I Wrote the Book on Cold Calling!

“If you put enough monkeys at typewriters,” one of my consulting clients said in a seminar with me, “Sooner or later, one of them will come up with WAR & PEACE.”

He was predicting that with so many people going into telephone selling, telemarketing, lead generation, appointment setting, tele-sales, telephone solicitation, inside sales, or whatever you want to label it; at least one of them would give me a run for my money and would become a formidable competitor.

My techniques, popularized in a dozen books, including best-sellers REACH OUT & SELL SOMEONE and YOU CAN SELL ANYTHING BY TELEPHONE, would be cloned, knocked-off, and with the chance to purchase fairly decent imitations, the market would disappear for a Great Master.

Just as he finished uttering this statement, his associate said: “That’ll never happen. Gary’s light years ahead of the market and he always will be.”

Despite the rise of the phone factory, or as it is better known, the call center or contact center, I have never found anyone with my gifts. Specifically, nobody has cracked the code of persuading folks to buy by phone as I have.

Scripts are everywhere, as are the trained chimps who toothily chatter them, but they’re next to impossible to use in a way that sounds like real, spontaneous, heart-felt talk.

To this day, phone and “phony” go together, are inseparable in the minds of most recipients of calls.

This unnerving lack of authenticity led to the draconian DO NOT CALL REGISTRY, where nearly 100 million consumers opted out of being contacted. There has never, in history, been such a consumer uprising against a communication METHODOLOGY.

You would think the industry would take note and invest in more sophisticated techniques. It hasn’t.

If you compare my early books with the current state of practice, you’ll find frighteningly few people among the millions on the phones that have nearly the sophistication some of us manifested in the 1980’s.

Computers have improved, long distance rates have been reduced dramatically, and there are more MBA’s than ever in call center management, but the quality of conversations, at best, has gone sideways, not up.

Peter F. Drucker, the famous management guru and my professor, made a few remarks that are pertinent:

(1) People don’t achieve in areas that they disrespect; and

(2) You can judge the health and trajectory of an industry based on its rate of “brain formation.”

To this day, cold calling, telemarketing, outbound selling, appointment setting, lead generation, telephone soliciting, inside sales, tele-sales, or whatever you want to call it; engenders disrespect. Mention it, in a business or private setting, and most people will recoil and hiss.

And where are the other working communication theorists, who put themselves through undergrad and graduate schools in telephone sales and telemarketing management? Where are those well informed “brains?”

They’re not to be found.

I wish I weren’t light years ahead of the market.

I’d vastly prefer being right on time with the products and services grateful clients will respect and pay value for.

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