Today I hit the pavement and knocked on doors...

38 replies
So today was my first day of going out and visiting pizza shops and other businesses trying to pitch my SMS services. I definitely learned a few things and most of them are good.

1. Business owners and employees are WAYYYY friendlier in person than on the phone. Maybe it's because when they first see me they think I'm a customer so their guard is down. Maybe people are just friendlier face to face in general. But whatever it is, talking to them in person is a lot less mentally draining than it is making cold calls.

2. Visiting pizza places and restaurants between 1:30 and 4:00 is best. It's definitely a slow time for them and they can actually give you a few minutes to talk.

3. Most of the time the owners aren't in. BUT, the employees never seem to have a problem giving out the owner's name and when they usually are in. I never got that far with cold calls.

4. Pizza owners always seem to have a partner they have to talk to first.

So, that being said. I had two pretty successful (although not sales) drop in visits.

Number one was a franchise pizza shop and the owner liked what I showed him. Even though he didn't understand it, he said his partner would and I should come back and meet both of them next Tuesday. He even gave me a specific time since he knows his partner will be there. Also, even though it's a franchise, the owners are still allowed to do some marketing and advertising on their own.

Number two was a Chinese restaurant which I made an appointment with last week while I was there for lunch. The owner was a very friendly guy and also loved what I showed him. But he too didn't understand it (he was in his late 50s) but said his daughter would and he'd show it to her. He said that his restaurant dies after Mothers day and during the summer and he HAS to do something to bring customers in. I told him that SMS text marketing would be perfect for that. He also said that he likes that he can change his text coupons anytime....unlike print ads that, once they're out, they can't be changed.

Most of the other places I hit didn't have the owner in but I did find out the name and times that they are...so I"ll be following up then with another visit.

One place that sold popcorn said she's heard of text coupons but wasn't interested because she felt that the only people that would sign up and use the them are customers that she already has. I told her a few ways to bring in new customers but she was a bit subborn. Oh well. I did purchase some tasty peanut butter carmel popcorn with chocolate sprinkled on it, though.

So I'll be hitting the pavement again tomorrow and next week. I hope to start seeing some sales happen soon.

Mike
#doors #hit #knocked #pavement #today
  • Profile picture of the author JordanBanks
    Awesome!! Glad to hear how things went... I've never had a "bad" experience either. Worst would probably be when they just say "not today", or "you're the third one this week" without even hearing me out -- but that's rare, like one in 50.
    Most owners are just not there, so I usually have to come back. When they are in, as you said, they are generally quite friendly, but usually rushed. Please continue to add to this thread as your adventures continue!
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    • Profile picture of the author Jacob Hargreave
      Sounds like you are off to an excellent start, another thing you could do if you are comfortable is to approach stores and establishments that collect the numbers of their clients.

      It would be economical for them to send out coupon codes etc to the people that expect them. A successful sale of that magnitude could in fact boost your business to corporate level heights. It may be something to look at a little further down the road, but an idea you may want to remember.

      Best of luck to you.
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  • Profile picture of the author alcymart
    You hit objections which can be overcome right on spot, the objection about "I need to talk to my partner about it"

    You needed to reply by turning it into a question: "If you think something is a good idea [his first name], can you make a decision without your partner?

    It should most likely yield a Yes or another objection... still good work! You'll learn buddy...

    Bernard
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    • Profile picture of the author plmitchell
      Hey Mr Couchpotato
      Start a collection of the objections you face such as "I gotta speak to my partner first." Then sit down and work out a way a handling each and everyone. It won't be long before you can cover them in your introduction or have a suitable answer ready. The rate you are going it won't take long. It is refreshing to hear of your progress.
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  • Profile picture of the author herb44
    Mr couch potato you are very motivating. I have done phone cold calling. And had success but door to door. That's hardcore! You got balls and are gonna knock em dead in offline. Going the extra yard that other marketers will not puts you above the rest!
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    • Profile picture of the author mrcouchpotato
      Originally Posted by alcymart View Post

      You hit objections which can be overcome right on spot, the objection about "I need to talk to my partner about it"

      You needed to reply by turning it into a question: "If you think something is a good idea [his first name], can you make a decision without your partner?

