Here we go, another “bash cold calling” blog post, right? Far from it! Cold calling still works (in various degrees for all of us) but should it be the only way you target prospects today?
Cold Calling Realities
Here is the reality. Whether we like it or not, cold calling (for all of its advantages) has some downsides. And this is why no one (or very few) are picking up cold calls these days. This includes you, I may add.
1. You’re not educated enough about the buyer
Are you calling people without researching them, their company, their industry, what’s affecting them, etc? These are just some things you can do to significantly increase your chance of outreach.
2. You’re interrupting them!
As helpful and valuable our solutions are, and as well-intentioned as we all may be, no one likes being interrupted. According to the Harvard Business Review, 90% of decision makers say they never respond to cold outreach. This is a staggering stat that shows you how disruptive cold calling can be when someone is in the middle of an activity. The last thing they want to hear is a sales pitch when they pick up their phone.
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3. You’re Focused on the Pitch, Not Education.
There is certainly a time for the pitch but it can’t be the very first phone call. Some of us are starting to change this by focusing on listening, educating and really seeking to gain buy-in to advance to another meeting. Are you doing this? Simply put, you’ve got to be connected on multiple fronts – you can’t just rely on phone, e-mail and infrequent meet-ups at events.
A Cautionary Note from Senior Leaders
PGi recently did a webinar which is a MUST WATCH for B2B sales professionals. In this webinar, senior leaders are flat-out telling us in sales not to cold call them. It’s controversial because it goes completely against the grain on everything we’ve been taught as a sales community. They’re telling us to use other means (such as social media) to reach out to their organizations before connecting on the phone.
You can watch the webinar here. It’s eye-opening and will begin to give you a view directly into the world of the decision maker.
The Bottom Line
Now that you know this, I’m hoping you agree that cold calling shouldn’t be the only way you find, nurture and impact buyers. Consider these statistics below – do you agree?
- 75% of buyers now use social media to research vendors (IDC).
- 90% of decision makers say they never respond to cold outreach (Harvard Business Review).
- Sales people who “get” social are 6X more likely to achieve quote than non-social sellers (KiteDesk & A Sales Guy).