Cold Calling is not dead, but any old timers that have scoffed at Social Media need to seriously re-evaluate their thinking. Cold Calling is still a necessary and vital part of any successful Sales organization, but with the help of social media these calls no longer need to “come in from the cold.”
LinkedIn is the most obvious example of a Social Media tool that helps you learn about your prospects. I use LinkedIn daily and it serves me very well. I have always leveraged 3rd parties to warm up calls, and I am still an advocate for using your personal network to obtain as much knowledge about a prospect as possible, but LinkedIn takes this to entirely different level. Chances are good that if you have been in the business awhile you have something or someone in common with your prospect and this leverage is crucial. This Social Proof is one of the most important pieces of the Sales puzzle. The phenomenon that nobody wants to be the first to do anything and as soon as someone they know is using your company or talking to you it makes it easier for them to accept you and your company. Social Media is the most successful and easiest way to develop Social Proof. A 2012 Nielsen survey indicated that 92% of people globally trust word of mouth recommendations from friends and family. What better way to express what you are doing and how you are already doing it than on LinkedIn. I recently read that every second two new users join LinkedIn. That is an amazing statistic! However, nothing happens until someone picks up the phone to engage. Social Media, email, or any technology are just additional tools. At the end of the day people buy from people (more importantly from people they like).
Two quick tips to improve your Cold Calling success:
- More appointments are scheduled with VP level executives between the hours of 8-9 am and 4-5 pm than the rest of the day. Block out your day. Those two hours each day should not be used to check emails or to do anything else. Stay on the phone and use these hours wisely.
- When you have identified a contact and know the number is accurate Double Dial. Call once and if they don’t answer hang up and call right back. Studies show there is an 18% improvement in contacts with Double Dialing. I’m sure it’s happened to you. You ignore a call thinking it’s a telemarketer, but then the number shows up again and your curiosity is piqued so you answer. I know it happens to me and I trust the studies