I’ve always hated cold calling.
But when I started selling radio advertising, cold calling was something I was forced to learn how to do.
Sometimes we used the phone. Our manager would demand that for the next hour no one was allowed to answer a call, only to dial out. Other times when the powers to be in the office were frantic how we were going to make budget – everyone was forced to leave the office and go door to door and cold call in person. The theory being that it is easier to hang up on someone you don’t know than to be nasty in person.
It’s not for the faint of heart and it wasn’t easy for me to learn to do.
I don’t like to intentionally annoy people or intrude when not invited in. But I did learn how to do it without getting nauseous – because I had to and because the truth is that even though there are those who preach the cold call is dead – sometimes it just has to be done.
But if you are going to do it – you need to learn to do it right.
You need to learn is to do your homework first.
My chances of getting an appointment with a stranger from a phone call or a letter in the pre-email days increased significantly when I personalized it. When I could find something out about that person or their business that suggested I could solve their problem. Something that showed I cared about more than the sale.
It’s easier than ever to do one’s homework.
No library needed. No pouring through piles of newspapers or magazines for help. Just Google. Do a Twitter search. Find the business on LinkedIn.
But apparently most people employing cold calling don’t get it.
They create a form email. They do a search or two for keywords that they think might connect us and they hit send.
And then they think intros like these might work.
As you are handling advertising sales, would you be interested in an opportunity which can greatly increase your sales?
I suppose if I was handling ad sales, I might, but since I no longer do that, no.
Our business is generating leads and providing pre-qualified appointments for companies who need more time to focus on closing instead of looking for leads.
No thanks and based on you trying to contact me, I don’t think your lead generation system is working very well.
Oops – not my name! You must be looking for someone else.
Hi, I hope this email finds you well – seems like it has been a while since we connected. I wanted to personally reach out and ask for your support – My book is now available on Amazon. Please help me spread the work.
It has been a while. So long I have no idea who you are and thus find your request for support a bit jarring. Ps. I think you meant word, not work.
In the digital age when people are increasingly feeling more isolated, the more personalized our approach, the more likely to get or keep a customer.
The key is to understand that personalizing is not simply entering some key words into a lead generation system and pressing send. It involves human intervention.
- Tell me why I want to know you.
- Tell me what drew you to my website.
- Tell me you even read one of the hundreds of articles I have written that gave you some insight why we should connect.
- Give me some indication you did some research on me.
- Engage me before you pitch.
In other words – do your homework.
Then maybe we can talk.