Why is cold calling so popular, even though the success rate is so low and everyone hates it? You also may be wondering why cold calling isn’t working as well as it used to? If you’ve ever cold called you’ve probably been yelled at, you’ve been hung up on, and at the very least you’ve wasted a lot of time and energy trying to get a hold of people. So why do we do it?
Now you may have diagnosed the problem; you now think you’d do better if only you had a better script, more confidence or maybe just made more calls. Unfortunately, there is no good way to cold call or warm call. Not because you haven’t learned the skills, it’s because people simply aren’t there. Or they are there, they are avoiding you. The ‘best” cold call happens 5% of the time. The other 95% of the time, you’ll feel like you’re wasting your time reaching out into an empty void. And to make matters worse, if you are too aggressive, or politely stalk them, you’ll burn the one opportunity you have with your prospect. But there’s a way to prospect, a method which converts more than 20% of your leads into customers. And with the right automation, you’d be able to handle 5x more volume. Imagine if 80% of the people you called picked up or responded. That is what you can expect when you do what you should have been doing all along: cold emailing.
History Of Cold Calling
Why Cold Calling Isn’t Working As Well As It Used To
If you want predict how well your next cold-call will go, just think about how well the last cold call went for the telemarketer who cold called you at dinner. “Hi, I’d like to speak with the person in charge of household decisions.” How long did that call last? Probably about four seconds… or just enough time to realize it’s another telemarketer calling to bug you. But if your conversation did last longer than that – then you remember the tired, dejected voice reading lines from a script for the hundredth time. You can’t help but feel sorry for the guy. But the real question is, do you want to be that guy?
If you want to avoid picking up the 10,000 pound phone, spending your day “dialing for dollars” and leaving voicemails that go into an empty abyss, then cold emailing is the way to go. Think about it, the potential customer opens your email on their own time. An email only takes a second or two to respond, or they can delegate it to someone else. If they choose to respond to your email they initiate contact, and when they’re the ones in control, they don’t feel violated. On the other hand, responding to a voicemail takes several minutes and you would have the pressure of the salesperson on the other line. If they write down the information of the person and add it to their to do list, it ends up last on their list. Most important, there is no rejection with cold emailing, it protects your ego and saves your customer time, making it easier for everyone.
Cold Calling – Pros
Cold calling can be successful: it lets you schedule meetings, get referrals, or even complete sales right then and there if you manage to get a hold of the person. And when you cold call, you control who you reach. But, while you control who you contact, the person you reach probably won’t bite. The Keller Center for Research of Baylor University conducted a study where 50 cold callers – experienced sales professionals – made a total of 6,264 cold calls over the course of two weeks. The results aren’t going to surprise you: 55% of the calls went unanswered, 17% were non-working numbers, and 27% were not interested or refused additional information. The study reveals that for every 330 calls made, one appointment was set. Out of those 6,000+ calls, only 19 appointments were made. That puts the success rate of cold calling at 0.3% – not an encouraging number.
Cold Calling – Cons
Why are the results so poor for cold calling? When you consider the obstacles salespeople encounter to make a successful cold call, you’ll understand why cold callers fail so often.
5 Obstacles To Cold Calling
- First, you have to find the correct number. Then you have to navigate the company’s phone systems, wading through endless voice prompts and dial-by-name directories.
- Then you have to evade the gatekeepers: secretaries, caller IDs, and voicemail. Hopeless optimists view voicemails like a small victory (“At least I’m putting in the effort…”), but people just don’t return sales voicemails anymore, and if they do, it’s last on their list.
- If by some miracle, you’ve avoided all the gatekeepers – the person you’re calling needs to be physically at their desk and not in a meeting (which further limits the window). In my first job, I cold called everyday for a year, and I found only 4% of cold-call targets even pick up their phone.
- And if they’re at their desk they are probably in the middle of something. If they are inclined to answer when you call, most likely they are picking up because they thought you were someone else. Busy people are not by the phone waiting for someone to call. It’s like you need a lunar eclipse for a cold caller to have an actual conversation with the person they’re calling.
