The bane of existence for most people when they think of getting into sales, “cold calling” is the thing that keeps many good people away from the profession of sales. The question almost everyone asks, “Do I have to do cold calling?”
As well, there is a wave of thought that believes the era of cold calling is dead. Networking is the way to get successful in sales. That is where you make all the big sales. I cannot deny that. Often the senior people will not accept cold calls and the only way to meet them, connect with them, and build a relationship with them, is initiated in a networking avenue. Or it comes from a referral from someone else.
In building a sales territory or book of business, in many instances it is a must to network. People are busy running just to stay ahead today. To land the “big fish”, you need to network and meet people away from the traditional business avenues.
However, is cold calling dead? I think that depends on who your client is. If your client, or target market, consists of primarily senior people, you better get out the networking suit and hit the events.
But if your potential client base is the “average Joe”, or “Josephine”, then going to networking functions may not reach everyone. Senior people network, sales people network but most people don’t. So if your client is going to be the average mid level manager, intermediate decision maker, I believe you still need to hit the streets.
I agree that the day of walking in on a company and expecting to meet the decision maker is long past but walking up and down the street, obtaining contact info, researching the company and then “cold call phoning” to book appointments, is still a very effective way to build your business.
Is cold calling dead? I think it depends on your target market. But for some, it is still a critical component to being successful. You just need to suck it up, go out and do it.