When I started my career in the early 90's as a Series 7 Broker, cold calling was an essential business task that was done on a daily basis. I would routinely make 150-200 cold calls per day because that was what was necessary to be successful. Dialing for Dollars was paying your dues, at the time there was no quicker or better way to build a book of business, and it worked. As technology started to evolve and other marketing options and strategies became available, cold calling started to take a back seat, but is it obsolete or is it still one of the fundamental tools in sales? I reached out to some business sources to have them weigh in on the topic and what I found was an overwhelmingly YES, cold calling after all these years is still a very effective way of generating new business. Here is what these businesses had to say. Feel free to share your experiences as well.
NO! Cold Calling is on FIRE!:
It is far from dead my friend. We implement cold calling as a huge part in our business’ success. -Marc Corbin, real estate investor in Savannah, GA actively CashBuyerSavannah.Online
Few people can truthfully admit they enjoy cold calling, still it's a critical part of selling. In my own experience, I’ve gotten some things through cold calling I couldn't have gotten otherwise: jobs, income, new customers, advice, etc. Never hesitate to cold call if it will get you what you want or need.
Cold calling in business isn’t a complex activity. It does take a little courage, experience, the ability to take rejection, and believing in the message. The only thing that isn’t free about doing your own cold calling is the time it takes to do it.
When I cold call, I write a script and memorize it through repetition in front of a mirror, until it just comes out naturally, comfortably, confidently, and enthusiastically. Then, I highlight the words in the script that really communicate the message I’m trying to convey. The next step is to pick up the phone and just have a conversation that reflects the message, particularly your underlined words. That ensures you don’t sound too scripted.
The worst thing that can happen is hearing the word “no” or listening to a gatekeeper that’s having a bad day. The gains and wins from cold calling should lead to the satisfaction that you’re doing something that most people can’t do, because they won’t do it. Enjoy the low cost / high gain rewards!
Jim Morris, President and Owner of The Alternative Board Tennessee Valley
Cold calling has been drowned out by excessively active telemarketers. Anyone with a phone, and this includes children, knows that you don't answer a number you don't know. Telemarketers have exhausted phone users. They even have apps now to send these calls right to voicemail. My company has stuck to SEO, and email as a way to generate more business. Although, recently we decided to start reaching out to our customers to offer assistance, or answer any questions about our service, while also offering a promotion to upgrade their account, or renew. So far, we have had no success. We live in an era that if you want something you get it. It's immediate gratification. If you call someone and they don't want what you are offering, they will shut it down. -Erica Scott Operations Manager www.ezlandlordforms.com ezLandlordForms LLC
As a Real Estate Broker/Investor, I depend heavily on Cold Calling as my main method of contacting home sellers. There are many different ways to contact motivated sellers. But cold calling still works best, if you want to the first to contact motivated sellers.When contacting Probate Leads, Foreclosure Leads, REO (Bank Owner Real Estate) Leads, For Sale by Owner Leads. All these leads must be called on and cold calling is still the best method. Yes you have to spend at least 4-5 hours per day calling each lead, but in the end, if you did your job correctly, you should have several leads to visit with, for a face to face meeting. -Robert Hernandez, President RH Dallas, Texas
I believe cold calling is on the rise and only getting better. Although industry dependent, the success of cold calling is improving. “Big data” has enhanced the ability to qualify leads and the speed and likelihood of connecting on the phone. Cold calling labor costs are reduced. You shouldn’t be dialing – just selling. Overseas telephone operators are capable of getting the prospect on the line and transferring you the lead at negligible cost. Digital marketing can be over saturated with competition. The combination of better targeting, low cost labor, and standing out among the crowd keeps cold calling a relevant marketing strategy.
-Earl White, Co-Founder House Heroes LLC www.househeroes.com
It's dead if you're bad at it We’re a marketing agency that works with clients in all industries.
Here’s our Business Development Specialist John Berry’s approach:
The thought of sales has a negative connotation and people have programmed ways to lie to avoid being sold to. Think about the last time you were going to buy a car - you probably had a sales person come up and ask how they could help and you may have said, “I’m just browsing” to avoid that sales interaction. Cold calling interrupts those patterns allowing us to get through those built up walls to address the real challenges. -Jesse Ghiorzi Director, Brand Strategy www.chargegf.com
I think cold calling is an outdated and ineffective method of prospecting for sales reps today. I realized this when I started my creative agency. I spoke with an individual who was a business development representative at another agency and they made roughly 150 calls per week! I was not looking forward to that! In fact, I'm pretty sure the cold calling process is uncomfortable for all parties involved (the salesperson, the prospect, and anyone else unlucky enough to be involved). The chances of a cold call leading to a sale are also becoming nil. Instead, I have held to two strategies for generating business for my agency -- online and offline marketing. The online marketing consists of landing pages, forms, and CTAs, while the offline marketing consists of referrals, networking, and building personal relationships with prospects. Those have been my most effective methods of prospecting. -Tyler Hanna, 8bitrex.com
We are experts in helping manufacturing companies upgrade their technology and one of our main marketing tools is cold calling. Yes cold calling in the past has been the primary tool for most brokers in our industry. Today we see an even higher need for cold calling because people are so consumed with advertisements and social media. We’ve noticed if a cold caller has been trained properly with an effective script they can be highly effective with a qualified prospect. Reason we believe call Calling is not dead is because at the end of the day people want to deal with expert’s. We also recommend using tools of today such as high-quality CRM and social media to know your customer and to help qualify the best prospects prior to making cold calls. If you can establish some basic common ground and need for your product and service will help warm the call. We’ve also noticed our competitors that believe cold calling is dead and have increased cost for online and social media’s ad spend has not increased market share. Hope this helps and those who work hard and take action daily win! -Curt Doherty CNC Machines
Cold calling is our best performing marketing avenue for our company. We have that the proactive approach of reaching out to people instead of waiting for them to contact us has set us apart from our competition. When we go on appointments, our leads never tell us that other people have been calling them when we ask. You can send someone all of the direct mail, Google AdWords, and Facebooks Ads you want, but if they don't take action then you can't do business with them. Someone who is reaching out to the prospects consistently is going to win the business before you.
Our cold calling team uses MOJO Dialer for our outbound calls. This allows us to upload a list of phone numbers and names and the system dials numbers and leaves voicemails for us. We average 71 calls per hour when accounting for talking to people and 1.3 leads per hour. We also use this same team for follow up. Every Monday our dedicated follow-up day, where we generate most of our deals.
-Shawn Breyer, Owner Breyer Home Buyers www.eastatlhomebuyers.com