Sometimes it’s best to let old strategies die. Once in awhile, a method is timeless, and works as well a decade on as it did when it was created. As time advances and new technology emerges, though, antiquated ideas lose favour. Customers get irritated when they encounter them, professionals stop using them entirely, and they eventually fall by the wayside, rarely remembered and never missed.
Cold calling is quickly becoming such a strategy. While companies used to heavily rely upon it to gain new business, you’re now more likely to connect with an exasperated customer rather than with a potential buyer. It’s even gotten to the point where younger clients will actively avoid this sales tactic. With all of this in mind, here are a few reasons you should put cold-calling out to pasture for good at your company.
It’s Extremely Aggressive
Marketing practices tend to emphasize appealing to your audience. The goal is to meet them on their terms so they’ll be more receptive to your products and services. If you can convince them that they have a need for what you’re selling and that you offer them value as a merchant that they can’t get anywhere else, they’ll be more likely to buy from you.
When you cold call a potential customer, though, you’re imposing your own needs upon them. The person on the other end of the line often feels that you’ve interrupted their day, but they may still take your call out of politeness. Still, cold calling places leads in an uncomfortable position. About 98 percent of these calls fail to result in an appointment, so unless you’re extremely persuasive, you’re more likely to alienate your audience than win them over.
Cold calling is also transparently calculating. The client knows that you want to get something out of them, but they still feel obligated to keep you on the phone, even if they’re busy with other tasks. Would you buy from someone who made you resent them before you’d even met them?
It Wastes Resources
To cold call a prospective buyer, you need to research them, know about their company, understand why they may value your products, and call. And call. And call. In 2015, marketers had to cold call a potential client about eight times on average before they could even reach their target, let alone book an appointment. There are few businesses that can afford to waste this kind of time, yet many still believe cold calling is a viable practice. There are more effective uses for these resources than a method that rarely gets results and isn’t guaranteed to succeed if it does.
Inbound Marketing is a Better Alternative
With inbound marketing, you can avoid all the negative aspects of cold calling while reaping the potential benefits at a much higher rate. The technique relies upon catering to the needs of customers without the need to actually call or interrupt them. Potential clients come to you on their terms and at their leisure, so they don’t feel like they have to withstand a sales pitch they don’t want.
Through social media, targeted emails, blog posts, and more, you can demonstrate your value to clients who are interested in your work without needing to bother those who are not. Best of all, an effective strategy can make you seem like an authoritative, credible expert in your industry, which will only increase the likelihood that visitors will want to work with you. Research from MarketSherpa shows that email marketing alone is twice as effective as cold calling, and with these other strategies, you’ll be able to kiss annoying phone calls goodbye.