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Hot for Cold Calls

It's a red-hot marketing tool. But how do you get reps to warm up to picking up the phone?

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This story appears in the February 2003 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

What can make an otherwise winning sales pro go wobbly in the knees, croaky in the throat and flustered all over? Cold-calling, a sales strategy wherein said salesperson calls another human who may be cranky. So why cold-call at all? Why not stick to folks who've at least expressed a scintilla of interest in your product?

Bill Stinnett, a sales trainer and consultant in Wakefield, Massachusetts, says cold-calling makes sense when salespeople are responsible for uncovering their own leads. Stinnett, president of Sales Excellence Inc., a business solutions provider, adds that instead of selling in a reactive mode, cold-calling allows reps to unearth sales gems. "It's not easy," he says, "but the value is shorter sales cycles, larger deal sizes and a lot less competition."

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