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A Little Discipline Goes a Long Way

By: Pat Morrissey, Sales Manager

8 Reasons why cold calling should be pre-scheduled rather than an afterthought.

Although we live in an on-demand world, people still tend to perform their best when following a scheduled routine This is especially true when we look at the little things we do that contribute to our success. Just pick your favorite sports legend (LeBron James, Tom Brady, Stephen Curry, etc.) and you will undoubtedly find someone whose success is the result of many years of following a scheduled routine of practice and conditioning. Without a doubt, telephone prospecting falls into this category for salespeople. Although cold calling is often unpleasant and we rarely, if ever, “close the big deal” when we do it, most salespeople and sales leaders would agree that it needs to be done to bring success. Because cold calling can be unpleasant and results typically take a long time to materialize, it is very tempting for salespeople to put it to the back of the list to “get to it later.” Below are the top 7 reasons why salespeople should avoid this pitfall by pre-scheduling their phone prospecting sessions.

  1. Preparation: How many times have you planned on spending an hour to make some cold calls, only to find that the hour has ended before making your first call. You have spent the entire hour building your list, modifying your script or handling other items that have nothing to do with prospecting. By getting everything ready ahead of time, you’ll get more done in a shorter amount of time.
  2. Focus: You are unavailable during other pre-scheduled activities, such as demos, proposal reviews, 1 on 1’s, etc. Why not dedicate some time to finding more business? The world isn’t going to end in an hour. To paraphrase Stephen Covey, don’t let something that is urgent and unimportant take priority over something that is very important -- finding new business!
  3. Mental Preparedness: Don’t waste valuable prospecting time to “getting your head in the game”. By scheduling ahead of time, you will be mentally prepared the moment you start.
  4. Time Discipline and Accountability: I always feel more confident that something is going to get done when the task at hand is scheduled. Ever hear a contractor tell you that they “will come by to fix it sometime this week”? You demand a specific day and time from them, why not from your salespeople, or yourself? If your software/service provider does not offer an online scheduling system that encourages scheduling discipline what else they are not offering? Scheduling discipline is not something you can ignore, seek alternatives.
  5. Synergy/Team Building: Scheduling prospecting activities as a group can add fun and learning to an otherwise difficult task. Although I have been in sales for many years, I still learn from hearing my colleagues make calls. It’s also a lot easier to deal with rejection when the team is together and we can laugh about it.
  6. Competition: By scheduling group dialing sessions (“blitzes”) with built-in challenges or contests, you will get more out of your salespeople and increase morale. Just as horses like to run, salespeople are competitors by nature and will give their best in an environment of friendly competition.
  7. Zen: By scheduling your prospecting, you will not only ensure that it gets done, you’ll also free yourself from having to think about it. Just like you didn’t dread schoolwork on Saturday morning when you were a kid, you won’t dread cold calling when you schedule your sessions ahead of time. You just need to show up and make calls when the time comes, and things are never as bad as they seem once you start doing them. Not to mention that most people perform better with a relaxed and positive state-of-mind. I know that I sure do!
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About the ConnectLeader B2B Sales Blog

The ConnectLeader B2B Sales blog is written to share productivity tips, tools, news, and other information relevant to managers and senior executives interested in B2B sales productivity, demand gen, inside sales, sales operations, and business development issues.

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