Every week, we answer a common question about marketing or business. This week, our question comes from a fan who entered our giveaway contest for a Fire 7 Tablet. Today, we will answer the following question: “should I use cold calling to grow my business?”
Cold calling is a very unique way to market and grow your business. If you’re not familiar with the concept of cold calling, it’s very simple. Your business calls people who have not previously expressed an interest in your product or service.
Cold calling is a form of “interruption marketing“, and as you might expect, many people have a negative opinion of the practice. However, you shouldn’t just write it off as a method from a bygone era. Cold calling still has a place in the modern world of marketing. Today, we’ll shed some light on the pros and cons of this controversial practice.
Cold Calling: Why It Works
One of the biggest complaints we hear by small business owners is a simple one. “No one knows we exist!” Drawing attention for the first time is difficult.
What’s more, even established businesses often struggle to generate leads. Even if you’re creating great content to pull people in, sometimes you need to be, for lack of a better word, pushier in spreading the word.
Enter cold calling.
Businesses use cold calling to reach out to new people with information about their products or services. When trying to raise awareness and grow your brand, this can be extremely helpful. Cold calling can help you expand your customer base as well as market your business.
Cold calling can benefit your business in a number of ways. If you do not have an audience already, cold calling people could be a great starting point! When you get someone on the phone, you have a chance to make a sale or at least spread the messages you want to spread. Even getting someone to answer is a small victory – you have a chance to hear how they sound and what they think.
Of course, the hard truth about cold calling is that it only has a 2% success rate for the most skilled professionals. That’s an optimistic scenario and, yes, this is a VERY low percentage. Still, that’s not bad when you consider that cold calling is a way to market a business completely from scratch.
Why is it that low? Well, for starters, getting people to pick up a call from an unknown number can be fairly difficult. Nearly everyone I know declines calls from an unknown number, for whatever reason it might be. That itself is a big reason cold calling can be so difficult. Fortunately, there is software that can call multiple numbers at once.
How to Cold Call
Before you make your first cold call, you must realize that rejection will happen. It will be constant, rapid, and often rude. When you cold call individuals, there will be far more failures than conversions.
That doesn’t mean cold calling is ineffective, though! Just a handful of conversions can make up for hundreds of hang-ups, rude comments, and confused people on the other end of the line. Push through the hardships and keep going!
Make sure that you don’t lean entirely on cold calling, too. You need another form of marketing. You don’t want to earn a reputation as “the business that does nothing but bombard people with calls.” Balance cold calling with other marketing methods such as social media marketing and content marketing.
With all this in mind, here are five specific tips you can follow to succeed at cold calling.
- Do your research and filter your lists. If there is any information that can increase your success rate from 2% to 3%, that will make a massive difference in your return on time.
- Make a cold calling script. Search online and copy the scripts that work.
- Think about your target audience and pick the right time of day to place a cold call.
- Figure out how many calls you need to make for a certain sales quota. After you’ve done a few hundred, you can divide conversions by total calls and that will give you a conversion rate.
- Practice, practice, practice!
Still looking for more advice? Here’s a good article for further research.
Cold calling can be tough, but that doesn’t mean it’s useless! There are some incredible perks to it, and when done correctly, it can help establish your business faster than other more superficially attractive methods. Remember to be patient, persistent, and respectful through the process, and you will be well on your way to getting those conversions!