COLD CALLING is DEAD and Here’s Why
Cold Calling is dead and as a Sales Trainer who teaches – or used to teach Cold Calling – I don’t make that statement lightly. Times change, people change and because of that I firmly believe that Cold Calling no longer has a part to play in modern business. The way companies sell has changed and evolved over the last 40 years, and the way we communicate has also changed and evolved. This is further evidenced by a survey by Leap Job which claims only 2% of cold calls result in an appointment, casting a question mark over the effectiveness, or lack of it from Cold Calling. Rather than asking your Sales People to Cold Call, companies should maybe ask why their Marketing is not delivering enough qualified leads to start with.
So Cold Calling is dead & here are 3 Reasons Why:
1) Technology has killed voice communication. Text, Instant Messaging and Email are now the preferred business communication of choice, ahead of picking up the phone for all of us – it’s just easier. Indeed some of these are also now our preferred method of Personal communication, as we are happy to text or message our family and friends rather than phone. This is further echoed by younger generations who have already moved completely away from voice communication.
2) The majority of us have had more than one negative experience with a cold call where the caller was less than professional and this unfortunately continues, as so few people have the necessary skills to make an effective telephone call. No business person looks forward to taking a cold call and with the negative associations linked to Cold Calling and even Legislation against Cold Calling. Why would we want to even attempt to start any relationship on such a negative foundation? By continuing to Cold Call we run the risk of damaging our brand, so we need to stop pushing ourselves onto clients and start attracting our clients.
3) Is Cold Calling the most effective use of your sales people’s time? A survey by Telenet states in 2007 it took an average of 3.68 attempts to reach a prospect. Today it takes 8 attempts. In addition Cold Calling has little residual value, in that after the event there is very little ongoing benefit. Yes you may get some people calling you back, but more often than not you won’t, so there is no ongoing residual benefit. If a sales person was to spend the same time working with your Marketing department, to develop a customer testimonial or creating a case study, this material could be used again and again in many different ways that could generate interest from a much larger audience via the web.
Cold Calling is most definitely dead, however that does not mean the telephone is dead. Many Inside Sales Professionals successfully use the telephone in conjunction with email and Social Media to “connect” first with buyers and establish relevance and then prime the call, before picking up the phone. Recently one of our clients was thrilled to have a buyer call back after we helped compile, one simple introductory email. This call led to a meeting and 3 months down the line a $60,000 contract. Using the telephone to generate demand is still possible, but we need to be much smarter and much more targeted, than simply working our way through a spreadsheet. Simply smiling and dialing is not a recipe for success in the modern business world.
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