Digging up leads for multi-functional devices can be trying at times, and especially if you're new to the business.
If you've just landed a position with a company that sells multi-functional copiers most likely you've been given a list of accounts to call on.
These accounts will consist of existing accounts and named accounts (accounts that you'll need to crack). With the existing accounts it will be pretty easy to book an appointment, but how about those "named accounts"? How the heck can you get passed the gate keeper to speak to Mr. or Mrs. Right?
You could make phone call after phone..... and this isn't a bad idea. My personal approach is if you can't get them on the phone for reasons such as "just stepped out", "in a meeting", "out to lunch at 4PM", it's obvious they don't want to speak to you. Here are some of my fav tips for constant contact.
1. Put them on a bi-monthly call, sooner or later you'll catch up with them.
2. Vary the times that you call, early (before 9AM), mid day, and then between the hours of 4:30 and 5:30PM
3. After you've made your first call to the DM and left a message, send them a letter in reference to why you are calling, and a letter of introduction. Make sure to mention of mutual accounts that they know or they do business with.
4. See if you can get the email address of the DM, if so, send one email and don't become a pain in the ass with multiple emails. Use the subject line of "Sorry I Missed You". This will get the email opened in most cases.
Here's a little trick I learned and it won't work for every account. After a few phone calls (not a large account), I couldn't get the name of the DM. I checked the web site and all there was a fill in box for the contact us page. In windows explorer I right clicked on the web page and then selected the "view source" code. I checked the code and wouldn't you know it, there on the contact page was an email address that I could use. Later that day, I found out this was the email address for the DM.
5. Send something different, be creative. Instead of sending a letter via regular mail, better yet send it via Next day delivery. It will get opened and plan a phone call for the day after the letter arrives.
6. If you have some promotional items, pack them up in a box and UPS them along with a letter, make sure you call them the day they get the package or a day later. I once sent a box of drinking glasses to an account, I followed up a few days later and I was able to secure an appointment. That appointment led to a sale months later of 9 copiers.
7. Go to LinkedIn and see if they have a page, if so look through their contacts to see who might be able to introduce you to them. Get familiar with who they know and who they do business with!
8. Schedule a drop off of some kind, I once ordered 100 plastic waste receptacles, had then inked with my company name, my cell number. I dropped these off with the brochure along with a note "here's a brochure about our latest system, if you're going to round file this, I also provided the waste receptacle for you". Point is, be different, get noticed, stand out in the sea of other sales people!!
9. Ask the gatekeeper what is the best time to call Mr. or Mrs. so and so.
10. If this is truly an account you need to crack, get there early and drop off a box of Joe and doughnuts. Sooner or later the DM will see the treats and ask where they came from. Is $15 to much to spend to have the DM pick up the phone? I think not!
The key is to be persistent, try to be the turtle, slow and steady will get you your appointment. Fast and furious will only turn the potential client off.