Cold Calling – Love it or hate it?

Cold Calling – Love it or hate it?

August 8, 2018

Over the years I’ve had many clients and business associates tell me Cold Calling doesn’t work. I find this both amusing and alarming. How can you categorically say Cold calling doesn’t work when every phone call is unique? When every client has different requirements? And every industry is different?

If you believe Cold calling works, then it will. If you believe Cold Calling doesn’t, then it won’t. Cold calling is marketing. It’s been around for decades and a lot of organisations had enormous success by picking up the phone and cold calling potential clients or customers. It’s true, the way we do business has changed. A lot of business is ‘word of mouth’ and ‘networking’ but that does not mean Cold Calling doesn’t work. Cold Calling absolutely works but you need to know what you are doing. You need to know how to do it and who your target market it.

Several years ago I had a client who approached me wanting to expand his business into another region and wanted to cold call. While I was sitting there listening to him, I was thinking to myself, this guy has no idea and now I understand why his past campaigns failed.

 He was giving me specific instructions on how the calls should be made (if he’s an expert why did he come to me?) He wanted us to follow a specific script (which would have taken 5-7 minutes to get through) and he wanted us to target a specific area (which had mostly no English speaking people running small businesses). I told him upfront and in writing (email) his campaign would fail and I would like to do it my way. He, of course, said “NO”. He wanted 50 hours of cold calling. After 2 days and almost 20 hours, I pulled the pin on the campaign. I emailed the client and advised this was not working and we wouldn’t be continuing with the calls.

The campaign failed for 2 reasons;

  1. He had a very detailed script. My staff had to read the script and then try to secure appointments. This was the 1st mistake. I want you to think about your day. How busy are you? Your phone never stops ringing, you have meetings set up, and you need to respond to many emails, you have staff you need to take care of, you have deadlines to meet and now you have someone who has taken 5 minutes of your time trying to sell something to you, you never asked for! Are you prepared to let the phone call continue? Or are you going to hang up?
  2. His target market was wrong. Believing in an idea/concept/product and wanting to introduce it to a new area does not mean it’s going to work. He wanted to introduce a VERY expensive networking style mentoring program to a low social economic area. The business in these areas are not only mum and dad businesses but the language barrier was a major factor. English was almost non-existent and the ones who could understand were not interested in what he was selling. A couple of years later, he never expanded in the region and it wasn’t from lack of trying, it was because no one was buying what he was selling. If only he listened.

There are a lot of companies who offer “Lead Generations” services. I say BEWARE! I’m not a fan of companies who charge their client’s astronomical amounts of money for Leads.

Some can charge $300 and I’ve heard of others charging up to $2000 per lead. A lead is almost a guarantee. It means the groundwork was done and the appointment is set. All the client needs to do is turn up to the appointment. Sounds good, right?

WRONG!

A lot of these appointments get cancelled when the client calls to confirm, others don’t answer the phone and don’t return the calls. The reason the success rate is even lower is because the people making these calls are very aggressive, they push so hard that the only way to get them off the phone is to agree to an appointment and when you go out there or you call them, you get no response. You wasted both your time and money.

This is not how you do business. You don’t want your company’s reputation tarnished because of 3rd party bullying tactics.

If you want new clients and you want to cold call there are several factors you need to consider

  • Who is your target market? Age? Annual income?
  • What postcodes are you targeting?
  • Consider your script. You have a few seconds to convince them they need more information. Make it punchy and to the point

Business 2 Business and Business 2 consumer is “same but different”.

When you market B2B, you understand that businesses work hard to streamline the buying process to save and money. It often explains why a B2B purchase is based more on logic and why a consumer’s purchase is based more on emotion. 

It’s true the cost of a sale for the business-to-business market is more expensive and typically higher than the business to the consumer market. This is because business-to-business transaction often takes more consideration and more people tend to be involved with the decision making. Generally, the B2B consumer will have to prove a return on investment for their purchase.  

Business 2 Consumer Marketing focuses on the benefit of the product. The decision can be emotional and the consumer is less likely to sit and listen to a lengthy marketing message. Your message must be simple and easy to understand. They are more interested in the benefit of the product. They will want to hear more about how your product or service helps them and what benefits it brings to them personally.

While there are absolutely no guarantees cold calling will work 100% of the time (so many variables to take into consideration) the consensus is based on my experience, I can confidently say it does work and can be instrumental in the growth of your business!

Oh, and of course, do not use an offshore Call Centre! As soon as they hear the accents, they will hang up! FACT