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Perception IS Reality

By Ryan Sauers

About Ryan

Ryan T. Sauers is president of Sauers Consulting Strategies and spent nearly 20 years leading printing and promotional product companies prior to founding the firm. The organization consults with printing and promotional product related companies across the country, helping them grow the front end of their organization. Sauers is working on his Doctoral degree in Organizational Leadership and is the author of the top-selling book “Everyone Is in Sales”, with another book in the works.  He is a Certified Myers Briggs Type Indicator and DiSC Practitioner and Certified Marketing Executive. Ryan writes national feature articles and speaks at national conferences on such topics as sales, marketing, communications, leadership, organizational strategy and social media. He is also an adjunct university professor. More info at

Cold Calling is Giving Me a Headache

Ok, it is just a guess, but I am thinking some of you have been pulled into this blog post by the title. Well, good, then it worked. After all, this blog is “perception is reality,” so that was my idea. So, you ask, why is a person who consults on sales for a living complaining about cold calls? Good question.

First, I am not suggesting that I do not like to prospect, that I do not like teaching others to prospect, or that I think calling via phone is the only way to prospect. For the record, I enjoy prospecting and teaching people to get better at this as well. So, you ask, what is giving me a headache?

The salespeople who keep cold calling me, during the day, all day.

This past week I have spent more time working from my home office, which just had a new phone service installed. My guess is that my number just became fair game to a million of my closest, annoying pests—oops, I mean telemarketing salespeople. So, what has pushed my buttons and what can we all learn from it? Let’s dive in.

1) Most of them have had no clue of who they are calling. They don’t have the correct company name (Sauers Consulting) or for that matter know if they are calling a person or a business. As an example, I got a call that (and I am not kidding) said, “Can I speak to Mr. or Mrs. Consulting.” I had some fun with that. I asked them which one they were looking for, Mr. or Mrs. Consulting? They were silent and then said they were not sure. I told them Mrs. Consulting was out but could get back to them. More silence. True story.

2) I got a call the other day from someone selling refrigerator and other promotional magnetic items. They must have gotten my name from some of the conferences I speak at. However, this person did not ask for me if it was a good time or if I was even able to talk...and instead went right in to a “cold call robotic script.” They sounded like a robot. I was about to cut them off but decided to have some fun and listened. Ninety seconds later, I was still silent and they were still talking. They finally asked me if I would like to take advantage of their special magnet sale. Sorry folks...I could not resist. I asked them what magnets were and what they did? Again, silence.

Here is my point. Please make your calls count. Take time to prepare and know who you are calling. Know how to pronounce his/her name. Always begin each call by asking if you have caught the person at a convenient time. Also, get to the point in 17 seconds or less. Finally, be sure whatever you are sharing is focused on them and is of value to them. Sales are no longer just a numbers game. Instead, sales are a quality numbers game. We must make each customer count. We must make each experience valuable. And, each one of them is worth the extra care.

So, if you are still “dialing for dollars” and cranking out as many calls as you can a day without a strategy, do me a favor. PLEASE, STOP. Otherwise, you are one step closer to being Mr. or Mrs. Consulting or the magnet person. And who needs this type of headache?

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