Not Sold On Cold Calling

Cold Call

“Hey telemarketers: The best way to ensure that I WON’T buy / donate anything is to call me incessantly.”

This Tweet caught my attention this afternoon.  It reminded me that things have drastically changed in insurance sales since the 1980s.

Back then when I got tired of looking busy by moving paper from one side of my desk to the other, I would pull out the white pages of the phone book and make freezing cold calls.  I did not care who I interrupted or what they were doing.  All I cared about was finding 10 people a week who would allow me to come and meet with them.

In the 1990s call waiting technology and state and national Do Not Solicit lists made the practice of cold calling private residences dangerous.  One violation of the Do Not Solicit list could result in a fine of up to $ 10,000.  Cold calling for sales to businesses is a little more acceptable but it is still a tough way to prospect.

In my opinion, if you have to spend time prospecting, you really need to do it in such a way as to cause people to call you when they perceive they have a need for your products and services.One of the oldest maxims in the study of economics is the question, “What’s in it for me?”  When you are making outbound telemarketing calls the one asking, “What’s in it for me?” is perceived to be the sales person.

By developing a solid marketing plan to build your brand, when people in your community need your products and services, they will think of you and call.  Ideally, when they are ready to ask, “What’s in it for me?” you will be able to provide an answer for them.

Some agents are still being trained to “dial for dollars” and make cold telephone calls exclusively.  Others think that social media marketing will mean they never have to initiate a sales conversation.  In my opinion, the truth is somewhere in the middle. 

I don’t believe in interruption marketing techniques.  I find cold calling rude and dated.  On the other hand, I do not believe that an insurance agent can sit back and wait for their internet marketing activities to cause the phone to ring.  There are plenty of Americans who are still not plugged in to the internet.  They will never see your blog or Facebook update.


About The Insurance Barn

Husband of 1, father of 2, health insurance agent and insurance trainer.
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