You have probably heard this, ‘Cold Calling is dead.’ And most likely from a new age salespeople and/or the marketing departments of social professional networking platforms. And when quoted with statistics below, one can even conclude that cold calling is futile.
Cold calling results in about a 1-3% success rate for getting an initial appointment and it’s generally abusive to both parties. When that same call is made with a referral, the rate jumps up to 40% and even much higher when that referral comes from within the company. - Mahan Khalsa, co-author of Let’s Get Real of Let’s Not Play
"Don't SELL on your first warm call"
But cold calling has always got a bad rap, since the time of landline telephones supported with the yellow pages. With a huge number of customers in many countries having the option of DNC (Do-Not-Call) registry,it can seem even more for the case of cold calling. But the truth is that this is still an effective way to reach out to your customers. And when a salesperson strikes a rapport with the client at the other end, it can feel like a beautiful extempore symphony.
Enter WARM - CALLING ! The new age of cold-calling which is backed by the technological advances made today and in favour of the inside salesperson - the plethora of tools available to research your prospects.
Utilize the tools. An inside sales person today has email, Whatsapp and other social messaging apps that they can use alternatively or use to support their cold-calling. It would be very negligent if a salesperson did not utilize social media such as Google, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms available to the fullest capacity. It isn’t immoral for a salesperson to check a customer on these platforms. Privacy is long dead when we accepted ‘terms and conditions’ and allowed the social media apps to collect our information and have access to our photographs and videos on our phones.
Respect the customer and her/his time. It is expected and respectful that a salesperson has researched the profiles of her/his customers, their needs or wants and then approached them with the pitch. The more comprehensive the research which leads to a well-crafted call, email or any outreach, the more likely that a customer would appreciate the efforts in not wasting their time. With customer tracking software, it is essential that a sales team maintain the etiquette of follow-up with prospects. If anything, today’s customers have less time and giving utmost priority to their schedule would only pave the way in setting up the next call to discuss how you could solve their problems!
Throw the old script out. Embrace a consultative approach with customers. Today’s customers are experts, with access to information that they glean on a continuous basis. It would be fatal to assume the role of an ‘educator’ with a customer. A study revealed that while the average number of dials has remained constant over the past few years, the number of conversations is dipping. The quality of conversation is crucial which can be backed only by comprehensive research of the prospects.
Use the connections. The biggest advantage are the connections and referrals that you can utilize to prospect from your client network.
“According to Nielsen, 92% of people trust recommendations from friends and family over any other type of advertising. Beyond friends and family, 88% of people trust online reviews written by other consumers as much as they trust recommendations from personal contacts.”
Sustain the online presence. A cornerstone to any business’ warm-calling operations today is to develop planned media strategy to build and maintain an online presence. Potential clients most certainly visit the organization’s website or social media page particularly if the first call has succeeded in securing a second call. It’s not enough for a business to have a static page with some flashy photos. The clients needs to see how an organization engages online with other customers and this plants the seed of trust and reliability.
- Jantsch, J. The Abusive Math of Cold Calling Retrieved on 19/05/2020 from https://ducttapemarketing.com/the-abusive-math-of-cold-calling/
- Warren, M. Word of Mouth Marketing in 2020: How to Create a Strategy for Social Media Buzz & Skyrocket Referral Sales. Retrieved on 19/05/2020 https://www.bigcommerce.com/blog/word-of-mouth-marketing/#word-of-mouth-marketing-statistics