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Posted: July 03, 2014

Seven reasons cold calling will never die

It's about relationships

Sam Dobbins

As Mark Twain so aptly put it, "The report of my death was an exaggeration."

Can the same be true for the telephone cold call? Or could the negative attitude of marketers and salespeople alike be a self-fulfilling prophecy? Is it easier to say to oneself, I don't think cold calling will last because the medium is truly out-of-date or because one is unwilling to buy into the idea that the hard work of cold calling requires an effort many if not most in marketing and sales are unwilling to perform?

You may track clicks back to IP addresses all you want, but you're not really engaging with the most important part of the marketing campaign when you do this.  You're not engaging with people.

Here are seven great reasons I believe that cold calling, and the professional teleprospectors you work with, should always be a part of your sales and marketing strategy:

ONE: In-depth identification of decision makers

The pervasive use of technology in our daily lives gives the illusion of market intelligence. We can watch each other's every click on the Internet, monitor who's watching which television shows, track what consumers are buying in stores and online. But in B2B, we are in need of relationship selling. And relationships happen when you bother to pick up a phone and ask good questions.

TWO: Find out your targets' company news, transitions and needs

Let's be honest. Gossip and rumor may or may not be accurate, but they are fun. Giving people an opportunity to talk about themselves and their companies will put the smart teleprospector in the role of confidante and friend. In return, the teleprospector is often the first to find out about new staff, changes in company technology, and much, much more. This news, in turn, will feed the teleprospector's company with valuable marketing information in terms of specific target prospects and even industry trends.

THREE: Stay connected with decision makers

The smart teleprospector isn't just dialing for dollars with each call. They are connecting with the kind of people who decide new hires, new product purchases and company strategy. In a way, you get to interview movers and shakers in your industry without having to have an MBA after your name. This is a golden opportunity that few recognize, and many long for.  And when you build a relationship, great things can happen.

FOUR: Getting past "no interest" with follow-up

Teleprospectors have a tough haul. They're faced with an average of nine nos for every yes. The odds of getting that immediately active lead are often ridiculously long. But for those with the instinct to hunt, what better quarry is there than the next yes response? When you follow up on no interest today's or temporary no's, you'll be a familiar, friendly voice when that reluctant prospect gets to the point of being ready to buy.

FIVE: Get to truth, accuracy and understanding in your business relationships

Did you know that most people lie? They don't mean to, of course. They're usually very busy and don't want to spend time on the phone. So they'll tell you they're not interested in your product or solution while at the same time they're doing Internet research on buying the product you have to offer! The phone seems like an intrusion instead of the help it's meant to be. But a good teleprospector will stay connected and ask questions at least three times in three different ways to get to the truth. And with great listening skills, the teleprospector will build a detailed and accurate profile for your marketing database along the way.

SIX: Millenials will eventually grow up

Today's hot topic is the "millenial" consumer. These young people are being wooed and studied by every professional possible.  We are being told that this generation thinks differently. They don't like to talk on the phone. They have no sense of long-term goals and money isn't everything for them. In the old days, much the same was said about our generation. Instead of catering to the way "they" are, we need to set the example of long-term relationships and how easy these are to build—by phone. Social media will have you believe people can stay connected by blasting news about themselves five different ways across the Internet universe. But a relationship is a two-way form of communication and concern for each other that cannot be achieved with 140 characters or a selfie.

SEVEN: Cold calling works!

Each day, I pick up the phone. I enjoy a laugh with others, I meet new friends and conduct good business. For more than 10 years, I have made the telephone my trusted tool for building relationships, developing market information and creating sales. The telephone cold call, when done with a professional attitude, is as valid today as when people first started calling each other for help. It's one great way to stay connected, and to keep business growing.

Sam Dobbins is the founder and president of the Cold Call King Sales Training Company, formed in 2004.  He is an active member of Business Marketing Association-Denver. Learn more at www.coldcallking.com. Reach Sam at sam@coldcallking.com or (303) 954-8553.

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