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I’m not ashamed to admit it – I make cold calls. I find it an effective and efficient way to introduce our company and myself to new prospective customers.
If you’re like most business owners, you probably hate receiving cold calls. My question is – why?? Are you one of those people who is so busy and so important that you can’t be bothered? In almost all cases, you’re not as busy (or as important) as you think you are (sorry to wreck your day).
As a business owner, I rarely get annoyed by cold callers. Sure, some of them drive me nuts – the robot-like caller from overseas selling a product they clearly know nothing about or the person that continues to call me hourly even after I’ve given them my preferred follow-up time-line. But for me, a few bad apples don’t spoil the bunch. When the call comes from a professional – someone who has researched my company and determine that what they sell might be of interest to me – more often than not, I enjoy receiving the call.
I’ve actually received many insights and have discovered many new products – some of which we now use – by taking, listening to and asking questions of the folks that cold call me.
The web is a continually evolving medium. To be successful, you have to stay on the leading edge of it. Even if you’ve done a moderately good job building a website, optimizing it, tracking it, etc., there re changes coming down the pipeline and you should fight complacency and learn more about them.
You already have a relationship with an interactive marketing company? So what? We’re not talking about carpet cleaning services. We’re talking about something that has a direct impact on growing your business and it’s changing on a minute by minute basis!
While it may not be worth your time to proactively ask for advice from other vendors (and your current marketing company would be sad if you did), you probably should take 5 minutes to listen to what another online marketing company has to say. If I were in your shoes, I would. Many online marketing companies call us! They fail to figure out who we are before starting in with their pitch. Do you think I stop them? No way! I ask them every question in the book.
Don’t assume your current Internet marketing company is staying up to date with things. Many don’t. They grow quickly and become complacent (just like many web designers still using tables instead of CSS).
That cold caller on the phone is probably hungry. If they’re good – and about 2 out of 10 are – they’re likely representing a company going above and beyond what others are doing in attempt to persuade you to make a change from the status quo. No matter how good you think you’re in-house team or your current interactive marketing agency is doing, there are other opportunities out there. Take 5 minutes and listen to the person on the phone. It’s worth it.
You won’t be the only business owner doing this. There are people far busier and more important than you following my M.O. I remember calling Springer Mountain Farms about two years ago.
Spring Mountain Farms is a pretty big company that sells chicken to other big companies – folks like Chipotle, Chicken Out and many others. Springer Mountain Farms also sells bottled water. I was absolutely amazed when I left a message for the CEO and he called me back the morning. I even expressed to him how surprised I was that he found the time to call me back.
He went on to tell me about all the marketing they were doing and some of it was very cutting-edge – like using 2D bar codes scanned by cell phone cameras to send consumers to promotional websites. I had heard of this technology, but never met anyone in America actually using it. I asked him how they got into the 2D bar codes and he said, “from taking calls and spending time to speak with people like you, Ben.”He told me that many of their best marketing ideas came from conversations with cold callers.
On a personal note, I cold called a bottled water delivery company several years ago. The owner took my call even though he told me that he almost never takes cold calls from “internet marketing companies.” We went on to establish a great working relationship. We’ve redesign his website, which when we met him, was a full flash website and invisible to the search engines. We’ve tracked all of his yellow page print ads. We manage his pay-per-click campaigns and his email newsletter. He sent me a holiday card telling me that it must have been fate that he took my cold call – that we are the best marketing partner he’s ever had.
Think about this the next time your secretary tells you that Ben Landers from Blue Corona is on the phone. One call and 5 minutes can change everything…
About The Author: Ben Landers is the President and CEO of Blue Corona, a data-driven, inbound internet marketing company. Submit an inquiry to book Ben to speak at your next conference or event.
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