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For about the past 4 years I’ve had a printout of cold calling sales statistics on the wall of my office… It’s from the “National Sales Executive Association”.
You’ve probably seen these before…
These sales statistics are a good motivator because they remind me that while cold calling is hard, I should push through the pain because there’s a light at the end of the tunnel if I persevere.
The bad news about these stats is that apparently the “National Sales Executive Association” doesn’t exist… So the stats are made up.
The good news is that placebos work..!
Even though these stats are made up, they’ve still been motivational and have helped me push through.
Legit Cold Calling Statistics
So, where can we find some real, legit cold calling statistics to replace these?
Even if the “National Sales Executive Association” is bogus, some of the statistics hit pretty close to home based on other legit research.
For instance, the first stat from the “National Sales Executive Association” states that “48% of sales people never follow up with a prospect…”
This stat supported by research from Velocify that indicates that 50% of leads never get a second cold call from a sales person.
Velocify also indicates that 93% of leads are reached by the 6th call which offers some support for the last made up stat that “80% of sales are made on the fifth to twelfth contact…”
However, even these “legit cold calling statistics” are too generalized to be applied to your situation. This is because sales people are not a homogenous group… Sales people sell everything from insurance to prison door locking mechanisms…
You want cold calling statistics you can use to help you sell more and close more deals.
Insurance Cold Calling Research That Helped Me
I can say from personal experience that cold calling works…
Cold calling works if you’re not acting like a jerk… It works if you’re polite, persistent and try to be useful to the person you’re calling.
However, there are other important factors that determine your likelihood of sales success than just your ability to make cold calls.
Indeed, we’re largely “black boxes” to ourselves… As such, understanding as much as you can about yourself and why you may behave the way you do when selling can be helpful in knowing how to get better, and make more money in insurance.
SPQ*Gold Sales Inventory
I recently decided to switch from a regional insurance brokerage to a national firm.
While interviewing with several insurance firms I was exposed to different “sales inventories”.
Sales inventories are tests that are designed to help highly competitive sales organizations, such as insurance companies, weed out “sales imposters”, people who may not perform in sales for one reason or another.
One of these tests was called the “SPQ*Gold“…
After taking this assessment online I noticed a reference to research on something called “sales call reluctance”, a term I had never heard of.
After some Googling I discovered a book by the creators of the SPQ*Gold called “The Psychology of Sales Call Reluctance” by George W. Dudley and Shannon L. Goodson, who are also the creators of the SPQ*Gold.
I ordered it from Amazon.
I can say that reading this book was helpful for me in terms of learning and understanding a few things about the psychology of selling:
- Fear Of Self-Promotion Is A Sales Killer: The authors identify fear of self-promotion as a huge sales killer. Fear of self-promotion manifests itself in various forms of sales call reluctance.
- Different Manifestations: Sales call reluctance probably uses our powers of rationalization as fuel to take literally any form possible to help us avoid the hard work of selling… The authors of “The Psychology of Sales Call Reluctance” identify 13 different forms.
- Sales Call Reluctance Is A Legit Problem: Sales call reluctance is a legitimate and widespread problem in sales, across many industries, including insurance.
- My Relative Performance: My sales performance wasn’t bad at all, apparently, by comparison to some of the stories in this book. Many producers produce “zero” even after months on the job.1
- Everyone Has It At Least A Little: While everyone suffers from it at least a little, the top producers2 do not over rationalize behaviors that are unhealthy to their performance. They do what needs to be done and are confident about their roles as insurance professionals.
- Insurance Sales Has A PR Problem: The most troublesome form of call reluctance in insurance may be a salesperson’s over-sensitivity or feelings of shame stemming from a public perception surrounding being an “insurance salesman”.
In addition to what I learned from this book, there seem to be other sales statistics, as mentioned above, that are good to know and remember when developing a plan of attack for each week.
6 Legit Sales Statistics and Techniques That Work
From the bogus “National Sales Executive Association” to the legit sales research and statistics of Velocify3, Lead Response Management/InsideSales.com4 and Dudley and Goodson5 here are 6 legit sales statistics, research and techniques that work for top sales people:
- 69% of buyers accepted a cold call from a sales person in the past 12 months. (1)
- 80% of sales are made within 6 attempts to reach a contact. (1)
- Calling between 8:00-9:00 am and 4:00-5:00 pm may be most effective. (2)
- Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays may be more effective than Mondays and Fridays in cold calling.(2)
- The fear of being pushy is the #1 form of sales reluctance found in sales people… The fear of being humiliated is #2… However, these are not mutually exclusive problems.
- The most effective insurance producers (from the Million Dollar Round Table) do the following:
- They prepare, but don’t over prepare
- They focus on results, not appearance
- They don’t fear making presentations in public
- They’re proud of their jobs
- They don’t let fear stop them from doing what they need to do
- They ask for referrals
Remember, Too, That Having Confidence Is Very Important In Sales
If you lack confidence, remember that you can “act as if” you are confident and your sales prospects are likely to believe this confident first impression of you.
People (meaning your new sales prospects) will generally believe what they are told at the first encounter… Often regardless of what they learn later.
If some later information conflicts with their initial assessment of you, to avoid cognitive dissonance, they will engage in rationalizations to maintain their established belief.
This is supported by studies on the effect of a sales person’s confidence in our decision making regarding whether we will buy.
Conversely, you can use this trick on yourself.
You can also tell yourself stories of your prior successes as a way to convince yourself that you are a successful salesperson.
As Francis Bacon is quoted as saying:
Praise yourself daringly… Something always sticks.
- Indeed, one company I was interviewing with, that I did not end up choosing to work for, was slow in the hiring process because they had hired producers in the past who had produced “zero” over the course of an entire year on the job. I wondered how this was even possible and the schadenfreude made me feel better.
- Top insurance producers from the Million Dollar Round Table (“MDRT”) may display some forms of sales call reluctance but they do not let it stop them. They have a plan and execute on it. They know what they want… They feel the fear and do their jobs anyway.
- “The Psychology of Sales Call Reluctance” – https://salescallreluctance.com/resources-store/psychology-of-sales-call-reluctance/