Arrogant Cold Calling – If Doctors Talked Like Salespeople – by Townsend Wardlaw

Have you ever heard (or used) a call opening similar to this?

Will you give me one minute to share how I can help ABC COMPANY achieve INSERT BOLD AND AUDACIOUS CLAIM HERE.

Now think back to the last time you visited a doctors office.

Do you remember the seemingly endless barrage of questions you were asked before the physician even entered the room? Do you recall how the doctor went on to ask even more questions?

This process is called diagnosis and in the world of medicine diagnosis always precedes prescription.

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Imagine if doctors approached medicine with the arrogant certainty of those that call us on a daily basis.

Solicitors begin their conversation with the presumption that a problem exists and launch into explanation of how their product or service is uniquely suited to solve this problem.

Perhaps they are simply trying to catch our attention.

Or maybe they have been trained that impressing us is the path to a meeting.

Regardless of their intention, diagnosis before prescription can be quite jarring to the patient.

Imagine being greeted by a physician who opened with “I can tell by looking at you we need to perform open heart surgery immediately.

Of course this sound ridiculous, but I would challenge you to explain how this differs from the prospecting approach favored by many companies.

Regardless of what you’ve been told by your manager, your peers, or your marketing team; I challenge you to reflect on the language you use when introducing yourself to prospects.

Are you presuming a problem before the prospect shares one exists?

Are you pitching a better solution before pain has been revealed or acknowledged by them?

Cold calling is hard and getting harder every day. Prospects are busy and distracted and seldom even answer their phone.

Yet, on those precious few occasions when a live prospect does answer the phone…

Your key to success is transitioning this interruption into a scheduled conversation rather than believing you can generate interest or excitement by pitching the value of your product or service against some pain or gain you assume the prospect must have.


With tours of duty at AT&T, BDM, TRW Technology Services, Lucent, and Avaya, Townsend Wardlaw had his share of large corporations and left a secure job and hefty salary to start his own company, Three Value Logic. For six years, he ran his own sales consultancy and sales outsourcing company that, at its peak, delivered millions of cold calls and many more millions in revenue for our clients. Since shutting Three Value Logic down in 2009, he has lived the glamorous, profitable and relaxing life of the sole proprietor. His boutique consultancy works with Founders and CEO’s of companies earning between $1M and $10M to help them lead happier and (more importantly) more profitable lives.

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