The cold call is a classic 'dialing for dollars' technique. However, with the growth of the Internet, I wonder how this is changing.
Many people (receiving them) dislike them, though certainly their persistence shows that they can work.
What techniques do you use? Cold call on the phone? Email? Intro / referral frommutual friend or LinkedIn connection?
For me, at least, a call or email that at least shows some knowledge of what we do and what we are interested in, dramatically increases the likelihood of a response. Generic approaches are ignored almost always.
We are a small but growing company, and currently our best (most cost effective) lead generations source is our two person call center. However we do operate as John suggests. All of our lists are specific targeted verticals and niches in those vertivcals where we have had success in the past. We research each targeted company and produce three or four executives and or eployees down the chain. Then we call the top position on down until someone agrees to an in person, in house, or virtual demo. currently about 23% of those over the past two years have converted into new business. I credit most of this success though to one call center employee. He is very diligent, patient, persistent, and great on the phone. He sets 90% of the apointments to the tune of 11 per week on average while the other sets almost none.
We do email blasts, catch of the month videos to our CRM database, Linkedin/Twitter/Facebook video posts, and various other email based campaigns from purchased lists all with VERY low returns (less than 1%).
Our sample is so small it is hard to draw any real conclusion from this but, currently, our cold callers are by far the best source of new leads.
Personally, I hate cold calls. I have always been of the opinion that when I need a good or service I will do my own research and then find who/what I need on my own. Fairly hypocritical being that I am security solution salesman but...
The internet and social media have changed the way business is done. It has also changed us, the consumer. We are ridiculously better informed and hence aren't as naive as we used to be. On the other hand, the scams can be more complex and they do reach a wider audience. When i say less naive, i do mean for those who have natural filters and don't give each result on a web search equal weight. In any case, my question is has anyone ever brought up the idea of cold-calling over skype?