SME’s & SoloPreneurs – Turning “Cold Calls” into “Warm Conversations

Have you ever received a phone call from a salesperson that you did not invite to call you or show interest in their product?  The call could have been at home or at work but there’s one thing about a phone call that is received at any time that you weren’t sitting there waiting for the call;  the  a phone call is an interruption.

Based upon the fact there you’re usually not sitting by the phone waiting for it to ring –  and for the purpose of this blog –  I’m going to make a broad, sweeping statement, primarily for illustration.  That  statement is:

“All phone calls are interruptions.”

I’m not the first person to say this, the first person I heard say this was Tony Robbins during his “Time of Your Life” program. And when you think about it……that is SO true. I mean, really, whether it’s a cold call from a salesperson or a call from your mom, a phone call is usually an interruption and a distraction from something.

The real question is “how you will handle the interruption?” And behind that, is “what is the basis for how you will handle the interruption?”

Let’s imagine that you were doing some housework and, while we’re at it, let’s imagine you kind of enjoy doing housework (I know this may be a stretch for some people, but bear with me.) As you are doing the housework the phone rings……   (Brriiiing, Briiiiinnnnnng)

Scenario 1

You have the standard set of choices:

  • A) ignore the call and let it go to voicemail.
  • B) let it go to voicemail and screen the call to see if it’s important.
  • C) answer the call and stop what you’re doing
  • D) answer the call but tell them that you will return the call or to call you back at a specific time that is more convenient.

Let’s say that it is someone near and dear to you that is on the phone. Because of your relationship with them you choose letter [Insert your choice here]

Whatever the choice, normally you will feel fine with it and the person on the other end would be fine with it because you respect each other’s time and know that you have time to achieve the outcome when it is mutually beneficial. No rush, no pressure, no problem.

All of these choices will depend upon the relationship that you have with the person who’s calling. The relationship has been built over time and you have specific values, views, ambitions, genetics or at least something in common with that person. The key here is the depth, breadth and importance of RELATIONSHIP.

Scenario 2

The call is from a company that you

  • do not know,
  • are not expecting a call from them and
  • you did not express an interest in their products or services (to expect a call).

You still have the same choices but there is a different feel to this situation. For some (and may I say this particularly applies to the high number of polite, British people who wouldn’t dare say “NOT INTERESTED” and then hang up) there can be a sense of fear that they may get trapped into buying something. Or, possibly, that they will end up on the phone for longer than they would want to be away from the activity that they were doing – all the while feeling pressured into doing something that they had not planned on doing.

This is a cold call. What’s missing here is depth or breadth of relationship. And as you may not have expressed any interest in the product or service

“the call has no importance and becomes more than interruption it becomes an annoyance.”

And who wants to start a relationship with someone that is an annoyance?

I say all that to say this….

With the advent and growth of social media, users are giving enough information about themselves (for free) to the social media platforms to allow more targeted marketing than ever before. As such,  it seems a bit’ old hat’ to call people who have neither shown interest in the product or service or that are unaware of your particular organisation.

“There are plenty of ways to find that common ground to establish some depth or breadth of relationship with a potential customer before making direct/one-to-one contact.”

In fact, there are ways to make the relevance and importance of the call greater than that of a cold call for next to nothing per lead – if you know how.

The way to do this is to use some of the features built into the advertising choices on social media platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn. This will allow you to do a “bullets not bombs” campaign that could save you hundreds and make you thousands (depending upon your budget, product or service).

I will discuss some of these strategies in a future blog as space does not allow at this time.

Puzzle me this, puzzle me that….

Are you aware that you can advertise on Google for free? Granted, there are techniques that you can use that will make it more effective and it should be part of a marketing campaign/strategy, but Google will fund your first exploration of their advertising platform.

If that seems a little too technical then I would suggest that you attend one of the many free workshops that are available online, in person or in books/magazines.

If even that seems a little bit too much like’ hard work’ then you can always seek out an expert in this area who would be happy to do it for you, at a price.

The techniques and strategies that are used to transform cold calls to warm conversations are actually part of the curriculum within The Business Wealth Club (an organisation in the UK and USA). I endorse this organisation as they provide its Members with the strategies, skills and support to not only understand how this all works but to also use it in a way that grows their business.

For more information please visit www.thebusinesswealthclub.com and request a voucher to visit a local club. The voucher, worth £99 is only available from the club mentors, members or head office (just so that you know). Tell them “Marcellus sent me