This article was submitted by Above Board Chamber Member Jim Wallert from Team-Right Business Solutions www.team-right.com
Is Sales Cold Calling Dead?
There is one main ingredient to business success, customers! You must constantly be adding new customers to replace those who move on and to grow. Long before the internet, there was cold calling by walking in or by phone. These methods were successful for years since customers main source of information about products and services was directly from a sales person. Remember the Watkins guy going door to door with his little black case of samples? Now days if a you walk around a neighborhood, assuming you could get in at all, you would probably be stopped by several law enforcement agencies. The only person today who succeeds at this is a Girl Scout, and who will not take the time to secure some thin mints?
Both direct and phone cold calling are met with several challenges. Most customers can go on the internet when they need a product or service, and learn as much or more than the salesmen trying to call on them. Buyers just won’t to talk you unless at the exact time you call they have an urgent need for what you are selling. This may be the case one in a hundred times. So it may still work if you don’t mind getting hung up on, avoided, accused of spamming or stalking, and having more failure than success.
Even traditional outbound sales strategies such as ads on television, print and radio, and now even Email are based on interrupting your prospect with your message and hoping that they pay attention and have an immediate need for your product or service. If so, they are probably already on the internet where they may find you but also your competitors. After all how many of us pay attention to ads? DVR’s, TiVo and “delete” make them even easier to avoid. Not only cold calling, but also outbound marketing is slowing dying to be replaced by the growth of inbound marketing. While people still like to buy from people, most of them have done their homework using search engines to find information on any product or service they may need, when they need it. By the time you are talking with them they just want to talk price, availability and the value of buying from you instead of someone else.
Inbound Marketing is about getting involved while your prospects are doing their research and positioning yourself as a resource in helping them with the decision making process. You, your company and your products or services need visibility and credibility before you can get the sale.
So examine your inbound marketing visibility. Where do you show up on search engines? What call to action do you have on your landing pages? Are you giving them a reason to want to find out more about your company and your products? You need to draw them in to you by being the product expert and resource, building a relationship of trust. Your marketing efforts can no longer be a one-way street.
Quote “People still like to buy from people, but on their Schedule and terms”