Cold Calling Is Dead

If you are in the sales business, there’s a fairly good chance that you have had to do some telemarketing. If you are one of those people still desperately clinging to this method, this article is for you….

There almost is nothing worse than being interrupted during your dinner by an unsolicited phone call from a telemarketer. The only thing worse than that is being interrupted at work by a telemarketer. If you are still cold calling, I’ve got a new strategy for you. You’ll never have to cold call again. Are you ready?

Ten Reasons To Stop Cold Calling

  1. Your customers hate it
  2. Your employees hate it
  3. The avg. conversion is <3%
  4. The other 97% are ‘NotNevers’ (not now, not later, not never! *Click)
  5. You have to qualify Customers
  6. You are begging for business
  7. Stress causes a high employee turnover rate
  8. It’s just not cost effective
  9. Most people screen their calls
  10. You can easily make more money with inbound

What Else Can You Do & Is It Cost Effective?

My immediate answer to anyone about advertising (telemarketing is advertising, albeit shameless) is to implement an AdWords campaign. Most people don’t know much about AdWords, so they stick to what they do know like radio ads and telemarketing.

AdWords is honestly the very best way to generate good, pre-qualified leads and it’s fairly stress-free. Plus, it’s very cost-effective with an excellent profit margin. I’ll explain how to get going with that in a moment, but first, let’s talk about telemarketing, it’s inefficiencies and how you can easily transition to inbound with an ad system.

Why Telemarketing Fails & How To Transition To Inbound Marketing

There’s millions of reasons why telemarketing sucks, we could be here all day on that topic, but I’d like to point out a few key issues important to us as business owners, our employees and our clients.

As an employee, telemarketing is very stressful. Oftentimes, telemarketing companies will take whoever they can get. They believe it is simply a numbers game. They believe filling the seats and making 100-300 calls per day to the same 2500 numbers all week long, month after month, will ensure that they reach their goals.

Realistically, your employees will never give you 100% in a telemarketing company. You can throw free coffee, prizes, paid time off, etc. But the bottom line is: ‘If I hate the work I do, I will quit eventually because I’m unsatisfied.’ That’s regardless of extra incentives because they cannot fix the feeling telemarketing creates inside someone.

This is the same with the customer. You dread answering that ‘unavailable’ number. No matter how many times you ask them to ‘take me off of your list’, they just call back anyway.

You are losing sales, creating lifelong ‘non-customers’ and constantly hiring and training employees. 

There’s A Solution

I don’t want you to think this is a paid article, it’s not. I suggest AdWords because it’s my preferred advertising platform. Let me explain how I personally went from telemarketing to inbound.

About 6 years ago, I was consulting for a telemarketing company. They specialized in AdWords advertising for Realtors. They’d get out the phone book or look in Zillow and cold call every realtor they could find. There are several companies like this one, which means that the Realtors receive these calls all day long. They hate it.

After watching these people bomb on the phone over and over, I tried it out myself. I even tried the old ‘survey’ routine, which was more responsive but still difficult.

I found out that the company charged Realtors a $99 setup fee with a $99/mo recurring fee. I also found out that they were only spending $25/mo on their ads. So the first sale is a $100 straight to the company. They paid the telemarketers $75 per sale (this plus the initial $25 for Google was the setup fee) and the rest was profit for overhead.

He only had 3 telemarketers plus himself calling. They would make maybe 5 sales per day on a good day. I asked the owner why he didn’t use AdWords to advertise his business. It seemed illogical not to use the very product you’re convincing others to purchase.

In the same breath as complaining about costs and productivity, he lamented about making more sales. I suggested he try using AdWords and forget about telemarketing. He was very reluctant.

Reap What You Sow

I personally paid for his first ad. It was a bet we had. I won. I’m not going to lie, you need a professional to help you create your ad. The people at Google will gladly help you out with it over the phone, which is great. But, if you want to really attract qualified customers, you can pre-qualify them by using psychological buzzwords, a consultant or someone specializing in NLP can help with that.

Our first inbound on that account was not a realtor. As a matter of fact, no Realtors ever called. Ever. It turns out that wasn’t even a decent target market but practically all AdWords affiliates target Realtors.

Our first call was a painter from Tampa Bay and unlike the cold-calls begging for a hundred bucks, this guy wanted to spend $3500/mo. Imagine that. 3500/mo recurring every month from one account. It would have taken 35 cold call sales (that’s 3500 cold calls at least, plus 3ppl working for ten days.)

When I met this company, their net profit was $2,500/mo. From one week of inbound, they skyrocketed to $35,000/mo and they didn’t need telemarketers anymore. They could afford to pay one person 3 salaries to sit there and take the inbound calls. The inbound employees still got their commission (although AdWords costs became a factor in reducing the commission by $10, which everyone was perfectly fine with because they’d rather make $65 10x in one day rather than risk not even getting a bonus because it’s Friday and nobody is answering their phone).

Honestly, this is how a business should be. Everyone in the business looks forward to going to work and the customers look forward to taking your calls.

Why Inbound Works Better

Aside from obvious reasons, let’s look at an inbound vs outbound call and understand why inbound is so much more effective:

When you receive an inbound call, the customer is open and willing to listen to you. That stupid script you force everyone to read? Hopefully they memorized the important points and can now use those casually in conversation to close the sale. This isn’t chasing paper, this is mostly customers with a legitimate need for your services. Nobody’s time gets wasted. And you’ll see an increase in sales from 3% conversion on outbound to more than 80%. This takes a lot of stress off of your employees because they can personify the confidence you want them to fake when they’re telemarketing because they don’t have to sell it so darn hard. Think about it, who is naturally more confident: The salesman with an 80% conversion rate or the telemarketer with the 97% failure rate?

Sign Me Up

AdWords isn’t the only conduit for advertising online but it has the farthest reach and an insane amount of control over who you gets to see your ads. You can generate traffic to your website or phone number using keywords or phrases, you can choose what Regions/States/Counties/Cities  can see your ads or you can be aggressive and just outbid your competition for superiority.

You can make multiple ads to create multivariate optimization. Meaning: find what ads attract premium customers the best. Really, there’s no limit to what kinds of things you can do to drive traffic to your business and, you won’t anger a single potential customer in the process.

To sign up for AdWords, go to:

You can also go through Bing and several others if you prefer. Happy hunting and thanks for reading.

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