Cold calling is hard. It can feel like scooping sand with a colander. And, there may be times when you feel like burying your head in the sand, but despite all you have heard with the advent of social media, blah, blah, blah (I actually love social media and it can be a great tool, but let’s save that for another day) cold calling is absolutely not dead. The problem is most people misunderstand the purpose of cold calling. The purpose of calling complete strangers is to ask them whether or not they’re interested in a product or service, NOT to sell them that product or service. You don’t make cold calls to build relationships or establish a community. You make cold calls because it’s one of the most efficient ways to generate a business lead from nothing. Cold calling is more effective than social media because:
1. It’s faster
With social networking, you might be able to contact several people through your LinkedIn network, the blogosphere, or Twitter, but the time it takes to narrow down qualified targets and message them one by one can take forever. After you send your messages to them, you might wait hours for an answer (if you get any at all). With cold calling, you can reach around 40 people an hour and get yes or no answers from all of them. From the moment you come to us, our focus is to make sure your project moves smoothly and efficiently through every step of the production process. Our team of dedicated staff will work with you to produce a relevant and effective direct marketing campaign. Whether it’s a simple unaddressed mailing or a highly complex integrated fulfillment/contact centre campaign, KeyContact is the premier choice for all your direct marketing needs. Let us “Help You Tell Your Story” in a customized personalized one-to-one format that captures your client’s attention and grows your business.
2. It’s impersonal
Many complain that cold calling is primitive because there’s no trust involved. But approaching a prospect that you haven’t established trust with is actually the easiest way to determine their interest. If a cold-calling prospect says “yes” to you it means they’re genuinely interested in what you’re selling. People who have friended or followed you through social media can feign interest and string you along before you figure out that their lukewarm “yes” was really a “no” in disguise. It’s much easier, and much more honest to sell something to someone who doesn’t care about you. That way you know that they’re buying the product for the product itself–not because of your fantastical tweets.
3. It’s simple
Although there are some “pro” tricks one can pick up along the way as a cold-caller, for the most part cold calling is simple:
- Put together a list of numbers.
- Write a script.
- Call the numbers and use your script to talk to prospects.
- Set appointments
You could have the persuasion skills of frozen yogurt and still be an excellent cold caller. All you have to do is have a good script, and a list for answers to the most common objections. As a cold caller, your job is to ask questions and determine exactly what the prospect wants and see if that’s in any way compatible with what you offer. If not, move on.
4. It gives you access, if only for a fleeting moment
When you get a person on the phone you have their attention. Because they don’t know you they’re much less likely to pretend they’re interested when they really aren’t, and because you don’t know them you have no qualms about asking tough questions to determine their interest.
Cold calling is not a tool for selling. It’s a research tool that you can use to find qualified prospects who have an interest in your product. It’s important not to sell on the phone, but take just enough time to determine interest so that you can set an appointment or meeting. It’s at this meeting when the real sales happen.
Social media does have its place. It’s a very good way to maintain existing relationships with people that you’ve already done business with. It’s certainly not, however, the end all be all of marketing.
So if you find that no one is responding to your Tweets, stop obsessing. Pick up the phone. If you can dial a number and read from a script, you’ve already done it right.