Don’t Cold Call

By Bill Farquharson, Sales Vault. Read Bill’s tip below or watch Bill here.

Good morning!

From time to time, I receive an e-mail asking me to contribute to a LinkedIn article. They are trying to build a database of information and advice by feeding the egos of members with a “special invitation seeking your input.” My marketing guru-slash-daughter tells me it can only help, so, at bare minimum, I opened these emails, give them a read, and throw a wisecrack- laced comment back.

I recently received one looking for advice on cold calling. Other authors railed on and on with their advice, pontificating, giving a step-by-step process, and even offering a word for word script.

My input was short and sweet: “Don’t bother. It’s a waste of time to make an unprepared sales call.” I didn’t give LinkedIn any more than that, but I will share my reasons here…

First, the eventual goal of a sales call is to make a profitable sale by solving a customer problem or meeting a need. Cold calls, by definition, are essentially a rep walking in unannounced and unprepared. Why would you do that?

Second, there is only one situation where I would advise a rep to visit a company cold, and that is when they are in the area for another reason and are looking to maximize their time out of the office.

…and that brings me to my third point: Don’t make it a cold call. Make it an information-gathering session. Walk in and say something like, “I like to make educated sales calls. Was in the area and wanted to stop by and learn what I can about you first.” That approach just might put you in front of a decision-maker (ironically, the goal of the cold call!), but will take the pressure off and steer the conversation away from any price-based situation.

I cut my teeth in sales on making cold calls. But that was in the 80s when doors were unlocked and a receptionist was there to greet you. Today, not only is there no need for a cold call, there is virtually no excuse for making one, since there is so much publicly available information to be had ahead of time.

Oh, wait, here is another request from LinkedIn: “What advice do you have for someone looking to improve their time management?” Oh, baby-baby, this one is in my wheelhouse…

“Don’t spend time helping LinkedIn build content.”



And besides, everyone knows the best content for sales reps and selling owners in the graphic arts is found inside The Sales Vault. Go to or call Bill Farquharson at 781-934-7036 for more information.




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