Why cold calling is an inefficient way of selling print

Posted by Matthew Parker

“Get your schoolbag ready.”
“Get your schoolbag ready.”
“Get your schoolbag ready.”

It’s hard work getting my daughter ready for school. Even when it comes to doing the simplest things, she needs constant reminding.

Sometimes it seems like I’m telling her to do the same thing again and again.

In actual fact, it’s not just my daughter who needs constant reminding. If we want people to take action, sometimes we need to tell them something again and again.

Buyers require an average of seven reminders before they take action

Printing-sales-person-cold-calling

No matter how good your cold calling skills, there are more efficient ways to get your message out to prospects

If you are relying purely on cold calling for your sales efforts, that means you need to pick up the phone an awful lot to make the sale.

Those calls are going to take a lot of time. Here’s a simple question about time that may make you sit up and think.

How many effective calls can you make in a day?

Let’s break this down a little. When I call, I need to pick up the phone three times in order to get one worthwhile conversation. The worthwhile conversation will take time as well. Sometimes it can take as much as 30 minutes or longer.

I reckon that salespeople are lucky to achieve one effective call every 30 minutes. That means they can only make 15 effective calls a day. That figure assumes that they are not interrupted by day-to-day production problems, they aren’t attending meetings and they don’t need to take coffee breaks!

Most print sales people tell me they can make around ten effective calls a day.

Print sales people need to do more than call

Printing companies that use a range of marketing and sales strategies are more likely to achieve sales from prospects. They will have better control over their sales pipeline. Best of all, they won’t be tied to the phone all day.

Print sales people that rely solely on calling may not be making the most effective use of their time. They won’t have the same level of control over their sales pipeline. They may struggle to achieve their sales targets.

Here are three other reasons why cold calling does not make for efficient sales.

Cold callers force themselves on the prospect

If I receive a cold call from a sales person I haven’t planned the time for this call into my diary. The chances of me having enough time for a meaningful call are low.

In addition, the interruption may actually cause me to feel negatively about the salesperson or their company.

Naturally, this doesn’t happen all the time. Sometimes I’m glad I took a call. I may have learnt about an interesting company. But that doesn’t mean that an interested prospect will take action. Here’s why.

The prospect may not be ready to buy

It is difficult to time cold calling correctly. Even if a prospect is interested in you or your company, they may not have a suitable job coming up.

By the time they have the right job, you have to hope that they still remember you. Another cold caller may have been taken your place in the prospect’s mind.

At the larger companies, your prospects may not be the one to place the next job. This brings up another problem with cold calling.

You are only communicating with one person

At larger companies, you may need to go through the same cold calling process with numerous contacts. There may be several people who are all placing work.

That’s an inefficient way to sell. Remember the figure of 15 calls a day.  But is there really an alternative?

Surely, you have to be able to talk to a prospect to make the sale

I don’t believe that this is always the case. However, it is generally necessary to have to speak to a prospect to get best results.

But there is an alternative to cold calling.

Introducing warm calling

It’s so much better if you can ring a prospect who knows about you and wants to talk to you. Printing companies that have an active marketing strategy can create prospects like this.

My own at social media and marketing activities have created me a good pipeline of leads. You can do the same for your company.

It’s time to take action

Make sure you sign up below to get the other articles in this series. I am going to share practical strategies that I use. You will discover new, efficient ways to contact prospects.

However, the one thing I can’t promise is an efficient way to get children ready for school on time. I’d welcome any suggestions!
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P.S. Sign up to get the rest of the articles in this series.  You’ll also receive a free copy of my e-book “Ten Common Print Selling Errors and What To Do About Them” (worth £19/$29)

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