March 27, 2019 |
Ever got calls from unknown callers trying to market their product or trying to sell them? This is exactly what cold calling is. In a simple way, Cold calling is a technique followed by the salesperson to target unknown people and try to sell their product. It can be irritating at times when you get more calls from salespersons than your loved ones., but this is how cold calling works. Any salesperson who comes selling the product door to door is also termed as cold calling.
It was rumoured that cold calling is dead, but there are instances where cold calling is used with a very less conversion rate. It was a time when cold calling was the main way to market or sell your product especially in B2B sales, but as internet and social media advanced, cold calling started losing its popularity. It was also referred to as intrusive and offensive in a customer/receiver point of view.
For beginners, cold calling is the best process of getting in touch with their prospects through a phone call without their permission or invitation with an expectation that the prospect will accept your call and listen to your sales pitch. But here, the sales pitch is just a request to schedule an in-person appointment or maybe a conference call to make the prospect understand what you are selling. While some businesses consider cold calling as dead, it is still being used quite effectively by many B2B sales professionals.
It doesn’t matter if it is an outbound cold call or an inbound cold call, as long as your sales pitch is effective enough for the prospect to find the importance in what you are selling, everything is still in place and you still have more chances to convert the prospect to a buyer in no time, but do not hurry when you are presenting yourself, one small mistake can make the prospect change is mind or lose his confidence and think about moving to a different seller.
Michael Hannon, the author of “7 Simple Habits of Extraordinary Salespeople”, says that cold calling will be an effective way to sell B2B products and services. However, he has also stated that the world has taken on attitude in sales and marketing channels that “it can’t be effective enough if it is not digital” if you do not understand the major benefits of cold calling.
Another B2B marketing expert Jessica Magoch, says that cold calling is extremely effective only when it is done correctly, that is if it is in a non-robotic, personalized, and friendly manner.
Entrepreneurs and marketers have found the best way to market their product, sell them effectively with means of inbound cold calling, this is similar to cold calling where a salesperson contacts an unknown person to sell their service, but here it is the other way round.
You target visitors who have just visited your page and were only on the first level of conversion funnel, you send emails about the variety of offers you have with your services in order to attract the potential buyer, this is when the potential buyer develops interest and tries to contact you through the number displayed on your website. But it is to be noted that the number you have displayed is available and not busy all the time. A research says that when a prospect tries to contact you, their probability to call you is up to 3 times and if you are not available, you have lost a customer.
B2B marketing experts say that rather than letting cold calling go, it has to be stopped from being used as the first step in the sales process, instead should be used as the second step. Earlier, salespersons worked on getting phone numbers of prospects, and then make cold calls to those prospects until the prospects agree to meet the salesperson in-person or asked them to stop calling.
But the idea is different now, a cold email is sent to the prospect requesting an opportunity to talk to them and get to know more about the services you are selling. Make sure you ask the prospect about the best time to call. If the lead is really interested they will reply to the email. This way you have more chances of converting the potential lead into a customer.
Challenges you will face in Cold calling:
Jeffrey Gitomer a famous marketer wrote an article in The Augusta Chronicle that the return on investment on cold calling is under zero. Cold calling will only annoy a prospect and will not attract any business. Cold calling is the lowest percentage sale call. Cold calling has a very high rejection rate in this digital world. Multiple rejections can change a salesperson’s mentality and make it harder to act friendly to his prospects and complete a call.
Focus on the purpose: Do not go beyond the point just to impress the prospect. This might create a wrong impression about you or your services to the prospect.
Use a brief sales script: Introduce yourself, tell what you work as and start your job, do not work on explaining too much about yourself which the prospect is not interested in unless it is about your accomplishment in this field which can build a layer of confidence in the prospect about you.
Only call decision-makers: Make sure you call businesses or people who have the ability to take decisions at that moment, it can be a yes or no, keep going.
Call more referral accounts: Always keep in mind that your customer has an ability to refer many others if it works well for them, present well, inform about the referrals and the bonuses you provide which can multiply your customers.
