Why Traditional Cold Calling Doesn't Work

by Jacques Werth, Founder of High Probability Selling.  © 2004

Most people who use the term "Cold Calling" believe that all telephone prospecting is "cold calling."  As the name implies, you call each prospect only once, trying to sell your way into an appointment.  It's the kind of prospecting that most salespeople do, and usually hate to do.

What's wrong with traditional cold-calling?

Prospects don't like to be cold-called any more than you like calling them.  Because you're pushing so hard for an appointment, they feel wary and defensive.  As a result, they push back angrily, they refuse to give you an appointment, and you feel rejected.

Perhaps, if a prospect sounds "interested," you will try a second call, and try again to sell an appointment.  Most prospects don't want you to call them again, and will reject your request for an appointment, again.  Therefore, few prospects will get that second call, and even fewer a third call.  If you do get appointments with reluctant prospects, you'll only close a small percentage of them.

REAL Prospects Really Buy!

A High Probability Prospect (HPP) is someone who needs, wants, and can afford to buy your product or service, now.  There are more HPPs than you can ever find the time to meet with — yet most salespeople don't know they exist.

High Probability Prospecting

In the HPP process, the objective is to determine whether each person you talk to wants what you're selling, now.  Each call takes an average of 35 seconds.  They either want to buy, or they don't.  If they don't, just say "Okay, good bye," and call the next prospect.  Those who don't say "Yes" today are more likely to say "Yes" the next time that you call.  Most of those who say "Yes" without being persuaded, will also buy without being persuaded.

Warm Calling

In High Probability Prospecting, we call our prospecting list every three to four weeks.  After the initial call, each time you call a prospect is a "warm call."  Each time you call your targeted prospecting list, you'll get better results than the last time you called that list — if you're not trying to sell appointments.  Most sales are made to people after they have heard numerous High Probability prospecting offers.

People become HPPs in their own time, for their own reasons.  It's seldom because you convinced them that they have an urgent need for your product or service during a prospecting call.  Just because you want to sell now doesn't mean that a prospect wants to buy now.

Referring to the High Probability Prospecting process as "cold calling" is inaccurate.  The vast majority of calls you make in HPP are "warm" calls.  The HPP process has rendered Traditional Cold Calling techniques obsolete.

Get Results from Cold-Calling and Prospecting

The High Probability Prospecting process is revealed in our book "High Probability Selling."  High Probability Prospecting is taught by certified High Probability Selling instructors (see our sales training workshops and private coaching programs).  They assist you in customizing the process for your products and services.