Is cold calling still an important part of the sales process? Or should I make initial contact another way?
Often we can answer these questions by simply thinking about how we respond and how we like to be approached.
Now I may be reflecting my age, but I do not like cold calls or cold emails as a way of starting a business connection – unless the cold call or cold email is very clever and acknowledges this is not the best way to make contact!
If we do need to make a cold call or cold email we should show that we are aware of the company, what it does and how we could help.
I do not want to be contacted impersonally by someone who has no idea what the business does, what my role is or what I may be looking for.
I believe there is a place for cold calls but the name suggests the likelihood of success, if we don’t manage the process properly.
If as a salesperson you feel that you have reached the end of the prospect line and you need to make cold calls I suggest you adopt a process:
- Send an email addressed to the CEO or appropriate party. Make sure you have the name right.
- Explain why it would be worthwhile for the recipient to have a conversation about your product.
- Suggest that you could best do this over the telephone.
- Offer a few times and tie in with the other party.
- Be very clear about the benefits of your product and what you can do before you start the conversation.
- Make a time to meet if possible if there is agreed further, mutual interest.
Really, what I am suggesting here is that without personal contact or a referral you need to make the opportunity to get face-to-face – of course with the right technology you can do this by phone.
There is no substitute for knowing who you are dealing with even in the internet age!