Cold Calling Clients - Is There Ever a Good Time?
Written by Jay Shapiro for Gaebler Ventures
If you're thinking of including cold calling as part of your marketing strategy ask yourself first about how you personally feel about getting such calls from strangers. Do you consider them a mild nuisance or a real intrusion? Is there ever a good time to cold call?
Cold calling has had a bad press in the past and to be honest it's still not hugely popular with either the recipients or operatives.
So how can you ensure that you and your company won't get a reputation as nuisance callers when the need to use cold calling arises?
Cold calling etiquette -
Whatever your reasons for cold calling clients it's imperative that you do so within acceptable time frames. Now this can be a tricky area - calling during the day may not reap the results you desire as the recipient may be out at work. Don't make the mistake of thinking that early morning cold calling will overcome this problem, it won't. Working people are getting ready to leave the house and won't take kindly to you taking up their time.
Your options are limited to the evening, but when in the evening is best? Not too early, if your prospective client has just got in from a long day at work the last thing they want to be dealing with is a call from a stranger. You know yourself, if you've ever worked a nine - five job, that you'll need time to wind down, have a drink and organize dinner before you even think of anything else once you get home. Call your client before they've poured that much deserved gin and tonic and it's likely they'll cut the call short.
Very few opportunities
In truth there are only a few windows of opportunity when it comes to cold calling clients. Most calls do take place in the evening. By some this is seen as a terrible intrusion and your call won't be well-received no matter what time in the evening you call. Some people simply never mix leisure time with business matters. Once they are off duty, so to speak, they are off duty.
Know your target
As in other areas of business it's really imperative that you know your target audience as well as you know your friends and family. When it comes to planning your cold calling campaign it's vital to have this in depth knowledge of your prospective clients' demographic.
For example, if your target audience is young moms then you may be better off calling them during the day just after lunchtime or early evening when the kids have been put to bed.
Location and time zones
Where in the world are your clients? If you run a business with global outreach then you will have prospective clients living in different times zones. Don't make the mistake of timing your calls to your own time zone. Use an online time zone checker before you pick up the receiver otherwise you could find yourself being told good bye in the sharpest of terms.
It's still not everyone's favorite, but sometimes you might want to use cold calling as part of your marketing campaign - abide by common sense etiquette and make it as painless as possible for the recipient.
Jay Shapiro is a freelance writer based in the UK. Jay has a particular interest in the emotive aspects of the entrepreneur's character. "Alongside the nuts and bolts of business, the character of the person is often the ingredient responsible for success."
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