Cold Calling Never Died, and Never Will

I always chuckle to myself when I read or hear someone proclaim “the cold call is dead”.

I can assure you that, to those who do proclaim such doom and gloom, the cold call was never alive! Cold calling has nothing to do with “cold”, and those who have built and continue everyday to build their businesses, utilizing this fundamental skill, are in an elite club. It’s a club that lives by the motto: “I believe I have something that people want and need, and I am excited to speak to them about it”. These club members wake up everyday embracing the words “believe” and “excited”, they never waver, and in doing so enjoy initial and long-term success in opening new accounts and forming new business relationships.

That kind of success doesn’t come from a place that’s “cold”, but one that’s warm and inviting. It doesn’t matter whether your job is selling insurance, stocks & bonds, cars, clothing, memberships or patio furniture; if you believe and are excited about your product or service, your enthusiasm and desire to talk to as many people as possible will not diminish and you will enjoy the long-term success that comes from building and maintaining such momentum.

It’s important to realize that the professional way to cold call is somewhat subjective and prone to variations. The best approach for you, as a salesperson, should be rooted in this question: If someone were to approach me “cold”, either on the telephone or in person, what approach would I immediately judge as the most professional and appropriate? What demeanor and style of communication would I respond to favorably? What would turn me off? What would I need to hear, in that first sentence uttered, to be interested and what would cause me to be immediately disinterested? Asking these questions is the first step to developing your own professional, yet personal, style of cold calling.

The next important step to finalizing your professionalism as a “cold caller” is to know your material, inside and out. Practice, drill and rehearse your lines. Consult with a veteran of your industry to learn the most common objections and rehearse the answers so that you can recite them in your sleep. When meeting with clients, there’s always that one question that is in the back of their mind but they are reluctant to ask… know what that question is and then answer it, early in the process, before they have a chance to ask it; then observe how they immediately become more relaxed. Congratulations, you’ve just earned some trust. Also, don’t forget to answer any important question that prospects forget to ask; in doing so the client will know you have their best interest at heart.

Lead Generation With Telemarketing

Technology is playing a huge role in transforming things in the business world of this digitization age.

Technology is itself changing over time and bringing in various marketing techniques like the social media marketing, telemarketing for lead generation.

No matter how fast technology is transforming, people resume to the same working methods in different ways and hence, telemarketing has become so valuable only because telephone has always been the efficient method of lead generation in earlier days.

The first thing that comes to our minds when we hear about Telemarketing is the late night calls.

Yet, we all know that there is no other efficient one-to-one direct marketing approach than telemarketing.

Apart from generating sales, this method is also effective in data gathering and lead generation.

Being in the technology marketing services industry, especially in the telemarketing sphere since the late 1970s, we have seen this industry evolve over time, which may even look like a revolution.

With time, we have been wondering about a lot of things like “What to expect from this traditional telemarketing method as a part of the technology marketing services as we approach 2018”.

The conventional telemarketing industry has evolved since the late 1970s when it was first introduced in the marketing services industry.

During that period, telemarketing was very exciting as it gave an amazing return on investments and the “call to contact” ratios was at a 20% mark. Instead of voicemails, IT directors preferred answering the phone calls and this resulted in innovative IT product launches.

At that time, Advertising was a new thing in the world of business and the marketers used unique techniques that were intended to target new audiences in the market. Such methods were not seen or heard before. In other words, attracting people’s attention and converting the leads into sales became much easier with such methods as the market was not that saturated during the period.

Another advantage is that the IT inventions were unique, authentic and creative which drove the industry forward in such a way that was not witnessed ever before. Telemarketers took the chance to take a ride and made effective use of new and innovative technologies to provide successful returns to their clients.

That time is considered as the golden era and the pinnacle of success in this commission-based telemarketing industry.

This was the period where almost all the successful marketers had complete faith in their ideas, their skills, their way of doing business and their ability to successfully connect with the potential customers and eventually extract sales leads, leading to huge returns on their investments.

Now that we are approaching the year 2018, the biggest question is what to do now for telemarketing?

Have we reached a phase where the methods are outdated?

Is it no longer the period of carrying on the traditional marketing?

Does telemarketing still have a place in today’s marketing industry or there are new methods?

Nowadays, sellers and marketers are working in a smarter and harder way to convince people to purchase their products. In order to attract the attention of new as well as existing customers, marketers have to be extremely serious and hardworking; they cannot take it lightly anymore.

Technology has evolved over time and everyone can see the variations of all the themes like improved functionalities, advanced methods, and new versions as compared to the ones about 20 years ago.

Another thing that the marketers have to understand now is that expectations of clients have changed so it is relatively tougher to gain success in the outbound marketing industry. The “call to contact” ratio is at 10% mark only as compared to about 20% mark during the year 1998.

To gain growth and success in the inbound marketing industry, your company’s principles need to be very strong and you will have to work smarter and harder, develop new methods, branch out, and make innovations.

Successful marketing agencies are now spending the majority of their time in cleaning the databases and ensuring complete accuracy so that all personalized campaigns can become a success.

