Back in 2011, following a rather unfortunate run of 3 redundancies in the space of 18 months, I took the somewhat terrifying decision to start a Telemarketing Business.
Despite having no experience of either starting or running a business, I knew that my 20 or so years in sales and management had at least given me the core skills I needed. I’d learn the rest along the way.
We were profitable from day one. Looking back it doesn’t even seem as if I did much selling though – I picked up a few customers, did a good job for them and, naturally, more customers followed.
Whilst life wasn’t necessarily easy, it certainly seemed easier than the years I’d toiled and grafted for my previous employers.
Then, a year or so down the line – it started. Posts on Linkedin proclaiming that “cold calling is dead”. Comments from people at networking meetings that the phone was now an old and outdated method of selling. Everything is now digital, they’d say, forget the phone, it’s all about social media, about email marketing, about SEO.
Cold calling – it seemed – had gone the way of the dinosaurs.
And suddenly I doubted whether this was the right industry to be in at all. Selling a service that doesn’t work to people that don’t want it. Hmm, this is going to be tough.
But, we battled through, continued to do what we do best and generated literally millions of pounds of new business for our clients during that time. I knew – and could prove – that what we did worked but still there were a lot of people that didn’t believe it.
Fast forward to today – the tail end of 2017 and whilst my social media pages and conversations are still occasionally littered with negative comments towards “cold calling”, the tide does at least appear to be turning.
Several times I day I see well respected sales influencers posting about how the phone – if used properly – is still one of the best methods of generating new business. The talk of cold calling’s demise seems to have greatly quietened down and, overall, the impression I get is that people have realised cold calling isn’t dead, it’s just changed.
Gone are the days of picking up a yellow pages and adopting a scattergun approach of dialling as many numbers as you can before you get a yes. Wave a goodbye to making an ill researched cold call when you don’t even have a decision makers name to help you get a foot through the door.
Now, you can research names, get insights into the companies you’re calling, arming you with vital information that would have been unimaginable only 10 years ago.
You can send introductory messages through Linkedin to prime your contact before you call them – get introduced by a mutual contact and help that first call to be warm rather than icy cold.
Yes, it’s a competitive world out there, yes cold calling isn’t “easy” but, in many ways, it’s a lot easier than it used to be.
For me, I’ve always known – and can prove that telemarketing works, I’m just pleased that more people are beginning to realise it again.
And if you need a reliable, experienced company to help drive new business through outbound telemarketing, we’d love to show you how we make it work!
Inspired Business Development
0330 20 50 500