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Old 04-09-2012, 01:30 AM
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Default How to approach businesses

I mainly do residential customers but I am about to expanded into servicing local businesses. Any advice about approaching a new business cold turkey. For example, how do I present my services to the right person and get past the part-timer at the front. Any advice on approaching and how to speak with the right person would be hugely appreciated! Thank you in advance.
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Old 04-09-2012, 01:41 AM
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Here's a post I put together recently. Check it out, its got a lot of tips for cold calling businesses and even a part about how to "charm the gatekeeper" aka, get past the part-timer up front.

http://www.technibble.com/forums/showthread.php?t=34965
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Old 04-09-2012, 04:05 AM
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Thank you very much for the information. Very helpful, thank you.
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Old 04-09-2012, 04:15 AM
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No problem, Cold calling really isn't "fun" for anybody but... it's a pretty important part of the business unless you're one of those guys with "connections" and 50,000,000 facebook friends who all own a business and want your help... Sadly, I am neither so I must cold-call as well. Haha
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Old 04-09-2012, 06:29 AM
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Would you recommend starting with a cold call or would doing walk-ins work?
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Old 04-09-2012, 05:11 PM
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Personally I dont cold-call (phone) first. I would rather have a face to face contact. That way you start with them knowing you. Not a voice on the phone thst interrupted their payroll.
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Old 04-09-2012, 09:05 PM
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That will work great for me, I prefer to meet face to face. Thanks again for the advice.
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Old 06-12-2012, 11:03 AM
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Couple of things about businesses.......it's what we focus on.

*Referrals....find out some people that work there, and ask lots of people if they know them. Chances are if you do your homework and find out about a business, who works there, who the gatekeeper is...you probably know someone that know the gatekeeper or knows someone of importance at that business.

*Join your local chamber of commerce and start attending some business after hours events. Rub elbows with fellow business owners in your area....get to know people, get them to know you.

*Join a local BNI...this has been our biggest source of great clients. Excellent source of referrals..especially when you're targeting one specific client. I can't count how many times I've wanted to get the business of some specific local business...and I've asked my fellow BNI members about that business....I'll often get lots of responses...and land my client!
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Old 06-16-2012, 07:41 PM
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Go to local networking events and you will get tons of people. I decided to start going to a local group similar to BNI, the person who runs it also runs three other ones and since none of their chapters have a tech person the director allows me to go to all the groups but i only pay for going to one.
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Old 06-26-2012, 12:04 AM
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Haha. I'm bad for this. I can't even tell you how many cold calls we receive here in a day. But I'll give it to you from the boss' end (because I just so happen to be that boss).

I tell reception.. If it's a phone call and they ask for the business owner, manager, anything generic, hang up on them immediately. Don't even give them the time of day. They are now wasting my time and my money because yammering up my assistant or my staff is time spent not making me money. If I'm not making it I'm what? ________ it.

The next thing these smarty pants do is ask for me directly by name. It's not hard to do, it's on my website. Some of these get through, depending on who answers the call and how busy we are. They try to filter them out, but a crafty response can get them through (No, I'm not going to tell you what they are. You'll have to figure that out for yourself).

So, let's say they DO get me. I'm annoyed. I hear Mr. So and So. They ask if I'm the business owner. They're now wasting MY personal time and I don't have a lot of it. I've already shut down. You've got no more than 15 seconds before I slam the phone down: Make it count. In 10 words or less, you better tell me why I shouldn't blow an air horn into the phone or something.

Ok. Imagine someone walking in. It does happen. A lot. Same thing. I'm busy. I'm running a business to sell MY products and services. I'm not running a business to buy yours. If I want you, I'll come to you. You're wasting my time and my money. If you're coming to me the first sentence better be something to the effect of "I want to give you one million dollars" or "I can help you become more successful"

I know, it sounds like I'm a prick. Maybe I am. Remember, this is my baby. My business. My life. If you're on my turf, you damn well respect it and the love and energy that went into it.

So, now what? I had a lady in here the other day. She knew me because she'd done business with me. Her coworker had been in a week previous and I shut him down. "We do this and we do that and we do the other thing and we we we we we we". Fail.

Yet her, I knew her. She had left me a good review after we took good care of her over a year ago. After the initial "everything is working great, you guys were awesome" she set the trap. "I've got a deal for you, something that really has potential to grow your business and I'm going to give you 3 months free to try it. I know that you have a good business and great service and you stress the importance of supporting local business and..."

You have my attention!

A week ago a kid sent me an email. "What I offer through my business is temporary assistance with either work that has accumulated or endeavors that you’ve been wanting to work on but haven’t had the time. This could include help with: business research, advertising/marketing/communications, regulations, sales, administration, management, and more. Basically, whatever you need help with, we can probably help you with it....For more information about me, my business, and the services we provide, please browse our website at".

Ok, you passed business school only to fail grammar school. And one more thing. I didn't ask what he offered. At some point, far-be-it from me to figure out when, he presumed that I actually gave a damn. He had NO idea what, or who, he was dealing with.

Now, this kid was telling me about his advertising and marketing skills. Anyone see what's wrong with this picture yet? I go to his website. It looks like something my cat spewed up on the livingroom floor. It's even CENTERED. Oh my god. We used to do that in the 90s. It even has BANNER ADS. How many successful people do I know that want some twit that thinks there's value in a few pennies from banner ads? Successful people look for one thing. Other successful people.

So, this smart ass kid out of college that thought he had the world by the coat tails didn't end up knowing his arse from a hole in the ground. I responded back: "No thanks. If you're interested in knowing why I can tell you in a seperate email."

He writes back "Sure, I'd love to know". So I tell him. His price was far too high in comparison to what I could get in the marketplace. He's advertising marketing and sales, yet he doesn't even know how to sell his own services. Banner ads, website that looks like a dog's breakfast. He didn't know a darn thing about marketing because he failed to sell me. In fact, he failed so miserably that I couldn't even see the value in his offerings to refer him to anyone I knew. Essentially, how the hell is he going to help me grow my business or in any way shape or form benefit me? I'm already way beyond ANYTHING he can apparently provide, based on what I can SEE.

You know what this idiot did? He emailed back and started arguing with me. Going point by point down the list. "and business owners will typically take notice of the icons in a corner of each ad to know that that is done through AdSense."

Telling me how his clients love him and his rates. Really? Nothing about that on that joke he called a website. Telling me his rates are very competitive, telling me he kept the site simple to keep his costs down and "the ads are to provide another revenue stream for the business". He even created a strawman by twisting something that I said and handily defeated his own argument. He tells me ""The business concept is fairly unique and requires a little bit of reading to understand". WHAT?!?! So this punk doesn't know anything about business or sales either. He was just batting .1000 that day.

This was his crowning achievement. You ready for this?

"Also, it’s too bad that the rates are not affordable for you at the present time."

Now listen here, you little weasel scrambling for pennies from Adsense. I pay one of my consultants $450 an hour. You don't make that in a year on Adsense because out of the 15 people visiting your site a month only one clicks the ad like throwing loose change in your tin cup.

I shook my head. I laughed a little bit and I started to type. Then I thought wait.. Why am I getting involved and engaging this neurotic freak? Why on earth would I waste my time fighting a battle with an unarmed man?

I closed the window and forgot about it until I saw this thread. You may be wondering the point. The point is that you're getting a rare look at the other side of the fence and what goes through our heads (or some of us anyways). And, if you're serious, you can take what I shared, find what you need to know and sharpen your game to close more deals.

If you're thinking in your head "I already knew that" you're dead in the water before you even knock on their door.

Last edited by npinc; 06-26-2012 at 12:36 AM.
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