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The Digital Business

Can social media replace cold calling?

Cold calling. You’ve no doubt been on the receiving end of a cold call. They always seem to come when you’re in the middle of doing something. They come out of nowhere, which is probably why they’re so annoying. Chances are, you’re not thinking about whatever it is they’re selling, so you’re forced to switch gears abruptly and talk about something you’re not prepared to talk about. Making the cold calls is just as uncomfortable as receiving them. You know you’re probably interrupting someone and yet here you are, doing it anyways. The good news is there’s a way around cold calling, thanks to technology.

I recently came across this article from Social Media Examiner about how startup company essentially replaced cold calling with online interaction. It’s a fantastic use of social media, as it allows you to interact with potential customers in the same way as cold calling without annoying them. The key is to watch and listen to the conversation and make contact when the customer is actually ready to engage with you. Like does, you can use search features in Twitter and searches in services like TweetDeck, Hootsuite and Google Alerts, to see when people are talking about something related your business or industry.

If they’re talking about a problem they are having with something related to what you do, that’s when you can jump in and offer them a solution. You can use the same techniques to monitor blogs for potential partnerships and clients. You stand a much better chance of getting a meeting or sales lead from someone who is already thinking about what you’re offering them.

Will cold calling ever really die? Probably not, but there are new ways to approach it. By monitoring the conversation online, you can start a dialogue that is much more organic and natural than just popping in out of the blue. Try it and see what kind of reaction you get.

Have you tried using social media to establish new client relationships? Do you think it could replace cold calling in your business? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.

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