      It should most likely yield a Yes or another objection... still good work! You'll learn buddy...

      Bernard
      I'm hoping that as I get more experienced, I'll be able to turn those types of objections into sales. Thanks for your suggested objection answer.


      Originally Posted by Jacob Hargreave View Post

      Sounds like you are off to an excellent start, another thing you could do if you are comfortable is to approach stores and establishments that collect the numbers of their clients.

      It would be economical for them to send out coupon codes etc to the people that expect them. A successful sale of that magnitude could in fact boost your business to corporate level heights. It may be something to look at a little further down the road, but an idea you may want to remember.

      Best of luck to you.
      Jacob, I'm not sure what you mean "approach stores and establishments that collect the numbers of their clients". Can you please explain?


      Originally Posted by herb44 View Post

      Mr couch potato you are very motivating. I have done phone cold calling. And had success but door to door. That's hardcore! You got balls and are gonna knock em dead in offline. Going the extra yard that other marketers will not puts you above the rest!
      Surprisingly, it's not that hard. Once you walk into the first couple of places, you start getting more comfortable doing it. What's the worst thing they can say "Thanks but No Thanks".
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      • Profile picture of the author Jacob Hargreave
        Originally Posted by mrcouchpotato View Post


        Jacob, I'm not sure what you mean "approach stores and establishments that collect the numbers of their clients". Can you please explain?
        Yes of course. What I meant is large department and retail establishments that collect their client's information on a daily basis in their effort to mail them catalogs, coupons, and weekly deals.

        For example an establishment such as Walmart would be able to benefit from your service as it can potentially save them a lot of resources by simple sending their offers and discounts via text etc. Like I said it's a rather big project considering the volume of people they will be reaching but the pay off would be more than worth it I believe.
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  • Profile picture of the author iAmNameLess
    Good job buddy. You are farther along than most just by doing that. You're gaining experience and that is what matters. Results will be coming in soon.
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  • Profile picture of the author Bruce NewMedia
    Originally Posted by mrcouchpotato View Post

    1. Business owners and employees are WAYYYY friendlier in person than on the phone. Maybe it's because when they first see me they think I'm a customer so their guard is down. Maybe people are just friendlier face to face in general. But whatever it is, talking to them in person is a lot less mentally draining than it is making cold calls.
    I see the same thing. It's why I do it whenever it's convenient for me as an adjunct to my mailings. Plus, Mike, you get so much more information, without saying anything...just by OBSERVING.

    ...and the owner/manager isn't the only one you can speak to. If he/she isn't there I talk to the counter person, the salesperson, the whoever.

    For instance, last week I talked to a clerk at one business who told me they were opening a new location. Just talked on and on about it. So, when I do call the owner back, I look like I know something!

    I'd say you may be on to a good approach for your personality too.
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  • Originally Posted by mrcouchpotato View Post

    1. Business owners and employees are WAYYYY friendlier in person than on the phone. Maybe it's because when they first see me they think I'm a customer so their guard is down. Maybe people are just friendlier face to face in general. But whatever it is, talking to them in person is a lot less mentally draining than it is making cold calls.
    Phone calls are fairly anonymous, even when you identify yourself. It is easy to be short with a caller. In person, instead of a disembodied voice, they're looking at a real, live person and they get the visual cues that are missing in a telephone call -- they see the disappointment on your face when they're short with you, and they don't want to see that.
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  • I have always wanted to do this but have not yet. Did you have a good response at all or gain any more customers?
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  • Profile picture of the author HeyAdMan
    Mike

    Congratulations on taking that first step ... going out and talking with the people. Nothing ever happens until that is done and for many they never even get that far.

    I look forward to hearing of more successes from you.

