Not so, says Tom Scully, sales consultant and owner of a Sandler Training franchise in Chagrin Falls, though he admits the practice is evolving.
“Is the act (of cold calling) dead? No,” he says. “But millennials are inundated with all the social media … and they’ll use those vehicles instead of actually picking up the phone.”
He says that in the last six months his company has received only about two cold calls.
So what’s taking its place?
Cold emailing, Scully says.
“It’s easier to email through email blasts,” Scully explains, adding that he doesn’t “necessarily subscribe” to the concept over cold calling.
He recommends small business owners still use cold calling to prospect new clients. He says to get a strong cold calling presence—in other words, a talk track. Scully says this needs to be a 30-second commercial that has impact and spawns interest. A good talk track will take a prospective client from having no interest whatsoever to engaging interest within the 30-second time frame, he says.
“Inside that 30 seconds you want to put things that can feasibly be missing in that person’s world,” he says.
The same goes for cold emailing, Scully says. Ask yourself: What are the top three issues that someone would want to correct if he or she purchased my product? Answer this in the printed word, he says. Your product or service is the answer.
Joe Jurevicius, the former Cleveland Browns wide receiver and current co-owner of WashClub Cleveland, said boot leather is one focus of his business, and the staff works every day to make those old-fashioned sales calls—“but in the least annoying way possible,” he says.
“We try to quickly express our respect and understanding for how busy people are today,” he says. “Luckily for us, we are not selling a complicated product. We keep everything as quick and simple as possible. Even for large corporations laundry should not be complicated.”
When it comes to making those cold calls and emails, Jurevicius says he doesn’t get disheartened if he hears or reads “no” and encourages other small business owners to feel the same.
“When trying to sell and you hear the word no, take it as a win,” he says. “A no is better than a hang up. If they are taking the time to say no in a phone call or email we take it as they have at least some interest.”