TNT Ad Network
|Sep 04, 2007 9:36 pm
||Is Cold Calling Dead?
| Kim Ward
|| Is Cold Calling Dead?
By Kevin Stirtz
Loved this article I found online today...
Cold calling is probably the most hated and
lead-generation tool in use today. It's a hot topic
that deserves discussion because, when used properly,
it can be a valuable marketing tool.
But many people say cold calling is no longer a useful
marketing tool. They say we should never use it because
its costs far outweigh its benefits.
Cold calling (whether in person, by phone, or e-mail)
can be an effective and legitimate way to develop new
leads. I know because I've done it. As a tool, cold
calling can work very well. But you have to be smart
about how you do it.
Too many people are dumb about cold calling. They
don't stop to think about what their potential
customer wants. They focus entirely on what they
are trying to accomplish.
How do you make cold calling work? It's not hard.
But it does take planning and discipline.
First, don't expect to sell anything with a cold call.
I know this sounds basic and it is. But many people
still think they can land a new customer the first
time they talk to them. Don't do it. Never close
A cold call is just one of many ways to generate new
leads. Generating a new lead means finding someone who
might be interested in what your product or service
can do for them. It does not mean finding a new
customer. So make sure your cold calling goal is appropriate.
Second, your call will be an interruption. Get over
it. It's the 21st century. Everything is an
interruption. None of us likes to be interrupted.
But successful people are always open to new ideas,
new opportunities, and new relationships.
If you are bringing them the potential to solve a
problem or create an opportunity, they might be
happy you interrupted them.
However, if your interruption wastes their time
because they have no need for your product or service
then they'll show you the door quicker than you can
say "no soliciting."
Or if you waste their time talking about you and
your company, product, or service, you'll also get
a cold response to your cold call. Never waste their
time. Make sure you're calling on someone who is
likely to want or need what you offer.
Third, be honest, be quick, and be gone. Be honest
about why you've called them. Talk in terms of how
you might help them.
Make it fast and show them you're not there to take
time now. Ask their permission to follow up at a
later date and then get the information you need to
An effective cold call goes like this:
1. Pick someone who you have a reason to believe will want what you offer.
2. Make contact.
3. Introduce yourself.
4. State why you?re calling.
5. Ask questions to determine interest.
6. Request permission to follow up.
7. Get follow-up information (if they give you permission).
8. Leave them your card or other material.
9. Schedule follow up and do it.
Fourth, only call on people if it's appropriate
in their industry. Many industries have built
elaborate defenses to prevent people from cold
calling the decision makers.
This is their not-so-subtle way of saying "don't cold
call us." In these businesses I suggest finding other
ways to generate leads.
But other industries are open to it. Not that people
are sitting around waiting for salespeople to call,
but they are receptive or at least accessible.
You'll know before long if your target market is
open to cold calls or not. They'll tell you. When
they do, ask them how they'd prefer to be contacted.
Then listen and respect what they tell you.
As with all marketing, you need to focus on what
your customers and prospects are trying to
Forget what you want. Forget that you have quotas
and goals. Your prospects do not care. They care
about what they want to accomplish. Help them do
that and your quotas will become irrelevant.
If you plan your cold calling and do it in a way
that respects people's time, it can be an effective lead-generation tool.
Remember, we are social animals. Most people enjoy
meeting new people if they are friendly and
professional, if they don't waste their time, and
if they can help them solve a problem or create an opportunity.
Follow these rules and you can be a breath of
fresh air for the people you call on. You can
develop new relationships that become valuable
business partnerships. And it doesn't cost a
Kevin Stirtz is the "Smart Marketing Guy." Get a
free copy of his book Marketing for Smart People at http://StirtzGroup.com.
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