This is the fourth time I've revised this blog, the original was posted almost three years ago, the last update was about a year ago and just today I added some new content for cold calling. ENJOY!
If you'd like to read the previous one please click here
So, you've just been hired and you manager states that you need to go out and cold call and you said "WHAT"? Some of us enjoy it and most of us would rather have a bad day at the office instead of cold calling in the field.
It’s the COLD CALL, I like to call it GOLD CALLING! It's usually the day from hell or the day to find some GOLDEN accounts. If you've been doing it as long as I have, you've had success and have found some of your best accounts this way!
I must say the most daunting task is to open a door where you can’t see what is on the other side, will there be rejection or jubilation! Most times it will be rejection. Get use to it, its part of the job and comes with the territory. Attitude, Attitude and more tude will help you overcome the rejection and plow ahead. You always must keep in mind that you are there to give them a better solution or a better way of doing things, and if they are not interested then that’s their loss!
What, I hate most is a NO SOLICITING sign on the door. Full speed ahead right? You may want to think twice about this and send the owner or CEO a fedex letter or package. That will get their attention.
Here are a few tips to get you going.
What I like most, is that in most cases I can gather additional information by just looking around the office. I can remember one manager once telling me
that you need to ask them if you can use the lavatory (even if you don't) and you can then get a better look at what they do and what type of equipment they are using. I've never used that and probably never will!
Tip: If someone won't provide you with a business card, get out your phone and take a picture of the company name on the business directory.
Make Quality Cold Calls
Make a plan to visit those companies you'd like to do business with, but what's more important is to make sure they have a paper intensive workflow, they have a minimum of 25 employees. If you're involved with wide format you can bring down the numbers of employees to five or so.
Before you’re on you're way, do some research on those companies via the Internet. Find out the name of the CEO, CFO or the principal, find out what they do and who they do business with. When you're in the office, ask for help. “Can you help me? I'd like to know who is the person who takes care of your copiers or documents”, then ask for additional help such as “When I speak to him or her, can you help with some additional information so I can be prepared when we speak” Your main objective is to get the “right” name and you also may want to ask what the best time to contact that person is.
Find a way to get the DM's email address, one of the pitches I use is to simple say "would Mr or Mrs. Jones prefer and another phone call or would it be ok to email them", most will happily give you the email address to forgo another phone call from you.
You can also check out the companies web site to see if there are any emails. Pay attention to the naming sequence of an email address that appears on the web site. You may see another contacts email address but not your contact, you can take the naming sequence and figure out your contacts email address. ie: Sandra Brown is Bsandra@somecompany.com, your contact is Robert Downs, you would then use Drobert@somecompany.com.
As soon as you get back to the office, send an opening letter and some literature. Be specific when you are going to call that person such as naming the date and the time of the phone call. Many sales people don't send anything by mail anymore, and that's a real shame because I believe that by sending 10 mailers a month you could double your sales.
Follow up call
Remember that date and time that you gave them for the follow up call. Use it to your advantage and stage your call at the precise time you said you would. Even if you don’t get through, the message will leave a big impression that you followed up when you said you would.
Create Interest in the first 5 seconds
Hello Mr. or Mrs. Smith. Our company specializes in the cost reduction of wide format blueprint systems. Depending on what equipment you have now, and your objectives you may want to consider taking a look at our cost saving devices.
ABCC (Always Be Cold Calling)
Over the years I have found Cold Calling to be the best way to find new business. Try some vertical market cold calling next time. For instance let’s say you want to focus on the AEC market. Do the research on the Internet in your territory and pick out ten firms that you think would need your services. Vertical Market Cold Calls are awesome, the more you do, the more you’ll become proficient in their needs and applications.
Tip: Ask the receptionist for help, state that you're new and your objective is to just get the name of the correct contact person.
Instead of leaving a brochure and a card, maybe you leave a notepad, a pen and some candies along with your card. I did this a few times, I went to one of the print shops that I do business with and asked them to create 100 note pads (statement) size with company log0, my name & number, and then provided company logo pens, business cards and asked them to shrink wrap one pen, one notepad, a few candies and one business card. With that I had something unique and different to drop off and in most cases I got the information I needed to make a follow up call!
Here's some additional links about cold calling: