Cold calling gets a bad rap—it’s a little old-fashioned, tedious, and prompts SDR’s for a lot of uncomfortable conversations, but they lead to growth. We hear you, but the success the method brings in for a company is irrefutable, and that’s why we’re here to tell you that cold calling isn’t dead, but rather it has evolved.
Let’s start with the basics—what exactly is cold calling? Cold calling is a technique used in B2B lead generation by calling new prospects in an attempt to sell a good or service. Where people have gone wrong in the past is using telemarketing tactics to generate leads, but in reality cold calling is so much more when it is done right.
Don’t mistake dead for hard. If you do it right, cold calling works. Anyone considering doing this or considering outsourcing it, remember that the things in life that are hard pay off because they’re not easy.
A lot of what cold calling involves is calling the right people at the right time with the right background information. Telemarketing, on the other hand, is when workers are given a stack of phone numbers and told to call them all as quickly as possible. The truth is, it’s not that easy, and in order to see results a sales rep has to be intentional about the lists they create to call. This could start with the easier stuff—email campaigns, a good website, social media presence, etc., however the biggest mistake most people make is that they stop there. Techniques like this are a one-way street, and it is so easy for a potential lead to delete your email, click out of your website, or have your social media message get lost in the sea of their DM’s.
Really, the intention of these things is brand awareness and background research. These platforms are a fantastic way to gain an understanding of who you are calling before you pick up the phone, and by going in with a little background, it will make your call so much more impactful. According to RAIN Group, about 51% of company owners say they would rather hear from sales reps via phone compared to email and social media. Also, 87% of prospects say SDR’s don’t understand their needs, just proves that taking a little extra time to research your client is going to differentiate your cold call and set you up for success.
See how cold calling and a process could help grow your business.
Don’t mistake telemarketing for a phone call—two human beings talking is not dead. Especially when it’s baked into a process.
You’ve done all the background research and you’re ready to pick up the phone— now it’s just a matter of what you’re going to say. First, take a moment to make sure you’ve been given the correct phone number. Cold calling provides you with a way to check the accuracy of your lists because you’re able to ask a real person a question. Typically, business contacts turnover faster than the lists that are generated MAYBE once a year. If you’ve done your background research on the company, you should also know a little bit about the person you are trying to reach. Ask if you are speaking to the correct person and introduce yourself, and be prepared for some initial pushback. It’s human nature to deny solicitation, but a phone call is your only time where you’ll be given a chance to rebuttal and prove that what you’re trying to sell is something special.
Having a real conversation with a prospect is invaluable, and cold calling is the only way to identify important questions you won’t be able to answer from a call list and people usually won’t answer over email, such as:
- Are you happy with your current provider? (General)
- If you’re trying to generate commercial cleaning leads: How many nights a week do you need your building cleaned?
- When will you be evaluating potential new providers? (This type of question is great, and it helps you know as a sales rep when to follow up.)
This might sound like it’s a lot of work, and it is. That being said, 82% of buyers say they have accepted meetings with salespeople after a series of contacts beginning with cold calls. In the world of B2B appointment setting, this statistic is huge. Between all the things that go into a good cold call, the work is certainly worth the reward.
Never mistake the power behind a conversation, especially in the virtual world 2020 has brought us, because sometimes a phone call can make all the difference. In a world full of AI, the power of a human to human conversation and an SDR steering a sale from simply picking up the phone and making a connection is undeniable. Thinking about outsourcing your new cold calling strategy? Book an appointment with us today!