What I mean by cold calling is on the phone. So much of marketing these days is people calling you up and trying to sell you something that they know nothing about.
Hands up anyone who likes to get a phone call from someone you’ve never heard of, weren’t expecting and who quite obviously, wants to sell you something, but pretends that they’re not going to sell you something?
No? No hands? No hands at all? No?
Okay, so I was right. We do not like to be cold called, it’s as simple as that.
As soon as you answer the phone, and I am not talking about the automated overseas ones where a computer dials it for them and you answer it, and after one or two seconds it clicks and then somebody picks the phone up and takes the call because that’s their system.
No, I mean, somebody just ringing you.
So, you answer the call and say”Hello, how are you doing?”, and they start off with the immortal “Hello, my name is so and so, how is your day?”
First of all, please, do not ask how I am, how is my day, because you don’t know me, and I have never met you.
I have no idea what you want, I am instantly on the defensive. But even if you didn’t do that, in the UK we call it, “the American way of doing things”.
It’s the way everyone answers these days, but say you phone up, and you say “Hello can I speak to Jon”, and I say, “Yes, Jon speaking.” And you say, “I see you use AdWords.”.
Now, as soon as they are saying that, I am thinking, “Great, you’ve looked up whatever I’m advertising for in AdWords, you’ve got my number and you’re going to phone me and either you’re going to offer me a better service of AdWords.
You are going to offer despite the fact that we do it in-house and we did pretty darn well, you don’t know that; or, you’re going to try and convince me that you can do search engine optimization for me and save me all that money.
But whatever it is, you’re going to try and sell me something, you’re not doing it out of charity, so my defenses are instantly up and I think “You’re going to try to sell to me”, and if I say to you, “Look I don’t need..”, they will say “No no I’m not selling anything.”
Sigh. We don’t like it. At home we get interrupted. I work from home and I am on what’s in the UK called the telephone preference list, where you put your number in and bona fide companies are not allowed to call you.
But the non-bona fide ones ignore it and call you anyway. I get up and they are trying to offer me something that I don’t want, nobody likes it, and there are the spam calls, spam galore.
Again, in the UK we get what’s called PPI insurance, Personal Protection Insurance ones and injury claims on the assumption that you have been injured somewhere and that there is a lawyer waiting for you.
So, when you in your business, whether you’re selling windows or marketing or who knows what you may be selling, whatever service it is that’s wonderful, you are associating yourself with all of those spammy calls that we don’t like.
Now, you yourself don’t like to get them, why do you think your calls are different? Why do you think people will get yours?
Why are you still doing it? There are so many better ways. Let me give you a solution.
You set up your website in a way that can generate leads so that if someone comes and visits your website, if they find something that they like on your website, for example you give them a report.
So, say in this business, I do marketing; so if you are a small business owner and you arrive at marketingforowners.com, you look around and you may see that there is a report called “The 71 Ultimate Marketing Tools”.
You might look at that and it will explain a bit of what’s in there and you think, “That’s interesting, it’s free, I’ll grab a copy of that.”
Now no one is forcing it down your throat, you are being offered it, it’s on your own terms, you don’t have to take it, you can take it, but it will ask for a name and an e-mail so it can be sent to you.
By the way, if you do want to get it, it’s had, I should count it again, it’s had well over 3000 downloads. If you go to marketingforowners.com/71, you go direct to it, but there’s over 3000 people have had it and I am shocked by the number of e-mails I have had of people saying “Thank you” and how that has helped. Now that’s an aside.
But you grab it, it’s e-mailed to you, but your name and e-mail are now on our list, an interest list, that was a lead magnet, you are interested in the kind of things I have to say.
I won’t be able to phone you because I didn’t ask for her phone number, I don’t have your address, I’m not going to write to you, I don’t have your address.
However, I may e-mail you and offer you more valuable information, I will not try and sell you a darned thing.
I will give you information that gives you more information about how to market your business, or something helpful.
Or I’ll point out someone else’s article or someone else’s free tool or a bit of free software that we use, that I think you might find helpful, that kind of stuff.
Over a little while, you’re going to get to know me and hopefully, you’re going to get like me, I’m a nice guy. And after a while you’re going to get the trust me.
Oh eventually, I may say “Hey, I’ll tell you what, we’ve been chatting for a while, if you want to know more about this, we have a membership side called ‘The owners Gold’; why don’t you join? There is a monthly cost, but it’s a special offer where if you pay up front you will get two months free, etc. etc.”
Now doesn’t that sound easier? Of course and that person can just ignore it, but they are not angry. Do you see the difference?
They just ignore it, it’s just a passive, gentle, one, there is no hard sell, there’s no cold calling, there is no shock, it’s not out of the blue, there is no “Who on earth is this?”
Now of course, in that opening e-mail, when you signed up, and gave your name, if the thank you, the welcome e-mail says “Hey, nice to see you, thanks for the report, we also sell this.” , that’s a bit in the face.
So just consider, once you’ve set your website up to get those leads , then your website can be full of information and everything that you would sit in front of the customer and tell them, or on the phone tell them, tell them by articles, then you can tell everybody at the same time, they can have it in their terms. Say it nicely.
What’s the difference, what do you think? Why do you think you have to speak to them on the phone? Why do you have to make an appointment and go see them?
Why do you think that you must sit in front of them to sell them something? Is that because it’s expensive and you think once you’ve got them, a lot of people are too polite to say “No”?
And bear in mind, if you’re thinking “Oh, what do you know about it?” I was a door-to-door, cold calling, commission only salesman for years, so yes, I do know, yes, and it was awful.
Some people are shocked, I was nice, I have actually been picked up by my collar and the scruff of my neck as it were, and thrown out of a premises.
I remember it well, it was an unfamiliar place in Dolcett, in England when I was 19 years old. I was a little shocked to say the least.
It only happened once, but suffice to say, the guy didn’t want to see me. So please, bring it home, bring it on to your website, bring it on to the hub of your business.
Now if you’re thinking, my website doesn’t do that, if you want to know, yes, I’ve got something for sale, but you don’t have to buy it, just go have a look at what it says.
Go to www.website101.co , go and see what that has to say. If you think, interesting, but not quite sure, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org, if you want, I would pick up the phone and phone you if you want and then I’ll tell you all about it, you won’t get any hard sales whatsoever.
But that will set your website up and enable you to do this. Imagine what you will save. Imagine those cold calling sales people, no more of them.
Anyway, that’s just something to think about in this Christmas week.
It’s Wednesday and that means it is time for a Friendly Follow. If you’re in business, if you’ve got an e-commerce business, you should be following @getelastic.
If I describe what they say they would say “Get e-commerce tips and tricks and news and commentary from the world’s most read e-commerce blog, Getelastic.com.”
They cover everything, multichannel marketing, mobile, e-commerce, it’s great, it’s a huge blog, but their Twitter feed is excellent.
I recommend you go read it, keep in touch with them, you never know, you may learn something, but they certainly won’t be cold calling you.
I’ll see you tomorrow on Christmas eve.
Are you cold calling customers?