Prospecting: Is it time to try something other than cold calls?
  • sales
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Prospecting: Is it time to try something other than cold calls?

We don’t know too many salespeople who actually like cold calling. Most would rather go to the dentist than dial the phone and call a list of names. (No wonder all those recruiting ads promise “no cold calling.”)

Back in Sales 101 you probably heard cold calling comes with the territory and “if you want to be succeed in this business you need to cold call, blah blah…..”

Cold calling may be a necessary part of how you sell your product. But it doesn’t have to be the only way you find prospects.

Make a new plan, Stan…
Depending on what you’re selling, there may be more efficient ways to generate new business – or at least create some alternative lead channels to supplement the ones you uncover with your cold calls.

Some of these ideas may work for you:

  • Launch a campaign with e-mail. It’s important to start with a manageable list and personalize your message. Make it feel like you wrote them each individually. That way it won’t feel like spam. Send three or four e-mails spaced a few days apart, and ask outright for a response. Few will respond, but those who do are your hottest leads.
  • Zero in on your best market. Not all buyers are created equal. Look for those in industries where you’ve had the most success in the past. Consider setting up micro-segments, covering 20-100 prospects at a time. That will allow you make your communication seem more personal.
  • Hold an online event. This is a step up from Sales 101, but it could be the worth the effort. Remember that you’re the expert, and know the subject matter better than anyone who will be attending. Gear the topic to the top issues in your target market. You might share lessons learned and recommendations based on past client projects (without mentioning them by name). Offer to send listeners a deliverable, like a checklist, that will identify hot prospects vs. warm leads.
  • Use social media and articles to get exposure. You want your target prospects to view you as a “go-to” resource in your industry. Social media like LinkedIn can help with this, along with short how-to articles posted online. This will keep you top of mind with your market and build your personal brand, so they will think of you first when they need the kind of help you provide.
  • Link your e-mail, social media, events and articles together to stay in regular contact with your predefined micro-segments. Without going overboard or turning into an e-mail pest, you can run a campaign over, say, six weeks, that will generate new leads in the process.

Of course, it’s good to be great at cold calling. But there are other ways to skin the prospecting cat nowadays. Try a variety of ideas to see what works.

At the very least, consistent exposure will build awareness for you and your organization. And, when prospects have a need, they’ll reach out. That’s so much better than disrupting their day with a cold call.

Source: From a post by Kendra Lee. For more, visit

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