Stop Cold Calling and Start Lead Nurturing

Recently a CEO of a small technology company called me wondering how to improve his lead generation team’s cold calling efforts. He called me after two salespeople just quit and said: “I’m about to give up on cold calling, and after start doing inbound marketing because I think cold calling is dead. What do you think I should do?” I thought, “It’s no wonder its sales team quit.” There is a proverb that says 90% of people hate cold calling, and other 10% are lying. Obviously, no one likes making or receiving cold calls. If you are randomly calling or direct mailing your customer, and think it’s just a numbers game, so you need to stop. This type of interruption marketing doesn’t work so long. Then, he asked, “What could I do instead?” So I gave him this advice “Stop cold calling and start lead nurturing”.  


Look up the correct definition of “nurture.” Here’s what you will find on the web: to foster, help grow, or help develop. The art of nourishing or nursing; the environmental influences that contribute to the development of an individual. Your lead nurturing program is all about having consistent and relevant communication with viable prospects, regardless of their timing to 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 phone call. It’s about building long, meaningful, and trust-filled relationships with the right people. 


Think about it: when is the last time you received a cold call that you benefited from? Your customers feel it the same way. Every time you pick up the phone, it’s essential to create value providing your prospects to potential customers in digestible, bite-sized chunks. Jonathan Jantsch wrote a post on Ductape Marketing World “You don’t have to be a pest when you call people. Don’t sell, just be useful. Even useful voice message will let people know you are human and aren’t going to hard-sell anything. Reaching out through the telephone in a meaningful manner will help build trust for your other lead generation initiatives.” 


While you are making a call, the worst thing you could do is to contact someone without knowing anything about them. Instead, you should have an excellent working knowledge of each potential customer, the company, and, most important, all the issues they face and how your product could help clarify them. This particular interest goes a long way in establishing a meaningful dialogue. Start asking your sales team: 

  • What questions do your customers usually ask?
  • What does it care to them?
  • What issues are they facing?

Find some content that addresses those issues. Pass this content by your sales team, and ask them whether their customers would value it. As much as you can, repurpose content. For example, white papers can be transformed into articles and articles into blog posts. Marketing technology could help you know what content people are engaging with on your website, webinars, and email. You can leverage this information through lead scoring to prioritize when someone might be ready for a call. 


Tell-and-sell is a thing passed. Become a believed advisor by adding value with each interaction and sharing relevant information. Providing valuable education and information to prospects upfront, you become a trusted advisor. Share information that sticks with them. Try to give them the educational content that helps them grow as an individual or a company. Sellers who become trusted advisors and understand the needs of economic buyers are 69% more likely to obtain a sale.

Here’s a litmus test: can prospects benefit from the information you provide, regardless of whether they buy from you? The purpose of lead nurturing is to maintain a relevant and consistent dialog with viable future customers. It doesn’t matter if they are in the buying pipeline. It bases on relationships. If you can follow these ideas, you will start thinking about how you and your sellers can be a significant resource. When you do it, you don’t have to sell to people. They will come to you when they are ready.

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