Started to do cold calling....discovered that I suck.

46 replies
Ok. So today I started to do some official cold calling but I only had about a handful of leads. These were either restaurants or pizza shops. I basically got them from ads in the mail and one Groupon lead. I know 5 calls isn't nearly enough but I want to test what I'm saying, build some confidence, and change things around if needed before I do any serious calling.

My goal today was to simply land an appointment for selling my SMS texting service.

So I started at 10:00 this morning to try to get the owners before lunch. Since I didn't know the owner's names, I started with a simple question on my first call. "Can you please tell me who's in charge of marketing and promotions?" All 5 places I called said the owner wasn't in yet and to call back later in the day. I was able to get the owner's names, though.

So I started calling back around 2:00 and here's basically my pitch.

"Hi, I'm Mike from Willow Promotions and we're a new promotion and marketing company. I'm just calling to see if I could stop by this week to introduce myself, show you what we have to offer, and see if it's something you'd be interested in."

Simple. Non threatening. No sales pitch. Who could say no to that, right?

Here's the results.

Before I could even finish what I was saying, one pizza shop flat out said "I don't need any advertising." and hung up. And this was a guy advertising with Valpak.

Another pizza shop had a person asking me who I was from and what I wanted (I could then hear her relaying it back to the owner) then they said "no thanks".

One higher end restaurant told me in the morning that the owner would be in at 4:00. So I called at 4:20 and got the hostess. I asked for the owner by name and she said "Can I ask who's calling?" which I simply gave my name. After about one minute she said "The owner isn't in today". I asked if he'd be in tomorrow and she said "yes" so I'll try again.

An Italian restaurant told me that the owner wouldn't be in till tomorrow so I'll try again.

And lastly, another hostess (or whoever) relayed back to the owner that I was a promotional company and then told me "No thanks".

So basically, I had my simple non-sales pitch in my head (and even written on paper in case I forgot something) but I never really had a chance to use it....to the right person, at least.

So I guess my question is...how do you get through to....and actually talk to....the owner? And are most of them so unfriendly that they won't even get on the phone?

Also, do you think it's better to pick an area and drive to some places to simply introduce yourself, drop off some info, and try to set up a sit down appointment then?

Mike
#callingdiscovered #cold #started
  • Profile picture of the author patadeperro
    I dont cold call, I use direct marketing response in order to make the prospects to contact me instead of me chasing them
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  • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
    It goes back to knowing their problem which they know exists.

    When speaking with business owners, they need to hear you talking about their problems first.

    Mentioning your services, like seo, sms boxes you in a bad corner.

    You must talk about their problem and results.

    Results like a law firm went from closing 4% of it's website visitors to 45%.

    If you have no results, it doesn't matter. You borrow results from other companies.

    Still no mention of how you do it.

    You can say payback is 90 days and it is independently monitored.

    Once again, no mention how you do it.

    Just drop lots of little pearls that keep them wanting to know more.

    Never tell them how you do it.

    Best,
    Ewen
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    • Profile picture of the author Riz
      Cold calling is never easy so congratulations in actually going out and making an attempt. Just by doing that you are streets ahead of many.

      Your first mistake on the call was mentioning in your very first sentence that you are a promotional and marketing company. Immediately the warning bells go off and the owners simply say 'no thanks' or just don't speak to you.

      They get many calls like that per week and will not see any benefit in talking to you and will only think about the money they will need to spend with your company as opposed to the extra money they will make. They do not realise any benefit so your approach needs to change.

      Cold calling is the most difficult form of obtaining an appointment or a sale, especially if introduced as a marketing and promotions company.

      A better method is to initally make sure you have the owners name, send a direct mail and follow up with a phone call to set an appointment.

      Another tip i can give you is that if you have a woman make the calls you will get a much higher close rate for appointment setting

      Riz
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  • Profile picture of the author Evan887
    I agree with Riz. I think it's awesome that you tried cold calling. I used to do it myself and hated every second of it. I used to have to do 100 cold calls just to get 1 appointment. And yes, you do develop a thick skin after the first week.

    I found a much easier tactic that I posted in a different thread. Groupon prospecting. I find businesses that are using Groupon, send them an e-mail with the subject line "Your Groupon ad" and then offer a freebie with no obligation. Usually it's something that costs me $5 (from fiverr.com). So a little cost, but you build a relationship, provided something for free and you are in the door. You could even use John Durham's suggestion on building them a free site. It's in a different thread in this section.

