Does cold calling still work? I know this is a bit of a controversial subject but I get no end of messages on social media trying to sell me a product or service but why?
Would you buy from someone you didn’t know who had contacted you out of the blue. I know I wouldn’t. I meet enough people at networking that I can normally find someone I know – or at least had a brief chat with – to help me with anything I need for my business. If I can’t think of anyone, one of my clients will usually have a contact who they can refer me too.
Working with either someone you know or someone you’ve been referred to is a much better way of getting the product or service that you want. Most people will only refer someone they’ve had direct experience of or have seen examples of their work. This is therefore a warm lead and much more likely to lead to a successful conclusion.
Networking is therefore a key area of sales and marketing but one which many business owners ignore. They think that eating breakfast or drinking coffee is a waste of their day and that they should be doing something more productive – like calling or emailing endless people who really aren’t interested in their product or service!
Once you get out into the networking world, you start to realise that a lot of business is done at these meetings but often isn’t openly spoken about. Yes there is an element of socialising as well, but the better you get to know your potential clients and their challenges, the easier it is for your to provide a solution for them. That might mean making a connection for them rather than providing the solution yourself, but how do you think they will feel when they find the right person to talk to who can help them? People buy on emotion but also from those they know, like and trust. If you help them, make a great connection for them or provide the solution they are looking for, do you think they will remember you? Will they remember that random person who called or emailed them?
I think the answer is obvious but if in doubt, have a look at your customer base and see how many came from a warm lead and how many from cold calling. The numbers will tell their own story.
If you need more customers, do more networking!