Is cold calling dead?
In today’s day and age, the old school style of buying a list and then grinding out the phone calls via the old “smile and dial” is, if not dead, on life support with little hope to pull through. While some companies do still use this approach, they almost all do so with a certain level of automation to try and maximize efficiency and minimize waste.
It used to be that the foundation of business was getting a great sales rep who could charm anyone, give them a list or even a phone book and let them go to work in“dialing for dollars.” Today, that is of little value as the exchange of info on a frenetic pace via the information revolution has changed every aspect of daily life.
Nowadays, people are not open to an intrusive phone call from a stranger and are extremely unlikely to trust that person. For better or worse, today’s consumer is much more savvy, cynical and well informed than the prospect of 30years ago. To make things worse for the old school “spit and handshake” salesperson, most people these days, and the increasingly powerful millennials in particular, don’t want to talk to people unless it’s absolutely necessary.And there is one more cold call killer…the voice mail machine. The advent of voice mail and caller ID allowed the end user to avoid the salesman.
What to do if cold calling doesn’t work?
So, if you are new to the modern style of sales and marketing you may be asking, how the heck do I get leads if I can’t call someone up? It’s not to say that you can’t call someone up per se, it’s just that you don’t want to call someone who has never heard of you and has no interest in what you sell. As the barriers to entry for companies have fallen with the lower costs of starting companies with the shift to information as the most desired output above a physical good, we see more and more specialization.
This means that one company has different needs than another. So, qualifying is more complicated and finding a company that is open to changing providers or bringing on a new solution is a matter of need and timing as well as their individual and market circumstances. The new reality presents us with more variables as more players enter and specialize. This means we need to know whois interested and when. That is where inbound marketing has replaced outbound marketing as the go to tactic for modern business.
How do I get leads with inbound marketing?
What we want to do with inbound marketing is get the people who are most interested to come to us when they are in the market. We do this by leveraging the ubiquity of the internet in everyone’s daily life. Let’s say you run a business and you are looking to gain more followers on social media to build your brand. What is the most likely first thing you will do? Search the internet for tips and tricks. You find an article that talks about what one must do to build a greater online following from a source you have never heard of. While on the site, you notice they have several other articles that relate to your other needs in promoting your business online, so you read more, maybe you like what they have written so much that you end up following their social media, downloading a white paper and signing up for their newsletter.
Congratulations, you have been snared by inbound marketing as you can guarantee that the company that put up that blog is looking to find you. And they found you by you finding them. It’s all very Zen when you think about it. Expect a phone call shortly about exactly what you have been reading and how this company can help you to grow your social media following with their managed services for Twitter,Facebook, Instagram…etc.
If you don’t hear from them, you will hear from another company you may not even know.That is because the blog you have been reading sold your data to their provider via affiliate marketing. You may not like that, but you do love all the free content on the internet. The internet has tons of info out there, you are either going to pay for it with money or your data. There is no free lunch.
Does inbound marketing work?
Of course it works, would I be writing this blog if it didn’t? Think about it, you searched for inbound marketing earlier to bring you here to this article. Hopefully, you were so entertained, informed and inspired that you read everything else I have written on here and proceed to follow us on all the social media, sign up for our newsletter and then accept when I reach out to see if you want to view our marketing solution.
That’s the hope at least, the reality is that there will be a lot of people just browsing, which is fine, there will be others who we do not offer a fit to, and that is also fine, there will be even others who don’t like my writing and that is very much so not fine. But, I still want them to come back, read more and eventually realize how wrong they were.
(Lame) jokes aside; you are going to get people coming in that will never be customers, which are part of the deal. But, instead of having to go through and call them one by one and scratch their names off a list, you now get to have them come to you and show how interested they are or not. One piece of content generated can live on the internet and qualify prospects for as long as it remains relevant, and if it’s any good, it will get shared and referred by friends and colleagues to other prospects who may also be interested.
Bottom line is that inbound is the way to go when info is free and available and your prospects are too busy and insulated to talk. They don’t trust strangers and don’t want to make new friends, they just want the info they need to feel smart when making a decision and be left alone. Give them the content to do this and then when they feel comfortable and curious enough, then reach out and use that great salesperson to close the deal once they are warm and they know exactly what to talk about.