    Best of luck and congrats on taking action! You beat out 99% of the other people out there.

    Evan
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    • Profile picture of the author mrcouchpotato
      Thanks for your replies everyone.

      Originally Posted by Evan887 View Post

      I found a much easier tactic that I posted in a different thread. Groupon prospecting. I find businesses that are using Groupon, send them an e-mail with the subject line "Your Groupon ad" and then offer a freebie with no obligation. Usually it's something that costs me $5 (from fiverr.com). So a little cost, but you build a relationship, provided something for free and you are in the door. You could even use John Durham's suggestion on building them a free site. It's in a different thread in this section.
      Do you call first to find out the owner's email or do you just use the usual "Contact Us" page on their websites.

      And what's a good "freebie" to give away? I was including a free mobile site for any businesses that signed up for my SMS service. But should I use that as the freebie just to get an appointment? Should the email say something like "You'll get a free mobile site just for having me stop by." or something to that effect.

      Does anyone have a sample email they can post?

      Originally Posted by patadeperro View Post

      I dont cold call, I use direct marketing response in order to make the prospects to contact me instead of me chasing them
      What kind of direct mail to you send? A postcard? Letter? Flyer?

      Originally Posted by ewenmack View Post

      It goes back to knowing their problem which they know exists.
      So how do you find out their problem if you're simply making cold calls from a phone book or VALPAK coupons and such?

      Originally Posted by Riz View Post

      A better method is to initally make sure you have the owners name, send a direct mail and follow up with a phone call to set an appointment.

      Another tip i can give you is that if you have a woman make the calls you will get a much higher close rate for appointment setting
      I like the direct mail idea (even though it would take a lot longer) but what do you send?

      The service I want to sell rght now is SMS Texting.

      Also, I'm thinking of using my sister-in-law to make the cold calls since she's at home on dissability. So maybe her female voice will help

      Mike
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      • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
        Originally Posted by mrcouchpotato View Post


        So how do you find out their problem if you're simply making cold calls from a phone book or VALPAK coupons and such?

        Mike
        So you're calling them without knowing an obvious problem they have?

        Best,
        Ewen
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        • Profile picture of the author mrcouchpotato
          Originally Posted by ewenmack View Post

          So you're calling them without knowing an obvious problem they have?
          Well, I would assume they'd be like any business and want more customers and sales....but to directly answer your question....yes.

          However, in my defense I've read here and other places that you have to make many many many calls per day (look how IAmNameLess mentions above how hundreds of calls need to be made).

          If I spent my time researching the problems that hundreds of businesses have that I can specifically fix, then I'd never get to my first cold call.

          But maybe I'm reading your post wrong.

          Mike
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  • Profile picture of the author vndnbrgj
    I would like to congratulate you on taking the first step as well.
    But, it's like you said, you only called 5 businesses.

    Or, use your approach, get the owner's name and just walk-in to the pizza joint around dinner time. Order a slice and look/ask for the owner.
    In some smaller shops, the owner walks around and asks how everything is or makes the pizzas or something like that. They get involved.

    So, you could order your pizza and start to eat it.
    If the place isn't packed, ask the owner why..
    Say, "This is some really good pizza you got here"
    "How come this place isn't packed?" or "Is this your usual dinner size?"
    Sometimes they will tell you they are looking at ways of getting more customers, sometimes they will lie, or maybe it's just a slow night. Like they are always slow on Tuesday's or Wednesday's...

    If there is a lot of foot traffic, ask if they would like everyone that goes by to be able to get a coupon to their business... Proximity marketing
    Or, if they would like to change that slow night.... SMS
    Ask if they would object to more customers.

    Basically, take an interest in the pizza place...
    They get several calls from companies offering marketing services, you are just another caller. You have to differentiate yourself.
    Maybe their food sucks. So, you would be marketing a dying business.

    That is exactly what I did, and landed a client.
    (They were also advertising in the ValPak)
    I said, would you be interested in more customers.
    She said and I quote "Of course I would, who wouldn't?"
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  • Profile picture of the author iAmNameLess
    Well at least you know 5 calls isn't enough. Without adjusting your pitch, or doing anything else, you need to realize that you need to make about 100 calls.

