In his blog http://www.agsalesworks.com/Blog-Sales-Prospecting-Perspectives/bid/82557/Cold-Calling-Sucks-So-Have-Some-Fun-With-It Chris Lang hit on the pain of cold calling… And because of the mental anguish of cold calling – on both the caller and the called – it is often made less effective, and therefore returning less production income, on the cost of cold calling. And because it’s hard, well, employees are far less inclined to make it a priority.
Chris’ point, however, was that despite the anguish that there is a way to make cold calling effective. Then, once effective, it can become a valuable tool in every small business.
Cold calling simply is not, nor should never be again, what it once was… Consumers – and legislatures – are far more savvy than in the past. So marketing and it’s offspring telemarketing, have had to evolve.
What makes telemarketing and cold calling effective?
- Consistency and persistency – daily routine by trained marketers who focus ONLY on telemarketing for all or most of their day.
- Quality lists – entry level marketers work older/colder lists for practice and training while more experienced marketers work better/warmers lists.
- Daily coaching and feedback – from producers or peers, sharing the success of leads/prospects generated and what made the quality leads/prospects.
- A career path – the marketer doesn’t want to always be a telemarketer, so have a plan for them to prove themselves and then work towards positions of great responsibility. This also give you the ability to bring in telemarketers as “entry level” positions, with entry level compensation with a promise of potential development and income.
- Flexibility – allowing the outbound calls to be made at different times of day, even weekends. This makes the marketer position more appealing for different types of candidates and allows you to offer an advantage in scheduling other jobs won’t or can’t offer.
- Performance enhanced environment – good call management software, “stress balls” or other trinkets on the desk to occupy their hands and focus their minds, mirrors so they can see how their facial expressions impact their tone of voice, and even (soft) music in the office to sooth the likely stresses they will encounter.
- Redefine “wins” – capturing quality information on the lead/prospect is still a “win” and should be rewarded, even if a “lead” or sale is not generated. You are building a sales funnel not just for today but for several months down the road for your top sales producers to follow up on.
Cold calling as we once knew it may be dead, but pro actively seeking out quality customers BEFORE they start shopping on their own gives your sales team a huge advantage in terms of a sales opportunity. Being proactive, practicing persistence, providing a development plan, and rewarding not just the “sale” but the data captured for the next 3-12 months to follow up on… That is how cold calling will grow your production.
Do you have an effective out bound calling program? How effective is it for you?