Does cold calling work?

Does calling for business really work?

March 7, 2016 By: Pamela Wigglesworth - No Comments

Avoid these five pitfalls if you want any chance of success 

Recently I’ve noticed an increase in the number of calls from companies to invite me to partake in trainings or events, become an event sponsor and most recently, to offer my company funding for business expansion. Enter the re-emergence of dialing for business dollars.

The calls were coming from people either in a call center (I am able to ascertain this when the telephone indicates an overseas call) and from the business owner or the local sales representative.

Given the increase in this type of call, it made me stop and wonder…..does dialing for dollars really work? Instantly I heard a voice in my head say no. My immediate response was no because of the experience I’m having as the recipient of the call. I must say, it hasn’t been positive.

If your company is currently making random unsolicited phone calls in an attempt to drum up new business, here are a few things to consider and suggestions of what NOT to do when a representative of your company picks up the phone to call.

Ask if it is a convenient time to chat

I’m amazed at the number of people who as soon as I identify myself as the person they want to speak to, immediately start in with the pitch without asking if it is a convenient time to chat. Show some courtesy please.  Don’t just ramble on because you got a person on the other side of the phone. First establish whether or not you’re interrupting and ask if you could have a few minutes of my time.

Respect people’s time

If someone says that it is not a good time (even if you only need 5 minutes), respect the fact that it is not a good time and ask when would be a better time to chat. Recently on a call when I told the person I was preparing for an upcoming conference call in 10 minutes, he was insistent that I still take his short survey because it would not take that long. When I continued to decline his request, he began to raise his voice in anger and frustration because I would not do his survey then and there.  I think you know how that ended….I hung up.

Don’t question the integrity of your prospect  

Within a span of two to three weeks I received two calls from the same company promoting the same offer. When the call came through the first time, I expressed that it was not something that I was interested and politely said no thank you and moved on.

When the second call came in, I said shared with the young lady that I had already spoken to someone from her company about her offer, she quickly told me, no I didn’t. I said yes I had even if it was not her per se. Again I was challenged and she told that her company had not called me. Then she asked, when exactly did I speak to them.

Doing my best to keep my cool, I said that I could not quote the exact date, but rest assured, I was told about the exact same course and that I was not interested.

At that stage of the game, I was annoyed that someone would question whether or not I had taken a call.

The first time the call came in and I declined, I was okay with the fact that someone was trying to cold call for new business. The second challenged conversation irritated me to the point that I was tempted to call the local office to tell them to stop calling me and to take me off their prospect list. 

If I decline, don’t ask me for my email address

I get that people have a job to do and when it comes to a call centre, it’s all about the numbers. However, if a cold prospects says no they are not interested and it’s not for them, don’t ask for an email address so you can follow up with a brochure.

When a prospect says no I’m not interested, no means no. Move on to the next call.  

Be willing to send information via email if I don’t have time to chat 

I’m not one for taking cold calls as they usually happen when I’m in the middle of something. Therefore, if I do have an interest, I prefer to receive the information via email for me to review at a time of my choosing.

I’m surprised when I ask if the caller can send me some information via email, I get responses like, “well if you just give me a few minutes of your time I can explain what this is all about”. Hello…I just told you I was busy and your response is to push for the conversation.

So if someone asks you to send some information, get an email address, reconfirm it and send them the information. At least the cold call could potentially turn into a warn lead.

Drop the script. Stop talking to me as if we know each other.

I always know when someone is working from a script. Once the caller establishes that he or she has the person they are looking for, that’s when the script kicks in. Every other sentence is peppered with your name as if they’ve known you for a long time. I suddenly know I’m on a sales call where they are simply filling in the blanks with my name.

People who know me would know that I don’t necessarily go by my full first name, so to hear it thrown at me repeatedly tells me you don’t know me and that I’m being sold.

If you need to use a script, consider shaking it up and bit and drop using the person’s name over and over again.

When it comes to dialing for dollars, I’m sure there is a method for connecting with cold prospects that actually converts. I’m not sure what that method is, I just know what it isn’t. Put yourself in the shoes of your prospect and think of how you would feel if you were on the receiving end of a call cold. Avoid the pitfalls listed above and you stand a better chance of engaging prospects and getting them to listen to what you have to say.