12 March 2020
No matter who you ask, one of the biggest challenges for businesses is lead generation.
“Lead generation is the process of attracting and converting strangers and prospects into someone who has indicated interest in your company’s product or service.”
Lead generation covers a variety of activities, including creating engaging content and blogs, quizzes, email marketing, opt-in freebies, and so on. Anything you can do to steal someone’s attention and try to win their interest.
Cold calling is the practice of making unsolicited calls to people you think might want your product or service (leads). The phrase ‘cold calling’ often conjures unpleasant recollections of disruptive phone calls selling you this or that, or even the scenes from Wolf of Wall Street with brokers strong-arming confused people into buying certain stocks.
Is cold-calling obsolete? Is it worthwhile including it in your lead generation strategy? We say yes, but only if you do it right. After all, the most important currency in marketing these days is connection, and talking on the phone can build that connection very quickly.
How to warm up your cold calls
With today’s abundance of social media channels, it’s easy to initiate contact. Interact with their company posts on social media, or share a blog post from their website and tag them in it. Once you’ve started creating the initial threads of connection and they’ve (hopefully) reciprocated, your initial call will already have some context, and will be less of a surprise.
Here’s what you need:
Know your target
Take the time to snoop around the organisation’s online presence. Do your best to identify the right person to target and spend the time creating a rapport.
Know what you want
Knowing your desired outcome in advance will help you gently steer the conversation towards that. Are you hoping for a phone or video meeting? Face to face? Have you got a killer email sequence ready to nurture your prospect? After making your initial (unsolicited) phone call, only make further moves that your prospect has agreed to, to avoid coming across as too pushy – and don’t ever assume a sale is final until it’s final.
Be prepared for the call…
While having a strict sales script will probably do you more harm than good, having familiar structure or flow will make the whole process smoother. You never know which direction a call will take, but it’s generally a good idea to think ahead. What will you say when the prospect answers? How could you pre-empt some common sales objections? Don’t forget to give the client plenty of time to talk about themselves too.
…and invest in an excellent BDM telemarketer
Selling is an art. It takes skill and practise to be able to position a sales call without being pushy. Sometimes, sales is as much about planting a seed and creating follow-up opportunities as it is about closing a deal. Having the same person call over a long period reinforces your commitment to the prospect and builds rapport. Nurture should be factored into every campaign plan.
Have a long-term strategy
It can be a bit like navigating a spider-web. Getting in touch, being passed along to different people, following things up, making connections and networking, being referred inside out and sideways. Have a long-term plan and use every contact you’ve made along the way. Having one long term BDM telemarketer is also a good idea. Keep things pleasant and don’t call too often, and your prospects will slowly build up a rapport with them.
You never know when or how you’ll connect with the right person. Do everything you can to optimise your chances of success, but then it’s time to be patient.
If you’re cold-emailing rather than cold-calling, much of the necessary preparation and strategy is the same. Personalised emails have a much higher open/success rate, so take the time to address each person by their name, and make sure you demonstrate your potential value to them in your email.
We are not fans of cold emailing. If you haven’t made the effort to determine any relevance between what you want the contact to know about you and your services, you shouldn’t be surprised when your unsolicited email doesn’t generate any response.
Not Just A Numbers Game
You might have heard cold calling described as a numbers game. And it is. But it also isn’t. Yes, you’ll likely be making quite a few calls before any of them convert. But you still need to invest the proper time and care into each one to maximise your chances of success – god forbid the contact you have been chasing for weeks answers and you haven’t thought through what your 2 second introduction will be and why it would be relevant to them.
MIH have been the secret telemarketing campaign ingredient for clients in IT, healthcare, lighting, industrial and educational services for nearly 20 years. Find out why our clients keep coming back to us year after year.