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Old 02-12-2012, 12:50 PM
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Default Here are some Cold-Call tips for visiting Businesses.

Hey everybody, I see a lot of people having issues with how to go about cold-calling and such so I've put together a few tips that I have learned over the years and they work pretty well. Try em out and let me know how it goes for you.

As long as you get #1 first the rest fall into place.

#1 Charm the gatekeeper...
- What I mean here is, be nice to the receptionist or front office person. Whoever is answering the phone and saying Hi when you walk in the door is the first line of defense for this business. If you walk in and immediately ask for somebody over his/her head, you lose. Talk them up a little, make them feel comfortable so that when you give them information they don't just stuff it in the garbage can.

#2 LEARN THEIR NAMES!!!!
- I don't care who you are or how powerful you think you are, if you forget somebody's name then you will look like a jackass. Write it down!!!!

#3 Timing...
- There are really only a few hours every day that are really opportune for cold-calling.

(Mornings)
- You generally want to start about an 30 minutes to an hour AFTER they open. (9:30-11am) and be done before they start going to lunch.
- All employees have some sort of opening duties when they get to work, so don't interrupt those.
- Everybody hates having to wait to go to lunch, especially if its just some guy (or girl) trying to sell them something. Just don't do it... Stop an hour before lunchtime.

(Afternoons)
- Start roughly an hour AFTER lunch til an hour before closing. (1:30-4pm).
- Never go during lunch breaks, people hate being interrupted on lunch!
- People are generally happier and more receptive after they eat. Obviously this would play to your advantage.
- In most places, 5pm means quitting time and people don't want to be at work... So like the morning opening duties, don't interrupt their closing duties either and give them an hour.

#4 Repetition and persistence...
- Visit the same offices every 2 weeks. If you only go to their office once a month, you're obviously not that interested in gaining their business.
- Your first call will obviously take more time than any others because of introducing yourself, short explanation, dropping off flyers etc... the next ones just drop by with some business cards or pens or something and say hi.


#5 Keep notes...
- After every visit, take notes on a few things.
- Business Name (And their hours of operation)
- What time and date you visited
- Who you talked to (and their position)
- What you discussed (Be detailed, that way you have something to talk about next time)
- What is your next step (If it was your first call, next step is a followup in 2 weeks etc.)


There are a few other things I go by for personal reasons.
- Always wear a tie on sales calls, it makes you look professional and helps you look like you know what you are doing.
- Leave your bad attitude in the car!
- Ask lots of questions... Ask who they use and what they like or don't like. What can you do to help them RIGHT NOW...
- Be observant... Count the computers you see, count office doors as well so you're prepared for a next time.
- Never take your tools on a first visit. (Take a portfolio of some kind, I use http://www.thingsremembered.com/prod...639/156943.uts Its got a few pockets for your hand-out materials and a legal pad to take notes on... Mine has my business name engraved on the front because my wife bought it for me but you can get a decent looking one for about $20 at an office supply store)
- Always say please & thank you. You never know when it might be a dealbreaker for you.


-John
Stable PC Solutions
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Old 02-12-2012, 04:34 PM
coolercity coolercity is offline
 
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Awesome Post! Thanks!
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Old 02-12-2012, 05:00 PM
jimbojambo jimbojambo is offline
 
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Great post. Loving those tips keep em coming.
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Old 02-19-2012, 04:04 AM
RockIT Man RockIT Man is offline
 
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Thanks John! I have yet to do any cold calls. That is about to change.
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Old 02-21-2012, 08:06 AM
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Yes great post John.

I have always believed in walking the 'path of least resistance' wherever possible. You have certainly mentioned a few there..

In particular, choosing the right time to visit. I tend to prefer earlier in the morning for a few reasons:
  • it's not stinkin hot!
  • the decision maker will not be getting calls and distractions every 10 seconds.
  • there may not even be a gatekeeper on duty yet.
  • something about getting up early makes me feel good and more confident about the day (and sales calls)


I always cringe when I see / hear about sales people beating the pavement during the middle of the day.. by then most people have a million tasks on the go and it can be a hard forcefield to break through.

Tim Ferriss of the 'Four Hour Work Week' describes how he cut his 'sales' time by 90% by only ringing from 7.30am-8am & 5.30pm-6pm every day. He got incredible results for a fraction of the time.
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Old 02-21-2012, 11:50 AM
Dameize Dameize is offline
 
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Hmm this could be usefull... ive got some cold calling to do in regards to my selling leaflet space on thursday or friday...

Ill let you guys know how it goes
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Old 02-21-2012, 01:06 PM
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#6

- Bring donuts!

You know what they say, third bribe is the charm.
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Old 02-22-2012, 12:50 AM
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Before doing all of that..turn that "cold call" into a "warmer call". Do some homework first...find out about the business, find out who the boss is, find out who the gatekeeper is...or someone that works there with some influence. Find out who knows them...and ask for an introduction.

This is where networking with other business owners comes into play and works for you. Target a potential client..and ask around for a lead to get in there! You'd be surprised at how well it works.

Chances are (if you're not a cave dweller)...you know someone that knows someone that works there. Think about that for a minute.....I'll repeat it..."Chances are, you know someone..that knows someone that works there!"

Use your sphere of influence.
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Old 02-22-2012, 10:01 AM
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Great thread John, A+
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Old 04-15-2012, 03:10 PM
warrend110 warrend110 is offline
 
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Very useful ideas, would you recommend sending sales letters to the business owners also?

I have been reading online if you can show them how it can benefit their business they might take an interest in your services
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