The “Do Not Call” list is a PLUS for smart businesses

Last week in the Wall Street Journal, Wendy Bounds wrote a column about why the “Do Not Call” list doesn’t stifle your business.

I’d take it one step further. The “Do Not Call” list is actually GOOD for smart businesses.

Why? Because all the marketers who aren’t paying attention will just look at their feet and sing “Woe is me” about losing another media. Yes, the telephone is effectively, just another media.

The thing is, cold calling is one of the worst medias there is.

  • You don’t have a warm prospect.
  • You don’t have an appointment.
  • You’re interrupting whoever picks up, more often than not.

What about that says “I just lost a good prospect”?

People HATE cold telemarketing calls. Some people even seem to hate it when their credit card company calls to verify a charge – and those are people trying to protect you (and themselves), they aren’t even selling anything.

The smart business finds a better way to use the phone.

Pre-recorded messages that help your prospects / clients.

Inbound phone answerers who answer the phone and know what they are talking about. Not press 1,2,0,1,1,267 and then hold down the 0 key to get a person who you can’t understand very well.

Chasing a prospect results in the same thing that chasing anything else does: the prospect running away.

Cold calling is sometimes compared to direct mail, but there is little to compare.

  • Cold calling forces the prospect to deal with you on YOUR schedule. Direct mail is opened on their schedule.
  • People answer the phone because it rings (or not, more likely these days). Direct mail gets opened because it was done right and looks like something interesting.
  • The cold caller takes action on your marketing message by getting torqued at you and hanging up. The person who gets your direct mail has to take action to show they are interested, otherwise it’s a simple toss-it-in-the-trash thing.
  • Cold calling is all about interruptions. Direct mail interrupts nothing.
  • Cold calling is about selling to someone who doesn’t think they want what you have, looking for a way to say no or just hang up. Direct mail only attracts the interested party, a person warmed up to the idea of your product or service, looking for reasons to buy, or say yes. Looking to solve a problem, fill a need, or satisfy a want. Cold calling does none of that unless you just get lucky.

Of course, there are plenty of other ways to generate warm leads other than direct mail, but if you think about it, any sort of lead generation process (like direct mail) is an ATTRACTION process. Cold calling is anything but. Replace “direct mail” with your favorite attraction marketing method or media in the above list and you’ll likely find that it works just fine.

Lead generation marketing attracts qualified people who are interested, not ticked off people who  waste your time on the phone and get annoyed with you before they might become interested.

Let the other person complain about the Do Not Call list hurting their business.  Meanwhile, go out there and sell something to the person your marketing attracted.