    Simply ask to speak with the person in charge of marketing decisions... if your goal is to set up an appointment, don't pitch to them over the phone, just say you're going to be in the area on whatever day and would like to drop by to give them some materials and show them in 10 minutes how they can increase their sales, and blow away the competition. Don't ask for permission, don't ask if it is a good time to talk, don't ask them to buy anything, TELL THEM you are stopping by.

    I close about 80-90% of deals over the phone, no meeting, nothing. If you're only making 5 calls, then don't expect to do well from that.

    If you're only doing SMS marketing then the most efficient thing to do would be direct mailing with post cards, in my opinion. I can make 500 calls a week and get numerous sales, but I'm offering more.
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  • Profile picture of the author ADukes81
    Mr Couch Potato,

    I promise you, you could not have been worse than I was. I started in the beginning of December calling when I had time and was horrible. I quit my job and went "all in" January 1st. I called all of January and finally got a sale on towards the end of January. I haven't cold called since Valentine's Day as I have been too busy.

    It works.

    I called a couple thousand businesses and I wouldn't be where I'm at if I didn't do it.

    I couldn't sell a dollar for 50 Cents
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    • Profile picture of the author 10kperday
      Originally Posted by ADukes81 View Post

      Mr Couch Potato,


      I couldn't sell a dollar for 50 Cents
      I am buying...How many do you want to sell?

      10kperday
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  • Profile picture of the author dilnaj
    Cold calling really works if you know how to do it.

    Give yourself a 1 hour time block and see how many calls/leads you can make with your original:
    "Hi, I'm Mike from Willow Promotions and we're a new promotion and marketing company. I'm just calling to see if I could stop by this week to introduce myself, show you what we have to offer, and see if it's something you'd be interested in."

    Then try:
    ""Hi, I'm Mike from Willow Promotions. May I ask who I'm speaking to? Well, (use their name), I was calling to see if the owner was in, I have some/a great (free) information/technology that could really improve their business."

    If you don't get the owner, be sure to have the caller record your message.

    If you do get the owner, it may go something like:
    "Hi (name), thanks for taking the time to talk with me. My name is Mike from Willow Promotions and I have a great service that you would be really interested in. Have you heard of SMS texting? I'm sure you have...(explain benefits). All I ask is 15 minutes of your time, so we can talk to face to face and discuss the results of having this for your business."

    I just made that up but it covers:
    Problem/Benefits
    Emotional
    Results
    **And huge part** You're selling a face to face meeting here, not your service. Use the face to face to sell your service. Check out Permission Marketing by Seth GodinPermission Marketing by Seth Godin , it's explains this really well. Anyways, keep working hard.
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    • Profile picture of the author mrcouchpotato
      Originally Posted by vndnbrgj View Post

      Basically, take an interest in the pizza place...
      They get several calls from companies offering marketing services, you are just another caller. You have to differentiate yourself.
      Maybe their food sucks. So, you would be marketing a dying business.

      That is exactly what I did, and landed a client.
      (They were also advertising in the ValPak)
      I said, would you be interested in more customers.
      She said and I quote "Of course I would, who wouldn't?"
      That's a good idea and one that I'll do when I go out to eat. In fact, I sort of did that last week after having lunch at a Chinese restaurant with the wife and kids. The guy who sat us and ran the register had the "look" of the owner. So when I was paying I asked who owned the place. He said with a big smile "I do....for the last 24 years". After a little back and forth talk I mentioned that I'm in the marketing business and asked if I could come back to show him what I do. He said he's there every Thursday so I'll be meeting him this week.

      So I agree that your method works....it just takes longer and is more expensive (hmmmm. I wonder if I could write off those meals...lol).

      Originally Posted by iAmNameLess View Post

      Well at least you know 5 calls isn't enough. Without adjusting your pitch, or doing anything else, you need to realize that you need to make about 100 calls.

      Simply ask to speak with the person in charge of marketing decisions... if your goal is to set up an appointment, don't pitch to them over the phone, just say you're going to be in the area on whatever day and would like to drop by to give them some materials and show them in 10 minutes how they can increase their sales, and blow away the competition. Don't ask for permission, don't ask if it is a good time to talk, don't ask them to buy anything, TELL THEM you are stopping by.
      This was what I was trying to do. Not sell anything....just make an appointment. But as others have said, I guess I sounded like the hundreds of other sales calls they get.

