The Death of Cold Calling

Cold calling is a prospecting method where you approach potential customers through the phone–and, these prospects were not expecting your call. As a result, it is called “cold” calling. Even the best salespeople get a little nervous when making cold calls because anything can happen from getting the wrong number, the wrong contact, or getting hung up on.

It’s like viewing a phone directory and randomly picking a person hoping they will pick up and also be interested. This is a sales method that has been used for years, and, works every so often.

But, you need a dedicated team with headsets glued to their heads making 50 to 100 calls per day. In addition, it’s unpredictable. Some sales reps say they can get a new client every 20 calls—but, is that really true and consistent?

As you can imagine, many sales reps can quickly burn out and tire of the churn of dials with little to show for it. Plus, it can be demoralizing when you face rejection time and time again. No one wants to get hung up on over and over. So, does this mean the cold call is finally dead? Keep reading to learn more.

The consumer landscape has changed

Decades ago, before the common usage of the Internet and mobile devices, customers needed to be taught about their options. So, cold calling may have worked because many consumers wouldn’t have known about your products and services otherwise.

And, before spam emails, people didn’t feel as overwhelmed by data and information. So, more people might have been willing to listen to what you have to say. These days, the consumer mindset is a lot different. Everyone has a mobile device and access to the Internet. So, they are more empowered to execute their own research before they even contact any company.

They are very independent when it comes to purchases. By the time they reach your company, they have already done background research. They type in keywords across the search engines to find what they want before they even talk to someone.

In addition, they may not even want to talk to you–they might prefer to email, text, or send a direct message via social media. But, overall, customers want to take the initiative with their purchase decisions. They prefer the control they have over the process, and usually only need your help with more detailed and in-depth inquiries.

They’re too savvy for random sales pitches

With cold calling, there is often one basic script sales reps use to get prospects to talk. The script isn’t usually personalized for each recipient since you never know who will be answering the phone–if anyone answers the phone at all.

These days, consumers screen their calls. If they don’t recognize your number or see your company name when they weren’t expecting it, then they probably won’t answer. With caller ID, customers know they have the ball in their court.

Long gone are the days of rotary phones, without caller ID, where people would pick up most calls. Plus, modern consumers are aware of outdated sales tactics. Even business clients are increasingly skeptical of sales pitches.

They don’t want the generic pitch. They want something highly personalized and relevant. Contemporary buyers want to trust you and build a relationship with you.

But, they won’t do that if they think they’re just another number on your speed dial. If you can’t get someone on the phone, you certainly can’t sell anything. Leaving long messages isn’t going to cut it either.

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Cold calling does little to address the needs of buyers

Cold calling is a repetitive and draining task. Salespeople dial number after number just hoping to get a sale or something that will lead to a sale. They’re focused on the numbers and not the person at the other end of the call. In its heyday, cold calling successfully helped to build many businesses. But, in the days of caller ID, mobile devices, and search engines–cold calling just isn’t as effective.

Consumers rarely talk on the phone anymore, unless they have an issue with a product or service. And, with cold calling, sales reps just want to get through all the dials so that they can improve their dial percentage. But, that isn’t a way to sell effectively. Today, salespeople need to understand what the buyer wants and then, offer value above everything else.

They need to focus on the buyers’ needs. Prospective customers want you to win them over by addressing their challenges and wants. This is not achievable through cold calling, but instead with accurate customer data and insights that only be provided through a CRM system.

Consumers are impatient

Living in an instant gratification world, where almost anything you need or want is available with just a tap, many consumers have become more impatient. And, it is not just instant gratification impacting the loss of patience.

As many companies strive to continually become more efficient, they either replace some workers with automation or have combined more responsibilities into a single position which has led to a more stressed-out workforce. So, your prospects don’t want sales reps to waste their time with scripts and a lack of relevancy.

Why would an accountant want to hear about vacuum cleaners at the office? It can take up to 12 phone calls to finally reach a prospect. And, when you do reach them, you might get hung up on or yelled at. Prospects are less willing to listen to your sales pitch than ever before.

It’s a difficult technique because there is no relationship involved. Prospects are more willing to buy from companies they have a relationship with.

Final thought

Cold calling is dead, and no longer works in the modern age. Sales techniques will come and go as consumer demands change. The only thing to do is to adapt and align your pitch so that it is relevant enough to earn your prospect’s response.