Cold calling is a proven marketing technique but one that is not appealing, both for the receiver and the caller. It can be de-motivating for the caller and quite an irritant for the receiver, wasting time for both sides. With unpredictable success rates and time spent per call not justifying the results achieved, most businesses seek more viable options and alternatives to cold calling. Since the end result sought, is the same, it is important to use those techniques which promise higher success rates per hour spent.
- Referrals – Getting referrals from existing customers is a better alternative to cold calling. Firstly, the receiver will be more positively inclined towards a sales pitch if it comes from a known person, and chances of a sale increase when a peer group uses the same product. Tapping relationships now holds the key to better sales success.
- Contacting old customers- Customers at some point in the past, but lost along the way, can be contacted to familiarize them with new products and services. Their past experiences with the brand will perhaps tempt them to consider buying. Once satisfied, they will even recommend other prospective customers.
- Using social media networks- Social media networks are the best places to contact thousands of customers, getting to know their tastes and preferences and establish an online rapport with them. This is also a good way to show expertise in a field and have people turn to you for advice. A sales pitch subsequently will be received better than a sales call.
- Internet marketing- Internet marketing is the latest marketing tool used by large and small businesses. With millions of potential clients worldwide, chances of success are much higher and time saving, since the same amount of effort is needed for small and large groups.
- Using prospects- A prospect refers to a prospective customer, someone who has expressed interest in the products being offered and the possibility of selling to him are higher. Prospects can be filtered through customer visits, online searches or calls.
- Customer testimonials- Using current customers to share their experiences on blogs, the company website or in advertisements, is the best business promotion tool, which will woo potential customers more than anything else.
- Networking with customer groups- customer groups can be joined to get a feel of what they look for and what they need, and addressing their needs will help in moving closer to a sale.
Cold calling is only one of the many ways to fill the sales pipeline, but there are other more effective ways of getting customers. The secret lies in being proactive, using networking skills, and being constantly on the lookout for an opportunity to make a sales pitch. Addressing groups is often more beneficial in generating more than a single lead unlike cold calling which is most often a one-on-one interaction. With millions of prospective customers available on the world wide web, online marketing may prove to be the most effective.