      Mike
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      • Profile picture of the author iAmNameLess
        Originally Posted by mrcouchpotato View Post


        This was what I was trying to do. Not sell anything....just make an appointment. But as others have said, I guess I sounded like the hundreds of other sales calls they get.

        Mike
        Before breaking down what you did wrong, I don't believe you should spend much time working on that. Don't waste time trying to get things perfect, or learn more. What pitch works for one person won't work for another, then only way to find out what works for you, is call. I'd suggest not calling a single restaurant and call every other type of business that you would think WOULDN'T be interested. I think the best thing for someone, is to hear 100 no's in a row... 100 people already telling you no, whats 100 more? You'll start being able to work your law of averages and be excited when someone cuts you off, because you always have the possibility of making another sale the next call.

        I don't care how much anyone sucks at it, you make enough calls, you will get sales.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dr Dan
    Instead of selling them (which they get that all day!) Offer them a freebie. Tell them you are offering a few free services as a way to introduce your services to the area. This works like magic! I offer facebook fan page set up, free 45 sec video, twitter set up, heck even a free QR code you can print for free online.

    I went more into this approach on my Offline RockStar Academy Blog: Read It Here

    .
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    • Profile picture of the author cchipster
      I AGREE with Dilnaj.

      IT can be done, if done correctly. And like 'Dan' said, they get frickin barraged with calls by people like you/us all DAY LOOONGGG!!! They can smell you a mile away.

      Try like 'Dilnaj' mentioned, you will see better results and make alot of calls like 'iamnameless' states.

      There is no 'one size fits all' drop something quick like " Hi, _______, my name is _________ from xyz marketing, we specialize in helping businesses like yours stay busy even on your typical slow days, and I'm in your area on Tuesday...mind if I pop in and introduce myself?

      If 'NO', try me later, any rebutals, move on. Your YES!! ...IS COMING!!
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  • Profile picture of the author 10kperday
    Couch Potato..You were defeated before you ever started.

    Sounds like you just wanted to get it over and done with before you died.

    Well you lived.

    Now it's time to cash some checks.

    Mindset and Posture will always be key.

    There are some INCREDIBLE scripts on this fourm but if you mindset sucks you are wasting your time.

    Never say I suck.... or better yet, how do you think you will do if you scream out " I SUCK at this! 100 times before making your calls tommorow?

    How about "I am getting better and better with each call I make?"

    5 calls for anyone only gets your juices flowing (No Matter how good you are)....next time schedule 20 business owners to call...your posture will increase with every call and soon you will find yourself in the Profit ZONE!

    Remember, you are NOT a telemarketer but a fellow business owner who can help them get more customers in the door.

    Posture up and Kick A$$ and Get some checks!
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  • Profile picture of the author Steven Carl Kelly
    Sorry to hear that you've encountered so much difficulty, but unfortunately your approach is really at the root of that issue. I know it's really hard to know how to handle promoting your new business, so you should know that I don't mean this post as a put down, understand that I know exactly what you're going through.

    Two things I really would never do when it comes to promoting SMS text marketing: (1) cold calling businesses trying to get a chance to pitch them (too much effort for likely too little return); (2) offer to give away our services for free in an effort to get my foot in the door with them.

    Most business owners are accustomed to getting bombarded with people trying to get their money to "advertise" their business -- this is especially true these days with print advertising dying -- and that's why cold calling can be a difficult route. Giving away your services to just any new business you're prospecting can also be problematic. Some businesses will want the freebie with no intention of ever paying for your services, others will assume that the fact that you can give it away for some period of time for nothing means that you can afford to sell it to them for cheap when the time comes to pay -- you can actually devalue your services by doing that.

    There are a few methods that have worked very successfully for us, particularly in regard to SMS text marketing and other similar services. I will nutshell them for you here:

    1. Free monthly business seminars
    No, not seminars on SMS text marketing, but rather seminars about how local businesses can increase their sales. Of course we pitch our SMS text marketing services (and other services) as a part of the seminar. Most business owners are very interested in attending free seminars if they can help them make more money. We promote our seminars through various means, including local networking groups and the CoC.

    2. Direct mail
    We have developed a very unique direct mail piece that offers a HUGE open rate (recently well over 80%). It is a real door opener for us.

    3. Referrals
    We get our clients to send us more clients, and we get our other business contacts to send us more business contacts. To be honest with you, this method and method #4 gives us more qualified leads than we can actually handle. I'm being absolutely truthful when I tell you this: I have asked people to STOP sending us leads for the time being because we don't have enough time to meet with new prospects and fully service our existing clients. I know that's hard to believe, but it is absolutely true as of right now.

