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Sales Strategies
The First Call
By Olin Thompson, Process ERP Partners

You never get a second chance to make a first impression. When using the phone, getting to talk to an actual person is more difficult all the time.

When making calls, you cannot afford to do an average cold call.  Do not squander your chance to make a good first impression with a cold call.  Invest your time to improve the call.  Make it warm or even hot and increase your hit rate.

During a review of sales territories, one rep bragged that she had made 20 cold calls in a single day.  The sale manager said the objective of the calls were to get the chance to do a short web demo to build interest.  When we asked this rep about her success, she told us she had gotten one web demo during the day.  She was still quite proud of her 20 calls. 

A second rep had spent all day but had made only five calls.  He said he did not have the time for any more.  However, he had gotten two web demos.  Who had the better day?  Since the objective was web demos, the second rep was clearly two times as successful.  His secret was that he was not making cold calls; he was making warm calls and even some hot calls.  He invested his time doing his homework to make his calls warm or hot and did twice as well as the person who made many more calls.

Getting to talk to the right people is very difficult and getting more difficult.  Some have an assistant or receptionist trained to keep you from talking to them.  Most now use voice mail as a barrier; they never answer their phone and only return calls to those voice mails that they find interesting.  Even when you get to talk to the person, they have learned from experience that most of the calls from people they do not know are calls to be avoided and terminated as soon as they figure out who it is (or isn

Olin Thompson is a leading sales & marketing consultat  to application software providers. With 25+  years experience, Olin has been called "The Father of Process ERP". He works with solutions providers, analysts, and the press. To learn more visit Contact Olin directly at 401.421.6968 or e-mail:

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