Note from the Editors: Doyle’s tip will make you think again about your own efficiency, productivity and results.


Reader Q & A: I received a question about cold calling on foot from Anthony Goldie…

So tell me Doyle, what do you think about cold canvassing / good old fashioned door knocking businesses – I reckon there’s nothing better for building buyer relationships that last- I go out for 2 hours a day in my local area promoting and it’s has made me lot of money also any hints and tips for improving-new strategies / thoughts for this style of presentation?

Answer: Let me start by saying…If it works for you, and you are exceeding plan… then keep doing it. If you are good, it can be an effective activity for those selling in certain industries.

Principle One – Efficiency
I don’t find cold calling on foot to be an efficient use of my time. If I can drop-in on 10 prospects in two hours, I can do three times that much on the phone… making around 30 phone calls in the same time span. When I multiply that day-over-day-over-day, the phone and my trusty CRM are going to give me the best long-term results.

Principle Two – Productivity
I’ve seen a lot of sales people fall into this trap. Being “on the road” makes them feel productive and busy. Mixed in with all the prospecting come stops at the Starbucks, Exxon, a quick run to the post office and suddenly the day is gone with very little to show for it. Some reps use it as a justification for ending their day closer to home. They will foot canvas on the side of their territory closest to home and when they feel they have done enough… it’s tempting and easy to call it a day.

Principle Three – Results
I think this type of prospecting can be deceiving. Let’s say a new person joins your sales team who employs this type of “cold calling on foot” type of activity. If they are good, they will get some quick turnaround deals, one call closes, short sales cycle, non-complex type of stuff. Some managers will send big praises saying, “Look at what this newbie is doing… been here for a week and got their first deal!” The sales person gains confidence, and the borderline performers think they should employ the same strategy.

It results in smaller revenue generating deals, often around $500 to $2,000 in yearly revenue per deal… give-or-take a few hundred dollars. If your goal is anything over 200K, cold canvassing is not likely to get you there. That’s the trap. It sneaks up on you. You look back at the end of the quarter and wonder, “What happened? I’ve been so busy… working so hard… yet I’m not even close to plan.”

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About Doyle Slayton
Doyle Slayton is an internationally recognized Sales and Leadership Strategist, Speaker, and Blogger. He is Co-founder of xoombi, a premier sales-driven marketing agency helping organizations drive traffic, generate leads, and grow sales. At xoombi, Doyle works with the world’s best experts, authors, and thought leaders to help you connect the three teams that perform best when they work in strategic alignment…Marketing, Sales, and Sales Operations.

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