    4. Recruit a trusted advisor
    This is one of the most powerful methods we've ever used. We have developed a working relationship with a company that has nothing to do with advertising and promotion, but services hundreds of restaurants in our local market. These people are trusted by their restaurant clients, and when servicing their clients, they mention the awesome marketing service that WE provide. They also mention that we're swamped with business, but because they like the restaurant client so much, they'll get in touch with us and see if we could possibly make room for them on our calendar. They can consistently provide us with 30-50 pre-qualified leads every single week.

    Method #4 works like magic.
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    • Profile picture of the author Dr Dan
      Originally Posted by Steven Carl Kelly View Post

      Two things I really would never do when it comes to promoting SMS text marketing: (1) cold calling businesses trying to get a chance to pitch them (too much effort for likely too little return); (2) offer to give away our services for free in an effort to get my foot in the door with them.

      Most business owners are accustomed to getting bombarded with people trying to get their money to "advertise" their business -- this is especially true these days with print advertising dying -- and that's why cold calling can be a difficult route. Giving away your services to just any new business you're prospecting can also be problematic. Some businesses will want the freebie with no intention of ever paying for your services, others will assume that the fact that you can give it away for some period of time for nothing means that you can afford to sell it to them for cheap when the time comes to pay -- you can actually devalue your services by doing that.
      I never had this problem. It all depends on how you present it and on how you allow them to close themselves on buying more services from them. If you give them the service with your hand out expecting them to buy something from you, then you are going to be treated like a kid in Tijuana selling chicklets on the street corner to every Gringo that walks by.

      But I do agree that events are a great way to get clients. I have been doing this for about 6 months with great success.
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      • Profile picture of the author MomBorch
        I'm very new at all of this and just wanted to say thanks for posting this thread to MrCoachPotatoe Mike.

        Reading this all has been very helpful.
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    • Profile picture of the author tdorland
      Originally Posted by Steven Carl Kelly View Post

      Sorry to hear that you've encountered so much difficulty, but unfortunately your approach is really at the root of that issue. I know it's really hard to know how to handle promoting your new business, so you should know that I don't mean this post as a put down, understand that I know exactly what you're going through.

      Two things I really would never do when it comes to promoting SMS text marketing: (1) cold calling businesses trying to get a chance to pitch them (too much effort for likely too little return); (2) offer to give away our services for free in an effort to get my foot in the door with them.

      Most business owners are accustomed to getting bombarded with people trying to get their money to "advertise" their business -- this is especially true these days with print advertising dying -- and that's why cold calling can be a difficult route. Giving away your services to just any new business you're prospecting can also be problematic. Some businesses will want the freebie with no intention of ever paying for your services, others will assume that the fact that you can give it away for some period of time for nothing means that you can afford to sell it to them for cheap when the time comes to pay -- you can actually devalue your services by doing that.

      There are a few methods that have worked very successfully for us, particularly in regard to SMS text marketing and other similar services. I will nutshell them for you here:

      1. Free monthly business seminars
      No, not seminars on SMS text marketing, but rather seminars about how local businesses can increase their sales. Of course we pitch our SMS text marketing services (and other services) as a part of the seminar. Most business owners are very interested in attending free seminars if they can help them make more money. We promote our seminars through various means, including local networking groups and the CoC.

      2. Direct mail
      We have developed a very unique direct mail piece that offers a HUGE open rate (recently well over 80%). It is a real door opener for us.

      3. Referrals
      We get our clients to send us more clients, and we get our other business contacts to send us more business contacts. To be honest with you, this method and method #4 gives us more qualified leads than we can actually handle. I'm being absolutely truthful when I tell you this: I have asked people to STOP sending us leads for the time being because we don't have enough time to meet with new prospects and fully service our existing clients. I know that's hard to believe, but it is absolutely true as of right now.

      4. Recruit a trusted advisor
      This is one of the most powerful methods we've ever used. We have developed a working relationship with a company that has nothing to do with advertising and promotion, but services hundreds of restaurants in our local market. These people are trusted by their restaurant clients, and when servicing their clients, they mention the awesome marketing service that WE provide. They also mention that we're swamped with business, but because they like the restaurant client so much, they'll get in touch with us and see if we could possibly make room for them on our calendar. They can consistently provide us with 30-50 pre-qualified leads every single week.

