If, like me, you hate cold calling, then you’ll love the philosophy of Frank J Rumauskas Jr. The author of “Never cold call again – Achieve sales greatness without cold calling” articulates in his book the many reasons why believes cold calling is a bad way to do business.
In his book, Frank discusses how cold calling, and by extension, selling, is dead in today’s 21st century information age era. Frank lists the main reasons that cold calling doesn’t work any more. These are:
- Cold calling destroys yours status as a business equal
- Cold calling limits your production and earnings potential
- Cold calling makes timing work against you
- Cold calling fails to find the pre-qualified prospects we all need
- Cold calling puts you in a negative light and annoys people
- Cold calling may get you in trouble with the law
- Everyone hates making and receiving cold calls.
I personally hate cold calling – it makes me sick to the stomach thinking about the many reasons why I should call someone who I’ve not pre-qualified beforehand.
So, if selling is out – what is in?
Buying and self marketing. It’s a difficult one to understand at first, but essentially “buying”, as Frank suggests, is the act of willingly purchasing something that someone needs – whereas “selling” is attempting to convince someone to purchase something whether they need it or not.
So, in order to make people “buy”, you need to use self marketing as a way of making yourself credible, trustworthy and ultimately easy to buy from.
Upon reading his book, you’ll notice a lot of parallels with Seth Godin’s “Permission Marketing”; indeed both discuss how “intrusive marketing” is out and how “self marketing is in” and both talk about self marketing as a way of generating business.
Unlike Godin’s book – Frank gives practical strategies and tactics that you can easily put into a system to help turn you from cold calling to self marketing.
Self marketing, as Frank discusses, is about leverage and about scaled down, low-cost, marketing efforts to help promote and market you and your business. These include:
- Use flyers and use a flyer distribution company to make it automatic
- Use email instead of phone, and use auto-responders to make responses automatic. Use video email to get a better response.
- Use direct mail, and sales letters to a prospecting list then follow up via telephone or email.
- Build a website or a blog and keep it up to date and make it easy to understand your products, services, benefits and contact you.
- Use a free newsletter and send prospects free, valuable information.
- Become an authorised expert by writing articles and posting them on your blog, sending them into a newspaper/magazine.
- Write your own PR pieces, or hire a PR consultant and put them on a retainer.
- Conduct your own seminars, and make them free. If you’re seen as an authorised expert you could charge for the exclusive content.
- Employing trust-based selling to become truly consultative and not another sales rep.
- Networking. Join business networking clubs, forums, etc and get yourself seen.
- Follow up and make your appointments
- Make your sales
- Keep your customers/clients happy.
Although I enjoyed the book, I do have a few criticisms of the book. They are:
- The book is an incredibly basic overview of how to use the Internet to cold call your customers
- All the tactics do not guarantee fast-track leads/prospects in fact all the tactics listed above would take an awfully long time to generate any real leads.
- A majority of the tactics are for businesses that already have clients, but there is very little for the small business with no clients (with the exception of doing a leaflet and sales letter drive).
- Throughout the book Frank says that cold calling sucks, yet on page 63, Frank says get someone else to do the cold calling for you!
- It does not give you a plan to get started; it basically gives you a list of tactics and says “here you go”.
- Its clearly been written for people who are new to Internet marketing and leaves you wanting more ideas on how to generate business quickly without cold calling.
Another criticism of the book I’ve noticed is that you could argue that Frank has supplemented one form of cold calling marketing with another, and dressed it up as a “silver bullet” marketing theory.
Sending sales letters, leaflets, etc to people who may not have expressed interest in your services is still, technically, cold calling – except now you’ve distanced yourself from the actual soul-eating deed of actually picking up the phone.
Whilst I’m sure Frank didn’t mean for that to happen; the book does give the impression its okay to transpose telephone cold calling to leaflet drives and cold calling letters.
Mr Rumbauskas, to his credit, does say that all the tactics should be employed to your warm prospecting list (ie: people who have expressed an interest in your services), and to those who really want to buy, but he doesn’t say it often enough and the impression that is left with the reader is that if you spend more marketing money, time, effort and resources on blogging, sales letters and articles that you will generate leads and it’ll happen just as quickly as if you cold called someone. I’m sorry, but this is simply not true.
If you started a business tomorrow and did no cold calling and spend hours upon hours writing articles, posting them to newspapers/magazines, and on your blog – all it does it turn you into an expert, it doesn’t mean you’re getting prospects, leads or indeed sales.
Although Frank’s ideas are nothing new, it is good to have them all in one book to understand. The book is easy to read, clearly laid out with good typography.
All the tactics are incredibly low-cost and very easy to implement, and the book is very easy to read and quick to reference.
In my estimation, this book is a good, easy, fun read that never really delivers any real strategies that you can put into place right now – however it does makes the reader think about the ills of cold calling and will make you think about where your business is right now and how you can move your business away from cold calling to self marketing.