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Cold Calling Is DEAD So Put Down the Phone and Use These 15 Prospecting Methods Right Away

 

Attention business owners and sales professionals, cold calling has moved from a “necessary evil” to just plain evil, and your business and reputation could be put at risk if you keep persisting on cold calls.

I’m sure that’s something you’ve heard before, so why should you pay attention now? Here are the important things to consider:

  • Cold call conversion rates average about 1% and only climb to about 2% for top brands.
  • More than 5 people are involved in today’s’ B2B purchase decision, so cold callers need to immediately understand who they’re speaking with, what part of the funnel they’re in, and overcome enough objections to get four more people involved in the process.
  • Large businesses and enterprises are now introducing gatekeepers so you can’t get to the right job title unless you’ve got their name (and typically an appointment).
  • More Americans are running their own businesses than ever before, which often means using their personal phones for business.
  • Some 200 million people have joined do-not-call lists, which means some businesses are on there too.

And all that is topped off by the fact that cold calls can be annoying.

Imagine your target is on a tight deadline to get some messages or sales calls out and their phone keeps ringing with people who aren’t on the call sheet. Every interruption is stressful and makes it harder to do their job, and now you’re the third call like that it a row.

You are instantly facing an uphill climb where all they want to do is get you off the phone, and what you need to do is stay on long enough to make your pitch.

Americans are busier than ever with more work and stress than they can handle, but all cold calling can do is add to this.

It’s time to end it.

It’s time to focus on leads and prospects that you can qualify (and learn the first name of); the ones who are going to be receptive to your call and not hate you for it. Here’s what I suggest you try instead to generate the leads your business needs.

1. Share Valuable Content

Introduce yourself and your brand by giving a potential lead a link that addresses their chief pain points. It positions you as a partner and has no ask, instead opts for building a relationship.

This creates an easy path to get to your services or products after a few interactions, giving you time to establish credibility and authority.

Focus on pain points you identify when building out a customer profile — and if you don’t have profiles or need help building them, reach out and I’ll share one of our tools.

2. Create Your Own Valuable Content

It’s good to give people something that helps; it’s even better to own the content that helps. Whether it’s an eBook, a blog, LinkedIn posts, or video tutorials, give your targets something they need with your logo splashed all over it.

Discuss pain points and offer resolutions while cementing yourself as an authority.

3. Expand With New Media

Blogs are an amazing tool, but they aren’t the only thing you should be considering. Today, the hottest growth area in B2B is turning out to be videos.

Videos that answer a question — especially if it discusses software — can rack up highly targeted views and create plenty of ways for people to learn about you and interact with your brand.

Common problems are high-value targets, and they give an easy connection option but letting viewers know you can create custom solutions too. If you offer a free consultation (more on that down below), then you’ve got a smart funnel designed specifically to provide aid.

4. Reach Out On LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and More

Social media is taking up more and more time in the B2B space because it’s how buyers conduct research and where professionals look for support in their positions, to find new research, or to read about latest best practices.

Target the networks that best fit your customer profile and look for relevant keywords, hashtags, groups, lists, and chats around the topic, industry, and specific customers.

5. Share Your Personal Knowledge

Don’t limit your prospecting to what you can do under just the company name. Engage your prospects personally in places like LinkedIn’s groups or during a Twitter chat to answer questions and provide support to targets. It creates a connection that makes it much easier to get your foot in the door when it comes to going for the sale.

6. Share On Your Personal Accounts

Building on our theme of attacking from all angles with all content, you can also share the same top quality content you’ve curated through your personal profile and feeds, plus in those LinkedIn groups you’ve joined.

Make it a mix of company-published materials with articles and infographics from other sources to maximize your chances of being seen as a leader instead of just a company suit.

7. Convert Content To Inbound Lead Emails

Use all the content you’re spending time gathering and creating in as many ways as possible. One avenue often overlooked is the ability to use content as part of an email campaign that provides information and support for inbound leads.

This way you can avoid jumping right into the sales process and give yourself more time to learn about your leads as they get insights into what your business can do for them. It’s a way for you to more actively participate in the research process that most B2B buyers perform — and it sets you up to have a conversation much sooner in that process than you otherwise would.

8. Capture Email Addresses With All Lead Tools

Long forms are a giant pain, especially when you want whatever content is on the other side. End that hassle.

