When people think about cold calling, they envision an aggressive phone call in which the caller pressures the person on the other end of the line into making a purchase. To me, this is the worst example of cold calling. This is what gives cold calling a bad name. One thing they have right is that cold calling involves making a call to someone the caller does not know, but there is a great deal of difference between what professional cold callers do and that negative image.
My business, One of a Kind Sales, uses cold calling to qualify leads and set appointments. Generally, we work from a curated list of prospects that have been identified because of their specific role in a business. Our objective is to understand whether any of these prospects have a need for or an interest in a particular product or service. This is sharply differentiated from attempting to sell the solution. Often the selling process is handled by a different person who is a solution expert. In our process, which we’ve used successfully thousands of times, if the caller determines there is no need or no interest in the solution, we end the interaction on a positive note. However, if a lead is qualified, meaning that they have a need and an interest, our team sets up an appointment for the expert who will speak to the prospect about the solution.
These cold calling interactions also have the potential to generate referrals. For example, if a lead is not qualified, the caller may ask whether there is another business they might recommend that we speak to that may need the solution.
Beyond the objective of near-term sales, cold calling can be used in other ways:
Market research – Speaking to a potential prospect is an effective way to gauge interest in a new product or service and get a better understanding of market needs.
Competitive research – Talking to your ideal prospects can help you gain insight into competitive activities.
Education – When a product or service is complex, cold calling can be done to provide general information that will give the prospect a better understanding of the product. Sometimes this is done in anticipation of the launch of a new product or service.
No matter the objective, cold calling should always be thought of as a way to establish a positive relationship with a connection that would enable you to re-approach them as a “warm” contact at a future point in time. Well-trained professional cold callers are skilled in establishing rapport quickly, and they have a genuine interest in learning more about their prospects’ needs.
When thinking about cold calling, it’s time to leave behind that old stereotype of the-high-pressure phone call. Given the competitive marketplace and the proven utility of cold calling, we need to think strategically about all of the options in the sales toolbox and deploy them when and where they can have the greatest impact.
If you are wondering whether cold calling could be a good approach for your business give me a call at 908-879-2911 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.