Saying these two words will strike fear into the hearts of most salespeople: Cold. Calling.
I recently saw this tongue-in-cheek comment in another blog: What do you call a salesperson who will not cold call? An account executive.
To be fair, we’re not all created equal. By nature, we are extroverts or introverts, or we fall somewhere in-between. The best cold-callers are extroverted and task-focused. They don’t suffer from social rejection anxiety or procrastination. They persist, stay on track, and keep on smiling, day after day.
Born, not made
Telemarketing isn’t a skill that can be learned. If a salesperson isn’t hard-wired to cold call, all the training, incentives and threats in the world won’t change them.
And your prospective customers can spot a scared caller a mile off.
A salesperson who is not suited to cold calling will fumble a script, and become tongue-tied when not using one. And they sound like unwilling hostages to an offshore call centre. Despite all of their innate drive and face-to-face charm and charisma they won’t effectively engage, extract, entice, educate, empathise and convert on a telemarketing call. Ever.
I’ll do it tomorrow
Telemarketing is a task that’s all too easy to put off. Preference is given to writing proposals, catching up on expense claims, filtering lists looking for targets they may know in person (to reduce the anxiety of talking to a stranger), increasing numbers of coffee and toilet breaks, and shifting the ‘new customer prospecting’ days to later in the week. Or the week after that.
Here’s a typical scenario: “We have a sizeable organisation with an experienced team of sales consultants, who are excellent at scoping work and closing sales. However, procrastination runs rife when it comes to picking up the phones to make cold calls and finding qualified leads. Because of this, we have an inconsistent pipeline of opportunities, which makes it difficult to accurately measure sales forecasts.”
This is a common problem. But it doesn’t matter what your salesperson’s excuse is; the issue is real and impacts on the business’ bottom line.
The outsource solution
So, what’s a realistic and cost-effective approach to dealing with it?
Savvy business owners or managers will support their sales teams by eliminating or reducing cold calling functions. They will focus on keeping their salespeople directly in front of qualified leads, where they shine and demonstrate their true value to your business.
Outsourcing is an excellent way to create leads from cold calls (or can also be highly effective when combined with a sophisticated multi-channel strategy), and to bridge the gap between cold calls and warm leads. And it delivers a measurable return on investment when you choose the right partner and deploy the right strategies.
Why talk to us?
We’re not inexperienced minimum-wages telemarketers from overseas. We’re New Zealanders with backgrounds in sales and management. Our experience enables us to talk to people within an organisation at any level. And we rarely use scripts; instead, we engage in intelligent conversation to deliver your message, extract information and achieve your objectives. We’re born telemarketing professionals.