Cold calls used to work, then they didn’t and now they work again. I used to agree with most people, that cold calls do not work. In fact, I established my sales career on referral networking. However, I have rediscovered the power of cold calling and how to do it effectively. Networking is still important, but now I don’t have to wait around hoping for referrals.
Before the internet cold calling was effective because talking to salespeople was the most effective way for most people to learn about new products and services. As long as you had a good product, solid reputation and solid sales skills you could be successful. If someone wasn’t willing to take the time to listen to your sales pitch then they weren’t open to learning about the latest and greatest innovations that could transform their company.
However, the Internet made cold calling ineffective. It provided a more effective alternative to talking with salespeople that typically didn’t value people’s time and attention. Now, people had the ability to learn about new product and didn’t need someone to “sell it to them”.
Cold calling no longer worked because people no longer had problems to solve that they couldn’t solve using the Internet. They didn’t want a salesperson to create a problem. They certainly did not have time to listen to another sales pitch. If they had a problem they could solve it themselves, and this essentially took the power away from salespeople.
Salespeople transitioned from cold calling to networking and developing referral relationships. This worked because it established trust with prospects, and trust was something that the Internet lacked. The buyer did all the research to find possible solutions to meet their need, and then asked friends for a referral to someone they could trust to make answer a couple questions, provide a recommendation, and take the order. However, it is difficult to build a reliable sales system through networking and referrals, because you are relying on someone else to make the first move and then making sure that you are positioned in cahoots with the first person that they would ask for advice.
What cold calling and the Internet had allowed buyers to do is find products and services that they had the need, willingness and resources to purchase. The secrete is talking to the right people at the right time. With the right timing cold calling can be effective again, and sales people can once again activity take control of their pipeline.
Once we realized that timing was the secret, CAN set out on a mission to get our timing right. How could we build a system that would allow sales people to find leads when they had the need, willingness and resources to purchase? The solution is Predictive Lead Generation. Predictive Lead Generation allows you to build a detailed profile of your ideal client that identifies what factors trigger prospects to have the need, willingness and resources to purchase your product, and find leads that have the attributes of someone who is ready to purchase, and find supporting evidence you need to successful call and build trust. Instead of calling 100 people to get one person that is interested in your product, CAN is able to give you a list of 10 people. You still have to have a great product and solid sales pitch, but Predictive Lead Generation can help you focus on talking to the right people.
We have been using Predictive Lead Generation internally for four years. Before Predictive Lead Generation our sales team used to spend the entire week attending networking events hoping to snag a solid lead, and make up excuses about how sales is all about luck and can’t produce reliable results. Now, our sales team is focused on building relationships with the right people, and I am confident that my team will be able to deliver each month.
I encourage you to use Predictive Lead Generation to put cold calls back into your arsenal. If you want to try out cold calling search the Internet and find a company you decide needs, wants and has the resources to purchase what you sell, spend 10 minutes learning about the person you are calling, and then call someone who actually needs what you are selling, and will be glad you called. If that produces results, then you might be a good candidate for CAN’s Predictive Lead Generation system. While referrals may always be the easiest phone call, cold calls are now some of the most effective.