I used to firmly believe that cold calling was dead. As an inbound marketer, at first I thought that cold calling contradicted the methodology of my work and really undermined the process. And I hear comments along the same lines from other entrepreneurs all the time:
“It’s a waste of time.”
“No one wants to talk on the phone anymore.”
“I don’t want to bother people like cold callers bother me.”
And while I am all about inbound sales and marketing (I built a company around it), outbound techniques have worked wonders for my business as well. Cold calling may be “old fashioned” but when done correctly, it totally works.
I realized that I was telling myself cold calling is dead because I was scared—but the stories in my head were never true. As Daniel Pink says, today, everyone is in sales. If you’re a business owner, here’s why you should pick up the phone:
Calling is more personal
This one’s pretty obvious. When you pick up the phone and talk directly to your potential customers, they have a better chance to know you and like you. Via text, prospects can’t:
- Hear your voice
- Hear your tone
- Get a sense of your personality
Bottom line, people buy from those that they like and trust, and it is much easier to establish that relationship when you can hear the other person’s voice.
Bonus! Get on a video call or send a video voicemail. Take it even a step further and get face to face with your prospect, no matter where they are. We use Zoom for video calls and Soapbox for video voicemails.
Calling gives you better information
As I mentioned in my last article about what I learned from HubSpot’s cold calling boot camp, I *always* get way better information from prospects when I pick up the phone.
I was shocked that the, the feedback I got on the phone was substantially different than the narrative in my head (that prospects were annoyed and didn’t want to hear from me anymore). Instead, I heard:
- “I remember our call last year, I would love to work with you in the future”
- “I took a full time role and am not working in the business anymore”
- “We are still thinking about your services, please follow up in a month”
Whether it’s a yes or a no, all of these answers allow me to either move a deal forward or close it out, instead of sitting on stalled deals for months at a time.
Calling improves your ability to sell
When you’re an entrepreneur, especially a solopreneur, you live and die by your ability to sell your product or service. And let’s face it: most deals aren’t closed via email. Most deals aren’t closed via direct message. Most deals are closed person to person.
Today, I strongly believe that every CEO should know how to call and know how to sell, no matter the size of the company. This allows them to:
- Hire and train a sales team
- Hold sales accountable by deeply understanding the process
- Become a more effective leader
Calling isn’t really as scary as it seems
Let’s be honest: fear is a huge reason that many of us don’t cold call anymore. It’s easier to take the rejection over email or assume no response means no. But once you make the first call of the day, it’s easy to keep going. Plan your calls the night before, schedule time to make the calls and just do it. People are nicer than you think they are, and making calls really can be fun (yeah, I said it).
Is cold calling dead? Can inbound sales and marketing ever completely replace picking up the phone? Leave your thoughts below!