Some of you may have caught the film The Wolf of Wall Street (if you haven’t, well worth a watch!). It is a true story starring the charismatic Leonardo DiCaprio as Jordan Belfort, a New York stockbroker who makes his millions in fraud and corruption on the stock market.
I personally saw the film only 2 weeks ago, and there was this one particular scene that inspired me to write this subsequent blog.
SPOILERS ALERT! AVERT YOUR EYES IF YOU WANT TO SEE THE FILM!
It is the scene where Leonardo DiCaprio walks into the firm brokering penny stocks, he picks up the phone to make his first call of the day, and says the lines:
Jordan Belfort: “Hello John, how you doing today? You mailed in my company a postcard a few weeks back requesting further information on penny stocks that had huge upside potential with very little downside risk, does that ring a bell?”
John: “Oh yeah, I may have sent something in.”
Belfort then goes on to sucker John in to buying lots of shares into a dud company.
What captured me about this scene was not the sublime way in which DiCaprio can reel off an incredible sales pitch over the phone in just 60 seconds (although I do so wish I was THAT good), but the fact that the cold call started by DiCaprio asking the client about a mailer which he had been sent and acted on, which is how the lead came about.
Now just think. What if DiCaprio, or Belfort at the time, opened up that sales call to John and John did not have any idea of who Belfort was or why he was getting the call? What would have been the outcome?
Probably a very quick thanks, but no thanks and goodbye.
And that’s the point. Your cold call is only as good as the creative marketing that precedes it.
Now, that scene was played out in an era where the internet was just starting up, where digital and content marketing had not even been heard or perhaps even dreamed of, and mailing and cold calling was still the norm.
Today the sales and marketing landscape is much different. The contingent that argues for digital and content marketing is ever growing and the cold call is now treated as a dinosaur sales tactic.
In my opinion though, the cold call is just as relevant to today’s market as it was in Belfort’s time.
It is still the first port of call where you as a company can find out the client’s needs, the requirements they seek, how we can solve their problems, and how to build rapport. Nothing can replace that confidence someone can portray by speaking over the phone, or even face-to-face for that matter.
Here are 4 ways to improve your cold calling.
1. Do send out information first so the client knows who you are
Be it a mailer, brochure, leaflet, e-shot, personal email etc. it will always pay dividends to send out some information to your potential client prior to calling.
At the very least, it will make them aware of you. At the very most, if your initial marketing is up to scratch, it will engage the client and create interest.
2. Use the Call-to-Action
Always give the client a reason to contact you. Whether it is by incentive, a no obligation quote, a voucher, a tear off and return form, never forget to include a call to action on your communications materials.
Whatever incarnation your call-to-action takes, it is the driver that allows clients to take their interest further.
3. Follow up with more marketing
Following up to your initial piece of marketing with even more marketing is another good way to make sure the message has hit home.
The benefits of doing more marketing prior to the call is that if the initial information had not been seen or had been lost in transition, then it gives another chance for the information to make its way to the customer. On the other hand, if it has been seen already, then it just helps reinforces the message.
For us personally, it can be anything from a simple e-shot, to some samples or a case studies portfolio.
4. The Call
By now, your cold call shouldn’t be so much as cold, but more of a lukewarm state if your marketing has done what it has set out to achieve.
I’m not going to teach how to do a cold call here as there are many many different ways you can approach this topic, but Susan Ward has given a detailed approach here if you want a read.
I personally prefer the soft sell, the reference back to marketing materials we’ve sent before and the sell on benefits. Certainly I wouldn’t be a fan of the DiCaprio/Belfort high pressure sales tactics, but some can make it work for them, albeit in a not so ethical manner.
If you want to know more about how creative marketing can help with other areas of your business just give me a shout.
Until next time!