Most sales teams shudder at the mention of cold calls.
And justifiably so because you’re reaching out to someone you’ve never contacted before
Research shows that up to 71 percent of buyers are open to hearing from sellers when they are seeking ideas to drive business performance.
That right there is where cold calling comes in.
You want to start conversations with potential buyers to let them know that you’re a player in that space. You want to call them up to let them know you can add value to their business by solving their problems.
The cold calling technique has evolved into a strategy that builds relationships with potential buyers who need your solutions. It’s working for Fortune 500 companies to SMBs and startups.
Let’s look at cold-calling mistakes you should avoid making along with other digital marketing strategies that promote business growth.
1. Cold Calling
According to saleshive.com, here are the things you need to avoid when making cold calls:
- Don’t go in blind. Most businesses and the people that drive them have social footprints. Conduct online research to identify compelling challenges in your target company’s industry, their history, and social information. This data allows you to make more authentic connections.
- Don’t blow the first 10 seconds of the call. The opening seconds are critical to whether the prospect stays on the line or hangs ups. Create an opening line that captures a pressing challenge and how you can solve it.
- Don’t sell on your first call. People rarely buy on the first call, and they want to feel like they have a choice in the purchase. Use the first call to pique their interest in your solutions by showing the value you can add.
- Don’t sound timid or vague. Think about this—will a gatekeeper put a timid unknown caller through to their CEO? Work on your confidence to create a sense of seniority.
- Avoid monopolizing the call. You may feel the need to lay everything on the table to convince the prospect to buy, but that only alienates your listener. Build rapport by asking intelligent questions and paying attention to their responses.
- Don’t hang up without asking for your goal. Predetermine the purpose of your call. Do you want to secure a sales meeting? Perhaps a demo or quote? Ask for your goal and ensure you and your listener agree regarding the next step.
2. Build Your Email List
Many marketers are shoving aside email marketing in favor of social media interactions. Both strategies are great for building awareness, relationships, and growth.
However, the often underutilized email marketing strategy is up to 40 times more effective in acquiring customers. Yes, you read that right—40 times better than Facebook and Twitter combined.
The reasons are pretty simple:
- Email has a greater reach. With over 4 billion users, including businesses, email offers higher chances of reaching prospective customers.
- You have better control over your messages. With email, you can customize campaigns on the basis of the interactions you have with existing and potential customers. From inbound leads to referrals or abandoned carts, customized email interactions may increase your opportunity to close new deals.
- You have permission from your audience to send them valuable content and messages. When a person offers their email address, it indicates a commitment to a higher relationship than the “likes” or “follows” on social media.
3. Host Value-Packed Webinars
Webinars are an excellent option for educating audiences on your products/services or for holding discussions with experts on industry challenges or trends.
Done right, webinars may help you:
- Position you as a credible authority that businesses can turn to
- Connect with audiences in real-time
- Generate high-quality leads
- Answer burning questions that audiences long to ask
- Generate sales without using a hard sales pitch
- Maximize the use of your products/services
How do you do it right?
- Determine preliminary logistics. What topic do you want to cover? Will it be a solo act or do you want a group collaboration? Who will be on the panel? What time do you want to host it?
- Craft content that piques interests and encourages them to participate in the conversation. Use compelling visual and audio to deliver multi-sensory experiences for your listeners.
- Promote the upcoming webinar on your social pages, via email invitations, and consider creating a registration landing page for the event.
- Rehearse beforehand to help you and your panelists get comfortable around the discussion and identify mishaps.
- Keep the conversation going by following up on the leads you collected. Find out what they liked about the webinars, which areas they would like more information on, and how you can add value to their business.
4. Leverage Content Marketing
B2B content marketing is interesting because B2B consumers choose the content they want to consume.
So you don’t just create run-of-the-mill content and bombard customers and prospects with it.
Nay, you attract them with useful content.
In other words, if your audiences can’t put to practice the actionable elements you talk about in your content, you’ve missed the mark.
So, how do you keep yourself from missing the mark?
- Know your audience. Use data to analyze the people who visit your website and the topics that interest them. It will help you create relevant content for the different stages of the buying process.
- Come with content ideas regularly. If you’re experiencing an “ideas drought”, look at what people are talking about on social and platforms like Quora? You can also go through the comments section on your competitor’s blogs for “undealt with challenges” and create content that addresses them.
- Use infographics to validate your content ideas on social platforms. If the post generates plenty of shares and engagements, write a full blog on it.
- Promote your content. It’s one thing to create and publish great content and another to reach your target audience. Enhance engagement by notifying your email list and your social network followers whenever you put up fresh content.
5. Ask for Referrals
Many marketers don’t ask for referrals because they don’t want to be perceived as greedy or pushy.
But the players in the B2B space understand that businesses need to grow and getting referrals is one way of promoting growth.
As long as your service was top-notch, your customer shouldn’t think twice about sharing contact or two.
Here are some ways to gain referrals:
- Ask directly. It’s the easiest but possibly the most awkward thing to do. You’ll want to give your customer a couple of weeks to see the benefits of your solutions before asking them for referral business. If they are happy, ask away.
- Rather than target all your customers, zero in on those you have a deeper relationship with. Those that offer complimentary stuff or you exchange gifts with. They are better brand advocates and more likely to refer others.
- Offer incentives. Ideally, your work should speak for itself, but gifts are appreciated. Incentives such as discounts off of a future purchase or an upgrade can inspire customers to send you referrals.
- Give referrals. Examine your network for businesses that may profit from working together and hook them up. They will remember and return the favor.