In the age of the Internet, you might think cold calling is dead or at least old fashioned. Well we can assure you that there are many benefits of cold calling even in 2021. This assurance comes from the fact that the Internet actually has made business so much more competitive than it was when cold calling first began.
If you have a problem, you more than likely go to Google for the solution. If someone has a solution for you that isn’t on the first page of search results, you might never know about it unless he or she contacts you. Therefore, you want to use every route you can to make sure your prospects know you exist and can help solve their problems.
The saying, “If you build it, they will come,” does not apply to your business. Are your prospects aware of the benefits of adding an ATM machine to their businesses? Do they know that they don’t have to purchase the machine themselves, they can simply provide the space? Probably not. And that’s where you come in. Your business requires you to educate your audience.
How Cold Calling has Evolved
Cold calling is still alive, but strategies have evolved with customer buying habits. Although you aren’t selling anything, the same concept applies: you need to engage with your prospects.
Don’t confuse cold calling with sleazy telemarketing. We would never recommend that. Don’t use a tactic that wouldn’t work on yourself. Cold calling is, on the other hand, a helpful tool for lead generation. Especially if you’re just starting out in the ATM business.
Customers have heard umpteen sales pitches, seen thousands of ads, and deleted a mass of emails without even opening them. They’re tired of being sold to. What they want is to be heard, understood, and helped.
By the end of this article, you’ll not only be able to see the value and effectiveness of cold calling but also how you can use it successfully to jump start your own business.
What is Cold Calling?
Cold calling carries quite a stigma. Most definitions you’ll find suggest a negative connotation. Yes, cold calling means making an unsolicited call to someone you’ve never had contact with before in order to convince him or her to purchase a product or service.
And yes, we recommend that you use this strategy to close ATM placement deals with business owners. But let’s take a second to consider what we don’t mean by cold calling. Cold calling is NOT
- about harassing people until they purchase something
- a dead pitch to a stranger
- a sales call from a random person
- grabbing a phone book and randomly dialing numbers
While these are methods of cold calling, they aren’t successful. But there are other methods.
The cold calling that is successful is about identifying the people you most want to work with and building relationships with them. So it’s not random at all. You carefully prospect your callees and eventually pitch your services. But not right away….
The Goals of Cold Calling
First, you need to make a connection. Your goal isn’t to land the deal on the first call. It’s to try to earn a little more time to connect. Think of the first cold call as a verbal landing page—you want to build awareness of your brand and get your prospect to engage with you. It’s just one touchpoint on the path to building a relationship with your prospect.
All you need at first is a micro-commitment. And then you’ll slowly build on that as you gain your prospects’ trust. The commitment we’re talking about is getting them to engage and share with you. A micro-commitment could be as short as a 5-minute phone call or as simple as a look at an informational email or resource from you.
You want them to talk about the issues they are experiencing in their business. You want them to open your email later that day or week to get you a second point of contact.
While the end goal of cold calling is to solve your prospect’s problems by placing your ATM machine, the initial goal is to pique your prospect’s interest enough that they take your offer seriously when the time comes.
Successful cold calling is, unfortunately, time consuming. The more prospects you call the better your chances are of sealing some deals.
Say you call 100 people tomorrow. Maybe only 20 people actually answer your call. Of those 20 people you talk to, only 1 or 2 are interested in corresponding further. But don’t let that discourage you! If nothing else, you at least open yourself up to more leads.
Benefits of Cold Calling
We’ve briefly discussed one of the major benefits of cold calling: opening yourself up to leads. But the best part is that you get to choose those leads. You don’t have to wait for someone to answer your ad who may or may not be the person you’d like to work with.
So, you don’t have to waste your time talking to people who aren’t a good fit for you. You choose the people you’d like to work with and pursue them as leads.
A second benefit is that cold calling requires minimal effort for a big result. Even if you can only spend 2 hours a day reaching out to prospects, the more people you talk to, the more deals you have the opportunity to close.
Another benefit is that it can easily be outsourced. If you’d rather not speak to prospects over the phone or if you just don’t have the time, you can pass it off to an employee or hire a virtual assistant. Once you have landed a client or two you’ll be able to use part of the revenue to hire out your cold calling.
Finally, cold calling works, even in 2021. Cold calling will exist for as long as people use phones to communicate. It allows you to approach the market directly without having to rely solely on referrals. It gives you control over your lead generation by meeting the market rather than waiting for it to come to you.
How to Cold Call
Cold calling does not work if you don’t do your research. You want to build a relationship with your prospects, so you’re going to have to find ways to connect with them. That means you need to know who they are, what they do, how they do it, etc. Most importantly, you need to know what their pain points, or problems, are.
You won’t be successful if you join the call with a selling mindset. You need to maintain a helping mindset. Remember that your goal isn’t to sell your service, it’s to solve a problem. In order to provide value to your prospects, you have to understand them before you can pitch your solution.
When you call, here’s what you need to know:
- Your industry
- Your prospects’ pain points
- How you can solve your prospects’ pain points
Here’s what you need to do:
- State your prospects’ pain points
- Propose a valuable solution
- Counter objections
- Close the deal
As you can see, your call cannot only present your offer or even be centered on it. Otherwise, your prospects will view your calls as salesy and sleazy and they will probably hang up before you even finish. Instead, your call needs to provide immediate value to demonstrate that you can make their lives easier.
“Share something valuable before you ask for something valuable in return,” says founder of Inflexion-Point Consulting, Bob Apollo. That’s how to make cold calling work.
How to Overcome the Fear of Cold Calling
Now, you might still be experiencing some hesitancy to pick up the phone and strike up a conversation with a stranger who you want to agree to work with you, another stranger. And you might still even be concerned about the ethics of cold calling. Hopefully we can squelch some of those fears.
First of all, if industry peers are successfully cold calling, then you should be too. How do you know if they are? Ask them! Talk to people who are successfully cold calling to help boost your confidence and avoid losing out on business to your competitors.
Second, just because you are approaching your prospects instead of the other way around doesn’t mean they aren’t interested in what you have to offer. You shouldn’t base your prospects’ interest in your offer on how much they know about you and your service. You should instead base it on what problems they have that you can solve.
And that leads us to our third point: cold calling does not have to be sleazy telemarketing. The difference between the two is that at the end of your call, your prospects will feel like they have learned something useful, that their time was well-spent, and that they will benefit from continuing the conversation.
The Importance and Benefits of Cold Calling: Jump Start Your Business in 5 Steps
We see so much value in cold calling as a strategy to close ATM placement deals with business owners that we’ve created a 5-step process for you to follow. From researching your prospects to making the call, we explain each step in detail and provide tips and advice along the way.
We’ve even put together scripts you can swipe to use on your calls. So don’t worry if you aren’t sure what to say or if phone calls make you nervous. With our help, you can prepare a script ahead of time and manage the nervousness that sometimes accompanies cold calling.
Our scripts also strategically help you transition to further correspondence and eventually seal the deal. We want you to be successful and have developed a valuable resource to help you jump start your ATM business. You can find ATMDepot’s “ATM Cold Calling PDF Guide: How to Close Deals with Cold Cals in 5 Steps” in the Member’s Area of ATMDepot.com. This guide not only tells you what to do, it tells you how to do it. In 2021, cold calling is as important as ever. So don’t wait to get started and place your next ATM!