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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?

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

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

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

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