Why would a digital marketing agency use cold callers?

Do you have a quick answer for my question?


What am I missing?


I’ve been around long enough to know that I don’t trust anyone that doesn’t buy or use what they’re selling. I wouldn’t buy a house from a real estate agent that had never owned a home and I wouldn’t buy a Chevrolet from a guy that drives a Honda.


When I was 25 years old, out of college, done with my snow bum days, I was recruited into  selling life insurance and financial services. I literally fell asleep in the middle of the interview multiple times and somehow still got hired. In hindsight, it wasn’t really an interview, it was more of a sales pitch. Whatever it was, it bored the hell out of me.


Anyway, I took the position, paid to get my license and loaded up on suits and shoes from the thrift store so I could look the part.


I sucked.


After 6 weeks of “working” I still had not landed an appointment. I had burned through my warm market and had no one to call. At this point the sales manager came over to me and told me that, if I didn’t start using the scripts that I was fired.


(LESSONS: 1. Scripts work. 2. Don’t think you’re smarter than the experts)


I then proceeded to read the scripts with zero feeling or emphasis as I plodded through the last scraps of my list. Guess what? I got appointments!


I ran these appointments with my manager and guess what I learned? I had absolutely no reason to be selling life insurance and financial services. (…and maybe I didn’t really suck. YAY!)


Here was my situation and why I was so ineffective at selling these services. I owned my $2000 car outright. My rent was $250 a month and everything in that $250/month apartment could fit into my $2000 car. I had no clue why anyone would need life insurance or financial services. I could not relate to a 63 year-old millionaire with an ex-wife, 3 kids by her and 3 step kids whose East Coast private school college educations I was responsible for, while trying to keep a business afloat and pay for my 6000 square foot, turn of the century home. Why would someone like that, who definitely needed these financial services (perfect buyer), buy or take advice from me?


Digital Marketing Agencies….what do they do? They market digitally, DUH! To put it more simply, they get paid to attract prospects to their clients online so their clients can turn those prospects into clients.


We help people add more black to their bottom lines. Some of the folks that we can help are in the digital marketing space believe it or not. They know how to market but not how to sell. Fine. Makes total sense for each of us to have our niche.


Here’s my problem.


You put yourself out there as an expert, best-in-class, I’ll slay your dragons with both hands tied behind my back and charge you tens of thousands, digital marketer. Great! Good for you!


BUT…..When you need to get more clients you don’t want to use marketing, you want to use a cold caller. Why? Is that the best way you see getting new clients? If so, then you must really SUCK.


If you’re reading this and you’re not a digital marketer, you’re probably thinking, like me, how ridiculous it sounds that a marketing company would even think of hiring a cold caller.


You should see our inbox. Every freaking day…..


Typically, the requests come in from companies looking for help with client acquisition and they want us to work for straight commission. I will then ask, “What kind of marketing support are you providing?” Typical answer, “None. We want you to cold call.”


Yes, experts in “marketing” want to hire us to do the marketing and sales for them.


“So you want us to research potential clients for you, cold call them on the phone and get them to agree to work with you, the company that is going to charge them to utilize your “marketing services” to attract new clients for them, and for that you’re going to pay us 10%? Whoopee!?!”


We have entered the Twilight Zone.


Here’s the thing. We know loads of sharp digital marketers so if we were ever going to do that kind of work up front to bring in digital marketing clients (our efforts would not involve cold calling), we would just contract it out and load a nice commission on top for us that would be way more than 10%. We know how to attract clients on our own. Have you thought of that? How do you think you have come to us in the first place?


Believe it or not, when we confront them with this revelation a lot of them still don’t get it. The problem is that they put a high value on marketing and  no value to sales. The value of marketing is so high that they can’t even afford it themselves, so no wonder they need our help, they’re not even buying what they’re selling. Get me?


We just let them go on their way and hire some poor schmuck that it willing to do that kind of work. How well do you think this kind of person will represent their “brand”. The “Brand” that they have put their heart and soul into. The “BRAND” that they have hired a public beggar to promote.


What kind of clients are they going to be saddled with? Will they be loyal? Will they be willing to pay high fees for quality?


Of course not, they’re loyal for as long as it takes for the next cold caller to call and try to get their business and offer them a better deal. They’re budgets are tight and the longevity of their business is questionable.


A digital marketing looking to grow sales via cold calling on the phone completely devalues your value proposition. It devalues marketing  all together. Slap yourself in the face and snap out of it or get into another business.


I’d love to hear your thoughts.


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