Cold calling: definition and success tips

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Companies, self-employed freelancers – they all need to attract new customers in order to be successful. Cold calling is a proven sales method, but there are a few things to keep in mind. Cold calling is sometimes viewed critically by both sides, both companies and customers, since there are some advantages, but just as many possible disadvantages. However, it is not possible without cold calling if the customer file is not to remain empty. Here you can find out how cold calling works, what different options there are and which rules must be observed so that cold calling is not prohibited.

Definition: What is cold calling?

Measures for customer acquisition in companies or the self-employed are summarized under the generic term acquisition. The term is derived from the Latin acquirere , which can be translated as acquire . Cold calling is a variant form of customer acquisition in which potential customers are addressed directly for the first time. The goal of cold calling is to really win completely new customers who previously had no relation to the product, service or company.

Cold calling represents the first contact between an employee – a salesperson or the self-employed person – and new customers. The main goal is to establish a business relationship and expand the existing customer base . The decisive feature of cold calling is that it is actually an initial approach to potential customers.

Various options are available for cold calling , which companies use in different combinations. These are the best known and most common forms of cold calling:

phone calls

It is the classic form of cold calling and a particularly widespread form: Telephone acquisition refers to calls to potential customers who are informed about offers, products and services in order to recruit them or to achieve a successful sale over the phone.

email or letters

The concept of cold calling can also be followed in writing. You too have probably found advertising letters in your mailbox or e-mail inbox in which a company introduces itself and praises the latest offers. This variant is popular because a large number of potential customers can be reached without much effort.

Direct approach

You walk through the pedestrian zone and are suddenly spoken to. This can also be a form of cold calling and represents the most direct form of initial contact. However, both potential customers and salespeople often find it difficult to address them directly as cold calling.

Targeted Advertising

Advertising is often not associated with cold calling because more direct forms of customer targeting predominate, but targeted advertising can also be considered a category of cold calling. For example, if a company advertises on Google for certain keywords and appears in the corresponding search results at the top of the page, this is an initial approach to potential new customers.

However, some of the cold calling opportunities are subject to rules and may be prohibited in individual cases if companies do not comply. Further down in the article we will go into these and explain what companies or the self-employed are allowed to do in cold calling – and what not.

The opposite of cold calling is appropriately referred to as warm calling. This is not an initial contact, but an attempt to resume a business relationship. For example, former customers whose last purchase was a long time ago become the target group again in order to revive business relationships.

The pros and cons of cold calling

The big and obvious benefit of cold calling is acquiring new customers and expanding the customer base. At the beginning of a self-employed activity, cold calling is essential to generate orders and achieve growth. Although warm calling can also be done here by first establishing and establishing contacts, it simply does not work without cold calling.

Another benefit of the cold calling model is reach. With the methods of cold calling mentioned above, almost countless potential customers can be addressed in order to generate the greatest possible awareness and distribution of your own brand. At the same time, every person addressed in cold calling is a potential customer – the greater the reach, the greater the order growth.

However, there are also disadvantages and points of criticism associated with cold calling. So the success rate is very low and it is hard, exhausting and tedious work to win customers through cold calling.

Cold calling is also unpopular because many people find it intrusive and annoying. This negatively affects the success rate and efficiency of cold calling and, in the worst case, creates a bad reputation for the entire company if it is only associated with annoying attempts at cold calling.

Tips for cold calling: This is how you succeed in acquiring customers

Cold calling is widespread, practiced in all industries and companies, but is still considered a particularly big challenge. If things go wrong, customers and orders stay away. The success of the company or the self-employment does not materialize. If the cold calling works, the business grows, more sales are made and awareness increases.

In conclusion, we have therefore listed some cold calling tips for you that can help you acquire new customers:

Define your target group

Before you get started, you should think carefully about who your target audience is. Your offer should match the addressed customer in order to actually have a chance to convince them. On the other hand, if a potential customer has absolutely no interest and no connection to your product, he is probably just annoyed by the attempt – which on the other hand is a complete waste of time for you.

Be brief

When cold calling, you need to get to the point quickly. Regardless of whether you are a private or business customer: Hardly anyone has the time or desire to listen to you at length. Briefly summarize the most important advantages and arguments and save yourself long introductions or far-fetched explanations.

Get specific

After the cold call, no questions should remain unanswered with the conversation partner. Therefore, explain all the important points about your product or service in a direct and understandable way. Be sure to pick up your counterpart at his or her level of knowledge. Don’t assume that everyone already knows a lot about a topic. Otherwise you lose interest right from the start.

Ask questions of your own

Cold calling is often wrongly conducted as a monologue. It is better if you let your conversation partner have their say and control the course of the conversation with specific questions. This creates a dialogue in which you continue to set the direction.

Do not be discouraged

Let’s face it: cold calling is no picnic. Learn not to give up. It can happen that you spend hours or days phoning around, reaching out to potential customers and getting absolutely nothing. Many attempts at cold calling are blocked right at the beginning of the conversation. This is frustrating. Keep going and keep your eyes on the goal.