For several years now, I’ve thought about cold calling for affiliate sales. However, I’ve never really promoted a product or service where cold calling makes sense, and quite frankly, cold calling is outside my comfort zone. Recently, however, I’ve been given an AMAZING opportunity. I have been chosen to be the only affiliate to promote a very profitable service in the B2B segment. How profitable? I have the opportunity to make more than $1,000 on just one sale. And I’m the only affiliate promoting it. And the company that owns the product is currently spending $0 on promoting this highly profitable service. This is the opportunity of a lifetime.
In any case, this big of an opportunity may not ever come around again, so it just might be enough for me to get outside my comfort zone and do some cold calling. Sure, I’ll still do my regular thing by driving sales through websites I’ll develop, CPC campaigns, social media marketing, email marketing, and all that other good stuff, but I feel cold calling is the perfect marketing method for this particular service, especially since it involves B2B sales. The last time I was involved in B2B sales was many years ago.
My Introduction Into Cold Calling And B2B Sales
When I graduated from college, my first job was as an Account Manager at the large computer reseller CDW. Now, for those of you who don’t know, the job title “Account Manager” is usually just a fancy name for being a full time cold caller, especially when you’re new to the company with zero sales experience. Someone has to start at the bottom.
In any case, for 2 years of my life, I spent 5 days per week prospecting and making on average 80 cold calls per day. I was assigned medium to large businesses in the state of Georgia. I would call the IT departments at all these companies, introduce myself as the new Account Manager for Georgia (there were actually dozens of us), and pass off my contact information so that they could send a quote my way the next time they had to make an IT purchase.
To be honest, I hated cold calling. I always dreaded the thought of cold calling on my way to work and when I was actually on the phone, I was horrible at it because I was so damn nervous all the time.
In spite of being a sub-par sales guy and sounding like a nervous school girl on the phone, I sold more than 15 MILLION dollars worth of product in the 2 years I worked there. Unfortunately my pay was about 0.004% of that (unreal), but that’s a whole different story!
I quickly learned that cold calling, at least in the B2B segment, is incredibly powerful. I was a sub-par nervous sounding sales guy and still sold millions of dollars worth of product. Just imagine if I was GOOD at selling over the phone!
That $15,000,000 figure has always remained with me. Every time I hear someone say “cold calling is dead!”, I can’t help but to think they are mistaken. Maybe times have changed in the 10 years since I last made a cold call, but it couldn’t have changed THAT much. Right?
Well, I’m about to find out.
Why I’ve Decided To Start Cold Calling Again
One of the things I say on this site quite a bit is to only follow your passions in life. If you don’t enjoy what you do, you’ll either never succeed or you will succeed but still be miserable. And yet, here I am telling you that I’m thinking about trying something that I already tried in the past and hated. What gives?
There’s a big difference between my days at CDW and what I’m doing now. Not only do I have an incredible amount of freedom to do what I want and when I want, but I truly believe in this particular service I will be promoting. When I was at CDW, I didn’t really care about computer equipment, I didn’t like my bosses listening in on my phone calls and critiquing me, I didn’t like the pressures of meeting arbitrary sales quotas, and more importantly, I didn’t believe in the CDW business model (sorry CDW!). Basically, I was selling something I didn’t believe in. You’ll never enjoy selling if you don’t believe in the product your selling.
So not only do I truly believe in this new in-demand service I’ll be promoting, but I have the freedom to promote however I see fit. No bosses looking over my shoulder, no co-workers listening in on my phone calls, no arbitrary quotas – it’s just me. And heck, if I make 10 calls and don’t like it anymore, so be it! I can stop anytime I want and resort back to my online marketing tactics exclusively.
My First Strategy Has A Twist
In order to ease my way back into cold calling, I’m going to do something a little different. I’m going to purposely call outside business hours and get voicemails. I’m not even going to leave a number for them to call me back. What I will do, is give them my website address where they can get a free demo copy of the service I’m promoting.
Here’s my line of thinking on this… One of the reasons I love affiliate marketing so much is that I don’t have to deal one-on-one with customers. That might come off as rude, and I assure you I get along with just about everyone, but I simply have an introverted demeanor. The fewer human interactions I have, the better, especially if I can make money without ever speaking to them.
So, I feel that by purposely calling after hours and leaving voicemails, it’s like email marketing on crack. Everyone listens to their voicemails, so I already know I’ll get a 100% “open rate” on every voicemail I leave. I will quickly introduce myself, state why I’m calling, and give them the URL of the free demo they can sign up for. Once they sign up for the free demo, I get credit for the sale if they end up purchasing, even if they call the 800 number of the company sales line or talk to anyone else.
By calling at night, I can also reach a high number of potential customers. I have a near unlimited number of businesses to call and pitch this service to, so by calling at night and leaving a 30 second email, I can reach far more prospects than I otherwise would have if I called during the day. My ultimate goal on my first call would be to send them a free demo copy anyway, so a voicemail could easily accomplish the same thing. This is a very in-demand service – many in the industry simply don’t know it exists.
A/B Split Testing Results
I will attempt the above method for a week or two and see if it generates any sales. After that, I will go back to simply cold calling during the day and trying to physically talk to the gatekeepers, decision makers, etc. I can then compare and see which one gives me a higher return for the time invested.
If things go well enough, I may even be able to hire a sales rep to split commissions with. As I said, this service can generate over $1,000 per sale (easily), so opening a small office and hiring someone to join me in the cold calling could dramatically increase my earnings very quickly. At which point, I’d hire another rep, then another, then another.
This Section Reserved For Future Updates
Interested to see how I do? As time goes on, I will share my experiences, successes, and failures here. I just got started, so give it at least a couple weeks and I will get this post updated.