Cold calling. Two words that send shivers down the spines of sales professionals and consumers alike. This pre-internet customer acquisition concept started a raging battle between pushy 'salesmen' and the customer’s tolerance. But now, thankfully, cold calling is dead.
The internet has given way to armies of savvy consumers who no longer tolerate forceful interruption into their lives by over-eager salespeople. The digital revolution has led to a major shift in the way sales outreach is executed - with many companies opting to use email and social media rather than risk the negativity associated with direct calling.
However, prospecting by telephone is still a necessary and important part of the customer acquisition process. Fortunately, there is an alternative to cold calling: Smart calling – a more effective way to engage customers.
Cold Call Vs Smart Call
We live in an era where consumers are more selective, smarter purchasers, and acutely averse to anything that sounds like a sales pitch. No matter how well-rehearsed and solid your cold call pitch is, it will have severely limited, if not adverse, effects in this the era where consumers have the upper hand.
Consider the following sales pitch. If you are accustomed to traditional cold calling, it might not be dissimilar to a script you might have used in the past.
“Hi there, I’m Simon Grey from CC Associates. We provide telecommunication training. I’d like to introduce our training program packages to you and invite you to attend one of our webinars to learn more about how we can help your company.”
Most people would probably tune out immediately and begin thinking of ways to end the call. It is clearly a pitch designed for the masses. Instead, consider a call structure for a smart call. One that speaks directly to the individual and addresses their personal needs.
The most effective way to hold someone’s attention is to make the conversation about them. With every interaction, people want to know, “What’s in it for me?” Smart calling is all about identifying solutions to a potential customer’s problem and presenting them with that solution clearly and non-salesy.
Telemarketing and Smart Calling – a perfect match
Contrary to what you might have heard, telemarketing is not redundant. It is true that email and social media have proven to be effective marketing tools in the modern age. But there is no beating the personal relationship that can be nurtured via telephone.
You can also identify, nurture, and educate potential customers via modern digital mediums. You can even build relationships and drive sales. But a phone call is direct and decisive. Getting on the phone with a potential customer creates immediate opportunities. The alternatives take time.
Once you have identified a prospect who would benefit from your product or service a phone call can help you address those problems quickly and effectively. It’s all about getting smart with those telephone calls. Cold calling is dead; smart calling is very much alive.