Cold calling’s not dead
If the thought of cold calling leaves you cold, you’re not alone. In the digital age, an email is quicker and easier. But is it more effective than cold calling? No. Even a well-thought out email campaign sent to highly-targeted prospects will rarely be opened. Unsolicited email, whether it’s targeted or not, is still viewed as spam. If your prospect isn’t expecting email communication from you, the chances of them even opening the email greatly decreases. The same is true for those expensive direct mail pieces, no matter how beautiful they are. Much like blind emails, even a dazzling mailer stands a good chance of remaining at the bottom of a junk mail pile.
While both email campaigns and direct mail have a significant place in marketing, neither approaches exceed the value of a simple cold call. The truth is, cold calling is not only cheaper and more effective, but it’s also more efficient. Plainly put, more targeted pitches mean more sales and less prospecting – that’s why cold calling is still the approach with the highest success rate.
Cold calling adds human interaction
What makes cold calls more successful than cold emails? The appeal of a mass email broadcast lies in a marketing message reaching a large number of prospects in a small amount of time. On its face it seems to be an effective approach. But it lacks one of marketing’s most important elements: human interaction.
The goal of a cold call is not about closing a deal; it’s about strengthening a relationship. Much like casual conversation after a handshake, cold calling is an opportunity to discover your prospect’s needs to better customize a problem-solving pitch. Your prospect is more likely to respond positively with a proposition that specifically addresses their business problems and offers a viable solution.
Cold calling initiates a conversation to help you pinpoint the exact needs of each individual. It’s the simple human interaction factor achieved through cold calling that can’t be duplicated with blind marketing tactics such as mass email or even direct mail.
Understand your prospect first, cold call second
Cold calls are instantly ‘warmed-up’ through research. Know your prospect before the call. Spend time reading the company blog. Learn their history. In other words, do your homework. Even if you’re comfortable talking to strangers, a little knowledge goes a long way. Without proper research you’re left making guesses as to where you should lead the conversation. Prepare for your calls carefully so you have an understanding of your prospect’s needs or pain points.
To further prepare, consider a script or, at the very least, note cards. If you’re new to sales, you may not have product descriptions, elevator pitches, or positioning statements memorized. Having your talking points, as well as your prospect’s pain points, will minimize uncomfortable silences and maintain the direction of your pitch. Consulting your notes will keep your pitch on track. However, if you choose to read directly from a script, practice before picking up the phone. You don’t want to sound like a telemarketer.
Cold calling is effective marketing
The number one marketing goal for your business is to increase your chances of closing a deal. While other forms of marketing can be tailored, cold calling still increases your chances of success, more so than other forms of marketing simply because you’ll have the opportunity to respond to objections and redirect the pitch if needed. These personal touches can’t be duplicated with any other tactic.