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Cold Calling Companies

What are your opinions on cold calling potential clients? I'm not asking about calling individuals, like to buy a fabric softener, but, a specific department at a company, for example. It doesn't even have to be too aggressive... just to, for example, set up another time to chat about an opinion about your product, service, etc.

Do you have experience with this? Was it success, failure?

Have you yourself received cold calls at your office? Did you respond?

And, if you have not received cold calls, would you be potentially receptive to them or would you be put off?

14 Replies

John Anderson
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John Anderson Entrepreneur
Senior Mobile Developer at Propelics
When I receive cold calls at work I never answered them. Many times they were pushy and I didn't want to have others hear me "arguing" with a very aggressive cold call. But, what I would always do is listen to a voice mail that they would leave. In fact, a few people called me very regularly, I didn't answer, but I would listen to their voice mail. it's almost as if I had a relationship with the person via voicemail. I was thinking this could almost evolve into a marketing practice such as "Voice Mail Marketing".

If you are going to cold call, I would suggest have a strategy for a very informative voice mail. Almost expect not to get through and have a plan for a voice mail that would give information, and offer a compelling reason to call back.
Alan Schunemann
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Alan Schunemann Entrepreneur
CTO and Co-founder of eTelemetry
I've had success "cold calling" to generate business in the network appliance world. If you hire a company, be sure to invest time in developing the script, especially the qualifying questions. Also take the time to script objections and responses.
Jeb Stone > Analytics PhD
1
0
Decision & Data Scientist / Experimental Psychologist / Business Intelligence
I've done a fair bit of that type of calling. My personal experience has been that if you don't have a sufficient network to be able to sell directly into your contacts in the space, it means your competitor is the one with all the contacts.

Of course there are exceptions, but selling outside-of-network I've seen it take one or two years of selling to start getting paying clients... as they say, an "overnight success" takes five to ten years.
Ramesh Barasia
1
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Ramesh Barasia Advisor
Certified Business Coach | Help Business Owners Get More Money, Time, & Freedom
Yes, I have experience with using cold calling for setting up appointments. The success rate is very low so you have to be patient. It is a law of large numbers. The script and methodology is extremely crucial. I have received cold calls many times and have not accepted any - mostly these were for BtoC where the success rate is even lower but again the pool is larger. BtoB works better but with well prepared script and approach. *Ramesh Barasia* CEO, The Alternative Board North Atlanta 205 Bright Water CV, Suite 100 Johns Creek, GA 30022 Office: [removed to protect privacy] | FAX: [removed to protect privacy] Mobile: [removed to protect privacy] [removed to protect privacy] http://www.linkedin.com/in/rameshbarasia www.TABNorthAtlanta.com
Maria Wich-Vila
1
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Maria Wich-Vila Entrepreneur
Founder at ApplicantLab
Coincidentally, the most recent episode of Growth Hacker TV (which I watched yesterday!) interviewing Scott Britton deals with this -- note that the focus is more on "cold e-mails", but he talks about when he makes the phone call (he uses an email or two to try to set the stage first).

I thought he had some great suggestions, so posting here (note that I think these are free to watch for a while but then go behind a paywall):

https://www.growthhacker.tv/



Shira Schindel
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Shira Schindel Entrepreneur
Director, Business Development & Author Engagement at Litographs
Depends on the product. If it is relevant to me/us. Shira
Stephen Huson
1
0
Stephen Huson Entrepreneur
Leader in Internet lead generation, SEM / PPC / SEO and analytics
Cold calling is a critical business development / sales strategy in some business segments. Sometimes it can be very effective, though I agree with Ramesh that the success rate is very low. The value of this approach is also very dependent on the product, the value of the sale, etc. If the sale is very high value, then cold calling is best to set appointments, in other cases it can be to more quickly lead to the sale.

I receive many cold calls from sales people. Personally, I do not generally answer my desk phone unless I know the calling number, specifically because I don't have time for the cold calls. In rare instances, I will follow-up from a cold call or cold email with the person if I'm particularly interested.
Aleksandra Czajka
0
1
Aleksandra Czajka Entrepreneur
Freelance Senior Software Engineer, Developer, Web Developer, Programmer - Full Stack
Thanks guys! Great video, Maria! Very useful.
Ed Dubrawski
1
0
Ed Dubrawski Entrepreneur
Project, Operations and Customer Executive
Aleksandra, IMO Sales guys are not going to cold call if they have a bucket full of leads. I am a fan of being deterministic in managing one success and cold calling is part of that but its not easy motivating the team do do so. Success and failure are based on many factors, the individual, the client's current pain, the pitch and message, etc. I respond to cold calling especially if the person has done their homework. Hope that helps, Ed
Ed Dubrawski
0
0
Ed Dubrawski Entrepreneur
Project, Operations and Customer Executive
Aleksandra, IMO Sales guys are not going to cold call if they have a bucket full of leads. I am a fan of being deterministic in managing one success and cold calling is part of that but its not easy motivating the team do do so. Success and failure are based on many factors, the individual, the client's current pain, the pitch and message, etc. I respond to cold calling especially if the person has done their homework. Hope that helps, Ed
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