A colleague recently shared some interesting stats related to phone usage by Fortune 1000 and S&P 500 companies during the Covid-19 pandemic:
- 93% kept their corporate phone number on their website.
- 94.1% have increased calling in to check voicemail from three times per day to nine.
- Of the approximately 10 million employees, 83.2% have added a cell phone to their email signature.
- Of the approximately 10 million employees, 41% have reached out to clients and vendors with an update about using cell numbers.
- Of the 8.2 million employees that had company cell phones, 38% are using them exclusively.
- Of the 10 million employees, 89.1% have their corporate phone calls forwarded.
These stats confirm that workers are still using the phone as a business tool and checking their phone messages. Do not let the pandemic related shift to remote working keep you from making prospecting calls!
Whether you have a company phone number with an extension, a direct dial or a cell number, keep dialing. The phone is still an effective way to reach decision makers, whether they are in their offices or working remotely.
The Corona Virus (Covid-19) Pandemic has upended all of our lives. It has caused sadness and death around the world and has redefined how we live our daily lives. It has also transformed our workplaces and how we do business.
Here at One of a Kind Sales, we LOVE Cold Calling and make calls all day, every day, for our clients and companies. People have asked me, ‘how has the Covid-19 pandemic changed cold calling’?
Here is what we are seeing and some suggestions on how you can use these insights when YOU are making prospecting calls:
1. First and foremost, we are seeing this worldwide. This is an opportunity to remind each other that we are in fact, all in this together. Reminders like this can alleviate some of the fear we all feel and allow us to have more authentic conversations. Something we do NOT want to lose, once things get back to normal!
2. People seem open to engaging in longer conversations. Use your time with them to learn more!
3. We have found that asking how they are handling the crisis has been a good way to break the ice with many people. They feel like you are interested in them as more than a number.
4. And many companies have changed the way that they route calls within their organization, due to most or all of their workforce working from home.
Most companies have had to do a complete makeover of their IVR systems and voice prompts in order to adapt to the new changes. Some set their phone systems so that the calls are directly forwarded to cell phones or home offices. Others have a gatekeeper performing that role while screening the calls, and some others don’t have the ability to transfer calls at all and can only take a message or be contacted by email only, mainly because the receptionist is also working from home.
These changes can allow us to reach decision-makers, who were previously unreachable.
5. In some sectors, the economy is thriving. Stay positive and focus on the silver linings.
As we have said from the beginning, now is NOT the time to sit back and wait to see what the future brings. We need to keep making those calls and to keep digging!
A huge THANK YOU to my team for sharing their insights and expertise for this post. And now over to you – how has the Covid-19 pandemic changed cold calling for YOU and your team? Please comment below with YOUR insights and thoughts.
Thank you and stay safe!
Cold Callers use the phone, all day, every day, to meet prospects, create connections and nurture business relationships. As the coronavirus pandemic changes the way we live, interact and work, it has made us substitute live networking, trade shows and in–person appointments for voice and video calls. And it has, in a sense, made us all ‘Cold Callers’!
A recent statistic from Verizon said it was “now handling an average of 800 million wireless calls a day during the week which is more than DOUBLE the number of calls made on Mother’s Day which is historically one of the busiest call days of the year”! The LENGTH of calls was also up 33% from the average day before the pandemic.
AT&T had similar stats reporting an increase of 35% in number of calls.
Interestingly, internet traffic for these carriers was only up 20 – 25%.
Many people are not used to depending on the phone like this and you may be feeling anxious or uncomfortable having to do business in this way. But now, more than ever, staying connected means staying in business so sitting by and waiting for this to pass is NOT a viable business strategy.
Here are Seven Cold Calling tips that EVERYONE can use as we rely more and more on the phone to do business:
- The phone is your friend – use it to have longer, more meaningful conversations. These deeper conversations will help you connect more authentically with your clients and prospects.
- The pandemic is an icebreaker – this situation is truly unprecedented and everyone, worldwide, is being impacted. Asking how it is changing THEIR lives and routine is an easy way to break the ice and to get people talking.
- The phone is your lifeline – many industries are canceling the conferences and live events that once supplied you with new prospects. Yes, you should be using the phone to stay in touch with the people you know but consider using it as a tool to meet NEW prospects as well.
- Warm up a Cold Call – a quick way to warm up a ‘Cold Call’ to a new prospect is to ask for an introduction. This could be an introductory call from a friend or an email from a colleague or mutual acquaintance. As a bonus, when you are on the call, asking how they know the person who introduced you is an easy conversation starter!
- Have a plan – Cold Callers have SCRIPTS that they use to keep them on track and to ensure they hit the points they want to cover. Before using the phone for a business call, think about the goal of the interaction. Make a list of what you want to cover, notes on how you can help and anything else that is key. Yes, you want to sound natural, but you also want to make sure you are moving your business forward. And no, it is NOT cheating – think of it as PREPARATION.
- Stay safe – Social distancing can be socially isolating. You cannot catch the Covid virus over the phone! Stay safe by using the phone to build business and stay connected.
- These are life skills – any phone skills you learn now, out of necessity will serve you well whenever we do get back to a new normal!
Phone skills are like a muscle – the more you use it, the stronger you get! Check out our blog and follow us on Facebook (link to: https://www.facebook.com/One-Of-A-Kind-Sales-304978633264832) , LinkedIn (link to https://www.linkedin.com/company/one-of-a-kind-sales) and Twitter (link to https://twitter.com/oneofakindsales) for more on how to beef up YOUR phone skills and give us a call at 908.879.2911 to set up one-on-one or team training on how to thrive in this new, phone based, environment!