Cold calling works

Cold calling - what to look out for when acquiring new customers

Which does ______________ mean Cold calling? We mostly find the term in the marketing area, where it is about "acquiring" new customers. The origin of the word can be traced back to the Latin term "acquire". So it is primarily about a special form of Customer acquisitionwhich, however, is associated with restrictions. While the acquisition generally describes all measures for the acquisition of customers, the cold acquisition is about the First contact with the customer. So a contact without this being preceded by a business relationship.

This is what awaits you today

Customer acquisition with cold calling

Even if “cold acquisition” is criticized, it is still necessary. After all, through them, a first step is taken towards the potential customer. So there is neither a business relationship nor any other personal relationship. The customer has also not yet expressed any interest in the company's product. For example, because he did not express a wish to be contacted at any trade fair or event. Of course, companies have to adhere to rules and concepts with regard to cold calling, because these have been tightened over the past few years. What is prohibited and what is allowed during acquisition? How does cold calling work? And what is the connection between cold calling and GDPR?

How does cold calling work in practice?

Actually, one can speak of a certain art at this point. Because it is important to catch the customer “cold”, to advertise him and to interest him in his product. Of course, that also sets a certain standard Sales talent ahead. Other skills should also be available for these processes in order to be really successful. But the fact is that acquisition is of great importance for every company. Acquisition is generally very important, especially in the initial phase, when a company does not yet have regular customers or has only a limited range. So it's about Acquisition of new customersthat keeps a company going. And of course about addressing a potential customer directly.

Forms of cold calling

Very often, when one speaks of cold acquisition, one first thinks of unauthorized Telephone advertising. However, this is the supreme discipline and an art that not everyone has mastered. In addition to the Telephone acquisition there are therefore other ways to reach new customers. Even a barker is someone who does cold calling. For example, when he stands in front of his stand at the weekly market and addresses randomly passing visitors. We go one step further when we think of addressing strangers in public. However, this type of acquisition is quite unusual and is rarely carried out.

The also belongs to this genre Home call, because there was no contact with the potential customer here either. Unfortunately, this form of cold acquisition is very time-consuming, especially since not many people can be addressed. Nevertheless, we think, for example, of the typical vacuum cleaner representatives, as they were often to be found a few years ago. We also find cold calling in the area of measure upwhen potential customers are addressed there directly. After all, this is where interested parties romp about, which is why this form is very popular. The classic mail advertising Also belongs in this category, i.e. sending e-mails or mailings. Popular, but linked with many legal components and therefore rather difficult to implement. It is interesting at this point that the inclusion of search engines is also part of cold calling.

Is cold calling prohibited?

No matter how well a seller can sell his product, he too has to abide by the law of unfair competition. Because: Cold calling is prohibited if it is not about companies. The measures for cold aquisition are limited in Paragraph 7.

“A business act by which a market participant is unreasonably harassed is not permitted. This applies in particular to advertising, although it can be seen that the addressed market participant does not want this advertising. ”Quote

It is therefore worthwhile to deal with competition law before taking your chosen measure. If in doubt, you should contact a lawyer and ask. This protects against expensive legal disputes later.

What does the legislator say about unfair competition?

First of all, it should be clear that salespeople must address a complete stranger and sell something to them. This fact alone is not perceived as pleasant by everyone and many tend to feel annoyed. In addition, many sellers are now using so-called Pusher methods work, unsettle the customer and urge them to buy without them wanting to. Based on these circumstances, legal regulations were drawn up which apply uniformly. However, a distinction must be made between establishing contacts in the B2B and B2C areas.

Cold calling B2C - private customers

in the B2C area it is permitted to send addressed advertising mail to potential customers by post. Unless they expressly do not want advertising. Contacting us by phone, email or fax is also only legal if the customer has given permission. This can be given by signature, for example at a trade fair, or by registering for an online newsletter. Competitions or discount programs could also be used by companies to obtain approval for telephone contact.

Cold calling B2B companies

Between making contact in B2B and B2C, there are many similarities. However, a company can also contact another company by telephone. Provided that the assumption is justified that this could have a legitimate interest in its own services or products. So a company can sort by industry and Telephone acquisition operate. Daily calls and penetrating contacts are still to be avoided and in any case not very effective.

Cold calling - what is allowed?

Many companies buy addresses from providers of some kind in order to be able to contact them by telephone. However, it is important that the addressees have agreed to be contacted for advertising purposes. Unsolicited advertising calls are absolutely forbidden and can have costly consequences. A company is therefore not allowed to grab the next phone book and make a single call. Anyone who is contacted without having given their consent can initiate legal action.

