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There’s something dark
Lurking on your phone
Who can it be?
Cold caller!

Where do we even start here…. Does this still happen? Technology is so advanced it can tell you what colour underwear you are wearing or what type of apple you like to bite into. Scary stuff and what’s even scarier is cold calling still happens.

I remember working in a call centre in my late teens. The yellow pages was plonked on my cubicle desk and, as part of their marketing strategy, I was told to start cold calling from “G.” I was lucky, my poor colleagues who had to start from X!

With so much data readily available to us, how is it possible that many people still fear that dreaded phone to cold call a potential client? Is it because it’s still so random? And not the coined term random which millennials use to describe an off-topic situation or something just odd. Random like it was meant originally, as in eeny meeny miny moe who can I cold call next?

Just thinking about it brings back the ghastly memories of the cold sweats, shortened breath and insidious dizziness that ensued in calling that number… to then only sound if I had just recently learnt to speak or rambled off as if auditioning for auctioneer of the year.

This video perfectly explains the cold calling conundrum:

Surely marketing strategies have evolved by now?

I no longer cold call. I warm call. Our marketing strategy has replaced cold calling with warm calling. Even though it can still be daunting to pick up the phone and speak personally to someone for the first time, after 15 years in the marketing strategy game and using the approach, we are snuggled into a comfortable marriage with telephone sales.

That dreaded cold call during 7 pm dinner with the family…

I know there are call centres, mostly originating in India, specifically set up to assist big business reach out to potential customers. So the time difference is very interesting, and if it’s not during your dinner with the fam, it could possibly be at 3 am during a very lucid dream of yachts and pina coladas on the Caribbean.

The point is, you don’t like it, you know how it makes you feel being the recipient to the cold calling intrusion, so no wonder we all have panic attacks when picking up the phone to dial one of those numbers off what is now a dog eared list of people who are still just a demographic on a cold calling list.

This intense anxiety is not necessary and these archaic marketing strategies have their days numbered.

We don’t have to be cold calling robot machines, we are human, and the person we ultimately want to engage with is, surprise surprise, human too.

So let’s start acting like it and for starters…

You no longer need to be random

Like my daughter loves to say from time to time, “Mom, you’re just so random…” I’m never sure if it’s a weird compliment or straight forward insult…

The dictionary says random is “chosen without method or conscious decision.” You no longer have to find yourself wandering the yellow pages randomly aimless (if that heavy doorstop even still exists) because there is so much technology now out there to ignite your marketing strategy and switch cold calling for warm calling.

The Lead Generation and Lead Scoring Dashboard

Not to come across Big Brother or CIA-like in extracting data from various data platforms, the fact is, platforms such as LinkedIn have become amazing starting point tools in finding specific and not random people you can start engaging with.

The technology is there and by consensus of the hundreds of millions of people in business registered on LinkedIn, you have pretty much all the information you need to get the call rolling.

So dump that cold calling list your supervisor handed you two weeks ago which is still lurking underneath the Chinese restaurant’s menu from down the road in your desk’s second drawer and open up LinkedIn, get hold of the lead generation service and warm up your target audience.

You no longer need to be cold (calling)…

Long gone are the days where your only options in connecting with someone was either cold calling by picking up the phone or knocking on a door as the first point of contact. Sitting at a bar used to work from time to time, or that was the excuse some salespeople used to explain away their drinking problem…

Be selective and narrow down your search and…

…find one of their pain points in their industry that is currently keeping them awake at night and reach out to specific job titled individuals you want to engage with on LinkedIn and draft a cleverly crafted Captivating One-liner to get their attention!

Further to that, keep sending them time delayed tit bits of info on said pain points via non-harassing communication avenues. This could be email, further LinkedIn inbox messaging and links to relevant posts you feel may interest them further, without selling to them! This is vital because remember, people don’t really give a damn who you are or what you do and they sure as hell don’t want you cold calling them, but using this marketing strategy…

…they are starting to get to know and trust you. You’re getting warmer!

It’s time to put those ghosts to rest, and now… who you gonna call?

The Lead Generation and Lead Scoring Dashboard

When you can see they have been engaging; there are lead scoring dashboards and lead generation services like Pick up the phone or continue the path of online communication more personally, they should have a pretty good idea who you are and what you do before you cold call / warm call them! Without going through the ineffective and ghostly remnants of archaic conventional hard selling tactics.

Now you can cherry-pick who you want to call from a list that is now warm. You have deemed them appropriate, they are aware of you and have indicated interest by their engagement.

I can’t think of anything better as opposed to cold calling someone else out of the blue and holding your breath for that miraculous once in a lifetime hit…

Your hit rate can now be daily and the sales conversation can start off lightly and relaxed. You both know each other a bit more, as they have received awesome literature from you that speaks to them and you have done some research on the person you are currently talking to.

Find something in common and warm call them, knowing that they already know who you are! That is the ultimate marketing strategy. And let the sales automation system do it for you.