      Method #4 works like magic.
      These seem like really great ways to build a client base without cold calling. I am especially interested in # 1 and #4.

      How did you go about setting up those free seminars with the local CoC?

      Also, what kind of company did you set up the relationship with for 30-50 leads? Did you offer them $$ on each lead, each new client...?

      THanks in advance!
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      • Profile picture of the author Steven Carl Kelly
        Originally Posted by tdorland View Post

        How did you go about setting up those free seminars with the local CoC?
        One of our partners is a member of the CoC and promotes our seminars for us through it. We then sort of ride the CoC coattails to help add an air of officialness to our promotions.

        Originally Posted by tdorland View Post

        Also, what kind of company did you set up the relationship with for 30-50 leads? Did you offer them $$ on each lead, each new client...?
        I don't want to say exactly what sort of company it is, but they service the hospitality industry. Think of the different sorts of companies that provide services to that industry. And actually, you may be surprised to hear that we don't pay them a thing... they just really like us a lot, so even when we've offered to work out something they've refused.
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        • Profile picture of the author mrcouchpotato
          Ok. I'm about to start making a flyer or brochure that I can drop off at restaurants and pizza places when I stop by. I mainly want to focus on the SMS texting service, but I'm also able to do things like mobile websites, full websites, and web videos.

          But should I only create a brochure that talks about the SMS service, or should it be more generic mentioning all the services?

          Mike
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          • Profile picture of the author ADukes81
            Originally Posted by mrcouchpotato View Post

            Ok. I'm about to start making a flyer or brochure that I can drop off at restaurants and pizza places when I stop by. I mainly want to focus on the SMS texting service, but I'm also able to do things like mobile websites, full websites, and web videos.

            But should I only create a brochure that talks about the SMS service, or should it be more generic mentioning all the services?

            Mike
            DM me your email address and I'll send you the mobile brochure I had made up. It looks really good and wish I could tell you that it has been effective, but I have been too busy to pass it out.
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            • Profile picture of the author mrcouchpotato
              Originally Posted by ADukes81 View Post

              DM me your email address and I'll send you the mobile brochure I had made up. It looks really good and wish I could tell you that it has been effective, but I have been too busy to pass it out.
              That's awesome. I sent you a PM.

              Thanks.
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            • Profile picture of the author John Durham
              Originally Posted by ADukes81 View Post

              DM me your email address and I'll send you the mobile brochure I had made up. It looks really good and wish I could tell you that it has been effective, but I have been too busy to pass it out.
              This is Typical Adukes. Adam. Im proud to know you man!
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              • Profile picture of the author mrcouchpotato
                Originally Posted by John Durham View Post

                This is Typical Adukes. Adam. Im proud to know you man!
                I agree and makes me feel like all you warriors are a second family to me. Hopefully soon I'll be able to post some success stories and offer help to others in the SMS arena.

                Mike
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  • Profile picture of the author John Durham
    I found out I sucked when I started at cold calling, and when I started playing guitar, and when I started typing and when I started to walk, that first time I ever jogged a mile I found out I sucked at running... Found out I sucked at dieting, found out I sucked at interpersonal relationships, found out I sucked at writing ad copy and I sucked at writing wso's...

    Its amazing all the things I have experienced, that I would have never gotten to do if I had stopped everytime I found out I sucked at something.

    Food for thought...

    Are you going into things to "find out if you can do them"?

    Or are you going into things to "Get em done".

    World of difference.
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  • In the beginning cold calling was the worst thing in IM but after a while it went better and now it's just a part of things to do when I start my day.


    Regards Kristof
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    "A budget tells us what we can't afford, but it doesn't keep us from buying it"

    William Feather

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  • Profile picture of the author Bruce NewMedia
    Mike, you get an 'A' for initial effort....however, it does take a lot more practice and honing down a script that works.

    I do some calling, but it's usually in person. Restaurants make great clients, btw.

    In person, many of these gruff, stand-off owners/managers are a lot better. But they can be brutal to phone callers. I've been inperson talking to owners when they get a prospecting call, and just cringe when I hear how 'cold' they can be...

    and then they turn around and resume a much nicer conversation with me.
    Also, the main tool I use is direct mail letters, and that has been very effective.
    Your idea to drive to an area and walk in could work better, but you still need to develop an 'approach' for that as well....and when you're in person, there's more than one contact point.
    _____
    Bruce
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    • Profile picture of the author mrcouchpotato
      I want to thank everyone for taking the time to post their thoughts and ideas and help me with cold calling.

