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When is cold calling the best approach?

Common sense tells me that if I have identified 1000 high probability prospects that I want to contact driving to their homes or offices to cold call can't be the best approach because of the large number. Sending these 1000 people an offer through the mail looks like a better idea but would it get the same results? - by realtor
Realtor - this is opinion, not advice. I don't know your business as I've never been in it. I've studied it meaning I've read a few books and I've looked online, and I have a close friend who is her brother's administrative assistant - he's a top producer for his company and himself in residential real estate. I know they do lots of mailings.

BUT my inexperiened-in-this-arena opinion is that calling them on the phone is the best approach if they are in fact high probanility prospects. If it's not the best approach, why isn't it? Maybe I'm missing something not being in your business.

MitchM - by MitchM
hi folks - sharon drew morgen here.

i'd like to say a few things about cold calling, given that i come from a very different approach, different results, and a different way to view the entire exercise of making cold calls.

since i come from the belief that buyers don't buy based on our fabulous data or our even more fabulous personalities (or we'd close a lot more sales, no!?), and buy only when their internal criteria are addressed and understand how to 'change' (what is a new behavior or adding a new product if it's not 'change') without major disruption, cold calling serves a very different purpose than shoving data at someone.

i use/teach cold calling as a way to help prospects truly understand their buying criteria, separate from what/how i'm selling and which can be done in moments, and help them begin considering how to work with me. when i did work with Wachovia bank, the small business bankers studying with me went from:

"i'm going to be in your neighborhood next week. would you mind if i stopped by to introduce myself and show you our next product line?"
which got a 90% rejection rate, to

"how are you currently adding new banking services to the ones you're currently using for those times when you're needing more services than your current bank offers?"
which got a 70% rejection rate. those extra 20 people said: "gosh. we're going to be needing additional services this year and i suspect our local bank can't help. thanks! can you come by?"

that was a cold call. we increased their prospects by a factor of 3, and reduced their closing time from 11 months to 2 months. we ended up with something like a 600% increase in sales, and we did it all using cold calls as the first contact.

if you're doing nothing but pushing data, it doesn't matter what you're using as you'll get the same results. i you can help them make buying decisions from your first contact with them, you can winnow out the tire kickers, and help those who truly need a new solution to make the decisions necessary to choose you.

would you rather sell? or have someone buy. they are 2 different activities. and information does NOT teach someone how to buy.

btw for that person with 1000 good prospects, you can make 70 very effective cold calls a day (actually in 4 hours). you'll have a connect rate of appx 35%. of those, you'll have about 20 very short conversations (you both will be able to tell that they aren't in a position to make any changes) and 2 conversations of about 5 minutes, and then 3 conversations of about 20 minutes. that gives you appx 2 warm and 3 hot leads a day. do the math.

hope this helps... - by Sharon Drew Morgen
if you're doing nothing but pushing data, it doesn't matter what you're using as you'll get the same results. i you can help them make buying decisions from your first contact with them, you can winnow out the tire kickers, and help those who truly need a new solution to make the decisions necessary to choose you.
Cold calling done the way you explained would get better results than marketing directly to the same people? Is that what you'd recommend, cold calling instead of direct marketing? - by realtor
direct marketing gets you less than 1% positive response, and then you only get the people who are running around looking for a solution and you get to be one of the possibilities.

making the Buying Facilitation-based cold calls (and using Facilitative Questions) will get you vastly different results (see previous note). it will take more time, but will pay off.

direct mail is great w