Cold calling, like most other unsolicited cries for attention, is one of the most notorious sales tactics. Whether over the phone or in person, this type of business is annoying, if not downright suspicious, to the recipient; it’s also tedious and discouraging to your employees, who are witnessing its ineffectiveness firsthand. In fact, it gives sales a bad name in general, evoking an image of a pushy, over-aggressive sales person insistently trying to meet quotas.
While not all hope is lost, it is important to stop this highly ineffective practice and instead pursue sales tactics that have a proven record of working. In order to understand the latter, it’s important to look at why cold calling no longer works and why you should stop immediately.
The Relationship Isn't There
The truth is, the chance of making a sale, or even an appointment for next steps through this method is extremely low. Research shows that only about 2% of cold calls actually result in an appointment. One of the main reasons this is the case is because the relationship is not there. The recipient has no idea who you are. You have no idea what that individual’s needs are.
The formal, scripted nature of these interactions precludes a “conversation of discovery,” where you learn in detail the needs of your customers and find mutually beneficial solutions. Cold calling, with its heavy emphasis on quantity and quotas, limits the chance of having quality business interactions by its very nature. Your sales team is so focused on pushing the sale and moving on to the next call so they can make as many sales in as little time as possible, they are not investing authentically in potential customers.
You’re Wasting Your Time
Customer service is arguably now more important than ever, with 66% of US consumers willing to spend more money with a company that provides them with excellent customer service. Now is not the time to be throwing away the chance for meaningful relationships for the sound of a dial tone.
Let’s face it: the stranger on the other side of the door–or the other end of the phone–could be anyone, from an identity thief to someone who wants to steal your credit card information to a sweet, old lady who called you by accident. The point is, the recipient just doesn’t know. In an age that is more safety and security conscious than ever, people are suspicious of you and what you want because there are just so many scammers. And when potential customers are not outright suspicious of you, it is very likely that they are annoyed by you instead. Many consumers have moved away from needing a sales person to advise them how to buy; they have the information they need to make an educated (or impetuous) purchase at their fingertips thanks to the internet. Because more than 80% of decision makers won’t buy from a cold call, no matter the circumstances, your pushing them is redundant, and it actively discourages sales.
It’s Incredibly Discouraging
The bottom line is if you force them to use this tactic, your sales people are not going to love you. And it’s no wonder—with the low effectiveness and success rates cold calling affords, it’s not at all surprising that your team would be extremely demoralized.
The benefits of having a happy, enthusiastic sales team are self-evident. With more effective, useful tactics, such as inbound marketing, your team will be out of the slump in no time.