Just How Effective is Cold Calling Anyway? Let’s be honest for a moment; no one likes cold calling. Cold calling was once the standard method of gaining new business for many industries, the number one lead generation technique, especially financial services. For everyone from the boiler room operations seeking donations to the New York Stock Exchange pitchmen, effective cold calling was the tried and true path to take towards lead generation and growing revenues.
Those days are gone; what appears to be forever. The glory days of cold calling are over, replaced by the internet. Some people could not be happier.
Even the term sounds contradictory; “Effective Cold Calling.” That seems akin to “Jumbo Shrimp” or “Military Intelligence.” It sounds that way. Cold calling died with the internet, yet if you were to Google “Cold Calling,” you would find an untold amount of hucksters selling “The Best Cold Calling System” training programs, lifetime renewals of boxed “21st Century Training” and a host of other information products. The only firms making money on cold calling are the information hawkers selling junk science.
The mobile device phenomenon has caused many people to give up their home phone, mainly because of duality. They carry their Smartphone with them everywhere, so why not use it completely and give up the added expense of a home phone. Do Not Call Lists have also reduced the reach of telemarketers.
The simple truth is that consumers are sick and tired of being told what to wear, what to buy, who to do their taxes and even what to read. People detest distraction. Their lives are already too busy.
Newspapers are diminishing in impact because of less print advertising sold, voicemail and caller ID are blocking out unsolicited callers, junk mail is bad for the environment (too much paper) and the DVR and TIVO are eliminating the need to sit through commercials, and on and on.
Decision makers and consumers today are choosing providers by their own searches on the internet. This new marketing model is known as Selective Consumption. When a prospective customer finds a company that provides the needed goods or services, they begin to develop a relationship with them. They may revisit the site to further investigate or download information. Throughout their search they will end up liking what information they discover (information that makes their lives better, not a sales pitch).
Ultimately, prospects select the business that does the best job helping them with their wants and needs, not merely selling them on what is being pushed at them. The consumer is now in charge of the buying and selling process.
The internet, combined with social media marketing has revolutionized the way effective marketing is performed in the 21st Century. An interactive web site, supported by relative engaging content offerings is how it is best done today. Interacting with potential clients with social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, along with free eBooks, white papers, and Special Reports help develop relationships. Cold calling can’t do that, effective or not.
Today’s businesses must show themselves in the best possible light online, because that is where the consumer is gaining their knowledge about goods and services. The days of a brochure website (aka a static web page) have been replaced by interactive sites that include calls to actions, where the consumer can download free information that makes their lives better. It also helps develop a relationship with you, with them providing their name and email address in return. This is the method of lead generation in the new millennium.
Effective cold calling is a dream, but is often more like a nightmare, as most people on either end of the phone line are repelled by it. Both consumers and sales people share an equal dislike for the methodology. They have reverted to relationship-oriented marketing, away from the phones to transact business.
After all, they are on the phone all day staying connected to those with whom they wish to speak.