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Everyone hates a sales cold call

- Ring ring
- Hello?
- Hello are you interested in our marketing services, we are brilliant, we have loads of experience and get great results…
- Click, beeeeep

We’ve all had them, we all switch off as soon as their spiel starts and then we all hang up.

Cold calls are one of the most annoying things: they disrupt us and give us no value. So when James, my creative director, enrolled me on a HubSpot course telling me that a big part of it was ringing lots of people, I shuddered.

But on the course we quickly discovered that we wouldn’t be cold calling (phew). Instead, we’d be discovering what’s known as a warm call. A warm call is a well-researched 10-15 minute conversation where no selling takes place.

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So what do we talk about? Well, there’s the thing: we don’t talk much, but listen. We ask a question and listen to the answer and take on board what is being said.

Dan Tyre, employee number 6 at HubSpot and the course leader, certainly knows his stuff. He has built many companies; some have failed and some excelled. This gave him real insight on what works and what doesn’t. One of the main things that he found works is: helping. Remembering we’re a growth agency and so not pushing a marketing pitch but assisting companies to grow. Helping a lead make a decision with digital marketing, giving value along the way.

So this is how the calls go - we listen and help. If the person or company we called has a problem that we can lend a hand to, we set up a further call that explores that problem more deeply at a time convenient to them. No-one has 45 minutes for a call out of the blue that they weren’t prepared for. But a scheduled, focussed call that adds value is a different matter. And if the problem raised is one we can’t immediately help with, we can offer pointers that may help by email, following the call.

The most important thing to helping, is care. That means listening actively and being prepared. How many times do you see ‘Hi [company name] representative’ or ‘Dear Sir/Madam’ on an email? It’s really not hard to find a name on a website and it can make all the difference.

I’m now a lot happier picking up the phone: calling prospects and leads where I know I can add value to their company.

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