Why cold calling can hurt your brand.

Imagine a warm, humid afternoon in Chennai (not very difficult). You are stuck behind a million vehicles waiting for the shining star miles away to turn from red to green. The Sun God decides to accompany you on your wait. Your phone rings and you pick up without bothering to look at who is calling you. An overly earnest and enthusiastic voice wants to know if you would like to insure your non-existent car with XYZ company. You hang up on her fuming about the nuisance that telemarketing has become, and swear to never approach this company for any insurance scheme. What’s worse? You’ve lost respect for the organization for employing such tactics.

This is a classic example of a trusted and popular brand’s fall from grace. Cold calling has never been a desirable marketing strategy from the receiver’s perspective. The company gains nothing by paying court to its customers this way. Engaging in cold calling strips a brand of its originality as the customer associates all such brands together. Additionally, when faced with such repeated annoyances from an organization, especially when it is evident that the company has not done its market research, the company tends to lose its potential clientele too. So, at the end of the day, it might be counter productive for the brand to engage in cold calling (unless the objective is to end up on their ‘blocked’ list).

Another major problem with this approach is that it could present quite a misleading picture for the organization as well. Some recipients of these calls might ask the caller to “send more information to review and get back about.” More often than not, no information ever “gets back” to the company. Therefore it proves to be a fruitless exercise, and a waste of manpower, resources, and time.

“Hard sell” is definitely an option when the focus is just on selling wares, and the brand image is not something the company is particularly concerned about. However, it does not work when the brand hopes to build an intimate connection with clients and establish an image of credibility. In an age when companies are vying for the customer to recollect their brand with a smile, cold calling (which is outwardly an easy marketing gimmick) might invert that curve to a great extent.