Cold Calling Is Dead
“Hi, this is (name) from (company)”
If you make cold calls, then you probably encounter this situation more and more every day. A study shows that of 6,264 cold calls placed, only 28% were answered, and only 19 appointments with prospective clients were received. It's just not as easy as it used to be.
You heard it here first. Cold calling is dead, and here's why...
So why are cold calls just not cutting it anymore?
Not enough trust
Cold calls are driven by the needs of the business, not the needs of the customer, which makes things difficult. Instantly establishing trust is hard when customers tend to be defensive when caught off guard or talking to people they don't know. How do you communicate effectively and capture their attention when you have a lack of information about who you are calling?
Not only is the decline of cold calling due to lack of customer reciprocation, but also new legislation. The Telephone Preference Scheme (TPS) in the UK allows for customers to opt out of receiving any sales calls. The free service allows anybody to register their domestic phone number, making it illegal for organisations to make unsolicited sales or marketing calls to them.
Low morale for agents
The only people that hate cold calls more than customers are call centre agents. As only 1% of cold calls turn into appointments, it can be overwhelming for agents sat at a desk all day. As more customers become frustrated and repeatedly hang up, agents are more likely to reduce their worth ethic, and cold calling becomes inefficient.
Business owners won't pick up
Even businesses owners are sick of it. Nine out of ten top-level B2B decision-makers said they do not respond to cold calls. Cold calling just isn't as effective as it used to be, given 90% of top decision makers are not even answering them in the first place.
Millennials and Generation Z kids grew up talking on instant messaging and social media. Millennials prefer digital communication tools at their jobs, including texting and instant messaging apps like slack. Only 2% of Generation Z stated “phone calls” as their preferred method of communication at work. It's therefore not a shock that talking on the phone is becoming a downward trend.
So what's next?
If cold calling is outdated, then businesses need to look at other ways to convert customers.
People find vast amounts of information through the internet; in fact, 3.2 billion people across the world have internet access (51% of the global population). Digital communication is a faster and more efficient way to communicate with large amounts of people than cold calling.
Invest in Digital Communication
In order to stay ahead of the curve, business owners should invest in certain communication tools. 75% of these B2B leaders say that they regularly use social media in their decision-making process. It can take 18 or more dials to connect with a prospect over the phone, but it only takes 1 click to bring customers to your website. It is crucial that traditional companies start adapting, or they will be left behind.
So what should I use instead?
Social media marketing
You can promote yourself for little to no cost with the help of social media marketing. Interacting with clients and customers on social media is proven to reach a large number of people, given that 3.196 billion people use social media in 2018. There are many positives to taking your sales interactions online - “71% of consumers who have had a good social media service experience with a brand are likely to recommend it to others”.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Ever second, 63,000 people click search on Google. It is greatly beneficial to try to take advantage of a portion of these searches. Having a fully SEO optimised website and content means that you will pop up more on Google. By using smart keywords, you can encourage more organic inbound enquires to call who will be much more responsive than cold call recipients.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
SEM is the paid version of SEO. You can bid on certain keywords or phrases to get a search engine to your ad right at the top of the page. Combine with a slick landing page to acquire user details and you have a brilliant way to acquire hot leads to call. The proof is in the percentage - a whopping 85% of retailers surveyed said that search engine marketing (SEM & SEO) is the most effective method of getting customers.
Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC)
Similar to SEM, pay-per-click advertising is where you pay for each click to your website. Besides search engines, PPC also applies to channels like social media and high-traffic websites, with ads appearing on the feeds of the targeted users. Ads can boost brand awareness by 80% and 65% of customers click on ads when purchasing - making PPC a great way to scoop up inbound traffic.
Email marketing is a method of engaging to your existing or potential customer base with regular updates. Unlike a phone call where trust needs to be established immediately, email can nurture a relationship and build up trust over many interactions. It is one of the best ways to maintain loyal supporters, but also to convert group of people to your business. Email marketing is the best rated channel of communication for obtaining the highest return on investments.
Mobile Phone Advertising
It is important that all of the previous methods are also optimised for mobile usage, so you can target some of the 5.135 billion mobile phone users (as of 2018). However, there are other ways that companies can use mobiles as an alternative to cold calling. 90% of business leads would rather receive a text message than a phone call and over half of consumers would prefer to text for customer support than call.
But there is an easier way...
Getting a potential customer engaged in a phone conversation is an amazing way to get their undivided attention - but cold calling makes it hard to get to that point. You have no information about the person you're calling, and only a small amount of time to convince them to stay on the line.
One way to solve the issues of cold calling is through lead generation with a service like GoToDigital.
We believe that you shouldn't waste your time contacting people who may not be interested in your business or service.
With GoToDigital, you can ensure that the people you're ringing are:
1. Interested in what you provide
2. Ready to be converted
3. Expecting your call