Has cold calling been fired from its traditional role in businesses? Marketing experts have mixed opinions regarding canvassing in today’s market. Some describe it as a dead method both salesmen and customers dread. Others hold that it can be a valuable tool, if used correctly. Does cold calling really work for your business? If you do use cold calling, what’s the best way for you to do it, so that you actually see results?
Why Cold Calls Today Get a Cold Reception
Once upon a time, marketing meant phone calls and flyers. Today, the average potential customer ducks to avoid the onslaught of promotional ads, emails,
banners, magazines and other marketing mediums. Ad blockers enjoy their popularity, and unwelcome email offers receive a firm farewell wave as they
get permanently deleted. The last thing the typical person wants is yet another unknown marketer adding to the clamor. Phone conversations are more
time-consuming and a bigger interruption to the attention span, which is why most people consider cold calls their top of the list marketing enemy.
Over two hundred million people place themselves on the Do Not Call list to avoid receiving cold calls. And the millions who don’t routinely slam the
phone down on an average of ten telemarketers a day.
How to Make Your Cold Calls Successful
So is all hope lost for canvassing? Or can you still cash in on the power of a personal voice and human interaction that web marketing lacks? A look at
the companies who see successful results reveals that they fine-tuned cold calls for them to work in the current market climate. Read the techniques
they use to get leads and sales, and see how you can apply it to your own business to increase profit.
Identify the People Who Want Your Product
The salesmen of old believed that the more people they called, the more sales they would gain. A fine theory on paper, but honest salespeople admit that
the formula just doesn’t work anymore. Instead of focusing on the amount of people you call, focus on which people you call. Don’t waste your valuable
time calling hundreds of people who have no interest or need in what you have to offer. Instead, call the people who want what you have, or need your
solution to their problem. Here’s where you have an advantage over the salesmen of the past; a search on the Internet will yield you the names of your
potential customers. For example, if you sell quality cameras, look for photography geeks in Google groups, forums and blogs. If you have a cleaning
agency, instead of wasting time calling people who don’t want or need a cleaner, look at communities geared towards working moms or which have inquiries
about cleaning help. Identify your potential customers, and then call. This will save you the time you spend calling people who will never buy from
you, and let you spend more time talking to people who will.
Your mother probably warned you not to speak to strangers. Acquaintances and friends though, are welcome. Become an acquaintance. Shift from a cold call
to a warm call. What does this mean? Before making that phone call, send them some emails about your company or product. They may not read them all,
but at the very least, they’ll recognize the name and will be more inclined to stay on the line.
Warm calling means that you get to know the person you call, too. A two minute Internet search to get basic information about your potential customer gives you the power to talk to them about their needs, instead of reading off a tiresome script about what your company provides. This is one of the most powerful marketing techniques you will use. Your few minutes of research will show your potential customer that he or she can get what they want in their life, through you. Deliver your standardized script about your company and its products or services, and you’ll risk hearing the phone slam down. No one has time to listen to ten company pitches a day. But everyone will make time to get a solution to their problems or something they’re missing.
The Advantages of Calling
When you use cold calls properly, you can acquire a huge competitive edge. Most businesses have either abandoned cold calls, or insist on sticking to the
outdated cold call methods. A positive, personal phone call will form a bond between your business and potential customer. That will overpower your
competitors’ emails lying forlorn in their inbox, and ads flashing desperately on their screen. Even if you don’t make an immediate sale, it is still
a major inroad for future business.
So are cold calls dead or alive and kicking? The verdict is up to you. Stick to the standard script that expired years ago, and you’ve sentenced your cold
calls to the death penalty. Select the people who are your potential customers, get to know them and them to know you before you call, focus on their
needs, and watch those calls take on a life of their own and increase your bottom line.