Is Social Media Going to Kill Sales Cold Calling?

Are you still using cold calling for sales? Do you have a strategy when approaching potential customers over the phone or is it mostly a shot in the dark? Are you aware that you can use social media for sales, which has advantages over cold calling?

In order to answer these questions, let’s take a look at how cold calling and social media can help you with three of the most important rules of selling.

People Like to Buy—But Don’t Like to Be Sold

People will reject you when you try to force them to buy anything but will buy a product if they think it was their decision.

When you make a sales call, the customer is aware that you will do anything in order to make a sale. It’s important to make them believe that you’re only an intermediary helping them make the right decision. But in order to do that, you will have to keep them on the phone and gain their trust—most of the time, you only have a couple of minutes to do this.

In social media, all the free tools people use (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) will give them the impression that they are in control and getting most of the influence from peers or influencers. In fact, free comes with the price of advertising, which has great impact on our buying decisions. If your sales initiative contains advertising, but also something related to sharing, collaboration, entertainment, etc., your prospects will be attracted by the social side of it, adopt it, and get to know more about you, which eventually makes the sale easier.

Appeal to Your Prospect’s Basic Emotions

People buy based on emotions. Without even being aware of it, we buy things (from computers and cell phones, to houses, cars, and even enterprise software) for emotional reasons.

In cold calling, it is really hard to determine which emotional reasons push your prospect to buy your products or services, so why not target your customers? Targeting is hard because even if you know basic information about your prospects, this isn’t enough to filter their needs out properly.

In social media, people tend to create groups based on their interests, which makes it easier for you to target the right types of prospects. There are also tools that can help you gather feedback from customers or prospects that are very active in the social media universe. All you need to do is find the prospects with the profile you need online (e.g. communities, review sites, portals, etc.) and promote your products there.

Help Your Customers Find A Rationale For the Emotional Decision

The sale does not end when a customer makes a decision, rather, when he or she finds rational reasons to support the emotional ones. People need some kind of information (e.g. technical, pricing, etc.) that makes the decision justifiable from a rational point of view.

In cold calling, all you can do is mention some of the advantages of the product you just sold and follow up with a brochure and letter that customers will probably ignore. If they don’t get understand the rationale behind their purchase, they will realize that the purchase was probably not a very good idea and they will be reluctant when doing business with you again.

In social media, you can easily insert links to Web sites containing pictures, technical specifications, user’s or expert’s reviews of the product. Furthermore, your customer can share the information about the new acquisition with friends and family. This will not only help your customers feel good about the product they just acquired but it also generates free advertising for your company.

Your Goal Is To Sell, But There Are Different Ways To Do It

No matter how you do it, your final goal is to make your prospects buy what you’re selling. Educating prospects, sharing knowledge, etc. is nice but it only helps you sell. The method of communication you use is extremely important and can make your sales initiatives successful or not. In a nutshell, you should adapt to the way your prospects want to communicate with you—not the other way around.

What do you think?

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