I get it. If you dial more, you generate more conversations, you schedule more appointments, and you close more deals. This seems like a very practical approach to cold calling, and I don’t even disagree with it. However, too many companies put the greatest emphasis on call volume, and not call quality.
A Low Quality Call
Just recently, I received a cold call from a junior salesperson who should reconsider her approach. When I picked up the phone there was a long pause followed by, “Oh… hi. I didn’t expect you to pick up. Who am I talking to?”
Clearly she had no idea of my name, my firm, how many people were working with me, and her lack of knowledge was obvious. Despite the call being more awkward than a blind date, I can tell you that based off of my 30 seconds of talking to her, this young woman had potential.
I wouldn’t be shocked if she had a manager that was standing over her making sure she made 100+ dials per day, and not overseeing quality of her calls. Additionally, if she really had an understanding of my company she’d know that we weren’t a good prospect for her business.
A Learning Experience
My first real taste of this approach to cold calling was back in my younger days, while I was in an inside sales role. In July, we had a sales contest and I won a $100 gift card, closing eight new deals. To put this in perspective, the salesperson next to me closed zero deals.
Despite this lack of deals closes, the salesperson next to me got a $2,000 bonus and I got a $0 bonus and a trip to the “Principal’s office” (aka my sarcastic way of saying the boss’s office).
While in the office my boss went through my numbers, asking why I was making 40 cold calls per day and averaging three minutes per call. The average was 50 cold calls per day with an average of one minute per call. I explained to her that I closed twice as many deals as the next best salesperson, and that my call time is longer because I was actually reaching people. I was then told, “If you reach somebody, you shouldn’t spend a lot of time with them on the phone. Set an appointment to talk with them at a later date.”
We ended up having this discussion a couple of times before I eventually decided that the position wasn’t the right fit for me and quit.
The bottom line here is that high call volume is important, but never at the expense of low quality calls. Even if it takes up a few extra minutes of your time, approach your cold calling with an understanding that quality can often help cement a deal rather than solely focusing on volume.