Is Cold Calling the Way?

A lot of companies look to cold calling to find new leads and boost their sales funnel. However, it’s not quite the most efficient way to prospect — for every sale you make, you likely had to spend hours reaching out to unresponsive people. So, is cold calling really the way?

No, it’s not. I’m going to start this by answering the question right away. It doesn’t work, and it leaves people feeling irritated instead of interested in what you have to offer.

That leaves the question: What can you do to replace this outdated method of communication? Well, I have a trick up my sleeve that you are going to love. I call it warm calling.

 

What’s Warm Calling?

I can see your confused faces now as I put forward the concept of a warm call. Let me tell you now: It is the way forward when trying to get new clients and expand your business. The way it works is quite simple as well, and all you need is at least one delighted customer.

When you have finished an event and the client is happy with it, make a note to contact them a week or so after. When you get in touch, make sure to ask how they are and have a quick catch up about the event. Then, ask them if they have any friends that might like to use your services.

Most of the time, you’ll find that they are excited to be able to provide you with some new customers. After all, people love to help — it’s in our human nature. They want to feel as though they are part of the success of your company, and this is the perfect way to make them feel good. You can set up an introduction with your client’s friend through them, as this will make them feel as though they are part of the process.

If you do this after every successful event, you will end up with a respectable number of new clients, and you can keep getting them to recommend you. It’s a polite way to reach out and customers will love helping you to get better reach. There are no losers here, unlike cold calling.

 

How to Get Started

If, for example, you host private events and want to reach out to the corporate world, there is a quick and easy way to do this. Speak to your clients and ask them what they, or their spouse, do for a living. If you discover they work for a corporate company, keep it in the back of your mind and ask them if they can get you in for an event at a later date. You’ve also got social media, which is always useful regardless of whether you are in private events.

Social media is the gateway to success and it is where you will find reviews, recommendations, and more information about your client. Do your homework as a salesperson and take five minutes to really learn more about your potential customer, their interests, and what they are posting.

Warm calling is the way forward; cold calling is dead. It’s a stone-cold fact because people don’t like it when they are bothered by someone they don’t know on the phone. It’s all about using what you already have to expand, and it can do wonders for the growth of your business.

 

With 30 years of experience owning event planning, high-end catering, and design and décor companies, Meryl Snow is on a mission to help businesses get on their own path to success. As a Senior Consultant & Sales Trainer for SnowStorm Solutions, Meryl travels throughout North America training clients in the areas of sales, marketing, design, and branding. As a valued member of the Wedding Industry Speakers, she speaks with groups from the heart with warmth and knowledge, and covers the funny side of life and business.

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Using the Off-Season to Build Client Experience

(Editor's Note: Today on the blog, we welcome the return of frequent guest contributor Jennifer Taylor of Taylor'd Events! Read more about Jennifer at the end of the post!)

Your client experience is, essentially, your business. By treating your clients well and going above and beyond with them, you open your company up to positive testimonies and potential referrals.

Oftentimes, the peak season can keep us so busy that above-and-beyond isn’t in the scope – if anything, you just want to make ends meet. Sound familiar? If so, then it may be time to take this upcoming off-season to get organized and streamline your client experience.

As your year’s weddings wind down and you find more time for development, take a step back and analyze your overall client experience. If you have a former client who you trust will be truthful, consider reaching out to pick their brain. Ask yourself:

  • When does your client experience start?
  • When does it end?
  • How are your communication habits with clients?
  • Do you generally receive good feedback?
  • Do you keep in touch with your clients after the wedding?

The answers to these questions should not only give you an idea of where you currently are, but also guide you to further steps you can take to improve the client experience. For example, if you routinely send phone calls straight to voicemails, it may be time to kick the habit and start answering those calls. Communication is key to a positive experience, so don’t assume that great work will balance out your lack of email responses. Be professional and treat your clients the way you would want to be treated in the same situation.

One of our favorite ways to build client experience is to simply stay in touch after our agreement ends. Planning a wedding is one of the most intimate things one can do and, after working with a couple for a length of time, we like to consider them as our friends. This could mean keeping track of their birthdays and sending a sweet card or even sending over a small gift for their one-year anniversary. If you’re more of the digital type, it could even be as simple as a shout out on social media – anything to show that you care!

The perk of developing these client experience procedures during the off-season is that you’ll be primed and ready to use them once the wedding season starts back up. If, for example, birthday cards are your thing, be sure to grab their birthdays from the initial consultation. If you’re more into the anniversary idea, mark your calendar for one year from their wedding date.

Although you’re probably pumped to spend your weekends enjoying the latest Netflix offerings or jumping on a plane to somewhere tropical, be sure you’re taking advantage of your off-season to grow your business as well. You’ll be grateful you did once peak season rolls around!

Jennifer Taylor is the owner of Taylor’d Events Group, a planning firm that specializes in celebrations of all kinds in the Pacific Northwest and Maui. She is also the creator of The Taylor'd Plan, a self-administered class for wedding planners to grow and improve upon their skills.