Cold calling has many issues, one of the problems is it's massive inefficiency.
After all it's a numbers game. The more you call, the more people you might have a conversation with and then the more likely you will get through to somebody.
So "get on the phones" or would you be better spending that time using more modern techniques?
Cold calling the basics
When you cold call, you must be OK with the fact that you are interrupting somebody and this is likely to piss them off. You also must be OK that this also makes you look like a total sales dinosaur. But as a cold caller, you will be OK with that. Regardless of how much you believe in your product and how much you think you are helping people.
Let's look at typical cold calling objections
"Call me back later in the year."
"Now's not a good time."
“Your competitors all have a lower price than you.”
"We purchased one 3 months ago"
"Piss off and stop bothering me"
This is such a time suck.
Here is the first problem with cold calling, to get to the person you need to speak to, you have to make 100s and 100s of calls. If, and it's a big if, if you get through (and not hit a gatekeeper or voice mail) then you have to deal with their objections.
We have all read books and been sent emails from "sales gurus" all offering a solution. The problem is the "solution" may work once, but once it's been used by one salesperson that buyer is inoculated.
What do I mean? The buyer knows it's coming, they will have a turn around, or should I say a put down, locked and loaded and ready to go.
So when you read that Sales gurus article about "how they win" with cold calling, so has everybody else and as soon as it's used once by the millions of salespeople out there, they buyer is vaccinated and they won't fall for it again.
I know you think you are the only salesperson in the world, but the problem is, there are thousands if not millions trying these hacks.
How do you scale cold calling?
The next issue with cold calling is lack of ability to scale. We are currently coaching a supply chain, software company and they say that the decision making process will probably take place by 100 people in an account. Connecting and pissing off (sorry cold calling) 100 people in an account, just doesn't make sense. It's time consuming and really in 2022? Does a forward looking supersonic company like you use 1980s (40 year old) technology, which cold calling is, to prospect? Just think of the buyers and people that are laughing at you.
Want to get meetings fast?
Of course you do.
A sales person said who attended our social selling program said
"I have never felt more in control of my pipeline generation".
I wonder why this is? Let's look at some of the benefits of using social media to prospect.
With social selling, you, should be getting inbound. This is where buyers see you as the answer to their problem and approach you direct as part of their research phase. Now you can look at this two ways
1. That's less outbound work to do.
2. It's icing on the cake and you will be in the world of commission kickers as you over achieve.
That's the easy one first, let's talk about selling higher in an organisation and converting more of the conversations you have. Don't believe me, there is an example below of a company that got a $2.6 million deal from inbound.
All our research with our clients show that when you social sell you are able to sell higher within an organisation. This stands to reason, as a social seller, you position yourself on social as a trusted advisor, where as a cold caller will be positioned on social with just a LinkedIn profile that reads like a salesperson.
While I know, as a salesperson you are reading this and saying "but I am a salesperson". True, but think about it from the buyers point of view. They don't like salespeople, they also don't believe anything a salesperson says. It's "obvious" that your social profile doesn't fit in this digital world.
Of course you can sell higher with social seller, as a senior person who will you want to work with? A person who looks like they can help you or somebody who looks like a street fighter?
Get more of these high level calls to convert
It's all very well if you get C-Level meetings, but do they convert? Your sales team can be wasting a lot of time, not trying to get senior level calls, but wasting time executing them, if they don't convert.
Our research shows that not only do social sellers are able to get more c-level meetings, but they are able to convert more. Now this is a massive efficiency saving, especially if you scale this across your salesforce.
Strong pipeline with social selling
This all directs a business to have a strong pipeline. We all know that strong pipelines are good, it gives you choices. You can choose, which deals you want to win, it means you can lose deals and it doesn't "matter", it means you can focus on the profitable deals. We all know that an outdated approach to prospecting, like cold calling and cold emails just isn't cutting it today. And the more calls you make and the more emails you send, makes little to no difference.
