I received an email last week from a real estate rep asking me if cold calling was dead. If you’re wondering the same thing, ask yourself this question:
Think about all the times you pick up your phone to reach out to new buyers: those people you see on social media who you think would be a good fit, all the leads that your company generates that request more information, all your clients whom you call to upsell, the “qualified” leads you or your company pay for that you call, etc.
Then ask yourself: if your phone were taken away, would it affect your sales? Would you be as successful if you couldn’t reach out to these prospects and introduce yourself and your company?
If your answer is Yes, then guess what? Cold calling isn’t dead. Oh, you may call it warm calling or prospecting, but the fact remains, you still have to reach out to people you don’t know to connect with them, introduce yourself and your company, and qualify them for a fit for your product or service.
The real question should be: how can you “cold call” more effectively?
In terms of this real estate agent, one suggestion I had was to do what others in his industry are doing. And that is to call local homeowners and offer them something of value first, and if they want to take advantage of it, then to gently qualify for interest in a service they are offering.
For example: many real estate agents have put together an up to date, free market analysis of comps of other homes in the area and call local homeowners to give this away. They call and ask the homeowner if they would like a current report of the worth of other homes in their area (including their own).
Now who wouldn’t want that?
After the homeowner says yes, they gather their email address and promise to forward the report on to them. They then go on to qualify the homeowner by asking any of the following questions in order to generate a lead:
“And would you be interested in a no obligation customized assessment of the current value of your home?”
“Are you by chance going to be in the market to sell your home within the next 6 to 12 months?”
“Are you looking to downsize anytime within the next 5 years?”
And so on. If you’re in real estate, I’m sure you can come up with many other questions. The point is to uncover a potential customer, and these questions help reveal who that might be.
Obviously, you can adapt this strategy to any other industry, i.e., yours! The point is that you will find this information out by cold calling prospects.
So, is cold calling dead? Disconnect your phone for a month and see if your sales suffer. If they do, then it isn’t dead-you may just not be doing it right.