My colleague, Beth has a strange and unusual personality trait. She loves to make cold calls! What makes Beth so successful at sales calls is that she DOES them and she’s good at them. Many, if not most people fail to make sales calls—especially cold calls. And many of those who do make them aren’t very good at it.
You wouldn’t catch me making a cold call unless I was down to my last nickel and had exhausted all other marketing options. My preference would be to communicate with my clients via the internet, social network sites, or email marketing.
Beth and I have a ongoing friendly debate about which is more effective–her cold calls or my online marketing. Now I haven’t actually done a formal analysis, but I can tell you this…both Beth’s cold calls and my online marketing bring in clients.
It’s not surprising since sales calls and social networking sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are similar in that both methods put you in front of your clients, colleagues and prospects. The advantage to social network sites is that instead of putting you in front of one client at a time like a sales call does, networking sites can put you in front whole groups of clients or prospects—on a regular basis.
Is it Sales vs. Marketing?
With a sales call you’re asking for an appointment or a job. With regular online posts you’re making yourself, your business and your expertise known without actually asking for business. Blogging, posting and tweeting gives you the opportunity to consistently demonstrate your expertise to your entire network. By blogging about topics relevant to your industry or offering links to business appropriate articles, you’re demonstrating to your network that you’re knowledgeable and active in your industry. And by having online conversations with people in your network you allow everyone in your network to learn more about you.
Or Sales and Marketing?
In my opinion, social network and sales calls strategies are complementary business tools. Try the following strategies:
- Use your networks to help develop your call list.
- Invite call prospects to get to know more about your business by following your blog, Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter accounts.
- Provide useful informative information in your posts that will sell prospects on your expertise, style and substance.
If you develop online marketing and sales call strategies that support each other, you may find when you make the call they’re already sold.
William Barnett says
I actually make cold calls and engage in networking.
I don’t mind the cold calling, even the rejections(!), because I’m confident that I can help organizations improve their promotional materials. If they choose not to take advantage of that, they’re short-changing themselves. I know that sounds arrogant, but there is so much poor content on the web and elsewhere that almost any change would be an improvement! My most important tip on cold calling is to set a goal of a specific number of calls per day and stick to it.
The networking speaks for itself and is, of course, more fun. But it also consumes a lot of time and energy.
Carolyn Griswold says
Both strategies take time and energy and both can be fun if undertaken with a positive attitude. Nothing arrogant about offering a service to people. Good for you for taking on cold calls (including rejections) with a positive attitude.