Back in the day, if you wanted to reach out to customers and educate them on your new service or product, the most efficient way to deliver this information in real time was cold calling. We would schedule calls for the "perfect" moment to reach our B2C contacts at home …DINNERTIME!
If you’re like me, you felt like an uninvited guest at another family’s dinner.
Put yourself in the buyer's shoes, after our prospect has completed a long day at work, fought through traffic to get home and spend just a few valued moments with their family, we would called to interrupt.
We were all prepared with our cloned script and a “never take no for an answer,” attitude.
However, we lacked one valuable tool when cold calling for appointments, our prospects agreement to opt-in.
Opting in is the buyer’s way of inviting you to communicate and educate that consumer or business. Waiting for an invite is not a typical cold calling technique, however, without this invitation, you are crashing someone’s daily life.
It is the equivalent of speaking through a bull horn in a quiet library. No one invited you and no one wants to hear your noise.
I recently read in a blog post, “cold calling is the lifeblood of sales.” If this is your company’s methodology, your sales department may soon be at risk of needing life support.
Cold calling is finally being defined as its true self, an intrusive sales tool that was often abusive to both parties involved.
We the marketer chose which people to target with our sales pitch and we were armed with very little information to truly qualify this consumer or business. We had some general information, gathered from a third party form or a past product or service purchase and we attacked them with numerous phone calls until we finally got a no, or we gave up and moved on.
With only 1% of cold calls resulting in a meeting, we can assume a B2B cold calling professional receives very few yes’s in relationship to the number of dials made.
Which then leads to the question, “Is this worth the time I invest each day in a task, I’m never excited to complete?”
Maybe the real question is, “What would be a better investment of my time?”
Inbound marketing puts the customers need first. Whether this is a B2B or a B2C prospect, it puts the power in their hands to decide who they would like to receive information from.
They are allowed the room to research during the consideration stage before they initiate vendor communication during the decision stage. (see attached HubSpot Infographic)
It, in turn, allows us to become educators in our fields.
We are no longer telemarketers; we have an opportunity to become Thought Leaders.
We now have a responsibility to know what we’re talking about, to know what is going on with our competition and to present this information in a way and at a time that is appreciated and valued by the prospect instead of becoming a brand turn off.
With marketing automation software like Hubspot and Marketo, companies have a blueprint to help with the transition from outbound marketing to inbound marketing. They are seeing amazing results according to HubSpot and Mashable report that 54% more leads are generated by inbound than by outbound and inbound marketing cost 62% less per lead than traditional outbound marketing.
Instead of being resistant to this change, embrace it. Whether you are cold calling B2B or B2C leads, cold calling is dead. Let’s bury it, unite as responsible marketers and make it our new mission to:
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