Tuesday, 21 May 2013

5 Steps to Perfecting Your Cold Calling Tactics – A Waseem Saddique Marketing Insight

A live Google+ debate, hosted by ‘Software Advice’ on the 30th January 2013, asked its audience does cold calling still work? What followed was a survey that collected data, which ranked Telemarketing/Cold Calling as the 3rd most effective means of generating quality leads.

Waseem Saddique asserts:Whilst the web seems to have stormed ahead in the number of leads ‘generated’, through SEO techniques, social media and e-mail marketing, many B2B and B2C marketers claim that cold calling actually provides better ‘quality’ leads.”

Source: Software Advice

The general consensus is that business marketers will always opt for quality over quantity. The majority of marketing experts claim that finding one quality lead per day can generate a higher source of revenue than ten ‘leads’, which often have no relevance to their business.

According to one marketing expert, Scott Channell, cold calling does work and works best for:
1. New businesses that require clients immediately.
2. Businesses experience a slump and the urgency to sell is vital.
3. Companies seeking higher-quality business accounts.

Cold Calling is what’s known in the industry, as ‘playing the long game’, so here are 5 essential tips that will reap the benefits of cold calling endurance:

1. Re-evaluate your end-goals: Adopting a ‘machine gun’ approach to cold calling will leave you frustrated. Effective cold calling demands that you have a specific goal on the horizon, which you’d like your listeners to engage with. Without a goal-orientated ethos there’s no way to determine whether you’re converting contacts into customers, meaning all your efforts are in vain. 

One successful, goal-orientated cold calling tactic is to bide your time. Rather than going in for ‘the sale’ within the five first sentences of your pitch, encourage the customer to take action that’s far less intimidating than having to make an instant decision on an opportunity. Get them to sign up to a newsletter, make an appointment to call another time etc. This approach makes for more successful calls.

2. Pick your prospects wisely: Nothing wastes more time than cold calling the wrong target audience for your product or service. Chances are if you sell stair lifts for instance you’re not going to call people who live in bungalows (it happens). Research and analysis are key factors when implementing a successful cold calling marketing campaign.

3. Know when to call and when not to call: A recent consumer survey carried out by ‘Which?’ (February 2013), revealed that 76% of consumers could not stand cold callers that contacted them between the hours of 7 – 9pm on a Friday night.  Also, as a cold-caller, you need to assess your own motivation at 7pm on a Friday evening and then compare that with a customer’s likely receptiveness. Chances are your motivation levels will be low, therefore, it’s only reasonable to assume that a customer is not likely to be listening.

Waseem Saddique states: “Data shows that calling clients between the hours of 8.30 – 10.00am, between Tuesday – Thursday, deliver the best results as you can catch people before they settle into the confines of the working day when they are likely to be attending meetings for instance.”

4. Seek help: A common cold calling tactic is to seek help from the customers you contact. In an example provided by persuasive.net, consider the following two scenarios: 

“Hi Mr. So-and-so.  My name is Mike Smith and I’d like to tell you more about how my new line of products can dramatically improve your bottom line.”

“Hi Mr. So-and-so.  My name is Mike Smith and I’m hoping you can help me.  I’m looking for business owners who want to improve their bottom lines – does that sound like something you’d be interested in?”      

Notice the difference – The first statement launches into the ‘I’ mentality and sales piffle, whereas the second statement places the emphasis on ‘you’, you being the customer in this case. It places the value of the client’s input before anything else, this grabs attention.

5. Lay foundations with your prospects, them build on them: A common misconception when it comes to cold calling is that applying pressure will deliver results. Maybe in the spur of the moment this is true, however many cold callers, during the early part of their careers, remember the amount of times clients would call back to cancel a sale.

What’s the solution? Endurance, as building a rapport will allow you to win trust, committing a client to your product or service, not just for a one-off business deal, but for a long-term business relationship which would guarantee a continuous revenue stream for years to come.

Waseem Saddique comments: “Consider this, just ten clients bringing in £10,000, having built rapport shows a much better return, than calling 100 clients and generating £1000. Simply adapting the cold calling approach will transform the productivity of any business.”

Waseem Saddique Marketing Services was formed in 2007, the company has consistently provided small to medium enterprises, as well as larger corporate firms with a range of digital marketing & online solutions.