Today we are going to delve into an arm of marketing that is not common in Nigeria. It’s known as COLD CALLING.
If you landed here via search or other means, you may like to check out the previous topic in this series: ADVERTISING SMALL BUSINESSES
Have you ever received a call asking you “if you want this, press 1 or 2, if you want that, press 3 or 4” or whatever? That is a classic example of cold calling, but in their case, they use computerized cold calling technology. Also scammers and 419ers employ this tactic in getting gullible people into their wicked acts. If they ever called you before, that is cold calling.
In Nigeria, it’s been dominated by mobile network providers and a few of their value added service (VAS) partners. I have never received a cold call from a small business outside these 2, maybe from 419ers, yes; that is if you consider them as businesses, lol.
But in Western countries, Cold Calling is a common means of marketing and selling for small businesses. So much so that laws have been made to curtail it, as many view it as a disturbance, yet people always find ways round such laws. But if done very well, it can deliver results for your small business. Depending on your target market location, cold calling can be very effective. Like I advice, in marketing your small business, you have to brainstorm and come up with a combination that’s well suited for you which will deliver highest, considering of course, your budget.
THE BASICS OF COLD CALLING
The idea of Cold Calling is that you have to call a list of contacts that you create and aim to either market something to them or strive to book a physical appointment with them within 1 or max 2 minutes, following a pre-made script. If the call drags on beyond this time frame, Interest begins to wane or you incurre too much cost in call charges. These contacts must not be known to you, all you need is their phone numbers.
Another common fact in cold calling is that the success rate is about 2.5 to 5%. This means you have to make about 100 calls if you expect to get 2.5 to 5 results. It might sound daunting, but remember if you succeed, the customer is yours for keeps and you can upsell other stuff to them (tutorial on Upselling is still in my plans).
DETERMINE WHAT YOU ARE SELLING/MARKETING
The very first thing is to determine if your business will benefit from cold calling. What product or service are you into? I have to expressly state here that research has shown that cold calling delivers more for those offering service than for those selling physical products.
Think it over, will people take up your offer? Assuming you are building a house,, will you be interested if an unknown caller calls and offers to sell you bags of cement? How about if he offered to offer one form.of building service like merson, carpentry, etc while letting you know he is an very good at it?
In this age of True Caller app, you are only just a call away from irritated people marking your number as Spam or tagging it awfully, to the extent that many won’t pick your calls once the red spam/bad tag shows up via true caller. So if your business will be viewed by many as a spam when you call, don’t do it, cold calling is not for you.
WRITE YOUR SCRIPTS AND STICK TO THEM
A cold calling script is what you have written down which you will tell the prospect on your list when you call. Because all phone conversation situations are not the same, that’s why you have to draw a script and stick to it throughout your calling. Even when discussions deviate, you must find a way to get back to the script so the message is passed on completely to your target.
There is also a 2nd script, which is called REJECTION SCRIPT, and is basically what you have written down to tell those who reject your cold call offer. You must have both of them with you when cold calling until you become a guru.
NB: Next week, we will explore examples of cold calling scripts for 1 or 2 businesses. Keep a date.
GET PHONE NUMBERS TO CALL
Depending on your business, you must determine the location of the contact you want to call and gather their phone numbers. If you are selling cement in bags for instance, is there any need cold calling a prospect that lives in Sokoto? But assuming you are a web designer, you can cold call people anywhere in Nigeria, because if they are willing, you can conclude and deploy their website from any part of the world.
There are many ways to get phone numbers. They include directories, sign posts, flyers from print shops, newspapers, classified pages, radio/tv stations, internet, etc. Use your imagination to determine where you will get phone numbers of your potential cold call clients.
MAKE OUT TIME OR HIRE A COLD CALLING ASSISTANT.
Cold calling takes time, so also other forms of marketing, lol. So you either make time for it or you hire an assistant whose job is to sit their butt on the chair and make calls from 8am till 4/6pm with a launch break in between. It’s as simple as that. A lot of people get success this way.
PRACTICE BEFORE YOU START OFF
It’s strongly adviced that you practice your call script with a known and truthful critic. Don’t tell them before time what you plan to do, just call them with an unknown number (not hidden) and market them. If they reject, open up and tell them it’s you just testing out your script. If they get to know it’s you through your voice, then tell them what you are doing, and ask for their honest assessment.
For me, I normally call my elder brother, Hon Solomon S. Ogolo, he is a hard nut to crack, so when he tells me it’s ok, I know it’s more than ok. He approved a cold call script I did for a church consultant that yielded massive result.
START MAKING THE CALLS
You will find out that when you or your assistant starts making cold calls newly, there will be tense signs. It’s normal and expected. You just continue, it will get to a time when you won’t feel that way anymore. Just dial away, make the calls and success will be achieved.
BUSINESSES/VENTURES WHERE COLD CALLING CAN BE USED IN NIGERIA
Website design and management
Facebook Business page design management
e-commerce shops marketing.
Mobile App marketing, etc
Various kinds of Service offerings.
If you offer any kind of service, it may be successfully marketed with cold calling. Ask in the comments section and I will reply and possibly make you a script.
Political parties can easily deploy cold calling in marketing their party/candidates with a high degree of sucçess.
During the 2015 general elections, as the leader of Volunteers 4 Wike group, we used a questionnaire and gathered sizable phone numbers and did some cold calling to market our candidate, now governor Wike. Believe it or not, our efforts contributed in one way or the other.
Churches and Faith Based Organisations.
This is another area where cold calling can have massive success. I made a cold calling script for a church consultant and 2 months later, she told me the church she used it for recorded massive new members than at any point since they opened via her efforts.
And Many More.
There are many businesses and ventures that can use cold calling to market their products and services. If you are in doubt, just ask in the comments section.
You should expect to receive many no’s than yes’. Don’t let the no’s get on you, just see it as the norm and move on. If you don’t hit your 2.5 to 5% target, know that your script needs modifications. In some ventures, the percentage can be very high, I have seen 21%
You have to put yourself in the shoes of the call receiver and be honest to yourself if such calls will sway you into buying the offer.
Let’s stop here today. Like I promised, next week, I’ll drop some sample cold calling scripts. But I won’t include that of the real estate industry. As the founding partner, we intend to use it in marketing Property4you.com.ng 080-6000-8800 to an expected high success. It’s a combo (online/offline) business here to disrupt the property marketing industry, watch out for the hurricane.
Till then, have a nice week. As always, questions will be answered only via the comments section. Thanks for your time.