    Randy
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  • Profile picture of the author MKBridge
    Mike, that sounds like great statistics to get lots of business from your visits, congratulations. Can you tell me - did you bring any material to go over with the client, and leave with him? Can you share a description of what you had please? Thanks Kathi
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    • Profile picture of the author mrcouchpotato
      Originally Posted by MKBridge View Post

      Mike, that sounds like great statistics to get lots of business from your visits, congratulations. Can you tell me - did you bring any material to go over with the client, and leave with him? Can you share a description of what you had please? Thanks Kathi
      Hi Kathi,

      I created a bunch of presentation folders and in them I have a flyer that shows the statistics of text marketing, another flyer showing the benefits of text marketing as compared to regular paper coupons, a "return on investment" sheet that I fill out showing how much income they can make, a price sheet, and finally a contract.

      If the owner isn't there, I don't leave anything. I just find out when he/she will be in and I'll stop back.

      I went on the road this morning and only hit two places because I suddenly had to take my dad to the emergency room. However, one of those two places was a pizza shop and, even though it was early, he said that Fridays are bad days to talk about anything like this and to come back next week. So maybe missing today wasn't too bad. I'm sure Fridays are busy for all restaurants.

      If you check out MY OTHER THREAD I'm working on getting businesses to call me instead.

      Mike
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  • Profile picture of the author Warrior AllStars
    So , questions...

    A: How many appointments are being made per hours spent working. One can set 3 appointments in 2 hours on the phone.

    B: How many appointments are being made over the course of a week?

    What it comes down to is the end result.

    Can you make more sales with one way than the other... One could walk around town all day and set two appointments or one can sit in front of the tv and watch bobby flay for and hour or two and set a couple of appointments on the phone...

    Which way is the evidence (Your personal results for you) pointing to being most efficient...?

    The last question is answered in your first post...

    Ultimately even if one way COULD be more efficient than another...it wont get you business if you cant force yourself to do it. So if that's cold calling, the thing you cant get yourself to keep doing...you wont get any sales from that... If you have an easier time getting yourself to go door to door, THAT is more productive (not more efficient necessarily), then do what you can "will" yourself to do... you will get further.

    Doesnt matter what we CAN do , only matters what we can "will" ourselves to do.

    Whatever works best for YOU.
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    • Profile picture of the author mrcouchpotato
      Originally Posted by Warrior AllStars View Post

      So , questions...

      A: How many appointments are being made per hours spent working. One can set 3 appointments in 2 hours on the phone.
      Well, you pretty much said my answer at the end of your post, but to give you my official answer....

      I would make NO appointments on the phone because I wouldn't actually make the cold calls in the first place. I hated doing that.

      So even though I'm spending more time and gas money with less leads per hour, it's a lot better than the alternative of doing nothing at all.

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

        Well, you pretty much said my answer at the end of your post, but to give you my official answer....

        I would make NO appointments on the phone because I wouldn't actually make the cold calls in the first place. I hated doing that.

        So even though I'm spending more time and gas money with less leads per hour, it's a lot better than the alternative of doing nothing at all.

        Mike
        You said you were making appointments with a couple so one would assume you werent just making sales on the spot but rather out shaking hands and setting appointments.

        As far as more sales, if you have more cash in your pocket at the end of the week than you would have had trying to sit there and talk yourself in to cold calling then the results are in!!

        Congrats on finding your groove!
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    • Profile picture of the author edakehurst
      Originally Posted by Warrior AllStars View Post

      So , questions...

      A: How many appointments are being made per hours spent working. One can set 3 appointments in 2 hours on the phone.

      B: How many appointments are being made over the course of a week?

      What it comes down to is the end result.
      When calculating this end result, one also needs to take into consideration what was sold.

