Never Underestimate the Power of a Cold Call

Most people tell us that Cold Calling doesn’t work. In fact it’s always the gateway to a lot of business.

The usual start, at least for a professional services business, is when people go self-employed and take a couple of clients with them.  This work doesn’t fill the week, they get worried about paying the bills, and make a few calls.  Surprise! some people are interested and buy something.

The next wave of expansion is usally fuelled by referrals – some of which come from that original cold call.

Still don’t believe me? well, let’s try a worked example!

Fred, Chartered Accountant, decides to go it alone. One quiet Friday, he makes a few cold calls and closes a deal – an audit worth £5,000.

The client is really pleased and sends others to Fred – he gets one new client a year, at £5,000 each.

Over 5 years, Fred earns a total of £75,000 from Audits alone (£25,000 from customer one, £20,000 from number two, £15,000 from number 3 etc…)

More comes, of course, as Fred is really good.

Three of them are worried about their tax position, they call Fred, who can fix their problem for £5000 – so another £15,000.

In year 5, Fred is retained for an MBO by a happy client – the fees come to £30,000.

Overall, Fred has billed £120,000 in five years, which all started from one afternoon of calling.

Brief Well for Success

In our experience, projects fail when the caller is poorly briefed.

Writer Jill Konrath, constantly reminds us how hard it can be to contact people who have very little time to evaluate your offer.

We’ve developed ways to uncover needs quickly, catching their attention from the start.

So once again with feeling…Don’t simply show your agent a website and a few bits of publicity telling the world how great the company is. Trust me, no-one cares, they know it’s usually outsourced to a copywriter and sanitised.  But talk to us and we’ll soon uncover great reasons why they should speak to you.

Questions to unlock minds

We try not to use the standard intros on calls (Hi, It’s Ian from XYZ company…). Every receptionist knows what’s coming after the third syllable, and they’re waiting to put the phone down after the fifth.  A far better way is to start with an easy question then follow up with a few more.

We’ve developed an approach that picks up people who need to buy – and encourages them to tell us why….

What most companies don’t tell you

We believe that honesty is the best policy. Read on and judge for yourselves.

Database Sourcing

A purchased Database will save you a lot of time compared to trawling the Internet or the Phone Book.However they should be used with caution. Here are the some of the issues.

Data Accuracy.

All bought lists have errors, because things change so quickly. Businesses are acquired or divested, people change jobs. Some organisations even give the wrong  information to avoid sales calls. Most lists will be 30% incorrect within a few months.

Reputable providers will explain that their lists can never be perfect. Expect them to raise this issue, and offer compensation should the data prove inaccurate. A figure of 5% ‘gone away’ is acceptable.

Frequency of use. Avoid lists that are over-used; people will see the messages as Spam and act accordingly. Push a supplier hard on this issue and expect an honest answer.

Quality of Checking. Ask about their research efforts. How often do they call people to check the record accuracy? What evidence can they provide to support this?

Of course ID Associates cleans the data during an engagement. Usually we will advise you of changes and send back the amended records.

Clean Lists

Remember the 30% rule – you need to keep checking your database. Imagine sending a letter or brochure to the wrong person. People will simply assume if you can’t be bothered to get the name right, your service delivery will be equally careless.Spend the right amount of money on cleansing. It’s brain-numbing work, and poorly-paid people become sloppy.

Internet Marketing

In the early days it was easy to be number one in the search engines. Competition was limited and it you could manipulate the results.Now everybody has a site, all are desperate to be seen, so a more professional approach is needed.

Review your web site often. Appraise it honestly. Has it kept pace with your business? Is the content relevant – do you own a selling tool, or a boring brochure?
Are visitor numbers rising or falling?
How much money is it making?

If you can’t dedicate the time, employ a professional.

Customer Care Programs

To understand how important this is, you’ll need to make a few simple calculations.
Take a look at your customer list and sales history and work out:

  • The dates you
    • made first contact
    • sent the first bill
  • The billings
    • Value of the first bill
    • Sales since then, quarter on quarter

Warning: you will have trouble sleeping afterwards. You’ll realise how long it takes to acquire a customer (how much did that really cost, by the way?). Then it dawns that most money comes from a few people; not an 80:20 rule, more like 95:5.

Now ask ‘If I lose a key customer, how long would it really take to make up the revenue?’.

That’s why client retention matters.It doesn’t cost much, and you will pick up business.

Channel Building

Most people assume that partner organisations will fall over themselves to sell their product; if only that were true!.

Usually it takes a lot of time and effort to build trust, make sure you do it right.

My Sales Force do all this for me

Mmmm. Only when they know you’re watching….

Developing New Business is difficult, gruelling work with a low success rate. Sales people generally hate the rejection and avoid it as much as they can.

It’s far easier (and more comforting) to spend time with favourite customers, or in the office ‘resolving customer queries’.

A better approach is to outsource the hardest part – finding people who may be interested – leaving your people to close deals with interested parties. After all, that’s why you employ them for. They’ll be a lot happier and motivated when they realise that they are no longer expected to waste most of their time.

So, you have several good reasons to speak to ID Associates.
Why not call us now?