If you’re focusing on your blog posts and LinkedIn articles, congratulations—you’re doing exactly what you should be.

But in the “new world” of marketing with social networking, it’s easy to get lazy and lean too heavily on inbound calls and email requests. What happens when those incoming calls dry up?

There is still a place for traditional outbound marketing—or what I like to call “dialing and smiling,” where you pick up the phone and simply call people.

Many people avoid outbound calling like the plague. Usually, it’s because they don’t know how to do it correctly—or how effective it can be. They’re not comfortable picking up the phone and saying, “Hi. I’m good at XYZ. How can I help you?”

That’s because most people don’t realize that you should never cold call—and that the important thing is to do your homework on the company and industry before you call. Also, you should always be respectful of the person you’re calling, be relevant, and be helpful without selling.

At the end of the day, you’re never going to close 100% of your deals through a blog or a LinkedIn post. Even in the simplest online transactions, people still need a “human touch.”

Outbound marketing is not hard. Here is an easy guideline for making it work:

    1. Pick 3-5 vertical markets that you’re good at.
    2. Research the needs of 5 companies in each vertical.
    3. Find the right person to talk to at each company.
    4. Pick up the phone.
    5. Ask for permission: “Is this a good time to talk?”
    6. Say, “I’m good at XYZ. How can I help you?”

The key to success with outbound marketing? Serve—don’t sell. By offering assistance and asking questions, you can quickly find the contact who needs something. There’s not a CMO, VP of Marketing, of Director of Marketing in the world who already has everything they need to do business.

Follow up with an email that includes a link to your web page. Later, you can use Google Analytics to see if your contacts visited your website—and then you’ll know if your efforts are working.

In this day and age of social networking marketing, it’s important to strike a balance between inbound and outbound marketing. You still need both to survive. And if the outbound marketing is still too intimidating, try using an outbound marketing service that can do the “heavy lifting” for you.

George Weyrauch is the Principal at ROCK Creative Network, which helps marketing agencies find new clients through direct outbound marketing. He can be reached at 816-305-4728, or george@rockcreativenetwork.com.