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Short Attention Span Sales

The Weekly Sales Tip

Bill Farquharson

Bill Farquharson

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The Cold Non-Sales Call

Every day during his first unbearably hot summer of sales, Bill Farquharson walked (uphill in the snow) down one side of the street and back on the other (uphill in the snow) cold calling door-to-door. Strangely, he doesn't recommend it for you. He thinks you should take the advice in this week's Short Attention Span Sales Tip.

Click on the image below to play the video.


Good morning!

Do you know your parents used to tell you they would walk 5 miles to school, uphill both ways?

When I think about my early prospecting days, it seems very much the same. Back in the day, doors were unlocked, gatekeepers were real people, and we walked up one side of the street and down the other day after day.

Always uphill, by the way.

On a coaching call recently, a sales rep asked me about cold calling and I thought I’d share with you what I told him…

First of all, there was only one circumstance under which I recommend true stop-by–unannounced cold calling, and that’s when you have exhausted the more productive options. For example, if you have an appointment, see if you can find someone else nearby to go see. Visit clients. Call people you’ve been prospecting and leave one more voice mail message, promising to stop by, give them a business card, and put a face to the name.

And after all of those better options are done, if you still have time and energy, cold call. But don’t think of this as a sales call.

It’s not.

Make it your goal simply to gather information. Tell anyone you might come across; you prefer to make well-informed sales calls and that you’re only looking to learn about the company. Find out what they do. Grab any literature you might find. Get a feel for the place.

Taking this approach does two things. First, it takes the pressure off. You aren’t selling so you don’t need to get all sales-ey. Second, you avoid meeting with a buyer and talking prices and saving them money and other approaches that won’t end well for you.

So, no, I am not a big fan of cold calling. I am, however, in favor of using a drop by as part of your preparation efforts to make a far more well-informed sales call.


It’s ideas like this that make up The Sales Vault. Visit or call Bill Farquharson at 781-934-7036.

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