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Old 05-06-2004, 01:07 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Psychology of Cold Calling

Yes, I know we all hate telemarketers. Only I HAVE to do it. I cold call businesses looking for the decision makers. Sometimes I get through but most often I don't.

I also get a lot of negativity.

Does anyone else deal with this? How do you handle it?
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Old 05-06-2004, 01:14 PM   #2 (permalink)
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like all things you have to detach from it.

you cannot be emotionally invested even the slightest or it will eventually come out.

usually most people get out of that position before that happens.
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Old 05-06-2004, 01:25 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Ah, yes. In quest of the ever elusive "Decision Maker".

That's me, by the way. Yup, I'm a decision maker.

But, sorry man, I've got me some "Gate Keepers". What's worse, they do a wonderful job of filtering my calls.

Nothing personal, but I'm not going to take a call, if someone hasn't taken the time, to do the research, to find out who...I...am.

Dude, I gotta say, that I feel for ya. Really, I do. I know that it has to be a real son-of-a-bitch, to have to deal with arrogant asses like me all day long. But, I'm still not taking a cold call.

All I can say is...follow Cynthetiq's advice, and keep completely detached from it. Better luck tomorrow.
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Old 05-06-2004, 01:28 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Yup, Gatekeeper -I write that right on my lead card. My trick is to call either during lunch break for the gatekeeper or early in the morning or towards closing time.


The object being that the gatekeeper might be away and someone else will patch me through to the boss.


Sometimes after Hours works too.

Speaking of, why am I here? why aren't I on the phone?
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Old 05-06-2004, 01:42 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Astrocloud
Speaking of, why am I here? why aren't I on the phone?
'Cause I ain't gonna answer anyway. So, ya might as well play. Right?
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Old 05-06-2004, 01:48 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I should also mention that there is a case sometimes that I do get through to the boss and he loves what I have BUT by asking my questions I have to disqualify him. Bill-O I bet I could disqualify you in a Nebraska second.
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Old 05-06-2004, 03:53 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Cold calling is a numbers game. Do your very best on every call, and some small percentage of them will turn into bonafide contacts. And then some small percentage of those will turn into prospects. And then some small percentage of THOSE will become sales. And you'd better price the sale such that it pays for the product sold AND the cost of selling it!
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Old 05-07-2004, 04:02 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Astrocloud
Bill-O I bet I could disqualify you in a Nebraska second.
Heh heh. Nice try, Astrocloud. I gotta give ya credit there.
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Old 01-08-2005, 11:09 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Cold calling is the most lothsome part of my job. I have a client list that is about 2450 peps. I have to stay in touch with all of them on a periodic basis. Finding reasons to call people and talk about business is hard. My goal is to make 100 phone calls daily.

I make 10 phone calls then take a tilted brake and repeat untill I hit that quota. That has been my routine as of late.
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Old 01-10-2005, 02:57 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I call call call. I don't give a crap. I remind myself that THIS isn't really work. I've done WORK, and this isn't it. It's sitting on my ass in a climate-controlled office.

Oh, and I am also one of those decsion-makers you are seeking. And if you don't tell me what you are selling when I ask you, I'll hang up on your ass. And PLEASE don't try to go around me to talk to the owner of the company. I really am the guy who makes the buying decision. Try to go around me, and you will get nowhere.
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Old 01-11-2005, 01:21 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I'm a decision maker, and I've dealt with plenty of cold calls. A few tips for those of you who have to make these calls:

-You have 5 seconds to tell me in no uncertain terms what it is you're selling. If you use vague buzzwords that don't actually tell me anything, such as "we provide solutions that leverage your existing infrastructure to maximize your ROI", I hang up.

-Actually, avoid talking to technical people altogether. We're good at seeing through your bullshit.

I got a call not too long ago from an outfit that claimed they could *guarantee* top placement for any term I wanted when someone searched in Google.