      This is why I'm glad I made only 5 calls to start. So I could come back here to see what I'm doing wrong before I made any more.

      I'll try making some more today based on everyone's suggestions....but...I'm thinking that hitting the road and dropping in may work better for me. I'm more of a belly to belly kind of person and I think Bruce is right....owners may be more friendly looking at a face than talking on the phone.

      I could go in with the intent of simply introducing myself and dropping off a flyer about my services, then try to get an "official" appointment after that. But I'd obviously rather have the appointment right then if the owner was willing.

      I'm also interested in the direct mail approach too so if anyone would like to share what they send (letter, post card, etc.) and what's on it, that would be wonderful.

      Thanks again eveyone.

      Mike
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  • Profile picture of the author k60mall
    Cold calling sucks but if you call around with a small presentation booklet which explains what you do it's hard for the owner not to see you. Once you have told them who you bare and what you just leave them the information and tell them to call you if they wan't more information.

    Go back a few days later and call in, tell them you were just seeing someone else and thought you would drop by to see if they had any questions.

    The first call takes away any pressure from the business owner and also makes it harder to say no to you face to face. The second call will either spark off some questions from the business owner which then gives you the opportunity to pitch your services.

    Find out what their problems are and present a solution.

    Keith
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    • Profile picture of the author roypreece
      Originally Posted by k60mall View Post

      Cold calling sucks but if you call around with a small presentation booklet which explains what you do it's hard for the owner not to see you. Find out what their problems are and present a solution.
      This is the way to do it. Always enter any new place with a GIFT for the owner. It changes the whole dynamic of the encounter.

      The best gift is a small booklet [A5 12 pages] which talks about a problem which most owners of that kind of business will be having.

      Then it gives a case study.

      Then the results of a couple of people who have beaten the problem, together with your contact details.

      You can have a number of booklets each dealing with a different problem.

      "Can I see the owner, please? I've brought a small gift for him..."
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  • Profile picture of the author AutoBulkTraffic
    Cold calling is usually for experienced telemarketers, its all about energy and believing in the product your selling.
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    • Profile picture of the author JJOrana
      Two things...

      We all suck when we do anything for the first time.

      I don't do cold call. Not anymore.

      The way I see it, people preaching cold calling are those who are trying to sell cold calling related product or courses.

      Customers from cold call are probably the worst client you'll ever have.
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      • Profile picture of the author mrcouchpotato
        Originally Posted by JJOrana View Post

        I don't do cold call. Not anymore.
        Mind if I ask how you get your customers then?
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        • Profile picture of the author mrcouchpotato
          Using the flyer that Adam emailed me along with ads from a WSO from Stevie Brodsky, I designed a new flyer that I plan on using when I go and visit some of these local businesses. It's something I can leave behind if the owner isn't there or if he/she doesn't have time to meet at the moment.

          I'll have more robust information that I'll use during the actual appointment.

          Let me know your thoughts and please....be kind

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      • Profile picture of the author Steven Carl Kelly
        Originally Posted by JJOrana View Post

        I don't do cold call. Not anymore.
        Basically, neither do we. There are far more effective and productive methods, as you probably already know.
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        • Originally Posted by Steven Carl Kelly View Post

          Basically, neither do we. There are far more effective and productive methods, as you probably already know.
          Again, care to contribute by offering what it is you do to attract customers.
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          • Profile picture of the author Steven Carl Kelly
            Originally Posted by CleanMountainLiving View Post

            Again, care to contribute by offering what it is you do to attract customers.
            Ummmm... scroll up and you'll see a post where I fully outline four of our methods, numbered 1 - 4.
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            • Profile picture of the author allegrity
              Originally Posted by Steven Carl Kelly View Post

              Ummmm... scroll up and you'll see a post where I fully outline four of our methods, numbered 1 - 4.
              One of the methods you used was:

              2. Direct mail
              We have developed a very unique direct mail piece that offers a HUGE open rate (recently well over 80%). It is a real door opener for us.
              Do you mail an actual letter or postcard? Could you share what you are using? Thanks!
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              • Profile picture of the author Steven Carl Kelly
                Originally Posted by allegrity View Post

                Do you mail an actual letter or postcard? Could you share what you are using? Thanks!
                We mail a package. Not a letter, not a postcard (although we do use postcards for certain things). I really don't want to share the details of the mailing, because it is quite unique and our open/response rates are through the roof... I don't want to dilute the market.

