Cold calling can be stilted and awkward, and is largely ineffective.
Bury your high-pressure sales tactics and your unrefined contact lists, because cold calling is dead.
Though it lived an impactful life and is considered the defining voice of a generation of relentless salesmen, cold calling’s death comes as no surprise for those who knew it best. Its practices and habits are unsustainable in contemporary business, a world in which advising is valued over pushing.
Preceded in death by its close relative legacy sales, cold calling won’t be missed by many salespeople who struggled to connect and convey value during telephone calls that were nearly always unwanted.
Our eulogy for cold calling will be blunt and brief: Traditional sales tactics offer diminishing returns, and these returns have wilted to the point that they’re irrelevant in today’s business landscape. Though one must admire cold calling’s persistence (considering that only 1% of cold calls lead to an appointment), it lacked in resourcefulness and failed to properly connect with people. The truth, in its rawest form, is that B2B decision-makers simply don’t respond to cold calls at all — around nine out of 10 of top-level B2B decision-makers do not respond to cold outreach.
So if we’re laying cold calling to rest, you may be wondering, “Well, what should I be doing instead?” Below are some tips on how you can move on in life after cold calling.
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Instead, do this…
These four methods of effective outreach can replace cold calling. Conclusions are based on stats from a Sales For Life infographic.
You’re Getting Warmer
Buyers need time to get to know your business and build a relationship. Cold calling is too impersonal: only 28% of those cold called engage in personal conversations, which prevents salespeople from fostering the connection. By embracing inbound strategies, salespeople can reach out to customers when they’re more familiar with a company, then add value.
Connections are happening online, and it’s a mistake to dismiss the power of social media to factor into the buying process. Seventy-five percent of B2B leaders say that they regularly use social media as part of their decision-making process. Forging early connections through social channels enables more meaningful in-person connections later on.
There’s a craze sweeping the business world. Decision-makers prefer for friends and existing contacts to pass along referrals. Create close professional relationships, feel free to refer others (remember, you’re being helpful), and you may just see referrals getting passed along to you.
Be of Assistance
Finally, it’s important to note that 74% of buyers will go with the salesperson who was first to add value. This consultative approach is successful in the modern business world, where it can be hard to cut through the clutter and relationship-building is more valuable than pushing a product or service onto a potential lead.
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