Does cold calling work anymore? Yes.
Does cold email (GDPR-compliant) work anymore? Yes.
Does walking around trading estates knocking on doors to get an on-the-fly 15 minute appointment with a decision-maker work anymore? Probably not, and I’m not really sure that it ever did.
Let us here at Social Tree Global say that we believe that cold calling and cold email as lead and sales generation tools still do work and still do work well. And they’ll probably go on working for a few more years yet.
However, let us caveat that by saying that our customers who still use cold calling and cold emailing tell us, with some sadness, that it seems 10 times harder to make a sale or book an appointment than it did five years ago. People seem to react far more harshly to receiving sales approaches by phone or by email than ever before – have any of your telesales staff noticed recently just how much more “sweary” people are on the phone now than they were before?
The real direction of travel according to our customers and according to all the anecdotal evidence from sales-driven companies across the UK is towards social media.
Let’s look at the two models side by side:
We all know how the old sales model goes. We buy a list in from a reputable supplier with 12 months’ licence and we phone and email the recipients contained on that database as much as we possibly can to extract every last bit of value out of them.
Forget me lots
And they do produce a return, albeit a minimal one in percentage terms. But the problem is that, for every 1,000 outreaches we make by phone or by email, we perhaps engage with as little as 1% of the decision-makers. We get the chance to build a conversation with and trust from them but the other 99% will have forgotten that we even exist within 5 minutes of being called or emailed.
Forget me not
Social media is different. Selling via social media means that we develop long-lasting business relationships with existing and potential clients via social platforms like LinkedIn. On LinkedIn, through the quality of our posts and our online networking, we can really build up our personal brand and we can really grow our network.
We become voices that people wait to hear for news, tips, opinions, inside information, and more. And, by starting topics everyday and contributing to other threads, we build up our visibility and that visibility and transparency means that, now, we’re viewed as an expert in what we do.
We might engage with 1% of every 1,000 names on a calling or email list – once a month tops. However, online, we engage with 100% of those 1,000 names on a daily or weekly basis. They know us and, through our interaction with our followers, we get to know them.
People buy people first – it’s the golden rule of sales, no matter the initial marketing approach or how we close the deal. It’s just that, now, people meet people first online and then they do business offline. The way of building connections might be changing but, at the first sign of interest, we should be straight on the phone to our LinkedIn connection to find out just what they want to buy from us.
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Social Tree Global is a key partner to some of the world’s largest brands and the UK’s quickest growing companies in devising social selling strategies combining the very best with online networking with real-world people-to-people business sales.
Please use the link below to get in touch with us to find out more about our social selling service and how you can apply it to your company.