Tuesday, April 15, 2008

To Cold Call or Not To Cold Call

I'm intrigued how an older post, one of the originals on this blog, can still generate comments.

A post about the first TVCNet meeting, where our speakers from GlobeCom Solutions (now Valitics) discussed marketing in a new media world, made mention of cold calling. The quote was:

Most consultants I know don't have a passion for selling and marketing. They'd rather cut off right leg than to cold call someone they want to business with.

A comment by a reader said that they too hate cold calling, but it works.

When it comes to consulting, marketing and personal selling is a large part of the job. To generate business, there is no one single way. Ask a number of consultants how they generate business and the answers will vary.

Personally, I'm not a big fan of cold calling. I think about the other person on the phone. As much as I hate being called and solicited to buy something, why would I think the other person would be more open to it? I prefer to build my business through networking, referrals and creating meaningful relationships.

What do you think?

What is your method for generating business? Do you cold call potential clients? Does it work? what tips do you have grow your client base? Everybody has their own way of generating business. It will be interesting to see how many different ways consultants build their business.

5 comments:

GIERSCH said...

The most common response given when asked why a business didn't buy from company X is, nobody asked me.

Mike Fisch said...

I recently started a cold call campaign, and while it is a REAL STRETCH for me, I am encouraged so far.

My approach is to think of all the cold calls I didn't like and try to do the opposite.

Don't like to be offered something I probably don't need, so I target my call list.

Don't like it when callers ramble and waste my time, so I try to be direct and to the point.

Don't like tricks or gimmicks, so I am straightforward.

Don't like to be pushed, so I only ask if I can send info on the 1st call. Also respectfully take no for an answer.

And so on...

Bottom line: With a reasonable approach and friendly attitude, you'd be surprised how receptive people can be.

Justin Beller said...

When a cold call is a real stretch, that's when I have a problem with it.

Don't get me wrong, cold calls can work, but I personally need to have some sort of justification for the call.

For instance, when I said I like to build business through networking or referrals, that's usually the best lead-in to a cold call. If someone I met refers me to someone, I can reference that person in my cold call. Instantly I can build rapport and have a basis for my communication. I find that usually works best.

Just a little bit of clarification I want to get across.

Great comments nonetheless!

Anonymous said...

A justification for calling is what we term a "Valid Business Reason" which is basically, what is the benefit for the person you are calling. It can be as simple as, I've researched your company and believe I can help you. There should also be a benefit for you, so a cold call should never be a real stretch, since you'd be wasting your own time too.

Justin Beller said...

The key is being targeted in your approach. It reminds me of a rating system detailed in Alan Weiss' book "Getting Started in Consulting."

For all potential clients, Alan illustrates how (through good research) you can rate the liklihood a company will work with you. Focus on those companies for your cold calls and communicating with them should be easier.