Any person in sales is familiar with cold calling and generally, it is not a pleasant task. I would not consider myself an introvert, but even so, I would more times than not feel a bit apprehensive when my job required me to pick up the phone and call a complete stranger. I would try and get that person to like what I am saying in order for that person to buy whatever service or product I was representing at the time. I dreaded this part of my day every time. I would need to psych myself up and then a further check-in with myself after the calling session to deal with any rejection or mean and hateful comments.
As mentioned in this blog only 1% of cold calls actually result in a meeting and according to the Harvard Business Review, it is ineffective 90% of the time. To me, that seems like a ridiculous amount of energy to spend on an uncomfortable task for both people involved in the conversation.
Cold calling had its place and time, but the last few decades are proving this step in the sales cycle is almost redundant. The buyer's behaviour has evolved over the years and so should the approach of a salesperson. The old approach was a focused numbers game, the new approach is focused on the customer's needs and wants.
Where the customer is seen and treated as a person and not a number. And that first outreach of your sales staff should be concentrating on just that. Turning the numbers game into a human interactive approach. Turning that cold call into a warm call.
You might be asking, how is that possible and what is a warm call?
I consider a warm call a connection to a stranger who already is familiar with your name, voice or face. When you pick up the phone to have an actual live conversation with your prospect then they would almost always recognise you as you have made a few touchpoints before you even considered picking up the phone.
Today's revolution of technology has helped transform the sales approach. We have all been part of how social media has revolutionized how companies have interacted with their customers. Companies are now being scrutinized on their social footprint and this happens before a buyer considers purchasing a company's product or service.
In the past few years, the use of video has become more popular for posting relative content. It is almost like a cyberspace race to see who can attract the most traffic. Google, Facebook, Instagram & Twitter have algorithms that like video content posting or interacting and Google will push a company's SEO performance higher when interacting this way.
Now how is this helpful with sales?
With using this technology you can turn your initial cold call into a warm call by creating a short video, introducing yourself and sending this instead of a regular text email.
What I do:
I made my email a more personalized experience. I changed my sales cycle to include 2 video emails. Both are less than 2 minutes long. In the first video, I introduce myself and reference my research on that company and/or person I am wanting to connect with.
In the second video, I say my intention of calling the prospect in the next few days to set up an appointment and initiate the conversation on what they might need help with.
My open email rate has doubled and every time I pick up the phone to make that first initial call, the receiver does recognize me, as I did mention to expect my call in my previous interaction. That awkwardness of a complete cold call to a stranger is gone, and you both know the call is intended as a business call and more often than not the prospect will treat it that way and have a short conversation with you.
For me, this is a win for the early steps in the sales cycle. As a salesperson reaching out to new prospects, that is all we really ask for, is time and respect to allow for a short conversation to see if we would be a good fit for further conversations.