New Business Cold Calls

New business cold calls

With the advent of all these social channels available to agency new business people and the ease of sending an email, I suppose its no real surprise to hear that there are fewer new business cold calls being made these days, but the reply we got from one CMO recently was really quite revealing.

A True Story About New Business Cold Calls

One of the Manifest team had put in a call to a CMO on behalf of a PR agency we are working with. Over many years with us this particular new business director had perfected a paradigm breaking introduction that he uses quite often to very good effect.

“Hi, sorry for bothering you, I’ll bet you get hundreds of calls from agency new business people like me, but I wonder if you have a spare five minutes?”

To his surprise, the CMO replied …

“As a matter of fact, no, I get very few new business cold calls these days. Most agency new business people tend to spend their time trying to connect with me on LinkedIn, sending me emails telling me about some insight they have into my market or liking my Tweets! It’s actually quite refreshing to hear a voice, so go ahead, let’s have a chat, as I was thinking about my PR account the other day. Tell me about your agency”. You see, when people (you maybe even) say “everyone hates cold calls” they are wrong. No one HATES cold calls. What they (and I and you) really mean is that we ALL hate crap sales people!!

A Good Result for a New Business Cold Call

Well, the new business cold call went very well, we booked a meeting and our client is currently pitching for the account, but thats just an aside really. It’s his reply that was really interesting because it really backs up what we’ve been seeing for a good few years now. Here is the state of the market in approximate numbers.

New Business, New Paradigm

Twenty years ago, to find an opportunity we needed to speak to ten decision makers and to speak to ten decision makers we needed to make 100 calls. In 2017 things have changed quite dramatically. From 100 calls we can expect to get to speak to maybe four decision makers.

Many agency new business people will back this up. The main reason for this is that many blue chip companies now keep their head office or marketing telephone numbers a very well kept secret and the number displayed on their website and other sources is a call centre. These call centre CANNOT put you through to marketing.

Because of this many agencies have decided that the telephone is no longer as useful a tool as it once was, but the opposite is true if you persevere. Because it IS still possible to get hold of these people, it just takes more guile. We have a tool, for instance, that is a LinkedIn plugin which gives us people mobile and direct line numbers.

The good news is that our conversion upon actually speaking to a marketing or PR decision maker has improved dramatically from far fewer contacts being made (we used to consider a 10% conversion rate good whereas these days we expect at least 25%); to the extent that we firmly believe it to be by far the most effective method of new business lead generation if you are looking for £100k plus accounts.