These days, the cold call is becoming risky business. With new apps for call blocking and the iOS update to silence unknown callers, it can make the life of a salesperson difficult.
According to a Hubspot statistic, it can take up to 18 calls to land a single buyer! If you have a personal connection, you’re 4.2 times more likely to get that appointment.
That means both that you should make personal connections as often as possible and that salespeople are generally quite used to rejection. The missed calls, the unread messages, and voicemail boxes chock full of messages.
So don’t be discouraged that your calls are going straight to voicemail. Thankfully with the advent of social media and networking sites like LinkedIn, there are so many more ways nowadays to reach more prospects besides the phone.
So while you brainstorm another path to a prospect, here are some reasons why your calls aren’t getting picked up.
Millennials are generally less averse to picking up their phone. So salespeople need to start approaching on the platforms they most frequent.
According to an Aspect blog post, Chris O’Brien writes that “We’ve all seen countless millennials swiping through their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds numerous times a day. Your company should leverage this power of social media to have meaningful, two-way conversations with your millennial customers.”
Is your company equipped to communicate directly to millennials and Gen-Z? Is there an omni-channel approach that includes SMS, live chat, and email to provide round-the-clock methods of communication for millennials?
Lots of millennials prefer to do research and reach out on their own terms rather than pick up or return sales calls.
Which means you have to do the work on your end, too. What’s the best way to create real value in your product or service and how to target these groups? Maybe social media or email is the best contact point for younger generations than a phone call.
A great way to use live chat, like Drift, is to garner information on the lead and then turn the chat conversation into a phone call.
Location, Location, Location
People miss calls for a myriad of reasons, but a lot of the time it’s because they’re simply away from their desks. Doctor’s appointments, meetings, other calls, and the client lunch. Bad timing is one of the inherent consequences of cold-calling.
Referenced in a Hubspot infographic, one of the various strategies put forth is the best time of day to make sales calls. According to their data, Thursday is the best day, and the best times are between 8-10AM and 4-5PM.
Be sure not to call on Tuesday, which is the worst. (Maybe everyone schedules appointments that day…?). And don’t ring at 11AM or 2PM when the post-lunch slump hits.
And, as always, if you miss talking to your lead and have to leave a voice message, be sure to be clear, concise, and communicate exactly who you are and what you’re looking to talk with them about.
Text Messaging, Emailing, Social Media-ing
The cold hard truth is that…the power of the phone call has dwindled in recent years. RealityMine did some research and found that adults between 18 and 64 far preferred using email and text messaging over a phone call.
Phone calls are still powerful, still reliable, but we’ve since found more quicker, leaner ways to communicate. Text messages are instantaneous. And social media marketing campaigns reach people and have a more immediate impact than a sales call.
Your sales strategy has to include these other platforms. Especially if your product appeals to multiple generations.
And with how ubiquitous mobile and texting is, people are less programmed to talk and more inclined to text. That can be an advantage of email, because they can deal with it on their own time without feeling the immediate pressure of a phone call.
Unknown Caller? No thanks
We get it. You’re just trying to do your job and sell your product. No funny business. But people can be triggered by unknown numbers, and are more inclined to believe it is a spam or robocall instead of an earnest salesperson working a lead.
It can be a strange barrier, but one to be worked through by building trust with your clients and leads. It’s best to call from a work phone so that your company’s name is clearly displayed on the caller ID. Everyone’s busy, but your call will seem less out of the blue if they have an idea who’s calling.
Do your best to follow up with polite persistence, and send reminder emails if need be.
You have all the tools at your disposal. So go make good use of them!