There, I said it.
The Wall Street Journal predicted this in 2006. And just like the YellowPages, payphones, and pagers, they’re not coming back. And for the record, I do not need an extension on my car warranty.
Believe it or not, cold calling is still being used in some circles. Think penny stock brokers and timeshare salespeople. Most companies have finally gotten the message — cold calls are annoying, ineffective, and a giant waste of time for your salespeople.
In today’s brand-first approach, there is no need for a sales-first approach. The last 20 years have proven that inbound marketing tactics, such as social media, search engine optimization, partnership marketing, and good solid PR practices, can bring customers to you. Research shows that you close more deals when the customer comes to you, rather than you chasing the customer. Time and time again, it has been proven that inbound marketing is more effective than arming your salesforce with telephones and outdated leads lists so they can knock potential buyers over the head and drag them back to the cave.
And while we’re on the topic, the cold message is dead as well. I didn’t accept your connection request on LinkedIn only to be immediately bombarded with a five-paragraph sales pitch that explains how your software is better than the other guys’ software. A cold email or unsolicited message through LinkedIn is essentially spam. Do yourself a favor and save the SPAM® for breakfast (it is delicious when it is sliced thin and cooked in bacon fat).
Today’s consumers need to be made aware of your product/service and then be directed towards your company — after they complete their own research. This can be accomplished through a combination of outbound and inbound marketing systems. Simply using outbound sales techniques like cold calls and spam emails are going to have the opposite effect on consumers. Buyers in today’s socially connected world are more empowered than ever. The buying decision occurs before speaking with a salesperson. Because of social media, the buyer’s journey is almost entirely a digital endeavor, involving extensive research and independent problem-solving. They will not buy from you now – and they will probably not buy from you in the future – if you smack them with a cold call.
“Hello, this is Chuck from AmalgamatedEnterprises. May I speak to the person who makes buying decisions at your house?”