Thursday, October 20, 2005

Cold Calling - Kickin' it Old School - it's like hitting home runs or trying to get laid

You are going to strike out a lot in the process

I got the lead on this article from the Recruiting blog and thought it was worthy of a few minutes of my time, despite the fact that it came from Inc. magazine.

48 Hours with the King of Cold Calls

The marketing sophisticates say cold calling is dead -- that it's too expensive, too untargeted, and too ineffective to pay off. Chuck Piola, 15,000 cold calls and one fast-growing company later, disagrees. Center City Philadelphia on a raw winter morning. Chuck Piola bursts out of his black Mercedes singing in full throat (this time it's the Drifters tune "Under the Boardwalk," handled off-key but with feeling) and scans a cluster of skyscrapers. He points to a building with particularly striking architecture. "Let's try that one," he says.
It's the Bell Atlantic Tower, 52 stories tall. He strides quickly through the lobby, carefully avoiding eye contact with the security guards. In the elevator he glances at the buttons and pushes 40, a shot in the dark. The elevator rises, and Piola pops out. Straight ahead is a law firm he's never heard of before.

"I wonder if you could help me out?" he asks the receptionist, opening with his favorite line. "I represent NCO Financial Systems. We specialize in discreet recovery work for companies having trouble collecting receivables. Our clients include Bell Atlantic, a lot of doctors and hospitals, and even the Philadelphia 76ers. I happened to be in your building, and I wondered if I might see whichever partner handles your finances." His tone is upbeat and cordial (continued...)

-While I disagree with some of his ideas/suggestions in the article for building rapport such as discussing sports, office pictures or something of common interest (it is time suck and doesn't get to the meat of the matter), I love the hustle and to me, this is business, going out and hunting down clients and dragging them back to your lair by the hair. If I ran a debt collection business, I would be out doing the same thing. In fact, that could be my next adventure.....

As someone who bounces between wearing a bow tie and dressing like a bum, I know the impression that clothing can make, but Chuck is one of the few people I have come across that recognizes the fact that sometimes you have to have a lot of power to dress like you don't give a fuck. Many of the people I deal with are impressed by expensive clothing and cars, and while I agree the have a positive impact on the wearer/driver's psyche, I know that almost anyone can scratch the money together to lease a Porsche. Just remember, all the world's a stage.......what part are you playing or did you even know your role?

Despite all of the new sales "techniques" that "experts" come up with in order to avoid "touching people", I think the only way to success is to get down and dirty. Take a look at the 50 all time strike out leaders and now take a look at the 50 all time leading home run hitters .......see a little bit of over lap? If you want to succeed, you have to fail (How zen of me, huh?) Why not ask your studliest guy friend how many times he has been turned down by women he has tried to pick up. If he tells you never or not often, he's been lying to you about all of those chicks.


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