Short answer, “Yes, there is.”
Today I mentioned in a status update that I was helping some surveyors to build new business leads through cold calling sales training. I was asked the question,
“Cold calling? In an era of social media and connection?”
The answer for so many reasons is… “Yes.”
A top-class, sales development, plan should assess and consider many routes to market. Sales development is about multiple routes to market. Recent economic times prove that what you do today may well not work tomorrow. Many companies thought that what they were doing a year ago would always be good enough. Many companies thought that they did not have to consider other options to carry on succeeding. Heck, even the government thought that they had eliminated “boom and bust” for ever. They were all wrong.
If life tells you anything it is that things change. Things don’t stay the same. So it’s a good job that variety is the spice of life.
So to cold calling…
Cold calling, done correctly, can be incredibly effective. Cold calling, done well, can be powerfully effective. Cold calling, employed successfully, can catapult a business from zero to huge growth with minimal budgets and with break-neck speed. For many industries and companies failing to consider cold calling as part of their route to market is every bit as short-sighted as doing nothing but cold calling for business and employing no other strategies whatsoever. What’s more, cold calling is eminently measurable, gets immediate and tangible results and is within the control of the individual.
Yes, cold calling done badly will waste time. Cold calling done badly is disrespectful. Cold calling done badly is no better than spam. Cold calling done badly will not work. And many businesses do cold calling very, very badly… but I wasn’t talking about doing it badly now was I? That’s what sales training is for.
Many have predicted the death of cold calling many times over and many will again. Many have a vested interest in predicting this in any case. And many salespeople wish this were true as they don’t like doing it. Maybe one day it will happen but not today. Cold calling directly connects individuals to other individuals and that can’t be a bad thing in a world obsessed by email and faceless, impersonal communication.
Through sales training, sales seminars and sales consultancy, I have helped and seen businesses double sales growth rapidly by employing legitimate and professional cold calling tactics. I have helped individuals grow small businesses from scratch with proven cold calling strategies. I have helped SMEs take on international behemoths by outflanking them and taking the initiative by getting themselves in front of senior decision-makers using… guess what?… cold calling skills.
But what of social media…?
I love social media. I use social media. I spend time with social media. To a point… but it is not for everybody. Certainly, not yet anyway and maybe never. Everybody said that video would kill cinemas and, for a bit, it did but cinemas reinvented themselves and became popular again. E-books were supposed to kill printed books but Amazon, Borders, Waterstones and others (Harry “flipping” Potter to name but one) changed this prediction.
Cold calling may change. It may be used less. It may be used more. It may stop working altogether. But, at the moment, I and many businesses have incontrovertible, black and white, bottom-line evidence that cold calling done well kicks ass in many businesses.
But as I said, I like social media too. Social media is incredibly powerful but what if…?
What if your clients have not embraced blogs, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn etc? In some markets, the lion-share of individuals have not even heard of LinkedIn, they do not read blogs and many over 30 do not even have a Facebook account. To them Twitter is something they do not understand or see the point of. I know many busy executives who make important buying decisions for companies who are “too busy to mess about on the internet” as they have “a real job to do”!
How do you reach these people through social media?
You don’t. Not yet anyway and maybe you never will. Some people do not have the time or interest for social media. Some people do not and might not “get” social media. Social media is incredibly powerful but you cannot use it to reach and engage with people who have not yet embraced it and who do not use it. Social media is powerful but it is not a wonder solution that wipes out all others. Social media is a “communication” channel and as such should only be part of an overall sales and communication strategy.
So, as I was saying…
Today I was teaching surveyors to cold call professionally to win more business. Cold calling might not work for you. It might not work for your business. But, then again, is it not possible that cold calling could be a powerful way of building business and generating sales leads for you, for your sales team and for your business? Want to know more about sales training and cold calling?