This means that all the other marketing agencies need to work harder to ensure the best results for their clients. Agencies can choose to Flag all the contacts in their databases, which are on continuous voicemail, in order to ignore them and concentrate on those contacts that have the highest chances of giving them success.

The way of businesses marketing themselves and interrelating with their potential clients has also undergone a transformation, with the growth in the social media platforms. Right now the marketing industry is completely unpredictable. No one should believe that social and digital channels are the only way out in today’s marketing world. The only thing which is still the same is the telemarketing method as a part of the successful marketing campaigns. If executed well, telemarketing can help you drive growth and contribute towards success.

The European Parliament has drafted the EUDPR (Data Protection Regulation) that suggests the changes to data protection rules, which will impact the direct marketing industry. But if you follow the rules, there will not be any problem and telemarketing technique can be smoothly used.

A successful company will always want to use telemarketing as one of its marketing technique. To use this method, every company must do the research properly and distinguish who all are there in the database and why they are there. Such companies should only connect with customers who are their potential target audiences for the marketing campaigns and should also respect when customers wish to be removed from their database.

Being the owner of your company, make sure that your company along with its people behave well and remain credible. The reputation of your company and the membership in the marketing associations will depend on its credibility.

From now onwards, each company will adopt advanced technologies to assist its members in using the database correctly to give positive results to the customers. Every company must constantly refresh the database information so as to make good utilization of personalized marketing and connect with people whenever required. This will lead to higher return on investments.

No matter what you think of telemarketing, you cannot deny its effectiveness on generating leads and it is a successful part of the marketing mix that involves E-mail, direct mail, and other digital and social solutions.

Below are some of the most important benefits of applying Telemarketing as an effective marketing tool.

• Telemarketing gives a direct response: Through this marketing tool, you will get immediate results no matter what your goal is and whether you are able to generate immediate leads and sales. It will help in providing a direct return on investment.

• It can effectively work with cold and warm lists: Every company can use telemarketing to get new customers, generate sales, and also progress leads with clients you have already contacted, or sell to the existing clients.

• It is very flexible: Telemarketing is a flexible tool in the sense that you can get valuable feedback the moment you start making calls. You can use the valuable feedback to change or polish the procedure and make quick and effective transformations.

• It works as a human: Experienced telemarketers have amazing listening and communicating skills. Your message will be perfectly tailored to every specific customer, unlike other advertising channels or techniques. Telemarketing can be easily used to collect immediate feedback and information.

• Telemarketing can be easily measurable: Each and every call will provide you with some information on the basis of which you can decide what to do in future. You will get every information through this marketing tool when you wish to distinguish how efficient your sales team is, or how precise and accurate your contact information is, or what percentage of clients read the direct mail postcards.

• It can generate leads and open market data: Telemarketing technique will provide you with a huge opportunity to learn and improve. By using all essential information, you can fill up the necessary gaps in your knowledge gaining process about telemarketing tool.

Stop Being Afraid of the Gatekeeper

One of the reasons people stop making cold calls is fear of the gatekeeper. Gatekeepers seem to wield extraordinary power over the minds of cold callers.

Gatekeepers are receptionists and part of their job is to stop others from wasting the time of the person who is paying their wage. Unfortunately, salespeople often view gatekeepers in such a one dimensional way that they end up giving away all their power to them.

Recently, one of my clients, who is a very powerful and successful man in his own right expressed how fearful he was of gatekeepers. I asked him why and he couldn’t logically explain it.

He seemed to believe that the gatekeeper held all the power rather, than seeing the receptionist as a person who is simply employed to perform a job and who has no vested interest in keeping him from speaking to a decision maker.

When asked to rethink the situation and to remember that he was the CEO of a successful company, he realised that he had been giving away his power to a gatekeeper. Giving away our power occurs when we allow others to make us feel less than who we really are. When we allow anyone, including a gatekeeper to change the way we feel we are also giving away our power.

Gatekeepers are not our enemies. In fact, it would serve us to befriend them and treat them with respect. Whenever I come across an unfriendly gatekeeper who seems hell bent on being as abrupt as possible, I choose to engage them in conversation.

Asking questions helps to keep the conversation going and allows you to be in control of the conversation. Depending on the type of organisation you are calling and the nature of the call, it is wise to engage in research before phoning, so that you can ask relevant questions.

‘I see from your website that you don’t offer… Is that something you have tried or… ?’ or ‘Do you know anyone else who might be interested in… ?’

With a rude or abrupt gatekeeper, the trick is to ensure that you never succumb to their emotional tone. I describe it as ‘not falling into the pit with them.’ I even asked one such gatekeeper once if everything was actually alright because she sounded like she was angry. That certainly diffused the situation and her tone changed immediately.

Always treat gatekeepers as if they are your best friend. Use their Christian name whenever possible. Use humour to diffuse any tension and always ensure you treat them with the utmost respect.

If you continue to see receptionists as your adversary they will live up to that reputation. It is more prudent to view them as a potential advocate and even a silent business partner. Don’t be afraid of gatekeepers. They are not in this world to sabotage your business success. Start changing your perception about these hard working, often underpaid, yet highly important individuals as sources of information and the key holder to the gate you want opened.