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Cold Calling is Dead – Potential Customers Should Call You

Posted by Philip Kreindler on 22-Sep-2014 16:29:00

cold_calling_blog_imageWe all hate interruptions – those unwanted emails, phone calls and adverts that follow you around while browsing the Internet. If you’re like most people, when the phone rings and it’s a ‘sales guy,’ you get a sinking feeling that your time is about to be wasted. 

It’s a waste of everyone's time and money.  The salesperson is usually talking to someone who has no interest and has never heard of them. It’s what your salespeople hate doing and what your prospects hate even more (just ask your own CFO, IT manager, CEO and buyers).


Cold calling is unprofessional

So here’s what happens in a cold call

  1. 95% of the time, you get voicemail

  2. The prospect didn’t ask for the call  – so the salesperson is already on the back foot

  3. When you do get through the salesperson has to say who they are, where they are calling from and why they are calling – your prospect often doesn’t care and gets more defensive

  4. Now the salesperson tries to throw the prospect off guard with prefabbed questions or tells them about their own business or launches into how great their products are 

You try so hard to make the prospect instantly tell you all their problems and by keeping them talking you have the misguided idea that they are going to warm to your proposition and your viewpoint.

And you wonder why customers think salespeople are getting worse?


Yes that’s right. Potential customers should call you

So what’s better? Wasting expensive time making cold calls or finding ways to connect and engage first – and get the prospect calling you when they are ready.

Let me give you a brief example from our own business. Let’s assume that our prospect has a problem. Sales are down and they need leads and a predictable sales forecast.

Do they A. Contact the sales training vendor who has wasted their time in a cold call? Or B. Search the Internet and social media for ideas and advice, talk to friends and peers, and try to find solutions themselves? 

By creating content that is helpful, useful and answers the frustrations and challenges our customers have, and distributing it to a community, Infoteam has a much higher probability of being contacted. It’s NOT about talking about oneself. It’s about helping people, about giving them something they need, something they want, something they’ll remember you by. It gets the phone ringing and enquiry emails coming in.     

An approach like this makes your sales team much more productive, as they're only spending time on the phone with prospects who are actually interested in your company or service.

You get the picture. Create valuable content that develops your brand and drives traffic to your website. Let your prospects come to you. It's how they want it.


So what should you do?

  • Be clear on your target audience and what challenges they face

  • Do research on LinkedIn or Xing – find out where your prospects’ interests lie and find out what they are talking about

  • Make sure your website has content that educates and doesn’t just talk about you and product features

  • Get involved in online conversations and make yourself useful

  • Write a series of must-have industry insights your salespeople can give away and share in social media

  • Blog about your ideas and how they have helped customers

  • Invest in making your top salespeople sought after speakers on industry issues


The result of prospects calling you

  • Prospects will be ready to engage

  • You’ll have something in common before you speak

  • They are ready to talk and discuss their needs – and enter the sales funnel on their terms

  • Your sales time will be more effective and productive


Questions to challenge your way of working

  1. How often is a cold call successful compared to when a prospect calls you?

  2. Are the most productive phone calls: when you talk together about a pain point or a problem or when you talk about your product or service features?

  3. What can you do differently to engage a prospect before speaking to them?

  4. Who in your company can create helpful, useful and interesting insights on a problem, frustration or issue that your prospects might be facing?


Let me know how you get on.


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