Is cold calling right for your business?
“Should we be doing cold calling?”
A lot of new founders and small business owners ask themselves this question.
First of all: Cold calling isn’t dead. It can enable incredible growth and millions of companies are growing rapidly as a result of it—even Uber started out cold calling. If you know how to use it, it will be of great value to your business, too.
In this post, I’m going to give you two highly tactical question that’ll help you determine whether you should be doing cold calling.
2 simple questions to determine whether you should cold call
We’ve written a lot about cold calling in the past, but we’ve never tackled the question, “Should I be doing cold calling?” The answer is not far away.
Start by asking yourself these two questions:
- Do my customers buy over the phone?
- Do my competitors successfully use cold calling?
These two questions answer one core question: Is cold calling a channel that will help me successfully reach my customers and sell to them?
There are two main ways to find out if your customers are likely to buy over the phone.
- Learn from your potential customers.
- Learn from your competitors.
Here’s how to do it.
Learn from your potential customers
Let’s say you’ve created an ideal customer profile. Next, find your ideal customers and survey them.
- Are you being cold called today?
- Have you ever been cold called?
- Have you ever bought anything after a cold call?
Survey your potential customers and learn from them.
If your prospects tell you that they don’t buy over the phone, ask them why. Is it because nobody ever cold calls them? Or is it because nobody reaches them on the phone?
If your prospects are receiving a lot of cold calls, but the pitches suck, well— that’s a good thing. Because naturally, a huge part of cold calling is being able to reach your customers. It's also means learning how to cold call the right way will give you a leg up over the competition.
Learn from your competitors
Ask yourself if there’s a company in your industry that’s currently doing cold calling.
Do they have the same type of customers as you and are they succeeding with this strategy? You’ll want to talk to these companies, so start dialing.
Don’t know how to get started with calling your competitors? It’s easy. Call your competitors on their main sales line. Shortly, you’ll find yourself speaking to someone that’s very likely to be a junior rep. Just keep calm and act like a prospect.
Here’s the thing: You don’t even need to lie to them. If you approach the conversation the right way, they’ll want to answer all your questions. Why? Because you might potentially become a very important customer to them.
Eventually, you’ll get to the topic of how they grow their business and they’ll be happy to answer.
Let the data guide your decision
If your potential customers are buying through cold calling and if your competitors are using cold calling successfully, then the answer is, yes—it’s a strong indicator that you should explore cold calling as a channel for your business.
If your competitors tell you they don’t do cold calling, you’d want to know why. Did they try it? If so, what were the results? Did they not try it? Why?
Getting started with cold calling today
Let’s say you’ve answered these two questions and arrived at a “Yes.” Next, you’ll want to ask yourself two things:
- Is this the best strategy for your business? Based on all our options when it comes to reaching prospects, is this the best one? Is it cost-effective? Is it competitive? Is it a priority to explore this right now? Like any strategy, you’re going to have to invest time and resources into exploring whether it’ll work or not.
- Does anyone on your team have experience in cold calling? If not, will you train someone internally? Will you hire a sales rep?
While it’s tempting to just hire a pro, oftentimes the best thing you can do at this stage is to do the cold calling yourself. Even if you hate cold calling people and are bad at sales, you want to be the person speaking with prospective customers before you hire someone to do it for you. If you struggle with selling over the phone, we have a free cold calling crash course to help you:
Setting up your first funnel
You’ve decided to give cold calling a try. Next, it’s time to set up your first funnel.
Word of advice: Don’t overthink it. All you’re trying to do during your first attempt is see if you can close one customer.
Here’s what your first version of your cold calling funnel should include:
When you’re doing this for the first time, it’s very likely that the numbers you’ll get are horrible. You’ll have horrible reach rates, horrible qualifying rates, horribly close rates. But if you can create any results at all at this stage, it’s a strong indicator that there’s real potential for success.
These are the resources you need to create a basic funnel:
Keep it simple and focus on one step at a time. Can you reach one person? Can you qualify that prospect? Can you demo that prospect? Can you close the deal?
Once you’ve established a basic funnel, no matter how many flaws it has—that’s a great first step, now you can start improving it. (Don’t worry about the numbers at this point!)
A step-by-step course to get started with cold calling
If you don’t have a sales background, it’s probably daunting to get started with cold calling. That’s why we’ve put together a course that will guide you through all the steps involved.
Don't like reading? Just watch the video where I walk you through the entire post to help you figure out whether cold calling is right for you or not.
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