The cold call as we know it will never be the same. I’m not saying the phone call is dead; just the way we approach a cold lead through the phone has changed forever. Sam Richter in his must-read book Take The Cold Out of Cold Calling, covers warming up the cold call before you make the call, through his in-depth methods for searching the web to find out more relevant information that you can use to warm the call. You can discover more information than you ever thought you could know about your prospects and clients. What if we took it one step further and saved some valuable time by ELIMINATING the first phone call entirely?
Prospecting is the lifeblood of any salesman or saleswoman. As Neil Rackham, author of Spin Selling, tells us, the classic theories of selling teach us that the most effective way to open a sales call is to find ways to relate to the buyer’s personal interests and to make an initial benefits statement, which his research found relevant in small sales, but ineffective in larger sales. He says to “put an extra effort into effective needs development.” If you can successfully convey the relevant value of your solutions to your prospect, he notes “you are going to face much fewer objections.” Social prospecting gives the salesman a distinct advantage in shaping their sales strategy for each and every unique qualified prospect.
Through social prospecting, I have found that the first call isn’t needed at all. On a consistent basis, I connected with my prospects through their social network of choice, usually, Facebook, Linkedin, Google+ or Twitter, or a combination thereof. The important part is that there is so much relevant public information out there that allows me to approach them more effectively. With my newfound knowledge, I craft my messages to take the OBJECTIONS out of the conversation. I can find out what type of personality they have and approach them accordingly. Through this method, I have been approaching higher-quality prospects and turning them into well-qualified leads.
I am not the only person telling salespeople that the cold call of yesteryear is antiquated. Jeffrey Gitomer, author of Social Boom, kindly reminds us that “the cold call has been part of the selling world for more than 100 years. And it’s over (at least the way you knew it to be). Technology, guards, gatekeepers, voicemail, and the overall sophistication of buyers and executives, have forever changed that landscape. And that this is GREAT news” for salesmen and woman everywhere! He goes on to say, “It will take you less time to write 100 words of value (for your world to see) than it does to make 10 cold calls that you’ll get hung up on, or 10 unsolicited emails that will get deleted.”
What Is a Cold Call?
Wikipedia defines it as “the marketing process of approaching prospective customers or clients, typically via telephone, who were not expecting such an interaction. The word “cold” is used because the person receiving the call is not expecting a call or has not specifically asked to be contacted by a sales person.”
What Is a Social Call?
I define it as the marketing process of approaching prospective customers or clients, typically via social networks. This subtle, educated, needs-based approach eases the marketer’s message right into the flow of the prospect or client’s life. The word “social” is used because the person making the call has quickly uncovered real-time, relevant information about the individual before they contact them.
See the difference?
Still Not Convinced?