Knowing this is too good to be true based on my SEO experience, I said "Cool! I'm on Google right now, give me an example of one of your clients and some keywords I can use to see them in the #1 spot."

"Uhh, umm, well this service works in conjunction with our special toolbar software."

"Oh I see, so it only works for people using spyware that hijacks their Google searches?"

"Well..It.."

(hang up)
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Old 01-11-2005, 01:31 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I used to do some journalist work for a paper for a while and before that I worked on a phone for a debt managing company. Both of these jobs required me to come in contact with a lot of negativity. At the end of the day I hated it, and I quit both of these jobs. If your really have to do it, then I guess you'll just have to bite your tongue and teach yourself. If you hate the job, and have any prospects for changing, my advice is that you should do so.
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Old 01-14-2005, 10:31 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Yeah cold calling as a journalist is even worse than selling. You say you're a reporter, they're instantly suspicious of you. Luckily, you eventually build up a few trusted contacts, and the days of buttonholing hapless citizens - while never quite behind you - become fewer and further between.
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Old 01-14-2005, 11:32 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flamingdog
Yeah cold calling as a journalist is even worse than selling. You say you're a reporter, they're instantly suspicious of you. Luckily, you eventually build up a few trusted contacts, and the days of buttonholing hapless citizens - while never quite behind you - become fewer and further between.
That is unless you're stuck as a street reporter in a large city, where the people and topics change every, oh, I don't know, 15 minutes, and you're unlikely to write on thesame topic twice in a period shorter than six months
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Old 01-15-2005, 12:00 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Remember, they are not rejecting you, they are rejecting the product, whatever that may be. The rejection has nothing to do with you.
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Old 01-15-2005, 03:36 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I'm a market researcher, so yes I deal with it. Constantly. That's basically all my job is.

The first way I deal with it: I work as little as possible while maintaining some extra income (not the best way of doing it if you need money).

Second way: don't take it personally when they start talking shit to you.

Third way: just be prepared for the rejection.
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Old 01-28-2005, 07:32 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Astrocloud
Yes, I know we all hate telemarketers. Only I HAVE to do it. I cold call businesses looking for the decision makers. Sometimes I get through but most often I don't.

I also get a lot of negativity.

Does anyone else deal with this? How do you handle it?

You can always do what I did:

Find another job

Screw cold-calling...I hated every digit of every number I ever dialed.
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Old 01-28-2005, 08:38 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Well I worked in a collection department at a major mortgage company, key word there is "worked". Collections is kinda like cold calling but in a different sense, you call people who don't want to talk to you AND they owe the business money. A double whammy, which sucked and I found a job that I actually like now and don't have people cussing at me.
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Old 01-30-2005, 05:55 PM   #19 (permalink)
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You could take the Crank Yanker approach and get them to buy your product by making them feel overwhelmingly sorry for you (i.e., talk with in a meek voice with a pittiful studder and act like you have cancer or something).

If it doesn't work for sales, it would at least be comedic.
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Old 01-30-2005, 06:18 PM   #20 (permalink)
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As I run my department (Internet Development) I start sales initiatives when we have some space open for new projects and the tech equipment sales staff isn't focusing on Internet Development sales. And that means when I start an initiative, I make a bunch of calls - just like other staff.

I write up a script and keep it in front of me - even though I only use pieces of it. I figure the ratio to be about 20-to-1 to turn leads into prospects. And maybe one-in-five prospects will become a customer. That means making a hundred calls to create one customer. So I don't expect a lot beyond the fact that it's a numbers game.

The way I see it is that it's something to do between project work. But since I've been doing these calls for years, it's just something else to do during the work day.

