Cold calling and cold emailing do more to harm the reputation of a brand than build it. In another life when I used to work in sales there was a lot of pressure on us to cold call. I was never a fan. I felt that it was intrusive and I was not providing a benefit to our potential customers by bugging them multiple times about something they obviously weren’t interested in. It got to the point where many people I called started getting angry and telling me to never call them again and they would never do business with us in the future. I knew exactly how they felt, because even though I was being forced to cold call instead of helping current customers and building good relationships with potential customers I was no fan of being on the receiving end of a cold call.
I Don’t Want Your Cold
In the more recent past I had an absolutely TERRIBLE experience with cold calling. I purchased a domain name and during the registration I was required to put in my phone number and email. For 3 months, THREE MONTHS!!! I was called multiple times a day and flooded with a barrage of emails from many different companies about the services they offered. Rarely did I answer the phone calls, but when I did I echoed so many of my previous cold leads – “stop calling me and I will never be using your service…EVER”. While all emails went directly into my spam folder.
It’s annoying and obnoxious and I’m not sure why it is even still a thing.
Be Everywhere Your Customers Are
I understand that cold calling used to have a place in the marketing world. 50 years ago a company had very limited options in terms of reaching their target consumers. Potential customers were far away from a company’s base of operations and there was no way to cheaply reach them with advertisements. On top of that if someone was looking for a service that could not be provided locally the customer may have no way of finding that business. People didn’t have the ability to access a world of information in an instant at a time that was most convenient for them. But, times have changed. I, like everyone I know, look to the internet when I am in need of something. I will Google search, ask my friends on Facebook, look at forums, and a million other resources. Once I have found some options I will begin to research them to find out which one will meet my needs best. If necessary I will contact them asking questions that I could not find the answers to and once I know all of the information I make a choice. The businesses that ensure they have a presence in the places that I, and most millennials, look are the ones that will most likely win my business.
Build a Warm Lead / Referral Strategy
On top of harming your brand and being seen as intrusive by pretty much everybody cold leads have a terrible conversion rate (2%). Whereas warm leads have a 20% conversion and referrals have a 50% conversion. The reason for this increase in conversions has to do with both need and decreased negative emotion. When I am in need of something and I ask someone to contact me about the product or service I am going to actually be interested in listening – even more so if I hear a family member, friend, or college recommend them. Not to mention I will feel comfortable working with them because I don’t feel like someone is trying to bug and bully me into using a service that will not be best for me. Using this strategy companies can focus on the customers that are more likely to actually convert into real customers and begin building a mutually beneficial relationship. This will also foster more trust and brand loyalty which will lead to bigger profit margins and lower churn over time.
Just Don’t Do It
For many companies cold calling seems like the only way. They feel that they will not gain any new customers unless they bug people into submission. That is simply not the truth. Being where your potential customers are, encouraging referrals from current customers, and focusing on building a lasting relationship with each warm lead/referral can lead to a success that cold calling can only dream of. Carry your brand with class and resist the status cold calling quo.
Click here to find out how we can help you build a customer relationship marketing strategy that focuses on bringing in warm leads and referrals.