I think they are called “cold” calls because they can send shivers up your spine. Both doing them and getting them.
Sometimes cold calling can seem like such a waste of time. Conventional wisdom in the sales fraternity is that it is a best a last resort as I myself have promoted. You could see it ‘cold calling’ as a failure of marketing. My online sales mentor, Geoffrey James of Inc’s ‘Sales Machine’ embraces this failure and takes a more sanguine view of the tactic…
- “After each cold call, take the time to celebrate. Why celebrate? Either you moved the sale forward into a conversion (Yay!) or you eliminated a false lead from your list (Yay!). Strive to make every call, better than the previous one… not in terms of its outcome (you have little control over that) but in terms of your attitude, and your ability to express that positive attitude during the call.”
I would say that the key to cold calling is relevance. A random call trying to flog is as likely to succeed as putting a fishing line in the lake with a hook and no bait. I make a fair number of cold calls in my business. But they are always predicated on some very specific information about the target customer that means they might be interested in what I have to say. It is the same principle as automated web page ads. When they are not relevant to you, they seem an annoyance. But when one pops up that concerns something of great interest, then you are delighted to have the information pushed to you.
James captures the spirit I need in some sales positions I am hiring for at the moment. If you know of any outstanding sales talents out there at the start of their career (it is a junior position) who wants to join a team that has all of the innovation, creativity and empowerment that embracing failure fosters, then point them my way.