Saturday, 29 January 2011

Is Cold Calling Making a Comeback?

I know this is a bit off-topic for me but I can’t hold myself back.  I have to rant just a little bit.  So, when did cold calling become popular again?  Maybe this is just a Dubai phenomenon but I’d love to hear if other people are seeing an upsurge in annoying, non-invited calls on their mobile phones.  I get it that marketers are pulling out all the stops and it’s really difficult to rise above the cacophony of messages flying around the real and virtual worlds but please, target your markets more carefully.

Cold calling clients…it’s never been a good idea in my books but when you do it you better know your stuff…especially who you’re calling.  I got a call the other day from a hotel conference manager saying he wanted to share with me the great deals they had on meeting room bookings… “for all the big conferences hitting this region.”  Well, I might be inclined to book a small boardroom for my writing workshops but I certainly wouldn’t need a conference hall that can accommodate 1,000 people.  Then, I had a call from a restaurant manager at a very upscale hotel inviting me to be their guest for dinner so they could share with me the details of their VIP membership program.  O.K. buddy.  I might accept your invitation for the free dinner but I’m a freelance writer.  There’s no way I have the budget to buy a membership at your swanky club.  It was the same type of approach a time-share company would use.  Very tacky and not the way to find and attract the sophisticated clientele that could afford the price of admission.  When I declined his invitation he was dumbfounded but then proceeded to ask me if I could give him names of some of my colleagues who might be interested.  I think not!  The list does go on but I won’t bore you with the details of the influx of other calls I’ve received.

Marketing your business is a skill that requires careful research and strategic planning.  I could go on and on about "qualified leads" and "identifying motivators" but that would be another post. I know calling prospects is a big part of growing a business but all I'm saying is that you should know who you're calling...if not personally or through a referral at least through a very targeted list.  If I am included amongst large corporations and high level executives I can only conclude that there’s a flaw in the strategy…or, the universe is sending me a message…”You will be rich and famous some day.”  Yes, that’s got to be it!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I hate being cold called but I always try to remember that it is the most horrible job and try to be nice! Trouble is, being nice just encourages them and I'm pretty sure they tell all their friends who do cold calling for other companies! Sometimes a simple "click" is the only answer.