Social Media Vs. Cold Calling: Dispelling the Myths of Cold Calling

Updated on May 30, 2017

“The evolution of social media into a robust mechanism for social transformation is already visible. Despite many adamant critics who insist that tools like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are little more than faddish distractions useful only to exchange trivial information, these critics are being proven wrong time and again.” - Simon Mainwaring

“Social media is a novelty and never going to amount to anything.”

Oh yeah?

Facebook now is the most visited social platform on the internet and the 2nd most popular form of internet advertising, generating over $8.81B in revenue in Q4 of 2016 alone. Twitter during the same time? $717 million.

Novelty… right?

At some point, old-timey sales “leaders” began spouting the idea of social media not being relevant as gospel, when in actuality nothing can be further from the truth. Even to this day, they hold workshops on perfecting the art of cold calling, snubbing the importance and the reach, thinking that these platforms are simply a fad and are playing second to “dialing for dollars” or other Gordon Gekko-esque mantras. Social media is the new marketplace for anything and everything people related, not the telephone.

Why do managers find so little value in social media while pushing cold calling? Largely because they know what has worked, but are completely inept in what currently does work. In the sales world, the higher the level of management, the less plugged in they are to the reality of modern sales methodologies. Boomers sit at the helm and direct to Generation X managers on how their Millennial sales staff should sell to other Millennials, instead of fully admitting they are clueless and bringing in people with the know how on selling to the modern economy. Be that as it may, data doesn’t have a generational bias and mapping current sales trends shows intimately what works versus what doesn’t.

The numbers don’t lie.

75% of customers use social media as part of their buying process. (IBM)

vs.

Only 2% of cold calls result in an appointment. (Leap Job)

Social media is about relationships, not numbers. If you are focused solely on numbers and place no importance on building relationships, your future in sales is limited and will not survive the technology onslaught that is impacting various industries that is replacing “order takers” with automation. In general, people still want a sales relationship that brings value, but on their terms and on their timeline. Given the shift in the buying process, failure to provide adequate relationships to prospects and clients through methods they find value in not only minimizes your overall effective reach, but also casts you in a less than respectable light as you interrupt yet another family dinner with your polished script and amazing deal on a widget.

Let’s say you can make 100 cold calls in three hours. Of those cold calls, say 20 picked up and of those 20, only three wanted to hear more about your product. Let’s be generous and also assume that you have a 50% closing rate. In those three hours, you only really touched three people and sold 1.5 of them. Some are perfectly satisfied with 1.5 sales per day, but in actuality, that number needs to be much higher to scale up your business to dominate your market. In less time, you could have put yourself in front of thousands of people who are currently in a buying process, having them come to you while begging for more info on your product or service. If you invested one hour on a social media campaign and the other two physically being face to face with people, you would walk away with more leads than you know what to do with. Inbound and permission marketing is the new norm, whether you or your managers like it or not.

To buy into the misguided myth that cold calling is a faster and more beneficial way to connect with people only sets you up for failure in sales. Cowards take the “easy” road and do what has always been done, using excuses to back up their refusal to expand their knowledge and listen to the voice of the customer. The customer ultimately holds the keys to the doors you want opened. Acknowledge that and reach them where they are.


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