25 March 2015 Category: Blog
Before I get down to the matter in hand I need to clarify the nebulous term “cold calling”. To some, cold calling refers to the act of phoning random numbers at inconvenient times of the day or night with no idea who you are contacting. For the sake of this article, I will define a “cold call” like so: a call to a business where the person being contacted wasn’t expecting the call. Thanks to LinkedIn and sites like data.com it’s a lot easier to point your call at the right person from the off, even if they aren’t actually expecting the conversation. Personally I prefer the term “pleasant surprise call” to “cold call”, although I think I might be on my own there.
Tim Newman, Telemarketing Specialist
The Telemarketing Company
So, without further ado, here are five reasons why calling someone to talk to them about a proposition without their consent is still very much alive and kicking:
1) It Works!
B2B Telemarketing companies, like ours, are still trading, and have been for decades. We boast clients that have been with us for more than 10 years. That in itself is proof that calling someone without their prior knowledge or permission is still effective. Let’s be honest, if there was no value to it, the companies that work with us would disappear quicker than a Finance Director up a drainpipe.
2) Email Fail
If you’re a new company with a new domain, or an old company with a lesser known domain, email-shots are headed straight for the spam folder. It won’t pass ‘GO’ and it certainly won’t pick up £500.
Even if your trixy little email does manage to run the cyber security gauntlet, nothing can protect it from the vicious email culling we all conduct on a daily basis. If the title of your email says something like “URGENT BUSINESS INFORMATION WHICH WILL SAVE YOU $$$$” you might get the occasional recipient opening the email for a laugh, but that’s about the end of it.
3) Your Message Is Interesting
Don’t forget, if you are marketing a product or service that you have carefully designed or planned, it might actually be interesting to people. How about that for a mind-blowing concept? When you’ve been focused for so long on honing your craft you can forget just how impressive your product has become. Of course, many a cold call will be stopped in its tracks, but what if the right type of individuals were to listen to your offering?
With modern sophisticated data management tools it’s a lot easier to pinpoint the exact demographic that your message is intended for. Modern telemarketing is less “pin the tail on the donkey” and more “hit the nail on the head”.
4) The Proactive Bird Catches The Worm
If a telemarketer calls me at home or at work I am always polite, but I (pretty much) always close them down and say ‘no’. I expect most people reading this article handle cold calls in a similar way. If you get a call, in general, you’ll decline. But, and this is the mother of all ‘buts’: even you, hater of the cold call, might occasionally say “yes, OK, I would like more information about that”.
To a certain extent telemarketing is still a numbers game, gently nurtured and sensitively approached numbers, but numbers none-the-less.
If the company you call is currently discussing getting some kind of new service for their business, they will have Googled it first, of course; but if someone happens to call them up about their topic of interest, they’ll be happier to chat to an actual human than wade through the “FAQ” section of the internet’s SEO winners.
By being proactive you can catch potential customers whilst they are still in the “considering it” phase, i.e. when they need the most guidance. Why wait for them to come to you?
At the end of the day, if you’re marketing any kind of service, you are guaranteed that somebody somewhere is looking for it. You just need to find them and there’s nothing wrong with being ahead of the curve.
5) It’s Personal
SEO is vital these days, but you can’t rely on it to get you to the top of the Google charts all of the time, and you still can’t beat speaking to a real human. Email shots are ineffective and impersonal. Yes, an email takes less time to get rid of than a caller, but “people buy people” (the adage is old, but as cheesy as it sounds, it’s still true).
It’s very easy to delete an email, if indeed it reaches your inbox in the first place, but it’s much less easy (or desirable) to get rid of someone who is being engaging and, dare I say it, interesting.
If one of your potential customers receives an email from you, reads it, doesn’t like its content and deletes it you will never know its fate. However, if someone calls a prospect, has a brief chat and is told that they aren’t currently interested in your wares it’s a different story entirely. You still haven’t got a sale, but you might find out why they aren’t interested. That in itself, collated across thousands of records, can actually build a pretty useful insight into your chosen demographic.
There is no match for human interaction.
Like them or loathe them, cold calls are here to stay.