Pros and Cons of Cold Calling
Notably, one approach that business owners have utilized for years is cold calling. With cold calling, a business conducts calls individuals to share their sales pitch. It’s important to note that cold calling is unsolicited, and typically the phone call recipient hasn’t heard of the business that’s contacting them.
Although it can be helpful to spread the word about your business to new people, it can also be challenging to convince them to purchase your products or services. Now more than ever, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, people are being frugal with their money. If they haven’t reached out to your business, or aren’t searching for your products or services, they may not be willing to hear your pitch.
For example, let’s say that a person searches online for “pool cleaning business,” which happens to be the service that your company offers. If your business’s website appears in search results, and the person fills out a form, it’s clear that they’d like to be contacted with more information about your offerings.
In comparison, if you cold call someone, they might not be looking for your services, or might already have a provider that they like. In addition, they might not even have a pool!
In this post, we’ll explore the pros and cons of using cold calling to market your small business. By considering both the benefits and the setbacks that cold calling can bring, you’ll be able to consider how it could (or wouldn’t) help you make more sales.
Should Your Business Try Cold Calling?
Pro: You May Reach New Customers
If an individual isn’t pursuing the products or services that your business offers, it’s unlikely that they’ll come across your store or website. Due to this, it’s your job to go out and find them!
Some sales teams are apprehensive to approach customers in this manner, but it’s proven to work in many cases. In fact, 82 percent of shoppers say they’ve scheduled meetings with a salesperson after first meeting them via cold call.
With cold-calling, you can contact potential customers that fit your typical customer demographic, and tell them about what your business offers. To make this easier, you might consider purchasing call lists that feature individuals in this demographic.
Con: You May Annoy People
Typically, most people don’t enjoy receiving unexpected phone calls, especially from cold callers. They may not want to take time out of their busy schedules to hear a sales rep give them an unsolicited pitch. Plus, even if the potential customer picks up the phone, you might catch them at a bad time, or get sent to their voicemail.
Due to this, you could alienate these potential customers permanently. This is the risk you take when cold calling; people often immediately decide that they’re not interested in hearing your pitch and don’t’ want to be bothered.
Pro: Sales Calls Can Be Done Anywhere
Other common sales techniques require you or your sales team to be out and about, trying to acquire new business. Although with new technologies this is less common, cold calling is amongst the original ways that enable sales professionals to work independently, from essentially anywhere. Your team can make cold calls from their homes, in the office, or on-the-road. This can be a huge advantage, and may allow you make sales regardless of where your team is located.
Con: Results Can Be Inconsistent
Even if you’ve had some success with cold calling prospects, you shouldn’t make this the entire focus of your sales and marketing strategy. Cold calling could work at times, and you could gain some additional sales, but then you might hit a rough patch in which the people you’re calling aren’t receptive. Typically, you won’t be able to predict how many sales you’ll generate from cold calling. Due to this, the inconsistency could put your business is financial jeopardy.
Is Cold Calling Right for Your Business?
Although cold calling can help you connect with people that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to reach, it can also present significant challenges. If you’re going to incorporate cold calling into your sales strategy, you should adopt phone sales tips. These tips include following a cold call script and asking people about their needs, so that you can explain how your business can help.
Is cold calling an important part of your business’s sales process? Share your best cold calling tips in the comment section below.
Editor’s Note: This post was updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness in July 2020.
Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.