This suggestion is a double-whammy because limiting what you capture to just a name and an email address gives you almost all the information you need anyway but also makes prospects visiting your site more likely to fill out the form and get your downloadable.

Bonus points if you have a CRM that can assist with collecting this information, tagging people who’ve downloaded your goods, and creating specific tasks or sending email reminders to help your sales team act on these new leads.

If you’re looking for a little help here, let me know. We specialize in creating this type of process for B2B brands.

9. Flesh Out Company Information

Whether through your CRM or some gumshoe work of your own, you can best understand site visitors and potential prospects when you know more about their company. Integrated platforms make it easy to generate this context, but you can also look it up yourself.

For manual work, don’t neglect looking at prospect social accounts on LinkedIn and Twitter.

10.Track Any Behavior You Can

If your website can track visitor behaviors, work hard to incorporate this with your CRM to determine the best channels to reach out, the right message to deliver, and the perfect time to send it.

Whenever possible track high-level and granular data, from company size and location to individual user visits, page views, and time spent on your site. Pairing this with company and individual data that you’ve already collected builds a more holistic view of the prospect and prevents any calls or emails from being cold.

11. Build Case Studies

If a prospect knows that you can solve the problems that they face, they’re more likely to engage with your client and staff, warming up your leads.

Case studies are an uncomplicated way to let companies know what you can do, plus similarities between your profiled client and the new lead will make it easier for them to know you’ve got the expertise they need.

Help your potential clients with their research and make their initial decisions that much easier by showcasing your big wins and highlighting how easy it is to work with you.

12. Ask For And Showcase Recommendations

These three R’s are you new best friends: Referrals, recommendations, and reviews.

Ask for each when you have a satisfied customer. The B2B space is a great place to seek referrals because most businesses work with a variety of similar service providers.

Consider if company A helps you solve the problem of its partner, company B, and you’re able to solve a problem for company B. You get credit for the resolution, and company B now knows that company A wants them as a partner instead of just a sale.

Referrals

This is a terrific way to build out a list of specific targets. It’s okay to ask your customers for a direct, narrow referral.

“Do you work with any SaaS providers that also struggle with getting Infusionsoft funnels off the ground?”

Recommendations

A recommendation is one step further than a referral because your client/contact is taking the step to introduce you and tell the prospect how great of a partner you’ve been. These are less common but have a high success rate, so it’s almost always worth asking your satisfied customers for referrals.

Reviews

The most trusted piece of online marketing or advertising is the customer review. In many cases, online reviews written by strangers are seen as at least as trustworthy as personal recommendations.

The caveat is that you need a depth of reviews and they need to look and feel real. Don’t pay some shady company to flood your site or industry review sites with fake content, or you risk losing any value from any honest glowing reviews you have.

13. Follow Up Every Time

No matter where a lead is at in your funnel, follow up after every touch point. Plus, follow up after you’ve made the sale too.

If you keep delivering relevant, useful content and showcase how your company adds value or makes their life easier, you keep increasing the likelihood of a sale and increasing the total customer lifetime value.

One thing to note is that you need properly segmented lists so you’re not hitting existing customers with new prospect language, even if you’re sharing the same content.

14. Give Your Time Freely

First mentioned way back up at the top, we always recommend providing leads with a free consultation. It allows you to make your case and discuss the needs of each person, without giving away the store.

Limiting it to about 30 minutes stays respectful of everyone’s time and means you can talk high-level concerns but not offer granular solutions.

Build trust and credibility, then follow-up with your pitch during the next conversation.

15. Blend Automation and Humanity

One overarching theme that needs to be present in all this work is that it must be personalize and feel like there’s a real human on the other end of each email, tweet, phone call, and interaction.

Automating the process is fine, but if rogue emails fly out addressing {First.Name} instead of their actual first name, the jig is up. They know that you’re just after a sale and that you’re not taking time to understand their business or problems.

Automating helpful messaging can make your life a lot easier, but never forget that you still need to do research and make an effort so every lead feels warm.

That’s a lot to take in, but I hope it helps. If you’ve got broad questions, you can always message me directly here. Or, if you’re looking for a little bit of business help, I’ve got a 55-Point Marketing Audit that just might do the trick. And, we always follow-up with a free consultation discussion too.