Good afternoon Art. Had a quick question for you. One of my new reps had asked what information I could give for his review on cold calling tips, instruction, and helps. He is looking for help in running a better cold call in the field. HARVEG
HARVEG, thanks for the reply. Thought I would turn this into a blog for your newbie rep and I'm sure other P4P'ers will chime in.
There was a time when I would knock on every door. Back in the Eighties that was thing to do because everyone was in the market for a plain paper copier. Can you believe that's how we used to refer to them?
The knocking on every door bit changed when Canon developed their first "PC" plain paper copiers, they were cheap to buy, expensive to run, but the demand was there for those that did not want to pay thousands of dollars for a copy machine.
Today, I still do walk in cold calls, maybe not as many as I should, but I still do them. Here's some rules that I follow for cold calling in the field:
- 75% of my cold calls are planned, meaning I schedule them into my calendar. The accounts that I schedule are the ones that I can't make any headway with phone calls, emails, mailers, or Linkedin
- My main focus of the cold call is to get the Decision Makers name and the receptionists name.
- Once in the office, I will scout around to see any existing equipment.
- I avoid companies that are not paper intensive or low volume. Dentists (unless it's a Dental Group), Law Offices that only have one Attorney, Doctors (unless it's a Medical Group), Insurance Agents (single), and there might be a few more, but can't think of them right now.
- I will pass up any building or company that has only a few cars in the parking lot (except architects, engineers, contractors).
- I will cold call every company that is paper intensive, usually larger law firms, medical groups, architects, engineers, contractors, and or any company that has many cars parked in their lot.
- I introduce myself first, and then ask for the name of the person that makes the decision for IT or imaging equipment.
- I try to make every cold call fun! I will comment on the weather, maybe a recent bit of news or even state, "this is the first time I've every stopped in a was curious if you could help me".
- I will honor no soliciting signs, as much as I hate them, I will find a way to contact them other than cold calling.
- If the receptionist offers up the opportunity to speak with the Decision Maker right then, I will accept and wait for the audience with the DM.
- I keep every brochure and marketing information in my car, just in case it's needed.
- When leaving an appointment, I will scout around to see if any other businesses are worth stopping in. I will mention that I just had an appointment at that location and what we were offering that prospect or existing client.
- I will name drop every chance I get when cold calling, thus I just did this a few days ago when I cold called an account. I made them aware that I do business with so and so. What this means is that if I cold call and architect, I will tell them that we also support these architects.
I try to do twenty five of them a week, most times I don't hit that number. But, as we know, we can never stop prospecting. Just the other day while I was drive home from a late appointment, I saw a new custom home builder that I never noticed before. I stopped in and sure enough they were new to the area and they were in the market for two systems. When I walking out, I thought, what if I was the lazy type I would have never found that opportunity.
Here's something cool also, one of our new reps was out cold calling and got a pretty big deal by stopping in a place I would have passed up. Just goes to show you, that anything an happen once you're out there. Hope all of this helps!!