My Wife Hates Cold Calling!

I heard this phrase today and I have heard this several times in the past couple of months.

Would rather iron than cold callThe scenario is husband and wife businesses and it is the wife that does the cold calling. 

She finds it an unpleasant task (a bit like the ironing I suspect) as no matter how much you do there is always more the following week!

In the last two times that I heard the phrase “My wife hates cold calling” I asked why and in both conversations it was because they always get told that they have a supplier for that already, thank you and goodbye.

Three things here that might help the cold-calling wife keep her sanity a little bit longer…


1)  Expectations

Did you really think that a call could be made out of the blue to someone who was not expecting your call, who probably sees the call as an interuption, and who has a supplier already, and that they would switch from them to you on the basis of a quick introductory script? 

It doesn’t usually work like that although sometimes luck and timing plays a part (and the more one practises the luckier one can get!).  But, this is a tough expectation to have when preparing for cold calling as it can lead to feelings of rejection, failure, and demotivation.  This then can come across on the phone.  

So consider re-setting expectations to suit the purpose of the first (cold) call unless there really is an immediate take up required ie; short notice special offer, limited time period etc.

Most of the time a cold call can simply have the expected outcome of just researching the need, qualifying the prospect, introducing the benefits of your company, and generally listening for information on your competitors and opportunities for you. Aim to just obtain permission to send targetted, relevant and appealing information to the decision maker and if you get an appointment as an alternative to that then great.  If not, the follow up call is much more enjoyable as the prospect/decision maker has already had one conversation with you and hopefully will have read some literature or information that you have sent relevant to their need and they will be aware of your company, how you can benefit them and be ready to have a discussion knowing that you are likely to ask for an appointment or order.

2)  It is great that they use someone already!

I am not being sarcastic.  It is great that they use someone already as it confirms they have a need for a supplier similar to you.  The right sort of questions and listening and responding accordingly can get a very powerful dialogue flowing.

Ask what would they improve?  What do they particularly like?  If they could change any aspect of the product or service offered what would it be? What do they think would work a bit better for their particular organisation and clients?

Do your homework and really know your strong points in comparison to your competitors for this particular type of customers so that you can easily refer to these points in the conversation.

3)  Keep A Record

Keeping a record of who you have phoned together with the outcomes of each call can help you plot performance in terms of how many call attempts made, whether a conversation was had with the decision maker, how many agree to receive further information or a follow up call, or how many book an appointment.  In a simple form and in the absence of a CRM system, a 5 bar gate or tick sheet can be used, or even an excel spreadsheet.

This can be motivational as it helps to demonstrate how many call attempts and conversations are required before a need is identified, qualified, and follow up action agreed or appointments booked. It can be used for regular comparisions and realistic expectations.

Hope this helps and good luck.

Cold calling is still better than doing the ironing :)

  • Vorsight

    Great post.

    I agree – in a situation where there is already another vendor or supplier in place, the purpose of your cold call might not be to sell; it might be to just introduce yourself, get on their radar, establish a point of contact, and set up an appointment to speak in the future.

    If the purpose of the call was to only sell, then I can see why the caller would be so disappointed all of the time.

    The salesperson in this case needs to re-evaluate the purpose of the call so that there are clear expectations and less disappointment.

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  • Toni Hunter

    Thanks for the tips and encouragement, however the ironing still looks more attractive – so outsourcing it to a professional has to be the answer – and if you can afford it, outsource the ironing too! :o)

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