Saturday, January 29, 2011

There’s No Such Thing As a Cold Call

Whoever dreamed up the paralyzing phrase “Cold Call” should be shot. Or at least Fired.

“Cold Call” strikes more fear and outright reticence into entrepreneurs than any other phrase I know of.

And that fear is irrational.

I know it is irrational because I keep asking people who use the phrase, “So, tell me please, what IS a Cold Call?”.

No common definition emerges, instead I get a range of responses all the way from “Somebody I have to call” (that is, Everybody!) to “Somebody I’ve never spoken to”, and everything in between.

Let’s analyze those two extremes:

Somebody I Have to Call

You have to call everyone anyway. Postponing the call doesn’t do you any good.

Somebody I’ve Never Spoken to

All the people you currently speak with were, at one time, people you’d never spoken with.

Get used to it.

What to do?

Consider doing what I do – I don’t classify calls as either Cold or Hot. I have learned that my “warm” is someone else’s “cold”, and my “hot” is someone else’s “warm”.

If nothing else that makes it impossible to have a sensible conversation with anyone about cold/warm/hot calls.

Consider instead using a one-hundred degree scale of closeness in a relationship, a bit like the familiar centigrade temperature scale, but geared instead to the relationship you have with someone:




Never spoken with them before


Have had at least one telephone dialogue


Have exchanged (not “sent”, but reciprocated) at least two emails on any topic


Have met face to face


Have had serious discussions about a project for which you will be paid, if it comes off.


You have submitted a proposal


You have received the 50% deposit cheque

You don’t have to adopt my meanings, but you do have to have meanings with numeric quantifiers that are rational against the scale of 0, 10, 25, 50, 75, 90, 100.

Now you aren’t making cold calls, never again!

You are trying to set up a short dialogue (to move from 0 to 10 degrees), or you are setting up a luncheon meeting (to move from 25 to 50).

Talk to Me !

No comments: