Cold calling. You’ve done it a million times, and will probably do so a million more. But we keep hearing same the questions pop up in trending sales discussions and articles everywhere. Is it effective or is it outdated? Will we ever move away from it? Is there a better method? A practice endangered to extinction, social sellers everywhere are pronouncing cold calling nearly dead. With so much back and forth, what’s a salesperson to do? The answer isn’t to stop cold calling- it’s to stop leaving voicemails.
As every salesperson knows, making initial contact is the hardest part. Picking up the phone has long been the first step in this process. If someone answers your call, great. But when you’re sent straight to voicemail, that’s where things start to go downhill. It used to take about three to four calls to reach a prospect. Given our increased mobility and new modes of communication, the number of attempts has doubled. On average, less than 1% of calls get returned and less than 2% of those calls result in booked meetings. So what does this mean? It means that there’s a fundamental hole in the way sales teams are reaching out to prospects.
Communication is Broken
Simply put, leaving voicemails is no longer very effective. We’ve all been in the situation where, upon seeing a missed call and voicemail from a friend or relative, you choose to call back without listening to the message. “Did you get my message?” they ask. “No,” you reply, “but I saw that you called.” Unfortunately, the business world doesn’t operate in the same way, and your prospect is not going to call you right back. According to Business Insider only 33% of people listen to voicemails from business contacts daily, and only 18% listen to voicemails from numbers they don’t recognize. Meaning, four out of five of your cold voicemails aren’t even being played. I’m not suggesting that you put down the phone indefinitely. Real-time verbal communication is absolutely essential. But when you do get sent to voicemail dungeon, you need to be more strategic with your follow up.
As evidenced by text and email, much of our communication has evolved from verbal to visual. InsideSales reported that the top three forms of messaging that people respond to are email, office phone calls and cell phone calls. Clearly, people are choosing their email inboxes over their voicemail boxes. But even those are becoming inundated with mass amounts of generic messaging. As text becomes less compelling, what is the next medium that will catch, and hold, our attention?
It’s time to take a step back and re-examine our methods. Don’t let an unreturned voicemail slow down your sales cycle. Following up with email is still more effective, but even those can get lost in the mix. So how can you ensure your emails are not only being read, but eliciting more and higher quality responses?
Personalize Your Outreach
Putting a face to a name goes a long way. When someone sees a smile and hears a voice, a sense of trust and a layer of objectivity is established around that individual and their context. Not like in an email, where a text-based barrier makes it difficult to accurately express yourself in letters, fonts and whitespace. And more often than not, your messages are being misinterpreted. With video, this is unmistakable. You’re essentially unmasking yourself and gaining more credibility with your viewers. People don’t want to be sold to. Buyers want to be engaged on their own time, in a new way that’s more dynamic, less about products and more about their business application. They’ve gathered enough information on their own to form an educated opinion. What they need is an expert, trusted advisor and source of guidance. So how are you going to elevate yourself, get more attention and receive more responses? By personalizing your outreach.
Thankfully, we live in an age where new tools and technologies are making communication easier, more engaging and enjoyable. Video messaging allows people to record, send, watch and reply to each other whenever and wherever it’s convenient for them. Technology has advanced enough to the point where we’re not limited to recording videos on our webcams and uploading them to YouTube. Nor are we required to own expensive DSLRs to record high-quality videos. Look no further than to your smartphones. You use it every day, in x amount of ways. The practice of moving the phone from the ear to the front of the face is becoming less of a novelty, and more of a norm.
At OneMob, we practice what we preach. By incorporating video into our email outreach, we’ve seen increases in our open rates, click-through rates and higher quality responses. See how our customers are getting results with video messaging and contact us to learn more.