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Cold Calling can be an effective way to promote your web development or marketing agency business. There are a few factors that will determine your success in a cold calling campaign and the number of converted customers vs. the overall costs.

Having a Viable & Re-Occurring Service

The biggest factor to be able to sell a service using any sales method will be if that service is viable for its audience. In order to justify the cost of a cold calling campaign you will want to make sure that you’re offering a service that your end client will be interested in as well as a recurring element to that service. A cold calling campaign selling only websites will not be as profitable as one that is selling marketing services as well as design and/or development.

Offer Something that has Value

A good way to increase your conversions on a cold calling campaign is to offer the prospective businesses you are pitching something that has value. In the case of a marketing and web company, I have found that setting up a business seminar can turn an uncomfortable cold calling pitch to simply a call confirming an appointment. I feel that many business owners may be more reluctant to the offer of a “web based” seminar, but this still be be a viable option when the possibility of setting up in your office or a hotel conference room is not possible. I have seen cases where the person calling is offering some sort marketing material or informational packages. The problem with this model is the person agreeing to accept the “free gift” may not have the authority and / or the gift is accepted without any real interest in your service.

Calling with a Predictive Dialer

Making effective use of the person’s time you have calling is key in being able to justify the cost of conversion with a cold calling campaign. Every time the person calling gets a busy signal or is sent to voicemail is a lost opportunity to convert a new customer. A predictive dialer will use built-in intelligence to determine if there is a human that has picked up the call to maximize efficiency. GoAutoDial is an effective, low cost predictive dialer solution that has packaged calling minutes included in their plans.

Creating the Right Messaging for the Call

An effective message when calling is critical to the success of your campaign. A short script outlining the basic message is helpful, but at the same time the person calling should not sound like they are reading from a card. I find that just an introduction to the decision maker with a proposal to meet and discuss business and marketing strategies in person works. I find that you will have a higher level of success when the businesses you are calling are in or around your geographical base of operations.

Getting to the Decision Maker

Anytime you are calling even a small business, there is a high probability that you will not be talking to the person in charge of making financial decisions. The first part of the call should establish whoyou are and what you have to offer very briefly. It is necessary to build a good rapport even if the person who answers your call is not the decision maker.

Using a CRM to Manage the Sales Process

It is critical to being able to manage your sales process after the initial call. In many cases followup will be required to turn an interested party into a paying web and / or digital marketing client. There are many available systems both free and paid that that can help manage this process. The one I have used in the past is the HubSpot Sales CRM. This is a free online CRM that only requires payments for the “add-ons”. With this system, you are able to track the lifecycle of a client all the way to a paying customer.

Picking the Best Target Audience for Your Cold Calling Campaign

In any possible case, targeting local business will give the caller an edge over one calling long distance. An agency calling businesses in Seattle, will have a better “close rate” if they have a geographic presence in Seattle. Some considerations when defining a “target audience” are as follows:

– Will I be able to get to a decision maker? I try to avoid franchise businesses as there is almost no chance to be able to get in contact with a person who is authorized to make a business decision.

– Is the industry type suited for the type of services I am offering? When I am building my list for calling, I am first defining the “business category type” I wish to target as well as define a specific radius of those businesses related to the agency I am calling for.

Once you have a good list of what types of businesses you wish to target, you will then need to go about obtaining the data.

Getting Relevant Data of Businesses to Call

An area where I have seen many cold calling campaigns fail is from the lack of relevant business phone numbers and data. Obtaining both relevant and quality business information is critical to being able to find both the right type of clients and ones that will most likely agree to your proposal. This data should include phone numbers, website address, state, city, address and zip code and business type at the minimum. A more advanced data list will contain sales volume of the business as well as owner contacts. I have found InfoUSA to be a reliable source for paid business information.

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