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Despite a constantly evolving social media landscape that spawns “new-fangled” & “trendier” social media platforms favored by a capricious audience, cold calling (whether it’s the personal, face-to-face sales call or the telephone sales call) is far from being dead. In fact, it is alive and kicking.
This purported dismissal of cold calling in recent years was very much alike in the way print advertising was rejected years ago. The reason I’m bringing this up is that I wish to draw upon the similar context in which sales prospecting and print advertising were erroneously brushed aside.
Let’s look at it from the context of how print advertising was pooh-poohed. Granted, the media consumption habits of consumers may have shifted from the physical media to online media, but to then pronounce advertising was dead is tantamount to saying reading and the written word are dead! This is, of course, as we all know it something which is furthest from the truth. In the same token, while social media may have had eclipsed the principal role of cold calling as a medium to reach out to sales prospects, it has not been able to replace the critical role the cold call play in B2B selling. And never will all for very practical reasons. The most fundamental reason is:
The Human Touch and Immediacy of Cold Calling.
So while technology may render things obsolete, cold calling is one tool that shall never be made redundant for the simple fact that the human face and the human voice are part of our humanity. It’s through them that we are able to observe, to hear, to feel and to sense the level of interest in our prospects (or any human being for that matter!). It’s through them that we are able to uncover a prospect’s unhappiness, hidden fears and insecurities. And it’s only through them that we could allay their objections and thereby move the sales to a close there and then!
Cold calling is hence a tool that accords a primordial, human immediacy that sees no match in the comparatively-cold world of digital communications.
Cold Calling is an Essential Tool in Important Stages of the Sales Cycle.
Depending on the product or service being offered, cold calling can be a versatile tool to use at “key touchpoints” in the buying process of a prospect.
With proper and thorough homework (aka research) being done, cold calling can be a potent instrument to drive sales at both ends of the sales funnel. In the beginning stage of the sales cycle, cold calling can sieve out those really potential prospects. And at the ending stage of the sales cycle, it can quickly and most efficiently, bring a sales to a close.
The Entrenched Role of the Social Media Has Made Cold Calling More Cost-Efficient.
Thanks to the social media, practicing sales practitioners know the cold calls of today have got much warmer. And this has only served to make cold calling that much more effective and cost-efficient as a medium of choice for the skillful sales professionals.
Playing to the strengths of both cold calling and online media, smart marketers know how to leverage on the strength of each of these media so that the proverbial “sum is greater than its parts”.
Now, have you ever wondered why is cold calling such an enduring tool? When it is done regularly and professionally, it possesses the power to keep a sales professional in the loop of salesmanship because:
Cold Calling Allows the Sales Professional to have His or Her finger On the Pulse of the Marketplace.
And not only that. It’s a sure-fire way that allows a sales professional to suss out any “hidden crevice” of untapped demand. Which essentially means:
Cold Calling is able to Enable the Salesperson to Detect those Promising But Hidden Market Segments.
When you cold call you are in the enviable position to cash in on the “first-mover advantage” (versus those who do not).
5 Key Facts Pointing to Cold Calling Longevity.
Now, to those really hard-core skeptics of cold calling out there, consider these facts:
* Harvard Business Review Online reported that: “cold-calling is the most effective way to set up appointments with the right decision makers at your target accounts… and should be used by every B2B salesforce”.
* Cold calling by phone elicited a “higher response rate than direct mail or even email. That’s the power of using your telephone”. (Source: DMA Response Rate Trend Report 2010)
* Sales consultant and author of “Value Added Selling”, Paul Di Modica remarked in his book: “Cold-calling is the fastest way to increase your sales pipeline… If you were to analyze the top income sales position in the US (stockbrokers, commercial insurance salespeople, merger & acquisition salespeople) you would find that they all cold call.
* Travis Kalanick, Founder of Uber had dived right into cold calling when he wanted to validate Uber as a business model.
* 14-year-old app developer, Saroush Ghodsi cold called Sam Altman, President of Y Combinator and one of Silicon Valley’s most prominent entrepreneurs and was accepted into his company. (In an article published on online news site, Mic on 9 August 2017)
Cold Calling is a Tool of All Time.
In an ultra-competitive marketplace today where customer loyalty is no longer a given, cold calling enables the sales professionals to stand on their own two feet even when things have gone haywire as they may sometimes will, as in the case of an economic slump. A lackluster economy will have no ability to affect you much. You know, it will not be able to bring you to your knees. You know you are well-fortified when you have the “immune system” (that comes from regular cold-prospecting) to ward off “sales nonchalance in an uncertain world”.
Wants to Be the Best-of-the-Best? Try Cold Calling.
Cold calling is selling skill 101. It is the most basic but also the most challenging skill that any self-respecting sales professional needs to develop to acquire the qualities of a successful salesperson. These are qualities like perseverance, determination, grit, confidence, patience and above all, what is popularly known as EQ or Emotional Intelligence (which consists of the age-old quality of empathy, in fact). Not surprisingly, these are exactly the same qualities that have birthed many successful entrepreneurs the world has known. From the likes of Michael Dell, Founder of the computer company Dell; Howard Schultz, Chairman and CEO of Starbucks; Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce and finally, Steve Ballmer, the head honcho of LA Clippers. Guess what? They were all cold calling salesmen early in their career.
Cold calling: any takers?
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