When Does Cold Calling Work?

I don’t generally suggest cold calling to my clients – I recommend using marketing to generate a sales funnel of leads, so that you have warm prospects to follow up. If they do decide to use cold calling, I do suggest they get a thick skin and be prepared for plenty of rejection!

But recently I have seen two examples of door knocking work extremely well. I was in a client’s office on an industrial estate when a lady from a national bank called in with details of their “Free Business Banking for 25 months” offer. Both my client and I were interested – him because he handles large volumes of coins, and his local branch was closing. Also, he pays high bank charges for the coin handling so free banking at a local branch was doubly attractive. Me, because I work with a lot of small businesses who would also be interested.

The second one happened when I was working at home, and a young man from Hello Fresh knocked on the door. Now, usually when I am working I do resent being interrupted by anyone, but he was wearing a Hello Fresh branded apron, and I was familiar with the brand. He also was offering £15 off a £35 box of 3 meals – and I was faced with yet another week of meal planning, so the timing was perfect.

So, what can we learn from these two successful examples?

1. The Brands are Well Known

The companies were known to me before the call – so their marketing had already reached me, and the calls were not completely cold. If we had not heard of them before, they would have had to work though “Know-Like-Trust”, which would have taken a lot longer.

2. They have a Compelling Offer

Free business banking for 25 months is longer than any other bank in the UK, as far as I am aware. The discount from Hello Fresh made the cost of their meals equivalent to buying the ingredients myself, so both were compelling offers.

3. They Reached the Decision Maker

By approaching small businesses on an industrial estate the bank knew they would find many of the business owners on site. Hello Fresh has a good chance of finding home cooks at home in the day (though they would miss out on many of the busy professionals who would be out at work). This can be more difficult in larger companies, where there are more “gatekeepers” on reception who will see their role as protecting the management from sales people.

4. They are Targeting the Right Prospects

Both companies know their target market and where to find them.

5. The Sales People are Knowledgeable

The sales people were all personable and pleasant, without being pushy. They also had detailed product knowledge, so were able to answer our questions on the spot. In the case of the bank, there were two ladies, so one was able to call on the specific product knowledge of the other. My client also pointed out that small business owners were more likely to be receptive to cold calling as they have to sell themselves.

Is it time to consider some cold calling for your business?