Here at DLA Ignite, we call this digital dominance. All businesses say they are "on social", but are you dominant on social? Are you able to completely push all your competitors to one side, so you are not just the natural choice for your business, but the only choice.
One of the themes that very few people talk about with social selling is the new found positive culture it creates. Gone is the inefficiency of working with people that won't buy from you, gone are the people being rude to you, gone is the constant failure that comes with legacy prospecting methods such as cold calling and email.
Social selling raises you and the team to be selling higher and more often. We all know that success breeds, success, social selling will give your business the buzz, the energy and the excitement you have been craving for. When you are winning, you all life up and win!
As another salesperson who attended our social selling course said
"It's the drumbeat of large account selling"
Now Imagine .....
Imagine, I pick you up tomorrow in my car and drive you to a place which is full of your prospects and customers. All you have to do is go up and have a conversations with them.
Remember, social media is, social media. In the past you interrupted somebody with a cold call or an email and pitched your services. As social media is being social on media, interrupting and pitching does not work.
If I walked up to you at a social event and pitched, you would make your excuses and go and talk to somebody else.
So how about tomorrow, I pick you up in my car and we go to a place where all your prospects are hanging out. You can stay as long as you want. All you have to do is have a conversation with them. It's that simple, if you are interested, read on.
What is social selling?
Here at DLA Ignite, we define social selling as
"Using your presence and behavior on Social Media to build influence,
make connections, grow relationships and trust, which leads to
conversation and commercial interaction."
It's not witchcraft, it's enabling your salespeople to work from home, (or the office) and create conversations with prospects and customers. Conversations on social media and conversations that convert.
The problem with the name "social selling" is that people think that this is selling on social. All these pitches that you get on social are not social selling, they are spam.
The other thing you need to know about social selling is that this isn't about "putting out some videos" or "putting flowers on your profile" or "going viral" this is about revenue, EBITDA, you winning business from the competition and having a competitive advantage.
With anything you do on social there are two questions you need to ask
2. How much revenue / EBITDA am I getting as a business?
So who's social selling?
In case you missed it, the Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch have banned cold calling and have moved all their people to social selling. This isn't some trendy tech company that might have decided to do this on a whim, this is a very conservative financial services company that has made a decision based on data.
But surely cold calling has a better ROI than social selling? Not according to Merrill Lynch.
"They will also be encouraged to contact prospects over LinkedIn, which has a higher hit rate than cold calling"
“Social selling is not an option now it is the way of the world and you either learn and execute it or fear getting left behind”
Kevin Murray who is the Head of Sales at MacArtney Underwater Technology recently posted about his success with social selling here and wrote an article about the transformation that has happened in sales here.
Andrew Ferrier who is the CEO of Display Technology Ltd and in this article it talks about why Display Technology have adopted social selling. His team have also created a social media strategy with help from our partner, Crux.
Their social media mission statement is
“We want to position ourselves as a forward-thinking, knowledgeable team of individuals who are all experts in our own right, therefore, collectively awesome!”
Andrew also says in that post
"Adopting this (social selling) strategy has taken all of us well outside of our comfort zones but the rewards we have seen in a short period of time have created an excitement within the business development team (new term for sales team).
Because of the nature of social media, quite often you can get instant results. Even if that is just a comment left on your post, or a like, or someone taking the time to want to connect with you.
The excitement around the sales team is infectious, it’s no longer a chore to reach out to the market place because the results can be instant and are there, right in front of you."
What sort of results can you expect?
If you check out this video of Chris Mason CEO at Oracle reseller Namos, fast forward to 19 minutes 55 seconds. Chris talks about a $2.6 million win from being on social, after completing the DLA Ignite social selling and influence course.
What happened? They buyer was on social media looking for a solution to their problem, spotted one of the Namos salespeople, who had a buyer-centric profile and asked if the salesperson could help them. That turned into a $2.6 million deal.
Go and look at their LinkedIn profiles .... look how they can have digital conversations, create insightful content. This could be your company!
We are the only social selling and influence company in the world to offer a certificate in social selling sponsored by the Institute of Sales Professionals (ISP).
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