5 Reasons Cold Calling is Still Essential in the Material Handling Industry

You are sitting in your car glancing over the final details of your prospect list. You can’t help but notice the “no soliciting” sign located next to the front door and become a bit nervous. Maybe you visited this company before and were not able to make contact, maybe you made contact but there was not a need for material handling equipment at the time, or maybe this is your first time out on the field and you are trying to develop a territory. No matter what, you are about to participate in a cold call. You gather your nerves and walk through the front door approaching the receptionist. She asks, “do you have an appointment?” You introduce yourself and explain how your company is offering material handling promotions and you would like to speak to an Operations Manager or a key decision maker in the company. The receptionist calls to see if the other party is interested, and you wonder is this another rejection. Then, suddenly they say, “yes…bring him in.” You meet the operations manager who eagerly says, “my only forklift is down and needs repaired, can you get me a rental?” Suddenly, you make arrangements to provide service on a forklift along with a rental.

The scenario above is unique and broad, but it is a perfect example as to why cold calling still works. You might read that cold calling is a dying selling style, especially with the enhancement of digital marketing, website testing, lead generation sites and etc. It’s easy to become complacent with the numerous outlets provided to generate a lead. Many times marketers work hand-in-hand with sales teams to develop forms, websites and further tools to gather as much information about future prospects as possible. That information is great; however, finding a potential lead is much different than making an immediate connection with your customer. Here are 5 reasons cold calling is still essential in the material handling industry.

  1. Provide a Solution to a problem – Like the scenario above, cold calling can present itself with an opportunity to provide a solution to a problem. In my story, the company’s forklift broke-down before the salesman arrived via cold call. The salesman met the demands and not only offered a rental, but also provided service needs. This type of scenario is not going to happen every time you cold call. In fact, it might hardly ever happen, but by cold calling you are creating an opportunity to help provide solutions to future customers. This helps accelerate the relationship process and provide credibility for your company. Plus, if your solution helped relieved their problem, you might have just solidified a new customer.
  2. Immediate Feedback – Your feedback is quick, distinct and effective when you cold call. You are not chasing emails or phone calls. In fact, you will know fairly quickly if this customer will be interested or not. This is nice because you will know ahead of time if yours or the company’s time was wasted.
  3. Create a Personal Connection – Solidifying a customer and generating clients is all about creating, implementing and maintaining relationships. Being able to talk one-on-one with a human being is still the most effective way to generate a connection and you can do this by cold calling. It’s an effective way to create relationships and implement personal connections without being misunderstood. Cold calling is not just walking into a situation without research. It’s doing the homework and gathering all the information you can about the customer to help generate a personal connection. If you are savvy, you can use this research during the conversation to help build connectivity and credibility.
  4. Higher Chance of Customers to Research Your Company – During a cold call you should leave a business card or company information behind for interested parties to have the best way to contact you. This is essential in case your potential contact cannot meet with you in person but can have information to research if they are interested. This is why cold calling is an effective method to gain awareness and recognition about your company. Most of the time the companies you cold call either do not know much about your company or are using competitors. Either way, providing proper information about your company will help Gardner interest and research.  Given the individual information is relevant, this is one of the best ways to get a person asking for more. Even if the initial cold call is unsuccessful, the right information could lead an individual to becoming a customer later.
  5. Cuts Through Noisy Digital Media – There are many ways to target a lead nowadays. Chat systems, website forms, landing pages, social media, lead generation tools are all examples of digital media platforms used today to gather information about potential clients. When all of this is done right, many times it will lead to more customers. However, it takes time to build relationships, content and awareness. To make noise on social media platforms you must reach new heights and come up with special insights that will capture a mass audience, and let’s face it that does not happen everyday. Even if your message reaches a lot of customers, most people won’t buy a product without having a conversation first. This is where cold calling comes into play.

There are plenty of articles that propose cold calling is dead, a waste of time and energy, and very difficult to land a customer. However, this is not true. Cold calling can still work. If managed and approached correctly, it can transform your company and your territory for the better.


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