Pros and cons of cold calling as a marketing technique
As the competition on the market is getting more and more severe as the time goes by, producers, businessmen and sellers have to adapt different promotion techniques in order to attract consumer’s attention, boost the sales of their products and services in order to increase their revenue and actually be successful on the market. The industry has developed a bunch of promotion methods and techniques that are beneficial for those, who’re willing to win the competition and lure the customers of the certain segment on the market in order to get higher profits. Some of those tricks were discovered a while ago and have been practiced for several decades as quite successful means of marketing. They help reach the widest audience and increase the chances that potential clients will find the way to your company and its products/services, but not someone else’s. Cold calling is one of those techniques, which has evolved into a separate branch of marketing and experienced its ups and downs
Being on the peak of its use several years ago, cold calling is often considered by smaller businesses as an outdated and quite annoying mean of self-promotion. Some people mention that cold calling is dead and they often skip this marketing technique due to several reasons. I already mentioned the first one, which is the supposed irrelevance of cold calling, which, in fact, is quite questionable.
Of course, it’s much easier to send a bunch of the identical e-mails to the number of addresses or stuff people’s mail boxes with pamphlets or leaflets (whatever you call them). However, the chances that 99% of the potential clients won’t even give a glance at that piece of ad and throw it away into the growing pile of junk mail (both electronic and real) are really high. Even in this era, or maybe especially in this era of technology and personal gadgets people appreciate the personal approach and time you devote to them. And that is the benefit of cold calling you don’t want to miss out on. At least that’s what successful companies and even humongous corporations do, as they may have an entire office with the staff engaged in cold calling only.
Another benefit of cold calling, which is especially relevant for small businesses, is that it’s almost free. You have to pay the phone bills anyway, right? So why don’t you sit down for an hour or so every single day to call people who live in the nearest neighborhoods to tell them about your services instead of spending the company’s money on printed advertising material? Why don’t you take a chance to explain to your prospect customers why they should choose your product/services over the others? Why don’t you make the full use out of personal communication, which is the most effective way to influence the customer’s choices?
However, personal contact has become quite problematic now. And that is probably the main reason why businessman resist cold calling, although people don’t like to admit that. Even experienced salesmen aren’t really comfortable while cold calling. Beginning businessmen are often ashamed of calling random people to make a universal speech about their company and services. But what’s the problem there? Maybe you feel that cold calling is too standard and too annoying? Maybe you think that people are done with those numerous companies calling them to tell the same stories according to the same cold impersonal script over and over again? You’re not wrong here.
However, those aren’t the good reasons why you should abandon cold calling without even trying it out. Those are the reasons to learn cold calling techniques that really work. And those are the reasons to warm it up, make it more interesting and beneficial both for your customers and your business. This is the only way cold calling will work. And, here’re some simple cold calling tips to improve your style and increase the effectiveness of cold calling for your business.
10 easy tips for successful cold calling
- Don’t improvise too much. Have yourself a little general cold calling script. You don’t have to limit your phone conversations with people to that script only. But you definitely want to write down an introduction phrase, as beginning cold callers often forget to introduce their company, the services they promote and throw an interesting offer to capture the attention of a prospective customer. You have just several seconds to capture the person’s attention and make him stay on the line. Come up with a discount or a special offer you may provide (like, 15% off the first order, or 50% off the couch cleaning if a client opts for a deep carpet cleaning, etc.). It’s also useful to make a plan of things you’d like to tell about your company to use it as a guideline of your conversation.
- Complement your cold calling script with separate flash cards. Those will be the answers to the most common questions people may ask about your company/products and cards with brief overview of each service you provide. This way you’ll be able to give you customers the most accurate information without interrupting the conversation the other person might be not so interested in.
- Don’t chat too much. The most effective cold calls last from 3-5 minutes. And, it’s highly beneficial to tell the person you’re calling that the conversation won’t last more than that. Your interlocutor will know that you won’t take too much of his time, so he’ll be less likely to hang up on you. Try to make the most out of that time. Plan the cold calling script the way that you’re able to cover the most important information in under 2 minutes to leave some time to answer the person’s questions.
- Don’t be too impersonal. This is not how to cold call effectively, even though sticking to the script is much easier on your behalf. Ask the client several questions regarding his attitude to the goods or services you provide to be able to adjust the conversation to client’s needs. This is how you may persuade him that he really might want to check out your company’s products. For instance, if you’re a roofing company, your typical cold calling script will look like this. First – introduction and special offer. Then – the questions to the prospective customer like “What type of roof do you have, How long has it been since you’d installed it?, Did it leak? Do you notice any signs of algae or moss overgrowth?, Is your roof insulated?. Then, depending on the person’s answers, you may give him the information about the services he might need. Finish the call with the promise to send more information on client’s e-mail (don’t forget to ask the e-address first)
- As no one actually sells the products (and especially services) on the phone, you have to set more realistic and more beneficial cold calling aim – to attract new potential clients and receive their contacts for further online or offline promotion.
- Know how to overcome the most typical cold calling problem. And it’s not even when the person on the other side of the line tells you that he’s not interested at all and ends the conversation. You have almost zero chances there, so I suggest that you don’t spend too much time trying to capture the attention of that person. It’s already clear that he won’t address your company. But when the person tells you ‘Send me more information via e-mail’, that’s when you still have a chance to develop the conversation and make the most use out of it. Don’t answer ‘Ok, sure’ immediately. Ask several questions to the person (like in the tip #4) to receive the details about his preferences in order to send him the most relevant promo e-mail. Meanwhile, you may still go on with your script. Developing the theme the client touches in his answers and give him more offers regarding the kinds of services/goods he might mention.
- Don’t forget to keep the records and tick off the numbers you’ve already called not to appear in an awkward position. Make the columns to mark if the customer was interested or not and to write down his name and e-mail address.
- Don’t forget about references. They’re extremely important if you want to sound like a respectable company that is willing to reach out to the new clients personally. Mention for how long you’ve been operating on the market, the number of people who’re satisfied with your services, etc. It’s necessary to include that info if you reach the voice mail. Don’t forget to leave your phone number, the name of the company and your business e-mail address.
- Take a break between several calls (from 7-10) not to make them really cold and boring. A prospective client won’t be interested to talk to you if he’s able to feel that he’s probably the 100ds or 1000ds person you’ve talked with today.
- Don’t overload people with information. They won’t be able to remember it over the phone anyway. Concentrate on making a prospect client interested in your services and company, so that he checks the e-mail you’ll send him later and maybe addresses your services when he needs them. The best case scenario is that you convince a person to make an online order or to book your services. But cold calling nowadays turned into creating the ability to sell later rather than selling right now.
If you still don’t feel comfortable to cold call people, or if you’re willing to combine several marketing techniques in order to promote your company and make it more visible for customers, consider the online promotion option. Create your business profile on HireRush.com – a job hunting website, where potential clients may check out the providers of different services in their local areas and call the professionals they prefer directly from the site. The personal data security is guaranteed.