Cold calling is one of the three types of outbound calls and one of the oldest marketing tactics that has attracted scepticism. But did you know that 69% of buyers usually accept cold calls from businesses, and up to 82% of buyers are willing to schedule a meeting with a sales representative after speaking with them through a cold call?
This tells us that cold calling isn’t dead just yet. The biggest issue is that cold calling is usually confused with spam calls.
So, what exactly is cold calling, and can you use it to drive sales in the modern era? Read on to learn more about the pros and cons of cold calling and whether it is good for your business.
Understanding the Basics of Cold Calling
As mentioned above, many people out there tend to confuse cold calls with spam calls. However, the truth is that cold calling is much more than just picking up a phone and dialing random numbers to deliver a sales pitch. That would definitely be spam calling, and it is dead.
Cold calling means reaching out to prospective clients that you have carefully shortlisted based on prior research. The only difference is that you have not had prior contact with these people. As a result, most of them are yet to show prior intent to purchase from you.
It means that the prospect you are calling hasn’t filled any web form, expressed any interest in what you are selling, isn’t a contact you purchased from a lead provider and hasn’t called you before.
In very simple terms, the prospect, in this case, isn't interested in your business at the moment because they don't know about it. The primary goal of cold calling is to generate intent.
That is why it is recommended not to focus too much on selling your product or service on the first cold call you make because it may come off as inappropriate. You need to be careful not to portray a wrong first impression about your business.
Some industries that still use cold calling to drive sales include insurance, banking, travel and hospitality.
What Are the Pros of Cold Calling?
It is always a difficult thing to get into the “cold calling frame of mind.” Even if you are so good at connecting with prospective clients, the fear of the unknown always creeps in when it comes to cold calling.
Fortunately, the benefits of cold calling can sometimes be the biggest motivation to push forward. Let us take a look at some of the pros of this marketing strategy.
1. Gives You a Chance to Learn More about the Prospect Directly
As long as the prospect answers your call and he/she is willing to speak with you, there is a massive chance of learning more about their needs and how your business can be of help.
No matter the amount of research you conduct, there is always so much to learn about your prospective clients when you speak with them directly. Regardless of how brief the conversation may be, you stand a chance to learn many things about the prospect.
You can then use the information gathered to tailor your sales pitch, later on, to convince the prospect to buy from you. Keep in mind that you will gather sufficient amount of information to understand their pain points and offer a value proposition that may be incredibly difficult to resist.
Showing genuine interest in the prospect and acknowledging their view about you right from the onset of the conversation allows the conversation to flow freely without making them feel like they are under pressure to buy from you.
2. Instant Feedback
Compared to other sales techniques such as social media marketing and cold emailing, cold calls remain the best way to receive instant feedback.
Once you have the prospect on the line, it won't be long before one of the following things happens:
- They hang up on you.
- They request more information or reschedule the call.
- They hear you and provide you with instant feedback.
- They like what you sell and go on to make a purchase.
If you are lucky enough to receive instant feedback, make sure you use it tactically to keep the conversation going. Should the prospect tell you they are not interested in your product or service, try to find out why and use the feedback in future cold calls.
3. Opportunity to Reach New Customers
If an individual isn’t actively looking for products or services that you offer, there is a good chance that they will never discover your business website.
Therefore, it is your job to go out there and try to find them by all means. With cold calling, you have a chance to contact people who fit the description of your ideal client and talk to them about your products or services.
Furthermore, cold calling provides you with an excellent way to master your sales pitch which can be an excellent form of training for newbie sales reps.
Once you have a few conversations with prospective clients, you gain the confidence to talk to the next one without fear. All you have to do is adjust a few things as needed.
4. Sales Calls Can be Done Anywhere
Some sales techniques require you or part of your sales team to be out and about to acquire new clients.
Although technology has come in and streamlined things, cold calling remains one of the most effective ways that sales reps can work independently from anywhere.
You can make cold calls from the comfort of your home, in the office, or even on the road. This is a significant advantage since it allows you to make sales and reach out to new prospective clients regardless of where your sales team is located.
5. Quickest Way of Making Things Possible and Feasible
Cold calling is one of the marketing strategies which if done right, can help you seal the deal almost instantly. While this may surprise many salespeople, that is what happens when you perfect your art of cold calling.
You can easily gauge a prospect who is interested in your products or services from the tone of their voice and push them to decide in your favor.
So, if you plan to make money more quickly in the cheapest possible way, then an effective cold calling strategy can be your way out.
What Are the Cons of Cold Calling?
Likewise, there are some criticisms regarding the applicability of cold calling as a marketing strategy. So, what are some of the glaring drawbacks of cold emailing? Let us find out:
1. It Can Be Frustrating
With cold calling, chances of getting a potential client are very low. In most cases, the prospects will not be interested in your product or service because they don’t know about it and have never heard about your company.
So, as a salesperson using cold calling, you should expect to hear a lot of no’s from the people you call. Sometimes, you may be forced to deal with unacceptable behavior and abusive language.
For you to close one client, you may be forced to stomach 10's or even 100's of no's. So, your chances of succeeding are quite gleam.
2. Inconsistent Results
Just like other sales strategies, success is never guaranteed, especially if you are interacting with people who have never heard about your business before.
We can’t deny the fact that cold calling does work magic at certain times. However, you may hit a rough patch pretty quickly and won’t enjoy consistent results.
The inconsistency could put your business in financial jeopardy. The trick is always to blend the cold calls with other strategies to make things happen.
3. It Can Harm Your Company’s Reputation
Cold calling primarily targets people who have never heard about your business and the services or products it offers.
In simple terms, cold calling is like distracting people from whatever they are doing to keep them engaged and entice them into buying your products or services.
However, there may be rude callers while others may be pushy, forcing you to leave a very bad impression. Such mistakes can be costly and harm your company’s reputation terribly.
4. Technological Advancement Prevent Callers from Getting Through
Cold callers are still limited to the technology they can use to get through to potential clients: mobile phones and laptops to some extent.
However, alternative marketing methods are steamrolling ahead and taking advantage of automation platforms and content management systems to reach potential customers within seconds.
Think about caller ID, spam filters, call blocking, and other advanced call features that can prevent cold callers from reaching their target audience.
It means that cold callers using conventional phones to reach out to prospective customers can be blocked in a second. As technology continues to evolve, cold callers will basically be locked out of the game.
Interested in Closing More Deals with Pay-Per-Call? PALO Is Here to Help You
In the end, everything boils down to how you decide to use cold calling to your benefit. But the sad news is that the relevance of this marketing strategy is diminishing and may become irrelevant in the future.
So, if you want to scale profitably and take your business to the next level, you need to go a step further and embrace pay-per-call marketing.
At PALO, we strive to ensure you are always ahead of your competition by generating highly qualified calls for you. With our experienced team of pay-per-call marketers on your side, you should expect nothing but endless opportunities to grow your business.
Talk to us today to learn more about how we can help you scale profitably.