I have recently been working within our Perth office; a team made up mostly of international, young and very ambitious people and I was interested to hear their take on how they cold call, market and telesales. To be honest they have a totally different approach to what I have been brought up with. After a bit of research I have discovered that I am maybe a little behind the eight ball!!
It seems to be that recruitment companies who measure their ratios between telesales and actual sales are increasingly reporting a disturbing trend. In this busy, busy world people have very limited time and often are happier to reply by email or text rather than pick up the phone, which has resulted in the way we are now engaging with potential customers.
Increasingly, customers in any business are using blogs, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and many other types of social platforms to maintain awareness in their areas of interest and when something catches their attention, they then investigate through online research.
So in layman’s terms it seems customers have less need to speak with sales people early in their buying process, which means we (sales people) may find ourselves in a different role than what we are used to.
Of course there is always a counter argument, which is that customers will still respond to the right message and that is definitely correct.
What this now means is we need to find new ways to identify prospective customers. In reality we need to become more “creative” especially with this downturn in the market. We need to maximise the use of online tools as this is what most of our customers are already using. An example of this will be that initial contact may not be by traditional methods such as a phone call but instead, maybe an email or text? This should then progress to a conversation and later, a face to face visit.
Some critics may say that this will never work – but the proof is in the pudding and in the team I am currently with our top consultant use these tools extensively with great results. Many of the customers they call are to busy to pick up the phone but through Twitter, text, LinkedIn, Facebook and emails they seem to make that initial contact which is the hardest to get and from there they are in.
I am not saying that Cold calling does not work – we just need to now become more “creative” and think outside the box.
So what are your thoughts on this??? Text, email, Facebook or Twitter me, or just pick up the phone and give me a call 🙂
Alicia Sumich – Group Manager, Business Development