Cold calling is a common sales tactic, especially in industries where sales are a vital, driving part of business profitability and can only be initiated through direct contact with a salesperson. In these cases, businesses seeking an edge over competitors or simply trying to meet earnings goals must rely on whatever tactics are necessary to secure sales. As a result, salespeople may gain experience in cold calls with potential clients.
Cold calling is the process of making sales pitches to prospective clients. This means that the salesperson must identify people who do not have any previous connection to the company and are not expecting a sales meeting, and then contact them, hoping to impress them and make a sale. Cold calls can be made in person, over the phone or in some cases through online communication. The job of the salesperson is to convince the prospective client not only of her need for the product or service, but that she should work with the saleperson's company.
There are several primary goals to cold calling. The first is, of course, the new sale to boost company revenue. But cold calling can also be used to pull clients away from competitors. In many businesses where cold calling is used, winning a client is a long-term process, and that client typically continues to buy from the company further down the road. A successful cold call will not just generate a single sale, but will earn customer interest and eventual loyalty while increasing company market share.
Benefits of Experience
Salespeople often find cold calling difficult, because of the natural stress involved in seeking out new clients with little preparation. But the result of practicing cold calls is increased confidence in making sales to people who were not originally interested. The more confidence, the higher the sales success rate for the employee.
Cold-calling experience can also lead to networking gains. This means that even if a sale fails, a cold call can still set up a point of reference for later meetings when a sale might go through. A prospective client may be able to refer someone else more likely to buy even if the original sale is not successful. Even a failed cold call can be an important first step to reaching someone else in an organization to make a successful sale. Such networking can become a powerful asset when a salesperson begins to look for a new job, because cold-call experience can yield lists of contact names and numbers, valuable information for which a business may be willing to negotiate a higher salary. Some businesses specifically ask for cold-call experience for this reason.
Some companies, such as those that deal with outsourced marketing and telemarketing, specialize in cold calls. These companies typically have cold-call scripts and processes based on studies, making it easy for employees without experience of their own to "borrow" the experience of the business when dealing with potential clients. Other companies may require that potential employees have cold-call experience of their own.