Converting “cool” leads to valuable clients: A critical cold calling step
When our clients hire us to make outbound calls to find new clients, some expect that every lead will be “smoking hot” and ready to buy.
But, the truth is, cold callers often reach prospects before they have an immediate need or before they realize they have a need at all.
There is a “warming” and relationship-building process that often is required on cold call programs, once qualified leads are identified. Anyone who implements a calling program needs to be aware of this.
With information so readily available through Internet sources and networking, both in person and via social media, companies are easily able to search out services and products when they have an immediate need.
In cold calling, to be sure, you often reach a prospect at that perfect moment and the lead is hot right away, but that is not the norm. More often, you reach a prospect before they’ve fully engaged in or committed to the decision-making process.
Establishing that initial connection is the first step, but follow-up is essential. It takes time and effort to develop a relationship with the prospect, gain their trust, and continually show how your product or service can help their business. This follow-up process might take months and could extend your sales cycle, but the results are worth it. When the prospect is ready to make the decision, your name will be the first one they think of. This is especially critical for smaller businesses that might not show up at the top of an Internet search. These leads are ones that would likely not come to you through their own search, and gaining their business makes the time spent following-up completely worth the effort.
This is not meant to be discouraging—in fact, the opposite! Our clients are often dismayed when a cold calling program does not produce oodles of hot leads on the first round of calls. But we you stick with the program and our clients continue to follow-up with both the cooler leads—those that weren’t ready to budget for a new service or take on the decision of purchasing a new product at the time of the first call—in time they often develop into well-qualified leads who become excellent customers.
Just know what to expect when you begin your cold calls, and don’t give up on those cooler leads—with nurturing they can grow into a valuable relationships.