Yes I do, in fact – Don’t cold call! Not unless you are selling in a way that is radically different or fundamentally better than everyone else.
Then maybe you stand a chance, but the odds are stacked heavily against you. I couldn’t tell you the last time a cold caller cut-through and engaged me emotionally over the phone. In fact, I dare say I have never purchased something from a cold caller.
Why most cold calling is a waste of time
Many companies are selling the same thing in the same way – which means they get the same result – “I’m not interested” – Clunk!With the proliferation of the internet and the information explosion, your customers are savvier, more connected and they have less available time than ever. That means cold callers are finding it more challenging, (if not impossible) to cut-through successfully and engage people that are whiling to share their time and hopefully eventually buy.
Align your Values
If you value your time and don’t like being intruded upon – then perhaps cold calling is not the best strategy, because there is a good chance that your best customers feel the same way. Put your customer hat on for a second: When was the last time you were stimulated to buy from a cold call? How do cold callers make you feel? Perhaps manipulated and encroached on. Why would ‘your’ customers feel any different? What’s important to your customers should be important to you. If it’s not – you need to find ways to make it so.
Before you make your next cold call, go and ask your best customers how they feel about being contacted in this manner. If their response is positive, then at least you know your strategy has potential and you can refine accordingly. Your customer may be able to give you insights into what works or definitely won’t work. If their responses are mostly negative then perhaps you need to rethink your approach.
It’s not all bad. There is always room for innovation if you dare to look for areas of improvement and explore gaps that allow you to develop a unique selling point. If cold calling is a part of your sales role – then have fun with it. Don’t blatantly sell things in laconic and predictable ways. Cold calling is tough enough as it is, so if you don’t enjoy it – you won’t stick at it long enough to develop best practices. I can also guarantee you that if you don’t enjoy cold calling – neither will the people you are contacting. Come-up with new and exciting ways to play whilst you work, like cold calling in teams and creating a theme with a structured approach. Also give your customers an opportunity to buy-in and share your enthusiasm for what you are selling, quickly. This takes some passion for what you’re selling and how you sell it.
And remember, always; communicate with the customer in benefit terms. There must be a strong, if not resounding, WIFM! (What’s In It For Me?)
If there’s ‘nothing’ this makes your call, like so many other cold calls, not only a waste of your customer’s time but your own.