So you’ve jumped on the “inbound marketing” bandwagon, luring prospective customers to your website with helpful content and videos. Congratulations! But are you devoting the same attention to your “outbound marketing” efforts?
Don’t rely solely on being found online to fill your sales funnel. There’s still a place for “traditional” outreach prospecting tactics like cold calling. The key to earning your targets’ attention is to provide value and build a relationship rather than simply try to close a sale.
“Cold calling” remains an important element of a comprehensive outbound marketing program as long as it’s done intelligently:
Here are some important tips:
Preparation is Key.
Make sure you’re targeting/calling the right person. Find out as much as you can about your prospects. With the World Wide Web at your fingertips (Google search, LinkedIn, InsideView, Hootsuite, etc.), information is plentiful.
The Right Connections.
You may discover that you have a mutual connection, which is the optimal way to be introduced. (By the same token, your prospects are equally capable of checking you out, so make sure your online presence is professional.)
Craft the Right Message.
Show your prospects that you understand not just their industry in general, but their business in particular. It’s about how you can help them, not how you can sell to them. To reiterate: Your goal in calling is to open a dialogue, NOT to close a sale. In the 60-odd seconds you’re likely to get, your focus should be on sufficiently interesting your prospect to set up a time to talk further.
After the Call.
While reaching out via phone is important, the most successful outbound marketing programs include a mix of channels (emails, social media, industry meetings, etc.). You want to stay on this person’s radar.
And remember, offer something of value each time you reach out. If you read something your prospect would find helpful, forward it by email or send a copy via a U.S. mail with a handwritten note. Extend an invitation to a conference you’re speaking at. Offer to make an introduction. You can build familiarity and trust over time with each “touch”.
For more helpful tips and reinforcement, check out these resources:
Cold Call, revisited: Best practices for getting in the door – The Funnelholic
8 Tips for Cold Calling by E-mail and Telephone – The Biz Coach
Why Your Cold Calls Aren’t Working – Geoffrey James, Columnist for Inc.com
Make a Call Cold That Works: 4 Steps to Prepare – Geoffrey James, Columnist for Inc.com