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Cold Calling/Mailing Campaign keys to success?

What is the success ratio for cold calling/mailing witnessed by your company?
Is there a strategy which worked for you?
Any alternative sales strategy one can implement to get the required traction?
Any companies who are good at doing these job.

Pls note that we are a service providing company based out of NJ.

13 Replies

Peter Johnston
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Peter Johnston Advisor
Businesses are composed of pixels, bytes & atoms. All 3 change constantly. I make that change +ve.
One thing to remember on cold calling is that the net result is below zero.

Every person you call, you leave an impression on. For a few, usually under 10%, that impression is positive. For 0.1% or so, it may even lead to a business relationship.

But for the other 90% you have interrupted their day. You have shown yourself as having such a poor product that you need to pester people to get them to buy it. You have allowed them to explore fit between your company and theirs and they have rejected you.

The thing is you stay rejected. Once you get a No, it is harder to turn it into a Yes than if you hadn't got that No in the first place. They have to admit they were wrong first time round to turn that into a Yes - and that never happens.

And if they were in the midst of being nurtured - reading about you, finding out what makes your product better and gently being eased towards a fit, you've just broken that subtle process, forcing a No out of a Maybe because they weren't yet ready to say Yes.

It gets worse. In the past that one No didn't affect anyone else - you simply shrugged and went back to the next person on your list. Now, however, that No gets sent round on the jungle drums of social networks. You risk ridicule if you are the one who said Yes, when everyone compares notes.

Last, but not least, when someone has a problem now, they don't need to wait for someone to call them up to offer a solution. They google it, ask friends on social media or look on the groups they are already subscribed to. They quickly learn what the key parameters might be, who the players are and what the value proposition is. They're hard to sell to. And they build their own cases and timelines for adoption of a product or solution, waiting for the right moment to put it to the boss, their partner or whoever. Calling disrupts that process.

So if you make 100 calls, you force 90% of people to put a No against your name. You disrupt nurturing, group dynamics and timelines for adoption. You make 90% of people less likely to buy than before your call. You extend that No to all the people those 90 people influence, so it will be harder to sell to them. And you make your company look like a desperate producer of stuff which doesn't sell on its own merits.

You have just lost big-time, putting your whole company back months or even years on its carefully and expensively constructed awareness, branding and promotional programmes. All for the sake of a little bit of panic from your boss about whether he will make his latest sales targets.
Peter Struikman
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Peter Struikman Entrepreneur
International Business Development, B2B export agency, Partner in DISTIXX BV, Owner Euro Sales Link
We have been doing many cod calling telemarketing activities for our clients. An answer to the question with what success ratio, largey depends on 2 elements:
1. what is your aim, are you actually trying to sell, or get requests fro quotation, or is your aim getting your brand name more known.
2. Most important however is the question are you capable of defining a good cleint profile, who to target.
The latter makes all the difference. If you go about calling everybody, you will get a result like Peter Johnstone indicated. But if you know what message to bring which really interests people, to the right kind of companies, that could differ a lot.
That means concrete, about 30% will be interested and about 8% will do business with you, in the short term. From the remaining 22% roughly 40% will do business in the future.
But the overall strategy should be, including Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter in these actions. Just cold calling will give you about 6% conversion. But if the value of this is worth while, why not? We are working for an international group in packaging and POS products. The conversion ratio for appointments is only 2%. But these become for 80% customers. And as we target very specific, only very large companies, they are very happy with the cold calling formula.
So yes there are points to look at, like Peter J, said. But look closer to what you want out of itand whom you would be targetting.
Peter Bazunov
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Peter Bazunov Entrepreneur
Deelor co. (managing director), business and technology expert at www.proexpert.info

Entirely agree! We tried a few times by e-mails, and it never worked at all.

Personally, I delete such messages or they go directly to spam-box,

It can only help for alarm in me

David Still
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David Still Advisor
Founder of Start-ups, Entrepreneur, Financier and Advisor
Cold calling: 1975 = 10 percent; 2015 = .0001 percent, if that high. Existing customers and references are the best source of new business and always have been. Otherwise, get very smart and focus, focus, focus, ....
Michael Dowden
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Michael Dowden Entrepreneur
Director at COTNow, Biz-Guru, Human Destiny, Heliski.ski and EMvision
I could not disagree more strongly with Peter, cold calling is one of the most effective sales tools i have seen, if used correctly! In a world dominated in digital marketing with a million different offers and service providers we can easily forget that people do business with people, people are the ones who make decisions and yes it is personal.

