Marketing is the key factor that determines the success of a business. When ever you start or plans to expand your business, the most important question that you have to solve is “How to improve marketing”
Cold Calls (the practice of calling an individual/firm/company/organization,introducing yourself and about your company,explaining your services and how it can improve/help the other ones business and @ end of call enquiring “weather he/she is interested in the services”) are one of the conventional type or marketing tactic followed over ages. Its still used by many people who know only little marketing tactics and by new startup’s with no ability to hire a marketing team. When I and my friends started our business, we also were at the same situation. We had no marketing teams, not much money to employ some business consultants. The only option left was “do things yourself and study from your experience and mistakes“. If you are working on this mode or if you are doing things by yourself without much knowledge then you should always be in the “feedback” mode, means you should always take feedback’s from each experience. You should ask questions yourself, Why this client rejected my proposal? What was the reason? Analyse and find out then apply feedback correction (Correct yourself is the whole idea!!).
I think, we have made only few cold calls (some 10 maybe! ) so far and I am very proud to say that none of them worked out! After a few failed attempts we stopped making cold calls (well there’s another reason because we already started getting inbound leads by then). But its a fact that none of the cold calls worked out. Also many of the marketing guys I have talked with shared their experience with cold calls as “hell“.
Why cold calls fail?
There are many reasons for this. I will share some of my experiences and of other guys.
1. A cold call is not at all targeted - When we are making a cold call, we really don’t know weather the other hand is really in need of your services/product. In 90% of cases that party might not be interested in the particular services we are offering. They may just say” Oh I am not interested right now! Please call later”
2. Cold calls are indirectly equal to advertisements – Its a fact that we HATE ads! Cold calls also indirectly effect as ads or forced ads or push ads. We really don’t like calls from our mobile network vendors like Vodafone,Idea,Airtel etc. I know many guys placing “Dont Take” with these ad serving numbers.
3. Inappropriate time of call delivery -Â We don’t know the mood of the person we are calling, weather hes busy or he/she is interested to spare their valuable 5 mins for us etc etc. In most cases people will say “Oh I am busy right now, please call later”
4. Already hired similar service/bought a similar product - This is another case. I myself had an experience. With an intention to sell SEO services to one of the top builders in Cochin, I approached one. It was fair deal as he understood what I said and granted me an appointment. I went there on time with proposal, explained all the stuffs pros and cons, advantages of online marketing, cost effectiveness etc. “Okay! Okay! great” he said and continued “but I already gave contract to some company ‘x’ so am really sorry. I called you to know what difference you can offer compared to the other” Hmm! so there are cases like this also. But I was more than happy when he said, “your proposal sounds much better than the other and I will certainly call you if the other guys failed”
5. Pricing dilemma- Its another major problem that many of you might have faced. Suppose we were lucky to close a cold call to sale. Next big thing is pricing or bargaining to the sense. When a business is gained through cold call, i think the “more needy” one is we service provider. Client might have the attitude “Its you who pushed me into this deal, I have no need” So he will start bargaining! sometimes to the xtreme that we can see only in streets. well that too is a nice experience. Highly efficient marketers will still tame such persons and close the deal in fair (fair to the marketer!)
6. Delay in payments- They might make an advance payment and most likely to make the second one too. I dunno/ I am not sure weather they will make the last scheduled payments.
7. Chance of dropping projects in half - A client that is achieved via cold calls are likely to drop the project in half the way. He might simply say ” I have run out of cash” or “I lost interest” etc. He may even ask a refund of advance payment.
8. Difficult to satisfy- They might not have a clear aim or a clear cut idea of the project they are buying. They will always ask for corrections here and there and at the end they will say “I m not satisfied”
9. Lack of marketing skills – Its another major reason I should have pointed out @ start of this article. One should be a “terrific” marketer to close a cold call. He should be sharp and clear with aim and knowledge and at the same time should be polite and cool.
10. Offensive – Most cold calls are really offensive! Chances are high it may create a resentful displeasure.
At the end think yourself, “Do you like cold calls?“ I dont!
What’s your idea? Share it as comments if you like and if you have time to spare.