No one likes a cold call.
The cold caller is only interested in following their specially-crafted script, subjecting the listener to a barrage of NLP tricks and objection handling tactics.
It isn’t a conversation; it is a verbal onslaught.
That is why people put down the phone (or at least mentally switch off) the moment that they feel the hard sell approaching. Sorry mate, I’m not going to fall for that one again.
Now, don’t get me wrong, a decent percentage of cold calls are effective. They remain a valid marketing tactic because they give the caller an opportunity to get their foot in the door and warm up a prospect. Once you have had an initial call with someone, the second call is never quite so cold.
Cold callers feel that the end justifies the means – the numbers genuinely stack up.
Now, as a content ghostwriter, I would like to compare the phenomenon of telephone cold calling with what I would call “content cold calling.”
There are (sadly) many B2B companies out there who think that the same hard sell tactics work well in a marketing content perspective. Everything has to be neatly wrapped up in a tight sales storyline with a compelling call to action at the end. When a prospect reads it, they will warm up to the brand that little bit more.
In theory, for the first few pieces of content this might be true.
But when you subject your audience to an endless stream of cold(ish) sales pitches, their once warm interest will slip into the deep freeze. With online content, you can’t warm up each individual like you can on the phone. You either decide that you want to go to that warmer, deeper level (with everyone) straight away, or you write cold content ad infinitum.
If you keep writing the same “cold” sales pitches, you will lose 90% of your audience within a year. I have seen it happen. That is actually why many people see their audience diminish rather than increase. I grew my personal audience to 42,000, so I am qualified to comment.
Stories are undeniably for selling, but in a subtle way, and most definitely not with a sledgehammer. If you draw an audience in with emotion and reason, they will come back for more. If you share something of yourself, they will be intrigued. If you tell them why you care, they will examine their feelings themselves.
You want an audience to grow that little bit warmer with every piece of content, and not abandon you for good because they are reading the same old recycled tripe about why they should buy from you.
Sorry, but cold content will never work like a cold call does. People respond to warm (gentler) content far better in the long run.
You can’t survive on converting a few brand new readers for ever.