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Cold Calling Techniques: That Really Work Paperback – 3 Jul 2007
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"The book every CEO needs to read."--Mark Cuban Recommends "Inc.com "
About the Author
Stephan Schiffman (New York, NY) has trained more than 500,000 salespeople at such firms as At&t, Chemical Bank, and Aetna/Us Health Care. Schiffman is president of D.E.i. Management Group. He is the author of such bestselling books as Closing Techniques (That Really Work!) and The 250 Sales Questions to Close the Deal.
Top customer reviews
I hate cold calling and as I have to do a fair amount of it, I thought I would seek advice. Schiffman's book is full of good advice, interesting anecdotes, and provides you with easy-to-implement guidelines on how to improve your calls-to-appointments ratio.
The first person I got through to after reading the book and preparing a script agreed to a meeting straight away. Unlike the other reviewer who was very scathing about the golf analogy, I happen to think it a perfect for the cold call environment - it is basically saying if you carry on as you are (hitting the ball/cold calling) you will get some appointments/hit some fairways. However if you are trained properly, and are prepared to stick at it, no matter how uncomfortable you feel at the beginning, your performance will increase dramatically.
I actually bought this and "Telemarketing, Cold Calling and Appointment Making: How to Win Business Through the Telephone (Easy Step By Step Guides): How to Win Business Through the Telephone" - if you ask me, Schiffman's book is far, far superior.
For anyone that does a lot of cold-calling, is open-minded enough to admit they can improve, and is prepared to follow the advice through the painful change process, then I recommend this book wholeheartedly.
It's not a script, it's a client centred approach using common sense business langauge. It's not American-only, it works in a UK market (see figures above) and it beats several other approaches I have tried (before and after using this one).
On the strength of this book, I bought Schiffman's '25 Sales Habits...', which is also a short read with some good tips.
Buy 'Cold Calling Techniques...', use it, see your figures improve.
I once spent three years researching cold calling methods and techniques. The reason? I was useless at it. I was a pretty good salesman but when it came to picking up the phone..... I bought just about every book on the subject. I was in regular communication with academics in the UK and the USA who were doing cutting edge research into it. I had sets of audio and video tapes. I still have a pile of books over 6 feet high on the subject.
I discovered a number of things. Much of the material was duplicated (stolen?) from other authors. Well over half the books were of absolutely no value at all. Ignoring those books that basically encouraged you to lie, many others contained scripts that were simply incredible, written by people who had never made a cold call in their entire life. Others would have the immediate effect of peeing off a potential client with objection handling methods that were so "clever" they just made people more irritated.
The academic research was far more interesting. It was based on cold hard facts. Calls were made using different scripts that were deemed to be the finest ever written, and the results recorded very exactly. The principal finding was that the "perceived wisdom" of the time was simply plain wrong. Worse still, many of the techniques so clever thought of, actually made things worse. One very definite finding was that if you need to make cold calls it is 100% essential to use a script, and keep using that script to the letter.
In the end I found just one single book that helped me and my entire team. The author was Bill Good, and the title "Telephone Selling Techniques That Really Work". I think it's out of print now but you can still get secondhand copies. The main reason it worked was because anybody could use it successfully. Nobody had to remember 1001 ways of handling objections. Nobody had to say something they didn't feel comfortable with. Not only the whole sales team used it, and enjoyed using it, but the whole support team got into it big time. That one £6.99 book transformed our company. Sales went through the roof. And, perhaps most importantly, everybody for the very first time actually enjoyed making cold calls. Even I did.
I'm sorry I've gone somewhat of message but I felt I had to tell this story because for so many people cold calling makes their life a misery. They are forced to say things and follow scripts that can make them feel physically sick and it can ruin their working lives.
Over 25 years I have had the privilege of working with some of the UK's top sales people - top performers from IBM, Burroughs, SAP, Oracle and many others. Some have been so good you would swear they could walk on water. One thing they have all had in common is that they always, absolutely always, use a script that works for them. It's often simple, and they don't deviate from it 99.9% of the time. Many have taken Bill Goods ideas and incorporated them.
I've written too much but it's a subject I'm passionate about. Reviewing my book mountain, built up over years, at a cost of at least £1000, apart from the Bill Good book, the rest are unhelpful at best and none provided any real, serious help. If you really know about cold calling you do it - you don't write about it. Your making so much money doing what you do well it is just not worth the effort to write about it.
And really finally, the conclusion many academics arrived at was that for people with real problems with cold calling, one proven way of fixing it was two sessions of Jungian Analysis, every week, for at least two years. That would set you back a cool £10,000.
This is one of those books that you hear good things about but is a dissapointment.