Why Cold Calling Does Not Work

If you’re in marketing or sales, you likely have a list of reasons why cold calling “does not work”. Do any of these sound familiar?

  1. I just don’t like doing it!
  2. My list is overwhelmingly large – where’s my starting point?
  3. How do I start a conversation with a cold prospect?
  4. The sales cycle takes too long with cold calls.

Have no fear – each of the above reasons why cold calling “does not work” can easily be rebuked.

why cold calling does not work

I Just Don’t Like Doing It

Often cold calling does not work because it’s seen as an unpleasant task. It seems as if sales people are born knowing they do not like to cold call.  Humans are interesting – if we don’t want to do something, we will find a way to avoid getting it done.

Successful sales people use multiple tools when selling. Phone calls, email, social media, and networking are all examples. Part of a salesperson’s success is the ability to blend and balance these tools and knowing how to sequence them.  The sequence usually changes from prospect to prospect. The tools are applied based on their value and impact.  Too much of one tool and not enough of another limits the ability to maximize success.

Challenge yourself – just because you might not enjoy the act of cold calling, does that really mean it doesn’t work?

My List Is Overwhelming

It is not realistic for someone to sustain a cold calling approach if you have thousands of targeted companies on your list. To see the most success, your list needs to be a manageable size.  If your file is big, try to prioritize it by isolating the best couple hundred.  Large database files lead to exhausting your enthusiasm.

Always keep in mind that this work takes time – you’re building relationships and that does not happen quickly.

How Do I Start the Conversation?

In a business-to-business environment, prospecting via phone calls creates great advantages when done properly.  Here are two examples of how this activity works:

1st – An informative starting point

Assuming you have developed a targeted prospect list (database of who you think is a good prospect), phone calls are a quick way to pre-qualify and prioritize.  You can:

  • Learn who the decision maker is and gather his or her contact information,
  • Learn what their current situation is or when agreements renew,
  • Learn current satisfaction levels.

This is all important information to know while building the foundation for a successful selling opportunity.

2nd – Stay in touch and build relationships 

Once you have gathered key information specific to individual prospects, its smart to stay in touch with them. Along with other methods, phone calls are impactful.  Even if you are unable to get the decision maker on the phone, utilize voice mail messages. Leave your name, remind them that you’re aware of their current situation, and let them know you are interested in earning their business. If you are talking to someone who reports to the decision maker, it’s okay to ask how the current situation is working. Feel free to ask other relevant questions that might help you in the sales process. Again, let this person know your desire to earn their business.

These are smart uses of your time that will advance you through the sales process with prospects.  Blend phone calls with other marketing methods to develop a comprehensive program.

The Sales Cycle Takes Too Long

If you expect to sell your services during early stage development, you will end up disappointed. However, you will certainly experience value in your phone calls if you recognize the importance of capturing key information about your prospects, then advancing through the sales cycle. Again, this is a human-to-human approach – you are building relationships. You will always reap the benefits of the time you put into prospect development.

Why Cold Calling Does Work 

Over time, assuming you apply these disciplines on a consistent basis, you will cash in on wonderful rewards.  These sales activities are very basic and fundamental to selling. They are time tested and complement many other methods such as social media, traditional advertising, email, and networking.

Remember, in a business-to-business environment, often people buy from people they know and trust. Be that sales person the prospect knows and trusts.

The Benefit of Utilizing Multiple Lead Generation Approaches

Let’s say your friend invites you to join on a mountain climbing trip. Your first thought is, “this sounds awesome!” Your second thought might be, “what in the world do I bring to climb a mountain?!”

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Mountain Climbing Resources

Here at Dunlap Marketing, we’re not mountain climbing experts. However, we do know there are multiple resources that should be utilized to reach the peak! A rope, harness, helmet, boots, navigation, first aid, and nutrition are a few items that come to mind.

If you chose to bring just one of these along, chances are you wouldn’t make it far up the mountain. Imagine attempting to climb a mountain with just a rope! The various resources work together, helping you accomplish your goal – reaching the top of the mountain.

Lead Generation Resources

In this aspect, lead generation is quite similar to mountain climbing. Utilizing multiple resources will help maximize your results. Telemarketing, social media marketing, search engine optimization, email marketing, direct mail, and content marketing are all examples of lead generation techniques.

When used together, various modes of lead generation complement each other. Utilizing multiple approaches helps to broaden your reach, touching different segments of your target market. Additionally, when they overlap, your message is reinforced.

Set yourself up for success in lead generation, just like you would for mountain climbing – how could utilizing multiple lead generation approaches increase your sales numbers?

Need help getting started? Check out our FREE eBook, or contact us today. 

Kaitlin Dunlap Cuevas – 281.496.9870 x 180 – kaitlind@dunlapmarketing.com

How To Implement A Simple Plan To Sell More Business In The New Year – Utilizing Telemarketing

Originally posted on December 30, 2015 as Start The New Year Smart – Sell More Business

How do you eat an elephant? What a silly question! Adult elephants range from 6,000 – 12,000 pounds – eating all of that would be a very large (no pun intended) and daunting task. But, hypothetically speaking, if you were to eat an elephant, how would you accomplish that?

