There is a certain exercise of building a business that has such a bad reputation, just the term sends shivers up the spine of many on both ends of the relationship: Cold calling.
Cold calling is an important step in the sales process. This type of outreach often appears at the beginning of the process. Rarely, if ever, should it be the beginning, middle, or end of the process. Still, many business owners and sales people suffer from cold call reluctance, stumbling out of the gate before having talked to anyone at all.
While inbound marketing, networking and referrals, and content marketing are all fantastic practices in today’s business climate, cold calls are still a great way to increase business relationships and continue building a better business presence.
If you’re going to keep your funnel filled with new prospects and customers, cold calling is an important form of outreach.
By practicing a few of the following types of cold calls each week, you’ll avoid overwhelm and burnout on cold calls – and you’ll build your business.
1. Email cold calls
A short email specific to the recipient (not spam) can be a great way to build a business relationship. How many times do we see websites or phone numbers on company vehicles or advertisements? Try sending a few emails (2 – 5) each day and watch your business grow.
2. Telephone cold calls
If you notice something about a business or a potential customer, give them a call. I once noticed a company truck that had something about to come loose. The phone number was on the panel so I called as I followed him. The owner answered – he was driving the truck. We pulled over and got his load secure. He became a customer. Always deliver value.
3. Walk-in cold calls
When meeting with business owners at their place of business, try to enlarge your field by taking a “What’s Left” approach. Once your current appointment is finished, take a left and go next door. Let them know you have been working with their neighbor and ask for an appointment.
Cold calling today may have different names and may be a bit warmer in nature than years ago. Depending on your purpose and how you go about it, cold calling can still be an effective way to build your business and your business presence.
Be patient and consistent
Remember, cold calling is an initial step in the sales process. In what Stephen Covey calls “The Law of the Harvest”, it’s important to understand while you cover the ground to uncover new customers, the seeds you plant during your cold calling may take some time to take root, begin to grow, and be ready for harvest.
Cold calling consistently will keep your appointments, presentations, and sales active and your business growing.