                Here's a hint: think about receiving a (small) package in the mail. What sort of package would you be absolutely COMPELLED to open? Not a phony government notice or something ridiculously deceptive like that... but what sort of package would you be SO curious about you'd HAVE to open it as soon as it arrived?

                That's what we're mailing.
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      • Originally Posted by JJOrana View Post

        Two things...

        We all suck when we do anything for the first time.

        I don't do cold call. Not anymore.

        The way I see it, people preaching cold calling are those who are trying to sell cold calling related product or courses.

        Customers from cold call are probably the worst client you'll ever have.
        Do you care then to contribute to the conversation with what you do to attract clients?
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  • Profile picture of the author internetPro
    Originally Posted by mrcouchpotato View Post

    Ok. So today I started to do some official cold calling but I only had about a handful of leads. These were either restaurants or pizza shops. I basically got them from ads in the mail and one Groupon lead. I know 5 calls isn't nearly enough but I want to test what I'm saying, build some confidence, and change things around if needed before I do any serious calling.

    My goal today was to simply land an appointment for selling my SMS texting service.

    So I started at 10:00 this morning to try to get the owners before lunch. Since I didn't know the owner's names, I started with a simple question on my first call. "Can you please tell me who's in charge of marketing and promotions?" All 5 places I called said the owner wasn't in yet and to call back later in the day. I was able to get the owner's names, though.

    So I started calling back around 2:00 and here's basically my pitch.

    "Hi, I'm Mike from Willow Promotions and we're a new promotion and marketing company. I'm just calling to see if I could stop by this week to introduce myself, show you what we have to offer, and see if it's something you'd be interested in."

    Simple. Non threatening. No sales pitch. Who could say no to that, right?

    Here's the results.

    Before I could even finish what I was saying, one pizza shop flat out said "I don't need any advertising." and hung up. And this was a guy advertising with Valpak.

    Another pizza shop had a person asking me who I was from and what I wanted (I could then hear her relaying it back to the owner) then they said "no thanks".

    One higher end restaurant told me in the morning that the owner would be in at 4:00. So I called at 4:20 and got the hostess. I asked for the owner by name and she said "Can I ask who's calling?" which I simply gave my name. After about one minute she said "The owner isn't in today". I asked if he'd be in tomorrow and she said "yes" so I'll try again.

    An Italian restaurant told me that the owner wouldn't be in till tomorrow so I'll try again.

    And lastly, another hostess (or whoever) relayed back to the owner that I was a promotional company and then told me "No thanks".

    So basically, I had my simple non-sales pitch in my head (and even written on paper in case I forgot something) but I never really had a chance to use it....to the right person, at least.

    So I guess my question is...how do you get through to....and actually talk to....the owner? And are most of them so unfriendly that they won't even get on the phone?

    Also, do you think it's better to pick an area and drive to some places to simply introduce yourself, drop off some info, and try to set up a sit down appointment then?

    Mike
    forget teh cold call for now... just go there walk in and ask for the one in charge of the marketing.... its easier to hang up than it is to turn one down face to face...

    cold calling does work but if you want cleints now just go there....

    this is what i do

    walk in than

    i am looking for the person in charge of the marketing.... are they available

    than intro your self

    my name is Scott Chalmers i have a local marketing company and i am looking for business to help get the fastest return on there investment. I wouild like to schedule a time whne you would have lets say 10 min to cover a few things that would definatly see imediate results...

    than wait for them to either say i have ten min or give you a tiem to come back.....
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  • Profile picture of the author Transcripts
    Mr. Couchpotato: I love your posts. You always ask about things I'm interested in and I love how genuine you are. I wish you the best and please keep posting.
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    • Profile picture of the author mrcouchpotato
      Originally Posted by Transcripts View Post

      Mr. Couchpotato: I love your posts. You always ask about things I'm interested in and I love how genuine you are. I wish you the best and please keep posting.
      Thanks. I'm learning this stuff just like a lot of people on these forums are so when I have a question....I ask. When I learn something new....I share.

      The Warrior forum is like a huge mastermind group that also feels like family.
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