Is Cold Calling Dead? That Depends...
Most of you know what cold calling is. In fact, you’ve probably been called relentlessly by salespeople offering to extend your car’s warranty. Does anyone really answer the phone when a number comes through that they don’t know? Or, like me, do you just let it go to voice mail and screen your calls there? More and more Cold Calling is now delegated to robo-dialers that are the modern equivalent of voice spam.
Warm calling takes place AFTER you have established a connection with a prospect through some other means. You might connect on LinkedIn or get introduced through a current client. This process leads to much better outcomes as the prospect is going to by much more receptive to your call. It has been proven to lead to a higher rate of return with much less energy and resources expended.
Cold calling is essentially the equivalent of picking up the phone and dialing a random company off a list that is likely to want your services. Sure, you may have a database of people that are more likely to want your services but it’s still a call to someone who you do not know and who has likely never heard of you.
People today are conditioned to screen phone calls. They look at numbers and let them go to voice mail all the time if they don’t know who it is. If they do pick up and find out you are a salesperson, they are more than likely going to hang up on you or just get irritated with you. With the amount of research that someone can do online these days, why would anyone want to be hassled with a call?
Your prospects are just like you. They don’t buy anything without hearing about it from a friend, seeing it advertised somewhere or knowing they have a need and researching it online. With the accelerated move toward eCommerce and online transactions due to the pandemic, companies that rely on cold-calling as their primary source of lead generation are seeing their rate of return dry up dramatically.
So What Should I Do Besides Cold Calling?
I am glad you asked because I have some suggestions.
- Sell what you know!
This may sound obvious but so many companies rely on cold-callers that are not familiar with the products they are trying to sell. This is not a good strategy! You need to know the product you are selling at least enough to convince someone else that they should give it a look. Do your research in advance and believe in the products you are selling!
- Offer free short consultations
Your time is valuable but so is your prospects. Offer to spend 30 minutes going over their issues/challenges and explain how your product or service can help
- Ask your happy clients for references!
This seems obvious but you would be surprised at how few companies actually do this and keep them current. This is an ongoing process that should be reviewed at least quarterly. Having a hard time getting started?
- Write a blog
Hey you’re reading this aren’t you? I guess they work! You have valuable insights and information. Don’t keep it to yourself!
- Educate others with helpful information
Everyone is bombarded with spam every day. Create a series of prospecting emails designed to provide your prospects with information they will find useful. Write about industry trends or steps your prospect can take to make their business better.
- Track your web visitor’s behavior
This may sound ominous but it really isn’t and it happens all the time. How can you provide your prospects with a custom experience if you don’t know what they are interested in? Your website can be integrated with your CRM or marketing tools to provide you with data to help customize that experience. We can help!
- Setup notification when prospects are researching items on your website
Not only can you setup notifications that go to your inside sales or marketing team but you can also configure chat bots that provide useful information to determine what solutions your prospect may need. This allows your prospect to ask questions on his own time and doesn’t require intervention from you until necessary.
- Use an integrated CRM and marketing system
There are so many tools available to you that can automate all of these activities and help provide your prospects with a unique experience and your sales team with the information they need to close deals.
- Reach out to prospects on social media!
LinkedIn is a great place to go to research prospects and find out what is important to them. Like their posts and tag them in articles they might like. If they ask questions, answer them if you can. Build a relationship!
- Design and present educational webinars
What better way to get your message out there than to provide it in an educational format? Show your prospects how to do some things that will make their lives easier. This is great for brand awareness and also establishes you as an expert in the field.
So is Cold Calling dead?
If you think of Cold Calling as a silo and it isn’t backed up by other activities that enhance it and bring brand awareness to your prospects, then I would say “Yes, Cold Calling is indeed dead.”. In order to be successful in your business, you need to establish relationships with your prospects before you ever pick up the phone. Failure to do so will simply get your number blocked or put into the dustbin of deleted voice mails. In order to build these relationships, you need a concerted marketing effort that involves social media, web site tracking, email campaigns focused on educational content and webinars. These will help you to establish brand awareness, build relationships and establish your company as an industry expert.
For more information on how GSI can help you to kickstart this journey, fill out this form, One of our experienced solutions professionals will reach right out!.