Unsolicited telephone advertising

Advertising calls are only permitted if the person concerned agrees to them. According to the General Data Protection Regulation, in short GDPR, those affected can also be used for telephone marketing without consent. However, only if the company has a legitimate interest. In doing so, various data protection principles must nevertheless be observed, for example the purpose connection, data economy and the right of revocation and information. Although the GDPR loosens the marketing measures a bit, there is still no complete freedom:

  • Affected persons must be able to reject unsolicited advertising calls. If calls are made anyway, this amounts to a violation of data protection.
  • The person concerned must be given comprehensive information on the data stored about them.
  • In general, only those data may be stored that serve the purpose and are necessary for this. So very few!
  • Called parties must be able to identify the caller. Advertising calls may therefore not be made with a suppressed number.

If you want to avoid unwanted advertising calls, you should not make your phone number publicly available. The release to third parties should also always be checked. It can quickly happen that you also give your consent to advertising calls with declarations of consent. Anyone who is contacted should be informed by his Right to object Make use. Individual numbers can easily be blocked by the telephone provider. If these measures do not help, the calls can be reported to the Federal Network Agency. This becomes active from a certain number of complaints.

Cold calling by telephone - this is how it works!

Those who use telephone acquisition correctly can potentially win many new customers. The right procedures are important here. But how do you do cold calling? Of course, we refer these tips exclusively to the B2B area, as it is forbidden in B2C.

Step by step through the telephone acquisition

Step 1 - Define the target audience

Only those who know exactly who might be interested in the product can reach a corresponding number of potential customers. So it is important to filter carefully before picking up the phone.

Step 2 - Research the contact details

Before calling, advertisers should find out more about the company so as not to jump into the conversation "coldly".

Step 3 - Interview preparation / guidelines for cold calling

Good preparation for the interview is important in order to get to know the industry. So you should think about beforehand which objections the potential customer could raise and which arguments would be appropriate.

Step 4 - The Secretary

Calls in larger companies usually go to the secretary. And she knows exactly how to block "annoying" advertising calls. The goal, however, is to be connected with the company's decision maker. For this reason, it is often expedient to ask for direct contact with the supervisor. If the question about the reason for the call is asked, this could be skilfully avoided. For example, by giving the impression that you have already been in contact with the decision maker. Or by presenting the reason as a “complicated issue”. It could also work if one insists that the matter is highly confidential and needs to be discussed in person.

Step 5 - Talk to the person in charge

If you have made it into the management of the decision maker, you should contact the prepared interview guide hold. Important: the first impression counts. It is very important to open a conversation positively. Your own project and the company should then be briefly presented. It is important to deal with this in a few sentences and still design the cold calling personally.

Step 6 - Send information material

In this step it is important to find a successful conclusion. This could amount to sending information material to the decision maker. Or to announce to the decision maker that he will be in touch again a few days.

Step 7 - call back

If not expressly prohibited, you can call again after about 2-3 days. In this it can then be found out to what extent there is interest in the product. Ideally, an appointment should be made.

Cold calling tips for implementation

Cold calling is a challenge. If you are not yet practiced in this, you should first try out less important companies. Initial discussions should always be kept short, the essentials should be on the point so as not to annoy the other person. For the next call it is useful to take notes during the conversation. You should remain authentic yourself, but appear human and personable at the same time. Objections should always be viewed positively.

As a salesperson, too, it is important to ask questions in order to find out what the customer wants and where his priorities are. Good salespeople create an equal discussion during the conversation. In order to create closeness and respect, the person you are talking to should always be addressed by their name. Also, it should never be just about the product and the main idea shouldn't be to sell. Telephone acquisition is a numbers game, it takes persistence and the ability to learn from mistakes.

Systematic acquisition through CRM software

CRM systems are absolutely essential nowadays to work successfully in cold acquisition. This is the only way to control the mass of conversations. With a good CRM system it is important to be able to get a quick overview of the customer. There are now CRM providers for all company sizes or technical requirements.

Conclusion cold calling

The fact is that cold calling is more than just calling up any lists. For companies, selling is important at this level. However, advertising is always associated with rules and, above all, with the data protection regulation. In the B2B area, however, it can still be used relatively freely if there is a legitimate interest on the part of the potential customer. In B2C, many things are now forbidden if customers do not consent to being contacted in writing.