One bite at a time, of course.

By the way, how does eating an elephant have anything to do with creating a plan to sell more business?

bitesizeelephant

How To Implement A Simple Plan To Sell More Business In The New Year

Generating 70+ new leads in a year might seem like an unrealistic goal, similar to eating an elephant. However, if you break it down into “one bite” increments, you will see how generating 70+ new leads is, in fact, a very obtainable goal.

To start, keep in mind the mentality behind “one bite at a time” is to keep the task at hand, in this case, generating 70+ qualified leads in 12 months, simple and manageable. With this mind set, you will be able to see the impact this method can have on your lead generation, appointment setting efforts, and ultimately, the ability to sell more business.

Here is how you do it:

January:
200 Start with 200 target prospect records (Don’t know how to build a prospect database? We can help with that – “Identifying Your Database for a Telemarketing Campaign”)
3 Make 3 call attempts into each record on average
8 Calling hours required each week to make 3 calls into 200 records (32 hours per month) – this is equivalent to 1.6 calling hours each business day, or 20% of your day
6 Lead opportunities identified in January (generally speaking)
February:
100 Add 100 fresh, new prospect records (300 cumulative prospect records for the year)
+ 100 Existing/prioritized prospect records that justify continued calling (assuming that 50% of January’s 200 do not warrant additional calls this month)
= 200 Total February prospect records
3 Call attempts into each record on average
8 Calling hours required each week (1.6 hours per day)
6 Lead opportunities identified in February
12 Cumulative lead opportunities identified YTD
March:
100 Add 100 fresh, new prospect records (400 cumulative prospect records)
+ 100 Existing/prioritized prospect records that justify continued calling (assuming that 50% of February’s 200 do not warrant additional calls this month)
= 200 Total March prospect records
3 Call attempts into each record on average
8 Calling hours required each week (1.6 hours per day)
6 Lead opportunities identified in March
18 Cumulative lead opportunities identified YTD

Do you get the gist? …We thought so. If you continue this discipline for April, May, June, July, August, September, October, and November, your December will look like this:

December:
100 Add 100 fresh, new prospect records added (1,300 cumulative prospect records)
+ 100 Existing/prioritized prospect records that justify continued calling (assuming that 50% of November’s 200 do not warrant additional calls this month)
= 200 Total December prospect records
3 Call attempts into each record on average
8 Calling hours required each week (1.6 hours per day)
6 Lead opportunities identified in December
72 Cumulative lead opportunities identified YTD

In conclulsion

There you have it, the results of a disciplined approach to the new year– 72 leads in 12 months and now you are a sales pro! As with any lead generation project, some of these will not work out, but the game of numbers tells us a good amount will convert into proposals, then become new customers for you. Additionally, you will have developed a great database (pipeline) of future opportunities.

Lead generation and appointment setting isn’t as bad as you might have thought. By the way, how did that elephant taste?

Kaitlin Dunlap Cuevas – kaitlind@dunlapmarketing.com – 281.496.9870 x180

Why is Cold Calling Important?

Cold calling has a very specific purpose, and often, its purpose is forgotten. It’s not forgotten because it’s unimportant – it’s forgotten because most sales people don’t like doing it. As a matter of fact, telemarketing and cold calling remains an important discipline to apply to any sales role. In many business-to-business sales organizations, old school “door knocking” might be unproductive, especially with large territory assignments. However, prospecting via phone calls remains a great compliment to your overall appointment setting and lead generation activities.

As discussed in The Difference Between Qualified Leads, leads can be broken down into two categories – buyer-generated and seller-generated. Buyer-generated leads generally advance through the sales cycles more quickly because a potential buyer is actively searching for your product or service. However, there are a finite number of buyer-generated leads. This is when the importance of seller-generated leads is presented. Telemarketing is a tried and true method of seller-generated lead generation.

When you can clearly define and identify who your prospects are, cold call telemarketing is a great way to hustle for new business opportunities. It becomes even more effective when advertising and marketing budgets limit or prohibit other forms of lead generation. Cold calling remains a cost-effective lead generation method, giving you control over growing your business, while not depending upon inbound generation methods.

Customer Testimonial – Proof of Cold Calling Success

Recently, Dunlap Marketing scheduled an appointment for a software technology client.  The telemarketing call was made inside a targeted database of potential users.  It was a successful call, and likely an opportunity that would not have surfaced unless a cold call had been made.

Listen to what the prospect said about the cold call.

Get Cold Calling To Work For You

Cold calling is a tool that can be used to continuously add new prospects to your pipeline of selling opportunities. Typically, cold-call-generated-prospects are not the ones you find through inbound methods; because of this, they compliment other lead generation strategies.

Having a plan of how to execute a cold call campaign is the first step in implementation. For more information, check out our 6 Steps to Implement a Telemarketing Campaign series.

Contact – Mike Dunlap, miked@dunlapmarketing.com  (281) 496-9870 x140