Mention the word cold calling to any salesperson or business person and you will get a look from them like deer in headlights. They’ll find any excuse they can not to cold call. They’ll give you excuses like: It just doesn’t work. Or… We’re so far above cold calling that we won’t lower ourselves to cold call. Or… Maybe they’ll just agree to cold call and then never do it or be able to fit it into their day.
There are two accepted ways of cold calling. One is to just pick up the phone, have a name and phone number, get your targeted prospect on the phone and give them the sales pitch. The second method is called a warm call. You mail a business person a letter and then call them to follow up on the letter.
Just like the majority of the business world, I resisted cold calling for a long time too. But I realized over these many months of economic recession what an essential part of business cold calling actually is.
Businesses will run media ads, use print brochures, have websites, invest time on social networking sites and do many other types of marketing to let others know who they are. Although all of these techniques may be valuable and should be part of the marketing plan, when you place an ad, mail brochures or put up a website you don’t really know if your potential client is looking at it. When you cold call, you can quickly narrow in on the business and the individual who would buy your product or service.
And yes, people won’t take your phone call, some people will be impolite and every once in a while someone will just abruptly hang up on you. But when you are making those phone calls you will also find buyers of your product or service who are receptive because you have exactly what they need.
In this economy, you can’t sit around and wait for the customers to come to you. Instead, you have to go out and find customers. Think about cold calling this way: when you make the phone call you are doing it for the greater good. Your purpose is not to offend anyone, to annoy them or to waste their time. Your purpose is to help perspective customers by introducing yourself and your product or service that is going to be invaluable to help them run a better business and make a profit.
PS: Any CEO, president or business owner of an established company who would like to have a further discussion about cold calling, prospecting and how it can improve business, is welcome to call or email me.