Nurturing calling and cold calling and the difference between them leaves many people confused. Recently, the CEO of a small technology company called me wondering how to improve his management team’s cold calling. After two of his salespeople had quit, he called me saying: “I’m giving up cold calling and starting inbound marketing because I think cold calling is dead. What do you think I should do?”
I thought, “No wonder his sales team quit.” There is a saying that 90% of people hate cold calling and the other 10% are lying. Obviously, no one likes making or receiving cold calls. If you’re randomly calling or sending direct mail to your customer and think it’s just a numbers game, you need to stop. This type of interrupt marketing doesn’t work that long. Then he asked, “What could I do instead?. I gave him this advice: “Stop cold calling and start lead nurturing”.
Cold Calling vs. Nurturing Calling
Look up for a correct definition for the word “nurture”. The following can be found online: promote, help growth or development. Nurturing calling is a skill of feeding or tending that affect individual development. Your lead nurturing program is all about consistent and relevant communication with viable prospects regardless of when they buy. Think of your phone as an extension of this program. It would help if you didn’t try to use pressure strategies on the first call. It’s about building long, meaningful and trust-filled relationships with the right people.
Be Useful and Help Your Prospects
Think about it: when was the last time you received a cold call that you benefited from? Your customers will feel the same way. Every time you pick up the phone, it’s important to create added value and offer your prospects digestible, bite-sized pieces. Jonathan Jantsch wrote in Ductape Marketing World “You don’t have to be a pest when you call people. Don’t sell, just be helpful. Even a helpful voice message lets people know you’re human and not going to hard sell everything. Reaching out on the phone in a meaningful way helps build trust with other leads to your creative initiatives.”
Be Relevant and Uber-Informed
When you make a phone call, the worst thing you can do is contact someone without knowing anything about them. Instead, you should have excellent knowledge of each prospect, the company, and most importantly, all the problems they face and how your product could help solve them. This special interest goes a long way in creating meaningful dialogue. Start asking your sales team:
- What questions do your customers usually ask?
- What do they care?
- What issues are they facing?
Look for content that addresses these issues. Forward this content to your sales team and ask them if their customers value it. Reuse content as much as you can. For example, white papers can be turned into articles and articles into blog posts. Marketing technology can help you know what content people are using on your website, webinars, and email. You can use this information with lead scoring to prioritize when someone might be ready for a call.
Build Trust With Nurturing Calling
Tell and sell is a passing thing. Become a trusted advisor by adding value with every interaction and sharing relevant information. By providing valuable training and information to potential clients in advance, you become a trusted advisor. Share information that will stick with them. Try to provide them with educational content that will help them grow as an individual or as a company. Sellers who become trusted advisors and understand the needs of financial buyers are 69% more likely to close the sale.
Here’s the litmus test: can your prospects benefit from the information you provide regardless of whether they buy from you? The purpose of nurturing calling is to maintain a relevant and consistent dialogue with viable future customers. It doesn’t matter if they are in the buying stage. It is based on human relationships. If you can follow these ideas, you will begin to think about how you and your salespeople can be a significant asset. When you do that, you don’t have to sell to people. They will come to you when they are ready.
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