Cold calls: most people don’t enjoy making them, and even fewer people enjoy answering them.
Cold calling used to be the go-to sales approach. Nowadays, however, the success of the cold call is quickly dwindling. Maybe people are more time-constricted than they used to be. Maybe we’re used to our phones being flooded with spam calls. For whatever reason, people just aren’t answering their phones like they used to.
The majority of unsolicited calls are not answered. If you’re a cold call enthusiast, you have most likely perfected your voicemail script. Maybe you’re even proud of it! We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but, only 18% of people listen to voicemails from numbers they don’t know.
So, how can you get your message heard? How can you engage in welcomed and efficient communication? Revise your sales approach to include text and social media messaging. You won’t regret it!
Did you know that 99% of text messages are opened? Furthermore, 90% of those texts are opened within 3 minutes!
While texting a potential customer may seem intrusive or pushy, it’s actually less disruptive than making a phone call. Texting is becoming the preferred method of communication for many people, and not just in their personal life. Texts are often welcomed in the business world because they allow the recipient to respond on their own terms.
Keep in mind that SMS messages are restricted to 160 characters. You shouldn’t try to fit your whole marketing spiel into a text, anyways. Your message should be concise, with the bulk of it being a call to action.
If you’re iffy about sending a text, consider this rule of thumb: only text customers who have their mobile number on display. If their cell phone number is listed on a business card, social media profile, website, or some other public platform, text away! They’ve listed that number for a reason. Use it!
Not sure where to start? Here are some great scenarios for implementing business texting:
If your business participates in conferences or trade shows, you probably have a form where interested customers can provide their contact information. You might (and should!) have a similar form on your website, as well. Here’s an example of a first text:
Hi, Beth. This is Gary from Rock Star Real Estate! It was great to meet you at last week’s conference. I know you’re interested in learning more. Let’s set up a quick call for this week. How about Thursday?
You’ve already made the first contact with a potential customer, and they asked you to email them some more information. It’s been over a week, and you haven’t heard anything. Try following up with a text:
Hey, George. I emailed you several apartment listings I think you’ll like! I’ll give you a call this week. What time is good for you?
Send A Reminder
Sending a reminder before scheduled calls will ensure the appointment is not forgotten. Don’t assume your potential customer is sitting around with their phone in hand, waiting for you to give them a buzz. An hour before the call is scheduled, text a quick reminder:
Hey Tim, just a quick reminder that I plan to call at 2 pm. Is that still a good time to chat?
SOCIAL MEDIA MESSAGING
Let’s face it: social media consumes much of our time these days. Instead of losing precious hours to the big black hole that is Facebook, use social media to make meaningful business contacts.
Social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn are goldmines of information. They are also great places to engage in customer outreach. If you’re not comfortable texting a potential customer, considering sending them a message over social media. It’s less invasive than a text message, but considerably more welcomed than a cold call!
Refrain from sending a random and lengthy direct message. Instead, reach out to people who are actively seeking services such as yours. Make the most of your social media use by:
- Joining Facebook groups that are related to your business
- Connecting with people on LinkedIn that are in the same industry
- Engaging in relevant conversations
The goal of social media messaging should not only be to reach your target audience, but also to achieve your intended purpose. Tailor your message to that specific customer, but keep it straightforward and to the point. No one is going to read a five paragraph essay via Facebook Messenger. Your message should motivate the recipient to engage with the content.
Social media engagement is often pretty informal. Rarely do you see a grammatically correct Facebook post. However, be mindful when composing your messages. Improper spelling or grammar may undermine the credibility of your company. That being said, don’t be stiff! This is social media, after all.
The cold call is no longer a staple in the world of sales. Phone calls are still an important tool in business communication, but texting and social media messaging are proving to be more effective for making connections.
As always, be friendly, be personable, be human. Don’t make the customer feel as if they’re talking to a stranger. Make outreach an enjoyable experience for both parties.
If cold calling is currently your go-to marketing strategy, don’t let the fact that it’s becoming less effective discourage you. Use it as motivation to revamp your business! And, look on the bright side: you won’t need to train your employees how to text.