Cold Calling: Building a Strategy for Reaching and Converting Potential

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Many sales reps consider cold calling an outdated method of marketing. They see cold calling as a method that the digital age, with all its many platforms and reach, overtook and left far behind. It’s also something many salespeople find awkward and onerous. Unfortunately for them, they don’t realize that cold calling remains one of the most effective methods to reach potential buyers. Statistically, 57% of c-level buyers prefer cold calls to other marketing methods. This shows that despite the changing landscape in marketing, the efficiency of cold calls makes it illogical to discard in favor of less personal communication.

cold calling
Photo by Roman Pohorecki from Pexels

Reaching qualified prospects

The major challenge for sales reps is how best to reach their prospects. Many find it more advantageous to call on existing customers but without a constant stream of new customers, a business can’t grow.

Part of the problem with cold calling is finding individuals who represent qualified prospects. Inaccurate or outdated data jeopardizes any effort to reach new prospects by phone, email, or even snail mail. This means that the impact of current and accurate data on performance is real. Some websites and apps provide such data necessary to successfully use cold calling. However, most of these services require that you pay or buy a costly subscription.

Today, we’ll cover 6 ways to get the necessary details for cold calling at no cost. The tools mentioned help a salesperson not only to collect contacts but also to get the information for establishing a connection with buyers, which is essential for customer-centric sales and marketing.

6 Ways to get contacts for cold calling

1.  Free people finder websites

Free people search websites allow salespeople not only to find needed phone numbers but also to learn more about the lead to enable more personalized communication resulting in higher conversion. These websites provide access to a wide range of details like phone numbers, emails, addresses, social media profiles, and much more.

Radaris is one of the free people finder websites you can tap into and get the data you need. The tool is completely free and has a vast database of US citizens. All reports are genuine and generated for free.

2. Leverage a data service or product

This is probably the most effective means to get data on a large number of prospects. For instance, using NIACS (some of you might remember the old SIC codes), you can search for information on businesses within certain industries, then use something like Hoovers to search for contact information of key personnel. Both of these are free to use.

Rather than spending time and energy searching for these prospects, you can contract a third-party agency, such as industry membership or subscription to industry-specific magazines. The agency then provides a list of suitable prospects for a fee.

You can also purchase a reliable product that allows you to extract data from its subscribers. These data provide information you can use to generate a prospect list and reach them. In addition, a data product has the advantage of being regularly updated, which is vital as some prospects change companies and responsibilities over time.

3. The company switchboard

This is admittedly a time-consuming process, but the results make it highly recommended. A company switchboard offers appeal to a sales rep, especially when searching for leaders within the company. Simply search for a name and let the automated transfer service provide you with the information you need.

This method will not directly link you to many prospects. It works best for seeking one prospect who can influence other prospects within a company, such as a head of the department.

4. Out-of-office replies

Out-Of-Office replies provide another means to reach a prospect. This method is sneaky but provides high rewards. With out-of-office replies, you can get almost anyone’s number. You only need to mail them when you are certain they won’t be at work, like on the weekend.

Most professionals have an out-of-office email that is sent out when they are not available, such as during holidays or weekends. Such emails usually have a personal number you can reach them on. This method also best suits a prospect within a company who can influence other prospects.

5. Social media, like Facebook or LinkedIn

The next method on our list shows how the advancement of the digital age complements an “outdated” marketing strategy rather than competes with it. Social media provides information about individuals who register on them. Information varies, but LinkedIn and Facebook especially allow subscribers to upload their phone numbers. The ability to selectively search and reach individuals on these platforms.

There are over 260 million active users on LinkedIn every month, and over 2 billion users on Facebook. This provides sales reps with a staggering pool of prospects to work with.

6. Use Google search

Google search provides an obvious, yet often overlooked means to reach your prospects. Google’s efficacy in searches is undeniable, however, most do not realize how easy it is to search for people using Google. The internet ensured that everyone’s digital identity is plastered on a website somewhere.

By inputting your prospect’s name, location and any other data you have in the search bar and adding the keyword “phone number”, you get an array of results. You can then easily process these results to find your prospect, or find other information about them you can use.

Conclusion

By applying these methods, you increase your access to prospects as a sales rep. However, generating these prospects is not enough. A good sales rep who wants to use cold calling must ensure that the rep is capable of creating a connection with the prospects during the call. Establishing a connection is hard, yet, if you prepare beforehand it might become easier. So, the more you learn about the prospect the more chances you have to close the deal.

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Hausman and Associates, the publisher of MKT Maven, is a full-service marketing agency operating at the intersection of marketing and digital media. Check out our full range of services.