Agree to a time that works for the prospect: Confirm or request for the best time you can contact your prospect so that you do not interrupt in meetings or seminar when you call them. If a prospect is free, then they will actively listen to every detail you provide.
Cold calling as per Telecom Laws in different countries:
The United States telecommunication laws are developed and run by the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC aims to limit the number of telemarketing calls. The United States, along with many others have introduced various “Do Not Call” lists. These lists are based off the national US Do Not Call List which was introduced in 2003.
Every month, since 2005 companies are required to remove the registered numbers from their leads lists. Note that “Do Not Call List” also has some limitations. Even if a personal contact is under the “Do Not Call List”, certain organizations can still call. These organizations can only be Telephone surveyors, charities, or political organizations. Organizations that have a business relationship with a person for over 18 months or any company that has a written permission for the same can cold call without any regulations, however between the stipulated time.
The FTC has also set certain time limits on when a person can be called. Cold calling should be done in between 8 am and 9 pm. The caller is also required by law to tell the customer who they are, their name and what services do they represent. This includes clarifying if the call is from an organization which is for a non-profit organization or for charity. The salesperson is supposed to provide all the information about the product they are selling. This means that they cannot lie which can lead to legal action.
The National Do Not Call List is run by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). Just like the U.S. version, the rules exclude surveyors, charities, political organizations/candidates, organizations that one has had a business relationship with over the previous 18 months or has granted permission, News seeking subscribers can also contact without any issues but within the regulated time interval.
The United Kingdom has their own version of the “Do Not Call List” which is known as the Telephone Preference Service. Any citizen of the United Kingdom can register for the list that aims to be eliminated from receiving unwanted calls from organizations including charities and political parties unlike the United States and Canada. TPS was first brought into action in 1999 and eventually saw changes in 2003 that ultimately created the Privacy and EC Directive Regulations 2003. Even though TPS prevents unwanted sales and marketing calls, it cannot prevent “recorded/automated messages, silent calls, market research, debt collection, scam calls as stated on their official website.
In 2012, Richard Herman from Middlesex sent a notice to a company for the time they kept cold-calling him. He then took the company to the small claims court, leading to the company settling out of court. He was phoned several times by the company despite being listed with the Telephone Preference Service.
Australia has its own version which is known as the Do Not Call Register. The “Do Not Call Register” is under the jurisdiction of the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) which is the supreme telecommunications authority in Australia. Once you are registered, telemarketers and fax marketers will not be able to contact you any further. This registration is free and will last for a period of eight years. Similar to other countries, there are certain limitations to the “Do Not Call Register”. These limitations include political parties, charities, and educational institutions. The “Do Not Call Register” takes effect on 30 days after registration to the service.
Some products are totally not permitted to cold call, but it is generally permitted within a guideline which requires stating the name of the business, complete name of the caller, name of the product and intention of making the call. There is no do not call list. The Japanese government’s Financial Services Agency maintains a list of known fraudulent entities involved in financial cold-calling scams which prevents any unwanted calls or also keeps the consumers safe from any fraud action.
In India, TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) has enabled a regulation which bans telecom providers cold-calling their customers. All the telecom providers are expected to adhere to the same failing to which will lead to legal action. There are steps taken by the providers to fill out a list where you can select if you wish to get calls for offers, any information from a service provider.
Now it is very clear that any salesperson has to be extra careful as to whom they are calling and for what purpose are they calling the prospect, if you get a rejection from a client, inform them that if they change their mind toward your services, they are always open to call, but do not keep send any advertisements or marketing emails to them which might lead to any legal action on your services. It is also stated rightly that the time limits must be strictly adhered to in order to respect one’s privacy.
Every prospect is important in a certain way, you should always have the knack to handle and convince them to go ahead with your service, with the steps above you can learn how and what can be done while you make a cold call, how it impacts your business. Not to forget about the regulations in respective countries which can cause legal trouble for you and your company. If you are a salesperson and have any ideas other than the ones mentioned above, let us know in comments.
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