Cold call – definition for this post -“I’ve never heard of you or your company. I have no idea what you do, why I should value it or why I should listen to you now or talk to you later” Now, that’s cold.
I’ve made thousands of calls just like that and they used to work, but not anymore. Yes, it’s easy to point out that the disgustingly low connection rates are the issue, but they are not the only one. I was talking with a friend who is in marketing and he confided that his outbound teleprospecting group engaged the services of a company that boosted their live connection rate…….and it didn’t make any difference in their final results. Yup, they got them live on the phone, but no it didn’t change the sales results.
Within sales teams, that kind of talk is almost heresy. It means that what we have always done isn’t good enough anymore. It means we’re not good enough anymore. An unsuccessful engagement means we did something wrong. Usually it means we we’re not prepared or focussed on what we’re doing.
I say its time to put down the whip that we’ve been beating ourselves with. Knowing something about your contact before you engage them live isn’t good enough anymore. They need to know something about you. And specifically what they need to know is why they should talk to you.
I have voicemail campaigns delivered for me. It’s a service I can assure you I never take for granted because I have personally seen the difference between a true cold encounter and a live connection with a contact that my voicemails and email messages have warmed up. Translated into booked appointments I’m 3-4 times more likely to get a meeting if I’ve warmed the contact up before I call. Sometimes, they even respond to my warm up messages. Sometimes that response is “not interested”, but that’s ok. It’s information. It’s an acknowledgement and at least I didn’t waste my own time dialing them 20 times to hear it.
I still believe in calling and outbound marketing. I truly enjoy the opportunity to talk with someone new about their business and how we might be able to help them, but I won’t make another icy-cold dial ever again.