What could be better than a CIO telling you exactly how to cold call him? Agent Smith,a CIO at a major Air Freight Logistics company, shares his thoughts on Cold Calling A CIO.
I get at least one cold call a day from hopefuls trying (desperately) to sell me something; usually recruitment agents, telco resellers, PC/server resellers and software outfits.
It is really easy to get annoyed at this constant barrage, until one remembers these guys are trying to make a living. My problem though, is that by and large, the said guys are really amatuerish at it. And it doesn’t seem to matter whether they are representing big or small companies, the lack of sales skills is amazing.
A long time ago, I was in pre-sales (and then sales) for a couple of ERP vendors and had the pleasure of attending a one day selling skills course run by Tom Hopkins. This guy taught the really basic fundamentals of sales; qualifying, making the pitch, handling objections and closing. Most of the people who call me have no idea about qualifying. They seem to assume their "victims" (as distinct from suspects) have just discovered an instant overwhelming need for (say) a Winnebago full of contract Java programmers, a content management system or yet another way of managing PC assets etc etc. And we were just waiting for the call.
Have they done ANY research? Do they know anything about who our business partners are? Do they ask any questions? Do they establish anything about how we work? Nope! They just launch straight into their speil. The alternative to the instant speil is the assumption that I have "just 15 minutes" to meet with them because they really want to understand my business ….. like looking at the corporate web site wouldn’t do that?
My favourite example of this was in my last CIO job where we ran our ERP on AS400s and used Lotus Notes for email. Anyway, I got cold called from IBM ….. they asked me what operating systems and hardware we had, and then tried to sell me Lotus Notes for KM. Ever heard of CRM boys? So all you CRM sales guys out who read this Blog now have one real suspect!
So what would I do if I were a sales dude trying to get a CIOs attention?
5 Things CIO’s Hate About Cold Calls
CIO: Cold Calling a CIO