Most sales people have a pavlovian reaction to “cold call” telephone sales — quick glances from left to right (anywhere but straight eye to eye contact) and a determined effort to vacate the premises. The fact is that “cold call” telemarketing tasks are uncomfortable and far removed from the type of ego inflating activity that most sales people require to gin themselves up to the task of hitting their numbers on a month in/month out basis.
But the truth is that “cold call” telephone sales provides a highly targeted, controllable method of expanding market visibility with precision. In fact, if properly managed and executed, cold calls can be utilized to increase market awareness of a product precisely as planned. Therefore, I regard this method of prospecting as the most precise and efficient method available to any type of business marketing any type of product or service. While the number of prospects contacted depends entirely on the number of telemarketers at work (I eschew any mention of “robo dialers”, which dialers I consider to be entirely useless and a waste of precious funds that could be better spent on buying a telemarketers time), the contact, itself, is highly effective.
In contrast, advertising (even inclusive of online, context-sensitive display ads) is inherently a broad market passive technique of juxtaposing text, photos, suggestions, etc (which may all have the very same forward, presumptuous characteristics of a cold call) alongside subject matter that attracts prospect interest but, nonetheless, irrelevant to the ads themselves. The return on investment for advertising, I argue, is far less and certainly not appropriate for tight lipped businesses with leading edge technology that need to operate under the radar.
Usually sales people break out into one of two character types–so-called “farmers” and so-called “hunters”. I like to refer to farmers as the guys with the address books, the nice guys who are well liked by their contacts who have usually bought different products from the same sales person (my nice guy) over several sales “lives”. “Farmers” do not like cold calls. It’s the “hunters” who can be taught to use cold call telemarketing techniques. These sales people are generally in sales not only for the money, but also to satisfy a need for competition and achievement.
“Hunters” may not do a good job of maintaining business friendships, but they certainly can be trained in “cold call” telemarketing for prospecting. With a new technique like cold calling firmly ensconced in their quiver of sales methods, “hunters” can relied upon to not only deliver the orders, but to open the market precisely as planned for a controlled, yet covert, expansion of business.
Don’t pass up on cold call prospecting.
© IMB Enterprises, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2011 All Rights Reserved