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Review: Cold Calling Techniques (That Really Work) by Stephan Schiffman

“High-volume customer responses guaranteed!” At least that is the promise of Stephan Schiffman’s book Cold Calling Techniques (that Really Work). Originally published in 1987, Schiffman’s book is all about cold calling for new business. Most salespeople that have to generate their own leads absolutely dread cold calling, for a number of reasons. If you are anything like me you were given a good product and told to go sell it without so much of an idea of where to start, other than with an admonishment to “get on the phones start cold calling.”

Much of Schiffman’s techniques would work well in a pre-Internet times when the customer had a limited amount of knowledge on the product that you were selling, and the limited number of ways to get information about it.

The book starts with the rationale of why cold calling is essential, and then builds a case for a very numerical approach to lead generation. Schiffman also includes some standard advice in ways to find new prospects, turning around common responses to cold calls, and a chapter on leaving messages that get results. Schiffman does include an appendix with a few cold calling scripts as well. Unfortunately, much of his advice just doesn’t work in the Internet-Web 2.0 era. Schiffman includes only two pages on e-mails, where he basically says it’s an ineffective means of trying to create a business relationship and offers some basic tactics just in case.

Cold calling is only a piece of the pie that is successful selling, and hopefully for most of us it is a very small slice. More effective lead-generation techniques have been fleshed out by the authors that you will see subsequently reviewed on this blog, (It is the opinion of many modern sales instructors that cold calling places you in a very weak position). However, if you are stuck cold calling because you are new to a given product or territory you may find the some of these techniques described in Cold Calling Techniques: That Really Work may prove useful for you.


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Hi, Mark Powers here.

I am the reviewer, owner and creator of this book review blog.

I have a degree in library science and work in a large city library.

My passion is reading, and it is a pleasure for me to launch this book review blog.

Hope you enjoy my reviews.

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