Home > Cold Calling > When is cold calling the best approach?

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 when you send out 100,000 units. or when you're attempting to position yourself and want people to recognize your name/brand.

but to have folks make a buying decision, get on the phone. again, you're not using the conventional model.

if the time comes when you want to have help putting together a calling campaign, we could speak.

sd - by Sharon Drew Morgen
I've heard the 1% number before. May I ask you one more question please? When people talk about buying and making lists of prospects isn't that so they can cold call or market directly to the people on those lists? That's like a 1-3% positive response rate right, not counting if salespeople did what you said? All of the talk about targeting your prospects and targeting your offer so you can get a 1-3% positive response? - by realtor
you're missing the point here, a bit.

whenever you push data at anyone, you are only going to get responses from those people who are SEEKING YOUR SOLUTION AT THAT MOMENT. all others, who indeed might need you, haven't considered seeking a new solution yet. so they disregard whatever is coming at them.

let's say you loved having very long hair and wore it in a ponytail. and let's say a colleague said to you: 'you might look more professional with a shorter hairstyle'. well, you like your hair, otherwise you wouldn't have it as you do. but what if i used a Facilitative Question on you that helped you make your own decision: 'how would you know when it was time to reconsider your hairstyle?' changes the whole pix, no?

why bother with such small percentages when you can use the phone with proper Facilitative Questions and get a 15 - 30% success rate? you are only assuming such a tiny success rate because conventional sales models get that rate.

remember: information doesn't teach anyone how to decide. so as you throw data at folks,the only ones who will take any notice are those already ready to use it. all those who might need you, but hadn't realized they did, will ignore it.

would you rather sell? or have someone buy? truly different options.

sd - by Sharon Drew Morgen
you're missing the point here, a bit.

whenever you push data at anyone, you are only going to get responses from those people who are SEEKING YOUR SOLUTION AT THAT MOMENT. all others, who indeed might need you, haven't considered seeking a new solution yet. so they disregard whatever is coming at them.

let's say you loved having very long hair and wore it in a ponytail. and let's say a colleague said to you: 'you might look more professional with a shorter hairstyle'. well, you like your hair, otherwise you wouldn't have it as you do. but what if i used a Facilitative Question on you that helped you make your own decision: 'how would you know when it was time to reconsider your hairstyle?' changes the whole pix, no?

why bother with such small percentages when you can use the phone with proper Facilitative Questions and get a 15 - 30% success rate? you are only assuming such a tiny success rate because conventional sales models get that rate.

remember: information doesn't teach anyone how to decide. so as you throw data at folks,the only ones who will take any notice are those already ready to use it. all those who might need you, but hadn't realized they did, will ignore it.

would you rather sell? or have someone buy? truly different options.

sd
I see your point about pushing data and your point about low results. I really do or think I do. My question about lists is because I am not confident I understand what people are doing with the lists. - by realtor
"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." _ SDM

Sharon is right about that. We keep precise records - something we didn't do in the beginning - today during our training a distributor doing the training gave a detailed account of one week's worth of calling prospects upon my request and her numbers are almost identical to Sharon's example here.

Once upon a time I did mailings from Welcome Wagon lists in the area because of cold calling fear and it cost me lots of time and money. My friends in insurance and real estate tell me that they use the phone for their prospecting contact work and mailing is follow-up or marketing reminders, etc.

People email, send out mailings and post cards meant to prospect because it's passive and they fear calling, for the most part.

MitchM - by MitchM
i suppose others can answer this question better than i.
good luck.
sd - by Sharon Drew Morgen
I've heard the 1% number before. May I ask you one more question please? When people talk about buying and making lists of prospects isn't that so they can cold call or market directly to the people on those lists? That's like a 1-3% positive response rate right, not counting if salespeople did what you said? All of the talk about targeting your prospects and targeting your offer so you can get a 1-3% positive response?
Realtor to keep this thread from getting off the original topic please start a new thread to address this question. Thank You. ;) - by Jeff Blackwell
In my opinion cold calling is always the best approach. People grow tired of being bombarded with continuous sales letters, emails, etc...they like to hear a voice on the other end of the phone. They want to match your product or service with a voice a person...

Also viewing cold calling as a numbers game is not the way to go...in my opinion if you become the forgetful salesman you will make more sales.

Sales pressure distracts prospect it causes them to put up a wall in self-defense. Most of all holding a good two-way conversation with the prospects can open up many more doors for you then any sales script. Learning who the prospect is and what issues they are dealing with will help you determine if your product or service can help them. This will cut down on the number of prospects you must (chase) for the sale.

I hope my two cents helps... - by lrobertson
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