On cold calling in my experience statistically 10% will have absolutely not need for your product or service 10% will definitely have a pressing need for your product or service and 80% will sit with in the range of absolute no to absolute yes. The stats I see most regually with trained sales focus are 50 - 100 conversations : 20 - 40 potential interest : 10 - 20 sales presentations 5 - 10 conversions of sales.

It is important to note different markets have different engagement strategies that will work for them, but fundamentally most people and companies have more problems than they have time to address them and only the most critical (not always most important) get addressed first. Which means right now there are people with problems you can fix they just don't have that challenge as a priority to go and find you (or one or your competitors).

Sales occur when: Problem meets solution in a space and time where the cost of the solution is cheeper than perceived cost of problem.

The challenge with cold calling is....

#1 to actually get the person who is impacted and can make a decision on the other end of the phone.

#2 To connect in such a way that they actually want your solution

I'd also like to respectfully disagree with Peter on the point that once you receive a firm no its more difficult to get to a yes, in my experience I find no a great place to start from... it opens all sorts of possibilities to have sales conversations.... for simple example (assuming there is a slight interest) : Would you like to buy this red car? no... is it the color?, model?, another red car?, would they prefer a bike / plane / Segway?, would they rather rent / lease / hire-purchase, lay-by? not them but their husband / wife / cousin / business / friend?if not the whole car hows about the GPS / tailpipe / fenderetc.

Where I will agree with Peter, is that there is a huge need for digital marketing and engagement, when a potential customer does have a problem at the top of their priority list, how do you ensure that your company is the one they call? In saying that if they do call and the person who answers the call doesn't have the skill or are unable to connect their problem with your solution? if this does happen, you won't get their business anyway. Thats why effective marketing strategies have both a pull and push components that are independent but fundamentally drive the same message, while grounded with fundamental sales skills (and telling isn't selling).

One of the fundamental laws in sales is that most customers only buy on the 7th engagement, so even if a customer says no its not always a no, its a "no not now", benefit is if you engage them correctly you...

Increase your knowledge about their business / need, Build your brand,Build Trust, Increase Creditability, Increased their knowledge of the solutions you provide, Move up their list as a potentialpreferredprovider to name just a few.

Before you start at the very very least make sure you have a good e-pitch.
Happy Hunting!!!
SHARIQUE NISAR
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SHARIQUE NISAR Advisor
Founder at Market Quotient & Co-Founder at DataCusp.com
Thanks you people for sharing your experiences- much appreciated.
I am a budding entrepreneur, started my venture in 2012. Being young and innovative, I implemented a number of strategies- most failed but some worked and I guess that is why we are still into existence :)
The reason why I asked this question is- sales strategy is something which is still not clear to me. I understand the need of digital marketing and social media but to my knowledge, cold campaigns is an essential tool, specially for companies like us who sells consulting services.
I needed clarity on industry benchmark- we typically have success ratio (business closure) as 1000:3 for mail campaigns and 100:1 for call campaigns
David Piacitelli
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David Piacitelli Entrepreneur
President, Top Line Systems, LLC., an Account Based Sales Firm Serving Manufacturing, Industrial and Technical firms.
After 28 years of B2B relationship selling and 14.5 years of concentration on cold calling as the first step in the process, I can say that I agree wholeheartedly with Michael Dowden. We have been tracking our numbers for many years (from cold call through closed won/closed lost) and our results agree line-for-line with Michael's statement. People do buy from people and, when properly trained, phone contact can be quite effective. Finding someone who enjoys making phone calls all day, well that can be a challenge!
Linda Jhong Palermo
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Sales, Business Development and Leadership Trainer, Speaker, Coach and Revenue Consultant
Hi Sharique, I'm with Sandler training and we take an approach to prospecting that is effective and unique to others. Yes, It's important to have a mix of prospecting activities that include cold calling. There are active and passive activities you can do and it's important to have a good mix of both and monitor/tweak as you go along to develop the most productive mix for you. I'm happy to refer you to a local Sandler trainer in your area should you want to learn more about it. Best, Linda
Bhupinder Sood
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Bhupinder Sood Entrepreneur
CPA at State of Tennessee
Do you do mass email campaign?
Cynthia Hammersley
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Managing Partner at GiveRight LLC
Hi Sharique, My company, Verticaliti, provides outsourced sales resources for younger companies. We have a sales engine that combines inbound and outbound techniques for an omni channel strategy to building traction for a client's product or service. This is very much a numbers game. A 3% connection rate is very good at the start. This builds over time by driving the intital connection via drip marketing and content to create inbound interest as you nurture these leads. Cynthia [image: Picture] Cynthia Hammersley [removed to protect privacy] [removed to protect privacy]
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