Is cold calling still relevant?
By Olivier / 15 November 2018
Cold calling remains a tricky business. The caller needs to convince an unknown party that is hardly ever keen to listen. Cold calling conjures up an image of American movies where successful salesmen are sealing enormous deals over the phone. It shows a time without any internet and life in general seemed to go slower. And that is exactly our point.
DEALING WITH AN ‘ON DEMAND ERA’
Where is the logic in not knowing each other, yet taking up someone’s precious time? In an era where time passes quicker every day and time and attention are becoming scarce, we can say ‘There is no logic’. We want to decide ourselves when we need information about certain products and services. We do not need a sales person to inform us. Nowadays, this information can nearly always be found online. We like to do business at a time that suits us: on demand.
Only 3% of your target group will need your products or services the moment you call. That is why you are constantly calling at an inconvenient time. Organizations that have been listed at the chamber of commerce for more than two years, will be cold called around 17 times a week. That is quite often!
HOW DOES COLD CALLING BECOME SUCCESSFUL?
Does this mean that nowadays, cold calling is not relevant anymore? Not really. It is important to understand what works and what does not. Djoea, one of our highly experienced sales colleagues, explains how he discovered cold calling could be successful. The focus should not be on trying to sell your products or services, but on building a relationship. That is a huge difference.
THE GOAL IS CREATING NEW CONTACTS
Creating new contacts forms your next step. LinkedIn and other social media channels can help you decide which person to get in touch with. Continue by picking up the phone or sending a message via these social media channels. Instead of trying to schedule an appointment, focus on building a new relationship. You know that you will probably contact that person at an inconvenient time, so making appointments should not be your priority; creating a smooth start of a new relationship is.
PITCHING INSTEAD OF PUSHING
What do you communicate? An elevator pitch, of course! This time it is not used to sell something, but merely to get the conversation started. Use the right tone of voice. You do not want to come across as pushy, you do want to be relevant to your client. Djoea keeps it simple, ‘I could be relevant to a client, or not. One thing is certain; if I do not ask, I will never know.’
STAYING IN TOUCH: THEY SHOULD NOT FORGET YOU
Staying in touch while building a relationship is your next goal. Make sure clients do not forget you. If a client has a positive reaction to your message, add them to your content marketing strategy. Make sure to send relevant content to your target group on a regular basis. What do they want to know? Only communicate content that is of added value to your clients.
You can compare it to flirting with someone: at first, you need to make an effort and show that you are interested, as it will pay off in the end. In B2B relations, the moment clients need your products or services will come later. In the meantime, staying on their radar is what counts!