Social Media Or Cold Calls? Use Both To Reach And Engage

The Smarter Message for Better Business and SalesUpstaged lately by social media and other online tools, the prospecting phone call that makes an actual connection, introduces you and communicates value is just as important as ever. Make it part of your total sales and marketing toolkit.

 

I answered a question on Linkedin.

The topic was cold calls. The questioner asked if Linkedin professionals had given up cold calls or believed they still had a place in the sales process.

I was surprised by the number of answers that gave cold calls the boot. Here’s my 2 cents: why give up any tool (or channel) that has the potential to get you business? It might not be your go-to business generator but it still can be useful. (And maybe MORE useful at different times.)

 

Online is in vogue.

Many people feel that online exposure, reach outs and engagement are the new black when it comes to sales tools. There’s no doubt that social media offers fantastic opportunities to market your services and value. People love it because it’s comfortable, less stressful and even fun.

But what’s the process? How long can it take to be effective? Who are you actually reaching? What specific positive results can you hope for and point to? You could ask the same questions about the phone call as prospecting tool. The fact is, both social media and cold calls can be useful for seeking out new business.

 

So why declare the phone call dead and buried?

After all, a phone call is actual person-to-person, private, real-time interaction. Social media use tends to start broadly, as you reach out to many (unknown) individuals by broadcasting your message, hoping to attract attention and make subsequent contact.

 

On-the-line is still a great option.

  • Online, people can sometimes behave in ways they’d never behave in person, whether face-to-face or over the phone (so, who and what you’re really getting can be hard to gauge sometimes)
  • Online gives an exciting comfort and freedom to prospecting—but it can take time for engagement to turn into real contact
  • Calls can reach the specific person you wanted to contact with your message
  • Calls that introduce you, convey specific value and set up a face-to-face are undeniably powerful
  • Calls can be less comfortable, but ultimately more effective, faster
  • Calls can be a more efficient use of your time
 

Start with a plan before making that call.

  1. Find out as much as possible about your prospect before dialing (use your online tools)!
  2. For warm-up purposes, consider sending an email introduction (using info you’ve learned) before you make a call.
  3. Get in the right frame of mind: define your objective, understand your value, build confidence by revisiting your belief in your ability to help others.
  4. Focus on benefits, highlighting those that could particularly resonate for each person you plan to call.
  5. Stay prospect-centric.
  6. Pick up the phone and dial! You may be interrupting, but that could work in your favor depending on how receptive your target is feeling.
  7. Behave politely and respectfully no matter what—your target may not want to talk now, but based on your behavior, may wish some follow up.
  8. Expect to be cut off—it happens! When you are, make a note of what you might have done or said differently. With that in mind, move on.
  9. Send a thank you email after a successful call to reinforce your fledgling relationship.
  10. Review your results for effectiveness after every call session.
  11. Fine-tune for the next session.
 

Use phone calls AND social media to make contact!

Your phone and online are both channels that can help you meet, know and transact. Together, they can make a powerful team.

Heat up your cold calls with some online content that someone sees. Or, take the initiative by calling a business prospect who made an impression online.

Just keep at both and improve your approach wherever possible. As you know, results don’t usually happen overnight.

But nothing WILL happen every time, if you do nothing.

 

Contact Liz Manning at liz@thesmartermessage.com.