The chilling effect of cold calls (part 1)

Posted: July 2, 2009 in Uncategorized
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Telemarketers’ “cold calls” aren’t just annoying.  They’re bad for business.   How bad?  Read on.

Ridding ourselves of such calls at home has been a hot issue for years.  Small wonder.  They’re intrusive and generally annoying, but there are remedies. At work, it’s a slightly different story, but the interruptions are no less irritating.  At home they’re an inconvenience.  At the office it’s an economic issue.  They can cost your organization thousands because they eat up time.  The full cost may surprise you.

Yes, there are managers whose job descriptions call for being current on new technologies, products and services, especially if they boost productivity or create a competitive edge. So a vendor hawking one of them may be worth a conversation. But, generally speaking, are unsolicited conversations with vendors useful?  Or are most of these calls the telephonic equivalent of unwanted “junk” mail (only more harmful to productivity)?

“Our approach to selling is very personal and very much focused on relationships we already have,” said Robbie Forkish, co-founder of Network Equipment Technologies and currently the founding CEO of Cloud Compliance.  “But the reality is that many vendors, large and small, in their eagerness to reach out, don’t always do their basic homework.”

Business-to-business telemarketers made about 36 billion cold calls last year and the number will increase in 2009. This amounts to 600 calls for every single business entity in America.  Of course, the bigger and more prominent the target, the more cold calls it will receive.  An  I.T. executive we know at a large insurance company got about 100 calls per week in 2008.

So, you say, just put them into voicemail, right? Consider this: B2B telemarketers are trained to leave at least seven voicemail messages before they give up, according to telemarketing consultant Holcutt Associates.  Deleting unwanted voicemail messages just compounds the problem.


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