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on 6 January 2003
A new salesperson in my job will typically have a calls:appointments ratio of 40:1, I did when I started. Satisfactory performance is 20-25:1, which I got to within a year. I currently have a ratio of 11.75:1 and have had for the last two years as a result of using Schiffman's technique. I saw an immediate improvement from the moment I read and understood what he recommends, and have been able to refine it ever since.
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.
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on 28 February 2001
The fact that this book is short and to the point makes it stand out. It is also very good value for money. I would recommend this to any sales director who needs to push their sales people to make calls. The advice is practical, delivered in a direct manner and can be implemented immediately. This book is more valuable than some of the over priced, over elaborate nonsense available.
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on 2 June 1999
As an experienced salesperson in a new sales post and as such a "virgin" cold caller I was terrified at the thought of failing on the phone. After reading this book my first cold call resulted in an appointment, many more followed after that. You have to believe in the method and also do exactly what the author tells you and, in time, it will work for you.
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on 3 September 2004 might be useful. I don't want to steal the author's fire but the book simple advises you to say "Hi, this is John Smith and from XXX and I'm calling to book an appointment about...". And that's about it. If your industry doesn't suit that sort of 80 calls a day with a 2% hit rate style (ie any industry other than toner refill) then it's of limited use. Too simplistic.
This is one of those books that you hear good things about but is a dissapointment.
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VINE VOICEon 12 August 2013
There's nothing new to be found in this book. In some places it endorses techniques that academics have proved dramatically reduce the chance of a sale.

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.
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on 11 June 2008
Looking at the other reviews here, several of them are overly harsh, cynical even.

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.
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on 11 May 2000
This book has everything anyone in telephone appointment making could wish for. It's clear precise and best of all IT WORKS
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on 18 September 2011
again, another awful sales book by schiffman. there is no value in this book. the basic premise is that by following schiffmans teachings you will get to schedule tons of sales meetings, sadly anyone who works in the real world will understand that there is no value in scheduling tons of sales meetings unless you are speaking to the right people - this book doesn't help you get to the right people, or even try and help you communicate the value of what it is you provide. a complete waste of time and money - utter rubbish...
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VINE VOICEon 21 May 2008
I ordered several of this type of book in the hope of assisting my call centre staff with different techniques and I found this one to be the worst. Some of these self help sales books are so poor that I am thinking of writing one myself as I know I could do much better.

Starts off in the first chapter with the writer talking about his golf swing and how he perfected it. How uninteresting, how typical of an old fat American businessman. I can just see the writer now in his checked trousers and huge belly swinging his clubs and pontificating about himself and how great he is at telesales.

Some of the statements are quite barmy ie to quote 'If you do absolutely nothing you will get 30% of sales, I repeat 'If you do absolutely nothing you will get 30% of sales' Who decided this? in my experience if you do nothing you get nothing? Prospective reader - This is what you will have to contend with in this quite poor book.

All the sales described in the book appear to be to make an appointment and then make a sale face to face at a later date, but in many cases appointments are not made as the sales is closed via the phone. I would say this book is dated in focusing solely on appointments to make a sale. I would hazard a guess that the writer is not able to offer real advice on telesales at all.

Then we have the famous Harvard professor thrown in for good measure, asking "Why do businesses fail?" Lack of Sales!!! How many books repeat that obvious mantra? This book is not worth the money - there are better books out there. This one is rubbish.
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on 14 March 2011
book is reasonably good. I find alot of the things in the book are fairly obvious. This book is for absolute beginners (literally, zero sales experience).

Some of the language in the book is simple, however it is spot on and it makes you really think about the small things you previously disregarded.

Book drifts off topic quite alot and some of his "real life examples" feel like complete fabrications.

At the end of the day, my sales performance has increased, even if marginally, by reading this book, and therefore it could be argued it was worthwhile. However, there are probably better alternatives on the market.

This book has great info on the basic principles of cold calling, and making the initial call(s). If you are looking for something different, I recommend purchasing a different book.
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