For decades, millions of companies saw cold calling as their best lead generator. They simply didn't have the market budget to try generating leads with any other means. Cold-calling was an immediate solution and one that could easily create leads if done by the right individual.
However, that changed with the onset of inbound marketing. Suddenly companies were being searched online and inbound calls became the norm.
A cold call involves calling a contact in a company, trying to elicit interest and then generating business from that initial call. It's an invasive practice because the customer is unprepared for the upcoming discussion. The customer receives a call from a salesperson and a company with which they have no history. Convincing a customer to move forward on a cold call takes time, practice and the ability to immediately adjust on the fly. So, how does this compare to warm calls as a lead generator?
Warm Calls Come From Inbound Marketing
A warm call comes from a customer making an inquiry on their own. Inbound leads through your website are warm calls. Email inquiries from new customers are warm calls. A potential new customer who calls and leaves a message asking for additional information is a warm call. An existing customer calling about a new project is a warm call.
Ultimately, warm calls occur when your online marketing is working. Your lead capture forms are a source of warm calls and an excellent lead generator. A customer comes to your website, is interested in your offer, fills out the lead form, provides contact details and indicates interest in a particular product, and then you follow up. This is exactly what a warm call entails and it's the reason why companies have become so enamored of inbound marketing.
However, does that mean that cold calling is dead? No, it doesn't and here's why.
You Still Need Cold Calling to Reach High-Level Executives
Despite all the advancements made by inbound marketing, there is still a need for cold calling as a lead generator. There will always be those buyer personas who can only be reached through a cold call. There are still high-level contacts and business owners who are not tied into the world of online marketing. These individuals are often too busy and too overwhelmed to take the time to investigate your company online. Reaching them by cold calling is still the most viable means of getting them interested.
Make Cold Calling Easier
So, how do you make cold calling an easier process? First, focus on the customer's business. What position in the market do they fill and how will your product or service help them? Second, map out each of your buyer personas and focus on answering the most common fears and concerns during the call. Third, refine your cold calling practices. Fourth, continue to focus on your online marketing strategies. The more your customers know your market, the more your cold calling will become warm calls. Fifth, direct customers to your website on each cold call. Take them through your website and show them what you have available.
Cold calling as a lead generator is here to stay. It still has a role with certain high-level executives who can't find the time to find you online. Refine your approaches and take some of your warm call mindset to every cold call you perform.