Cold Calling Will Hurt Your Business (If You Won’t Do It Right)

Joanna Iczakowska
5 min read
Jun 27, 2016
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Cold calling

Getting in touch with people, who’s never heard of you before is troublesome.

One way of reaching out to customers is cold calling when a salesperson makes an unsolicited attempt of contact (usually phone calls) and presents a product or service offer.

There’s much good to say about cold calling if you try hard enough, but all of these doubts people have didn’t appear out of nowhere, right?

Cold calling has its downsides. Quite a lot, to be honest. These little monsters can crush your business pretty hard, so it’s important you learn to control them.

First things first though, let’s see why you should stick to cold calling.

The benefits of cold calling

Cold calling is one of the fastest tools to communicate with your target group.

Salespeople call from a list of potential clients, leads, that fit certain parameters and may be interested in what they’re offering. Of course, you could focus more on marketing, content, creating a community, let your clients find their way to you, but how time-consuming is that?

And what chances do you have that your potential clients will actually cross their ways with your content on the Internet?

It’s much more straight-forward in cold calling: you just hit your potential customers right between the eyes and even if they will not necessarily like you at first: they’ll know about you and then may someday remind themselves of your name and type that into their browsers to search for more info.

But to benefit from cold calling, you have to recognize your false friends. And you don’t have to look hard if you’re in this business long enough.

Your false friends: high KPIs

High KPIs is the case. It’s even a bigger problem as you wouldn’t think that the high rates could hurt you. Because it’s the good thing if an agent makes more calls per hour (CPH) than his co-workers, right?

But are you sure? Are you supposed to care about the quality or the quantity?

Some KPIs are meant to be low. If they’re rising, the red light should alight as they go.

Here are rates that won’t make you good being high:

1. Calls per hour

It's the amount of calls made by the agent in an hour. Doesn’t matter whether measured for a clock-hour or an hour of agent’s work time.

An average number of calls per hour gives you a slight overview of your agent’s work. There’s no set number of phone-calls that is considered “enough” or “too much” but comparing this metric rate between teams or agents and their success rate could give you an overlook on how the numbers should appear.

How could something like this hurt you?

Easily, if your agent makes a lot of calls during one hour then he probably doesn’t talk for too long during these calls, does he? It may not be his fault: he may have really poor lead-base and most of his call attempts may remain unanswered, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be that way.

That’s why you need to compare CR (contact rate) and ATT (average talk time) with each other to have clear results. If these numbers don’t make sense to you… then it’s a possibility that your agent is to blame.

2. Attrition rate = costs

It's a number of employees leaving during a specific range of time expressed as a percent. Another metric that is better to be kept low (although is not necessarily bad for your business health; I wrote about it before, so feel free to learn).

What can’t be forgotten is that an employee is an investment for a company.

You have to train them, which doesn’t only consume the time of the employee you’ve assigned to training, but money as well.

Hiring, training, firing even, is expensive.

These numbers tend to get enormous with the rate as high as it gets in outsourcing, easy to crush the company, especially if you're barely starting.

How to minimal the risk of damages

1. Know what you’re doing

Not everything, especially in cold calling, can be decided because your guts tell you so. Intuition is a great thing in business, but sometimes the only one claiming you’ve got what it takes is you and that’s the opposite of playing safe.

Of course, some may say that there’s no gain without the risk, but maybe it’d be better for you if some of your decisions were based on actual analytics.

2. Keep learning

Not only on your mistakes (although that’s the greatest source of knowledge possible) but from actual books, articles, presentations. The Internet is the great base of knowledge about basically everything, believe me, every student will confirm that.

3. Ask for help

Don’t forget that you are allowed to make mistakes, especially when you’re only the beginner. That’s the reason why there are so many solutions designed to help you. Software, apps and people, who are there for you. Don’t hesitate to reach out.

All in all, cold calling won’t ever be the easiest or most pleasant way of getting leads.

These couple pieces of advice I’ve given you won’t make it a breeze. But being aware of the downsides and trying to work a way through them instead of making them the elephant in the room, will make cold calling more effective.

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