Youâ€™ve got the gleaming new site youâ€™ve been waiting for, so you can just sit back and let the sales float in through the window, right? Unfortunately not. As a small business owner, the one thing you canâ€™t do is rely on one revenue stream to keep you going. And one method that many people are inclined to ignore or resist is good old cold calling.
To some it might seem like a throwback to another era before the internet put down its roots. Itâ€™s basic, itâ€™s hard work and worst of all it actually involves engaging with the public, but like it or not cold calling is still one of the most effective ways of making a rapid impact on revenue and it has many other benefits too.
Perhaps getting on the phones has too many connotations of low-paid jobs many of us will have taken after leaving school but youâ€™re likely now to be in a completely different situation and there is much more to be gained from the process. For a start, speaking to potential customers who may never have heard of your business or even thought about the service/product you provide gives you a great opportunity to benchmark your business. It will instantly highlight weaknesses, areas to work on, market and competitor information, services many businesses would willingly pay for â€“ with cold calling you get it for free.
If youâ€™re about to get started on some cold calling, remember that it is purely a numbers game. The more you put in, the more you get out, but expect to hit many a brick wall along the way. Also remember that in every conversation youâ€™re representing the business, and even if the person youâ€™re speaking to doesnâ€™t buy from you they may well pass on your details to someone who will. Cold calling, if done well, can really enhance word of mouth lead generation.
A good structure to follow when cold calling is known as AIDA â€“ which stands for Attention â€“ Interest â€“ Desire â€“ Action. So, first of all introduce yourself and your company, gaining their attention. Follow this with your offering and why it relates to the person youâ€™ve called, then move onto how it will benefit them, and end with how you can make this happen. It all seems so simple when put like this!
A great website will perform for your business as part of an overall marketing and sales strategy. No matter how good the website is, your bottom line will always be able to be improved by time-honoured methods such as cold calling. However, it is a skill and you will get better at it with practice.