Cold calling has never been easy, but what was once difficult, yet achievable with the right skills, has now become almost impossible within certain markets. Conventional marketing methods are not nearly as effective as they once were, but there are new ways of reaching out to clients that may take longer but can reap much greater rewards if executed properly.
Getting through can be tricky
Enterprise software has become more sophisticated for screening would-be cold-callers, and even at a personal level, smartphone technology now lets us screen calls from unrecognised numbers. But even without this technology, people have become much more savvy about handling cold calls, and not just in the business-to-consumer market. Within the business-to-business market place, the presence of receptionists and PAs means that it can be very difficult to even get through to the decision makers who are responsible for making purchases, never mind winning them over and obtaining the desired appointment. Ultimately, only 1% of sales calls result in a meeting of any sort.
A customer of mine recently told me that one of their clients (a CTO at a well-known Investment Bank) receives around 15 cold calls each day. When competition is as aggressive as that, how do you differentiate yourself? Many, if not all of those calls, will be dealt with by a PA, as will any calls that are aimed at high-level decision makers within similar organisations. Getting in contact with the right person is becoming tougher by the day, so your demand generation strategy needs to be adapted accordingly if you are to survive in today’s competitive market.
Make yourself stand out
The answer lies in building up a relationship with potential clients and using an integrated approach. For any organisation targeting C-level decision makers, LinkedIn holds the key. As the leading business networking platform LinkedIn provides a backdoor that can put you in direct contact with key decision-makers.
This type of approach, if carried out correctly, helps you build relationships based on trust and respect, the basis of any long-term business relationship. By writing interesting articles or sharing relevant content with your target audience, you establish yourself as an expert in your field, and if this is done properly, you can very quickly establish yourself as the source your target audience wants to receive information from.
This type of integrated process takes a significant amount of time, commitment and of course you do need to be good at what you do, but once you understand your clients requirements, marketplace and can anticipate their needs, the results can be outstanding.
Build your network
So, what can you do to develop long-term relationships with your target audience? Start thinking about how best you can serve them. What are the industry trends that will interest them? What are the main topics of discussion they will be interested to learn more about?
LinkedIn is a truly effective tool to build relationships but needs to be utilised as part of an integrated marketing strategy to maximise it’s potential as a marketing tool.
Start winning clients over
So, the key tactic is relationship building. Position yourself as the source your clients look to for relevant content. Offer more, share knowledge, insights, industry trends and ultimately build trust. You will then be much better placed to have productive business discussions and ultimately win business when your prospect has a requirement for your service.
For further information or to arrange a FREE strategy review session call us directly on 0207 993 3520