Thursday, April 28, 2005

Should Professional Service Firms Cold Call?

Call someone that you’re certain could use your services and ask them if they’d be open to talking with you. It sounds easy enough; it should work just fine, right? NOT! Cold calling evokes reaction and emotion in the person you’ve contacted that is exactly opposite of anything you’d like them to feel.

Success in professional services is based on building trust-based relationships between people. Is it reasonable to expect great relationships if I make people defensive and suspicious the first time they meet me?

In real life we are all conditioned by experience to be defensive in ‘selling’ situations. As you stroll into a car dealership and see the sales person walking your way, what do you feel? As you walk through a trade show you pause just long enough for a booth worker to catch your eye and they’re now about to start talking; what are you feeling? You answer the phone in your office and the caller asks if you have a minute for them to ask you a few questions; What are you feeling?

I suppose that good relationships have come from bad starts but I would bet it’s rare. In the very first few seconds of any cold call, the person you called IS thinking that you don’t care about them… you only care about getting their work (you’re greedy).

Now isn’t that a nice start to a long and happy union. NOT!

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