I’ve been asked a question today and I thought I’d answer it as a blog post, because it’s a question I get asked regularly and I thought it might be useful to share.
Should we be doing cold calls? Is it right for our business? Could it really work for us and are we missing business because we don’t do it?
Ok, what are the ways we think about cold calls -I’ve written and blogged about this before, more about the actual mechanics, tools and techniques and I will link to those things here to provide a proper resource.
Cold calling is just a tool, think of it like any other marketing strategy, social media, advertising, networking etc., all can be good and all can be bad – just depends on the execution, timing, context and relevance to the product or service.
I’m considered a cold calling guru, but I don’t love cold calling, nor do I hate it. It’s just a useful tool and it can enable incredible results for almost no outlay, but it’s just a tool and one of many I have available. I have also seen cold calling destroy companies and fail to deliver any positive results.
Cold calling isn’t dead. You just can’t call like its 1989, however, I can promise you its not dead, yet. Millions of businesses around the world still rely on cold calling to drive new business and generate results.
Before you consider cold calling, you should ask a few questions and consider if it’s a good fit for your business. Before I share those questions with you, I just want to say, that, any new start business will benefit from cold calling – yes, any! Its useful for gathering intelligence, figuring out who your customers might be (that’s the subject of another post). However, if you are a new start, completely new, get cold calling.
So, lets quickly determine if you should be using cold calling as a tool for your business or not. Ask yourself these two simple questions,
1 – Do my prospective customers ever buy on the phone? Have they been called in the last 12 months, cold, and actually bought something? Service, products – it doesn’t matter.
2 – Do our competitors successfully use cold calling as a marketing or sales tool?
Both questions essentially address the same thing. Will my prospective customer buy on the telephone?.
OK – so how do we find the answers to these questions? For question 1 – Cold Calling! Well, maybe not, however, you need to reach out to people and ask them. Survey them, meet them, talk to them, you need to know how they buy and how you can best serve them. Learn from them. Listen.
The other side of this coin is learn from your competitors. How can you do that?. Call them. I promise you its that simple. Call the sales hotline, you don’t have to tell lies just tell them you are very interested in their product, which of course, you are, and that you’d like to find out a little bit more about them. You could ask “are you guys going to be around for a while?, how are you growing your business, how do you win new customers” ask with authority and you’ll be surprised how easy it is to get a useful response.
If your customer is buying through cold calls and your competitors are selling through cold calls, guess what? You probably need to be cold calling! Or at least looking at it seriously
Next up – skill set, do you have anyone who can do this? Who is experienced, willing and able etc..
Then you need to develop a basic script and answers to basic rebuttals/objections. Really important and I’ll do another post on that. If you need help in the meantime get me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Then develop a list of people to contact. This is the most important part of a cold calling campaign, data is absolutely key. Buy it, build it, rent it – just make sure its really high quality and absolutely laser focused on your ideal prospect criteria.
Sales Funnel – just a basic funnel ,nothing fancy just get started and tweak as you go along – if you need help with this, please email me and ill send you an example. The main things you need to consider are; can we reach one customer? Then, can we sell to one person? That’s it. You can build and scale from that, no matter how horrible the data , you can tweak, build and scale from that.