- And when someone finally does pick up, you only have a minute or two. You haven’t earned their permission to launch into your pitch – certainly not sell them.
That’s the nature of cold calls; that’s what we mean by “cold:” unsolicited: they didn’t request that you interrupt their day. The biggest thing working against cold calling though, is the pickup rate. I’ve found 4% to be the average “pick-up rate” in my own calling. If I had two conversations in a day I considered that a really productive day. And when someone did pick-up, you’d better be ready, and you’d better not make a mistake.
Cold Calls vs Cold Call Emails
Despite everything against it, cold calling remains a sales staple. Its mere existence in an age of email and the Internet is evidence enough of its effectiveness, right? Why else would manager’s force it upon their sales team.
So what can we do to connect with future customers without picking up that phone?
Most business people use email as their preferred method of communication. Lets look at the busiest man in America, perhaps the world, the president. Historically no president while in office ever had a mobile phone. When the Secret Service told the newly appointed President Obama that he needed to give up the email on his phone for security reasons, he told them “no.” I’m the president. Figure it out.
Email is by far and away the #1 form of communication in business. Phone is used primarily for set appointments and meetings. Whereas email is used for notifications and updates. Emailing may be an inherently more convenient way to contact people, but it’s by no means the perfect vehicle for cold contacting. Here’s some of the downfalls of cold emailing.
Cold Emailing – Cons
First off, there’s competition. The person you’re trying to reach already has hundreds of emails in their inbox. Many of them won’t even be opened, since it only takes a couple of seconds for someone to delete your message. And those are the lucky emails. Think of all the emails blocked by spam filters or sent directly to junk. If you hoped for a higher success rate with email, you’re out of luck, unless you have a system to research your target and write the right message. In fact, the way most salespeople cold email, they have an even lower success rate than cold calls, about 1-3%.
Cold Emailing – Pros
But cold emails have potential. With the right research techniques and the right message, you can connect with anyone. And they can read your message whenever they’re ready to receive your message. Email is very simple to learn, anyone can send an email, even my 87 year old Aunt Lois. However, to get people to open and respond to your email it requires training and an effective strategy.
Another advantage is that when your sales team cold emails, they don’t need the people skills (and the chipper attitude) a phone requires. With cold emailing, you don’t always need people skills – or even people. With the right applications, you can also scale, and automate certain elements, increasing your cold emailing volume. Take a look at a few of these software applications to automate much of the process: Tout App, Buzz Builder, Signals, Inside Sales, Yesware
I’ve shown you why cold emailing can help your salespeople feel less miserable, but let’s make the most important person happy: your customer. Cold emailing is convenient for them. They can read and respond to your email in between meetings, on their commute, or after their kids go to sleep. However just because it is easy for them to respond, it doesn’t mean they will. And don’t make the common mistake of just thinking you need to send out more emails. It’s not a numbers game. There is a process.
3 Tips To An Effective Cold Call Email
You may think that to get someone to open your cold email it’s all about the subject line or some magic email script you can copy. Unfortunately that’s not the case. A cold email needs three elements to get a response.
You need to have the right research, the right prospects, and the right message. When I started cold emailing, I didn’t have any resources for improving my game. But with practice, I found the right way to do it. It took me seven years, over 15,000 emails, thousands of A/B split tests, and a lot of patience. And now I use that experience to help businesses find leads and increase sales. Here is an example of a client who sent 522 emails that generated $4,386,000.
So if you’re tired of cold calling and want leads, our Breakthrough Email System walks you through exactly how to cold email, step by step. If fact we guarantee that 80% of your prospects will respond within 90 days, even if they are really busy.
The sales industry has have been waiting since 1827 for a new standard. And so have your customers. But most importantly, lets be honest, your mother didn’t raise you to be a telemarketer.
To Download One of Our 35 Cold Emailing Templates for Free–CLICK HERE