While marketing has seen many new tactics and strategies over the recent years—largely due to changes in technology, updated sales practices, and altered customers needs—cold calling still has its place, and it isn’t just for those using outdated practices. In terms of direct marketing practices, cold calling remains one of the most direct, targeted, and efficient methods.
Do you know many commercial establishments that do not have a phone number to call? Probably not. Have you ever had a customer who you have never once spoken to on the phone? Unlikely. It almost always takes a direct form of communication—either speaking in person or on the phone—to close your deal or sell your company’ products and services.
Why Cold Calling is Still Relevant
The phone is still one of the top ways to communicate and be reachable. Organizations count on their phone to ring with new business, inquiries, customer service issues, and more. And while there are other methods of finding new business, a phone call remains one of the most straightforward and seamless way. An email or a text is quick and convenient too, but think about how many times your intended message may have been misunderstood or overlooked when it was read and not spoken. I think about how many times a back-and-forth email or text exchange was quickly sorted out with a phone call, or how hopping on a call with a potential customer to address their concerns or answer their questions helped us get on the same page quickly and showed them how dedicated I was to helping them.
Tips for Making the Most Out of Your Cold Calling Efforts
1. Have a targeted list. Before you start calling random people in the hopes that someone says “yes” to what you have to offer, you need a list of prospects. This involves researching who your ideal customer is. What industry are they in? Where are they located? Does this market have challenges or issues that your product or service can solve? If you work within the consumer market, what are the demographics of your ideal prospects? Where do they live? Where do they work? Where do they go to school? If a prospect doesn’t meet your criteria, they are not a qualified prospect and you won’t want to waste valuable time reaching out to them.
2. Speak to a decision-maker. The first person who picks up the phone isn’t always necessarily the person you want to be speaking with. You don’t want to spend time delivering your message to someone within a company who doesn’t have the power to make decisions within that organization. When you first call a business, you will likely speak to an employee, receptionist, secretary, assistant, etc. Be sure you clearly let them know what it is you are offering and in a few sentences, let them know how or why your products or services can help them. Then, ask to speak with or make an appointment to speak with a manager, business owners, etc.
3. Be able to answer your prospect’s most important questions. Why should they care about what you have to offer? How will you be helping them in a way that another company, product, or service cannot? You won’t always be able to recite the same speech to each prospect; it’s important to have an outline for what you want to say, but you should also tailor your approach to the individual or market you are reaching out to. What are your prospect’s biggest pain points? How can you solve those? What is your prospect’s history? How can you make life easier or better for them moving forward?
4. Know the goal of your call. Just wanting to speak to someone within a company is a good start, but do you want to sell your services or products on that call? Do you want to set an appointment to deliver a demo or presentation? Cold calling isn’t usually intended to be the time or place to close a deal, but rather an opportunity to offer information about your business, introduce opportunities, gauge a prospect’s interest, etc.
5. Hire a professional. Cold calling takes practice, a tactful approach, and careful delivery and sometimes you just don’t have the time for that. Rather than learn all this yourself or take the time to train an employee, you can outsource your cold calling to a company that knows what’s it’s doing. This will not only ensure your cold calling efforts are more successful, but enable you to focus on other important aspects of running your business.
Cold calling for commercial establishments will never be dead, particularly for those in the hospitality industry, which caters to the needs of current and potential customers and clients. If your company prides itself on outstanding customer service, then you probably already speak to your customers and potential leads on the phone daily!
For more information on how Bidslot Program can help your company with cold calling, please visit our website.