I recently heard an expert say on TV, that cold calling is dead. How true is this? Let's find out!
Cold calling is defined as, "making unsolicited contact with potential customers in order to try to sell something, usually a telephone call". The answer to this question is, that cold calling is not really dead. It is still in practice, but it has been revolutionized and has come back with different methods and techniques catering to the same purpose. What is the whole purpose behind cold calling? Yes, it definitely is about increasing the sales of the company, but it's not so that consumers immediately buy goods after a call is made to them. Cold calling is practiced, basically to introduce a product or a scheme to the consumers. It is like the first step towards convincing the consumers to like or buy a product. It is more about marketing than selling.
What Really Happened
Initially, cold callers simply took an allotted list of consumers from a directory and started calling them. It did work when mobile phones had just started being extensively used. But it did not work well after everyone had a mobile phone and people spent hours on it. Most of the consumers disparaged cold calls as a desperate, disturbing and irritating effort to sell products. Cold calling did pace down because of its decreasing productivity, along with the negative impression generated about the company represented. Cold calling is not a job that just anyone can do, but it is a skill that has to be learned and adapted. Most of the cold callers don't know how to manage and continue a cold call keeping the consumer intrigued and interested. Most of the callers end up turning off the customers, compelling them to hang up.
Also, because of recession the sales ratio of various companies had fallen down considerably. This has led to lowering the revenue trends. On top of this, the cost efficiency in making cold calls was also seeing a downfall. The cost involved in employing cold callers, paying for the telephone charges and maintaining a consumer report was increasing, compared to the productivity associated with it. This could be because, cold calling as a source of providing information about a product to a consumer has been replaced with Ads on websites, via emails, on social networking websites.
Current Trends Adapted
Cold calling has now adopted a new outlook. Cold callers no longer pick up a random calling list, and start calling. The calling list is now more sorted and more specific. First, data of the potential consumers is collected by the means of surveys, client inquiry, leads from other sources, etc. From this, a lot of information of the clients is extracted, like annual income, occupation type, number of family members, etc. As per the information collected, consumer's financial status and needs are estimated and calls are then processed. If sufficient information about a consumer is not available, then calls are made, not just to inform the customer about a product but to take his details like an email address, or home address. Once these details are attained, another team works on sending emails or/and free samples to their residences. Marketing strategy of sending an email or free samples is a better option than just cold calling. This is because, in this method a customer gets to learn about the schemes at his own comfort. This way he also remains in the right state of mind to express his interest, and the company saves itself from attaining a negative impression.
The marketing section or team of any firm has to be very flexible and adaptive. It has to promptly adjust itself to the changes in the consumer demands and the market conditions. For those of you who thought cold calling was dead, you were wrong. Cold calls are now simply made in a more sophisticated form. Though, it can no longer be used as a sole method of marketing, it has to be accompanied with other ways.
Today, consumer is the king and what he feels and thinks has to be taken into consideration first. Cold calling is not dead and I don't think it can ever be. As talking to a person face-to-face or over the phone is any day a more effective marketing choice, provided it is done in the right way.
"Cold calling is really about planting seeds of information. It's about getting your name out there. Don't expect an instant sale. It's about planting ideas in the prospect's head. It's about giving them options." - Anonymous.