Is cold calling dead?

Every sales guru tells you to cold call to get new business but it that true? Here’s my perspective.

A lot of sales techniques are from the 60s and 70s and are just that…techniques. Very old and dated techniques which may or may not be relative today. Having both a sales and marketing/design background, I see things differently and see merits in both spheres. Both are necessary and yet both are different.

Years ago, there were a very limited amount of communication channels. TV, controlled by big corp, newspapers controlled by big corp, radio controlled by big corp. What’s left? The phone and door knocking. Hence cold calling was the only option left unless you were a big company.

Fast forward forty or fifty years. We have endless forms of communication. In fact we have soo much that people are switching off. It’s a brain overload. We are continuously bombarded with messages on all fronts, TV, social, radio, Spotify, chat, email, sms, podcasts, billboards, signs, shops and so on. Had enough?

Do you think anybody wants to hear from another salesman selling another product? Chances are they’re not.

To the prospect you’re in the same class as the email spammer, the Indian call center scammer ringing you up every night at 6pm telling you that you have a problem with your internet connection, the Nigerian scam artist who wants to fleece you, the other scammer from the taxation department, the Feds, or the Police. Then there’s the solar panel salesman, the internet salesman, the power and utility salesman, all either knocking on your door, phoning you or bombarding you with the relentless ads because you now have a Facebook Pixel chasing you wherever you go.

So what do you do?

These days it’s best to focus your efforts on marketing which will include, advertising, digital, social, web and of course Google. That doesn’t mean don’t call customers. Definitely keep in touch with your customers. It’s a must. Keep them up to date. Give them new offerings or just say hello. Call and follow up any prospects that have enquired. This is critical and where most businesses fall down. If your marketing is good, potential clients will reach out to you but you have to be ready to respond and do so in a timely manner. The quicker the better. They are ready to buy! No point responding in a day or two. They’ve already found somebody else.

Marketing, marketing and marketing. Then followed a solid sales process. Imagine all the time you waste cold calling people who are not in the slightest bit interested. And then missing out on those that are knocking on your door and are ready to buy. That would be crazy. Perhaps you got one sale but lost dozens cause you were so busy doing “sales”. That’s not logical but it still goes on usually in commission based sales companies.

Marketing always trumps sales but if your marketing is weak, your sales side needs to compensate. Its always a balance. If you don’t believe me, just ask McDonalds or Coca-Cola. What’s their marketing/sales ratio. I would say its almost 100% marketing. Not a cold call or salesperson in sight. What do you think?

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