, I think that's it for this one. 

I think we beat the crap out of it. 

Whoa, you, we did. 

You disappointed me. 

But then you brought it back with the movie review. 

Very good. 

All right. 

Until next time, Bob.

We'll do this again, sometime. 

You bet. 

Why not? 

Let's do it. 

Alright, see you. 


See ya.

That was another episode of Let's Chat Sales a quick one, of course. 

And I hope it was helpful. 

And if it was please like, and subscribe and more importantly, share it with your friends.

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It's probably good. 

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