Cold Calling or networking?

Most sales professionals seem to subscribe to one or two prospecting strategies. It seems that those who prefer cold calling spend very
little time networking and vice versa. Is one better than the other? People who are afraid of cold calling will think networking is the key – however, if they’re not an effective networker, then it is just a big waste of time, but allows them to think they are busy.

Than there’s the people who want to sit in the office on the phone cold calling (yes they really do exist), but more often than not, they don’t have a solid plan for their prospecting efforts and they will think that leaving a message on a voice mail is a cold call. Both of these people believe they are busy in their prospecting efforts, but without a plan, neither one is coming up with results that will hit the bottom line.

Personally, I believe in an integrated strategy that involves both networking and cold calling. Asking for referrals, joining and getting involved in professional organizations and cold calling all have worked for me. I like networking in particular, because it helps me develop referral partners, which is not possible in cold calling. Using my connections to connect to their connections is what most effectively works for me.

Achieving success with cold calling is all about maintaining perspective. Too often people approach cold calling with the idea that they want to see results now. They end up abandoning the activity because they don’t feel like they are making any progress. The truth is, with cold calling you can fill your pipeline in a few days with qualified prospects as opposed to networking which usually
results in a long term investment of your time. So which is best for your business, quantity, quality, both?

Whether it’s networking or cold calling, the shotgun approach to prospecting does not provide you with the ability to become consistent in your performance. If you’re constantly trying something different every time you’re prospecting, you’re never allowing yourself the opportunity to become skilled in using a certain system. Try, systemizing your approach. Try making a plan!

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~ by Grande & Associates, LLC on July 13, 2011.

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