Does cold calling work is a very common question. Business leaders have all read the articles about how cold calling is dead, they’ve see the ads from the social media and seo gutus about how to get an ongoing and incoming flood of high quality sales leads.
Now balance that against the costs and demands of a proactive sales function.
Then, it’s easy to see why ‘does cold calling work?’ is such a prevalent question.
So, Does Cold Calling Work?
This is the question usually asked by those sales people or lead generators who are not great, or not confident in cold calling.
Does cold calling work? is the battle cry of all the social media gurus pimping their monthly programs. Quickly followed by claims that cold calling is dead.
The truth is that whatever channel a sales prospect identifies themselves by, at some point, someone needs to be picking up the telephone to start the relationship.
So you can be a sales lead generation dynamo or you can be one of those sales execs who would rather send an email, ‘reach out’ via LinkedIn or Twitter or even like/share the hell out of a target’s posts…in fact, do anything other than pick up the telephone and start a conversation.
So, again, does cold calling work?
Sure it does. If you’re good at it!
The truth is, when you cold call often enough, like any skill, it gets better. If you add in some reflective practice either with a peer, a coach or mentor, then the rate of improvement is rapid.
Once you’ve got the skill, all sort of wonderful things start to happen.
Previously closed sales opportunities open up for you.
You find yourself in the right place, at the right time to be asked to quote.
Hitting target seems to be a walk in the park.
You start moving up the sales league table.
You get to quote on deals early, before others now the deal is in play.
Your address book starts to bulge.
You become a name in your industry – you know everyone and everyone know you, and all for the right reasons!
What’s the downside?
What’s Stopping You Being a Great Cold Caller?
Same as is stopping lots of sales people I meet.
Focusing on all the negative stuff. Potential rejections. Getting kicked back at the gate- keeper stage. Being asked unexpected questions. All just makes the task harder and the wins even more costly, the effort greater, at which point your brain can simply short circuit into finding a way to hopefully achieve the same reult but with less intellectual exposure and greater protection from the rejection.
By the way, at the time of writing this – one one had ever reported being fatally wounded as a result of any form of sales rejection, not even when cold calling. Fancy that!
Benefits of Cold Calling.
Almost certain sales success.
Based on the 10 rules I’ve detailed in the section below, here are some typical figures that I see every single day, and have done for a number of years. See what you think…
A good sales cold caller will take between 100 – 200 dials (depending on their industry/age of pipeline / nature of product). (If you’re working in a tighter niche you might only make 20 dials but have a much higher conversion to qualified leads)
Based on 100 – 200 dials, you’ll get between 18-22 decision makers on the telephone to speak with.
Some of those decision makers will fit the business sales strategy in line with the perfect prospect profile, others will fall outside of that profile, and that’s ok.
Of the decision makers that do hit the perfect prospect profile, between 1.5 and 3 will be worked up into good quality leads that drop into the sales pipeline as highly qualified, high quality leads.
Over 20 working days per month. You can see how many well qualified, high quality sales leads are dropping into the sales pipeline.
That matters. A LOT.
The 100 – 200 dials can come from a pre-targeted list – maybe white paper downloads, website visitors, exhibition visitors, trade association bodies…
To really make your cold calling ROI as high as possible, reducing rejection as much as possible and build you a high quality sales pipeline faster, do this:
Does Cold Calling Work? Yes if you follow these 10 rules
You’ll hear lots of sales advocates talk about adding value
Ditch that – instead if you focusing on establishing FIT you’ll do much better.
Do you have a good fit with the prospect?
Can they gain a demonstrable ROI from working with you?
Do they have a problem they need a solution for?
Have they quantified they impact of that problem?
Will they work with you to do that?
Have you experience to share?
For more insights into this download Fill the Diary With High Quality Sales Appointments
Know – with granular detail – the Perfect Prospect Profile
What boxes must your prospect tick before you invest time in engaging?
Some sales functions stipulate post code, employee size, turnover and sector.
This is nowhere near enough detail to qualify a Perfect Prospect Profile…check out How to Identify the Prefect Sales Prospect
Get a sales coach
Even if it’s a colleague who does slightly better than you in the leader board, ask them to listen to your calls and offer feedback.
Ask to listen to their calls and see how they handle the prospect through the introduction and qualification process.
Ideally, your manager is scheduling regular coaching sessions with you…if not, ask!
Be honest, direct and up front
About what you want from your Perfect Prospect, it’s ok to say –
I wanted to speak to you to see if there is any potential for us to work together in the next 12 months, do do that I need to steel just 3 minutes from you and ask you three quick questions, at the end we can both decide if we need to book in another call to talk in more detail…is that ok?
Try it, you’ll be surprised at the responses you’ll get when your prospect realises you’re not their to waste his time. Or yours.
Practice makes perfect
Getting into the cold calling, sales lead generation or telephone appointment setting daily habit means, just like getting dressed for work, you do it automatically….and practice does make perfect!
Don’t be a sales stalker
If a prospect is not responding, sideline them for a while.
Check out their social profile.
Keep them on your radar, but get legitimately creative.
Truth is, the harder you run after them the further and faster they will run away.
Let them go and move on to work with people and prospects who do want to engage with you, prospects who do see your mutual fit.
Qualify hard and fast
Nothing wastes more time than trying to whittle a square peg down to fit into a round hole.
And for what?
It will never quite fit.
It’s the same in cold calling and lead generation.
There is either a fit, no fit, or a potential fit.
Where it’s the later, qualify hard and fast as to the real potential and either progress or chuck over the side.
p.s. it’s ok to let your prospect know you’re doing this so he want work with you so you both get maximum value form the interaction and in the shortest amount of time.
Like the above, the more you know about your perfect prospect’s insdutry, competitors, challenges, trends and fashions, the faster you can connect.
The easier your common language
Hopefully the more contacts and experience you have in common.
It’s a big win-win straight off the bat and lowers defenses super quick.
Operating in a tight niche or a strong vertical market makes cold calling and sales lead generation a breeze.
Ask good quality questions
Get a handful of questions that open up the conversation fast.
Get the prospect to give you all the information you need without it seeming like an interrogation.
Big open questions that get the information you need and show your familiarity with the prospects industry/challenges.
Mindset kills attitude!
Letting the prospect see that you know your value is key.
If you act like a brow beaten cold caller who hates their job and you’ll get rejected 9/10 times.
Instead act like a valuable partner in a peer to peer exchange and see the difference in how you are received.
Summary: Does Cold Calling Work?
Cold calling works very well as long as you don’t act like a cold caller!
If you’re in any doubt about how you’re acting in your cold calling role, check this out The Top 10 Rules Rich Cold Callers Know and You Don’t!
If you’re looking to up your cold calling game check out The Sales Improvement Workshop.
The Sales Improvement Workshop is also run as a in house b2b sales training course just email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0779 002 1885
If you’re based outside of the UK or you’re based in the UK and looking for a sales and business development program to embed in to your business – TurboCharged Sales
To really discover if cold calling works and to get a definitive answer to does cold calling work, then call 0779 002 1885 or email email@example.com for a confidential chat.
So, does cold calling work? Yes, if you do!