I suppose what I'm saying is that if you don't have expectations that are too high, it's a lot more psychologically manageable as far as rejection and "failure" rates are concerned.
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Old 01-31-2005, 09:54 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ratbastid
Cold calling is a numbers game. Do your very best on every call, and some small percentage of them will turn into bonafide contacts. And then some small percentage of those will turn into prospects. And then some small percentage of THOSE will become sales. And you'd better price the sale such that it pays for the product sold AND the cost of selling it!
This is true. A good positive response rate is usually around five percent. That's assuming that some good effort went into making the list, you've just got to accept the fact that the great majority are going to say no, or worse. Just punch through it, keep emotionally detached and things can go very well.

How much control do you have over the marketing, could you warm the calls up with a mailing first? Most of us that make decisions are very aware of our time, and can read an info packet far faster than anyone can run through a sales pitch.

Also keep in mind that decision makers didn't get where they are by being naive or gullable, so sales gimmicks will never work with us, tell it straight and to the point or don't bother.

Final note, pleasant persistence can open doors for you.
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Old 01-31-2005, 05:31 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Man you think that's tough? I used to have a job where I sold insurance door-to-door on cold calls. Getting hostility from people on the phone is one thing, having them sic dogs on you is another! That was by far the toughest job I ever had, and I've done road construction, concrete work, and was in the military.
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Old 02-08-2005, 09:22 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Wow, it's been 6 months since I posted this. Since then I quit the cold calling job only to get another job making cold calls. My new business doesn't encourage cold calls but guess what -my second sales involved a cold call. -I've gotten really good at it and when I'm "in the mood" my percentage goes way up -like 30% or so.

Truthfully my clients were wanting what I had to offer and I represent a very prestigious company. They bought on the spot (also not encouraged at my company) and thanked ME for the business.

Truth is that as long as there are people who haven't heard of every product -there will still be telephone pitchers hawking their wares.
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Old 02-08-2005, 09:50 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SecretMethod70
Remember, they are not rejecting you, they are rejecting the product, whatever that may be. The rejection has nothing to do with you.
I actually reject cold calls period. Until cold callers send me cold hard cash for my time before the phone rings, at a rate I set, I won't be listening to them.

It isn't the product. It is the act, economics and morality of cold calling that I reject.
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Old 02-14-2005, 03:57 PM   #25 (permalink)
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lol.. i used to do that type of shit for almost 2 years.. it was great fun.. no matter how mad someone was at me.. id just be nice and polite and they just seemed to get even more mad.. funny times i tell ya.. for the most part tho businesses weren't all to bad if you weren't pushy with them.. just try to get a time thats good for them.. i found the mornings were the easiest for ppl to do them
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Old 03-01-2005, 07:48 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Can someone explain to me what cold calling is? What are you trying to sell/do? Are they similar to the telemarketers that I hang up on everyday?
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Old 03-01-2005, 10:48 PM   #27 (permalink)
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I had the same question FloydianOne, so I went to the all-knowing Google and got http://www.google.com/search?complet...e:Cold+Calling
So yeah, looks to me like people calling trying to sell stuff... is that right?
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Old 03-02-2005, 06:48 AM   #28 (permalink)
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Cold Calling is calling to sell something without having being solicited to call them.

It is taking someone else's time in order to make a profit for yourself. Such transactions have unpaid for negative externalities, which distorts and damages the economy, and are in my opinion immoral.
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Old 03-02-2005, 07:50 AM   #29 (permalink)
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How are they different from telemarketers, or are they? Sounds kind of like you guys try to call the "big whigs" of companies rather than calling residential homes during my dinner time and interupting my family... etc. etc. am I correct?
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Old 03-03-2005, 11:12 PM   #30 (permalink)
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This is an interesting thread, as I've had some recent experiences involving cold calling. I cold call companies in order to encourage their participation at a university career fair that my organization puts together; unfortunately, we've just started doing career fairs so our contact list isn't very large or well established.

The biggest impediment I find is simply people do not pick up the phone. It makes me wonder what it is that HR or staffing people do all day away from their desks. This forces me to eventually leave a message, which vastly cuts down on the success percentage, since no one wants the extra work of having to call back. Does anyone have any advice for more successful cold calling in this type of situation?
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