      I may not get enough extra appointments from doing FTF vs. CC, but the FTF almost always results in a much higher package. Over the phone, I might get the mobile site package sold. FTF that same customer may have also bought a Google Places package and 6 months of SEO. Big difference in pay.
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  • Profile picture of the author SEOLady
    Nothing beats lessons taken from real "knock-on-doors" experience...
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  • Profile picture of the author rhondaklewis
    Could you have given the popcorn lady a free trial.
    Do you think you can sell us you presentation materials.
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    • Profile picture of the author edakehurst
      Originally Posted by rhondaklewis View Post

      Could you have given the popcorn lady a free trial.
      Free trials are usually a bad idea. Those customers expect the world and even when they become paying customers (if they do, their expectations are too high).

      Plus, it devalues the product/service.

      We do ourselves a big disservice when we give away free trials, unless it's an add-on (for example, this week I am running a special - a free mobile site with any "regular" web site package).
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  • Profile picture of the author brendan9971
    This was a really helpful recap of your day. I think you're definitely right about face-to-face rather than calling. And giving some thought to the shop (or in this case restaurant)'s busy times and trying to avoid them (whether calling or visiting in person) is an absolute must. bravo!
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  • Profile picture of the author RogerAderholdt
    Congratulations... YOU just did what about 95% of others fail to do...

    TAKE ACTION.

    Keep up the good work and NEVER QUIT.
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    • Profile picture of the author Patrick Warren
      Going around and making contact in person is a great idea and it works! I tried cold calling a few times, it was horrible and I could not get one lead.

      But going around in person and dropping off fliers, just talking to people casually, and chamber of commerce meetings + a strategy to get foot in the door like free keywords works well for me.

      I decided that I would help people whether they would pay me or not. After I made that decision, the clients are now starting to roll in. I believe the Universe picks up what you're laying down so get out there and give!

      When you know that you're helping people and you're consistently taking action to meet and help people then you stop worrying about the details and good things can happen. The clients practically sell your services to themselves!
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      • Profile picture of the author brendan9971
        Originally Posted by Patrick Warren View Post

        Going around and making contact in person is a great idea and it works! I tried cold calling a few times, it was horrible and I could not get one lead.

        But going around in person and dropping off fliers, just talking to people casually, and chamber of commerce meetings + a strategy to get foot in the door like free keywords works well for me.

        I decided that I would help people whether they would pay me or not. After I made that decision, the clients are now starting to roll in. I believe the Universe picks up what you're laying down so get out there and give!

        When you know that you're helping people and you're consistently taking action to meet and help people then you stop worrying about the details and good things can happen. The clients practically sell your services to themselves!
        I used to do a lot of cold calling in a former life before IM and I think success with cold calls really depends on your ability to engage folks in conversation. When you're going door to door, you can rely on body language, smiles, and gestures as well but on the phone, it's just the sound of your voice, interrupting whatever the other person was doing before they picked up the phone so you really need to engage them right off the bat.
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        • Profile picture of the author Jeff Hogsten
          I just read power dollars by Bruce, very very good. Maybe not the only thing I will do but I will defiantly use his tactics to get leads. The sales tips were priceless.
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  • Profile picture of the author Charliebee
    I have to pay for trash collection out here in the country. Called a guy to see if he would pick ours up for less than we are paying. He told me his price and I am happy with that. Since he is just starting his business, I asked him if he had a website yet. No, so I offered my services. If we get i t worked out, I'm trading web hosting for trash collection. I also gave him a discounted price for his website and added a webform for his prospective customers to use to request service.
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  • Profile picture of the author playtone
    Mate,

    That was an awesome story!!!!!
    In this day and age it seems that the old knocking on doors is something not many people do, instead they rely on people finding them on the net. I dont care what anybody says there is nothing more powerful than face to face meetings, i do it quiet often and get great business from it.

    Well done!!
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  • Profile picture of the author Julie McElroy
    Thanks for sharing! I have not gotten around to offline marketing at all - not sure it is the direction I want to go with IM. But, i have thought about it for my freelance writing. If I can make it work there, I thought about some small web design for businesses that have NO website at all. Hmmm.

    The thought of cold-calling makes my heart skip a beat! UGH! Glad to know they are friendlier in person and the off-hours is a good point to think about!
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  • Profile picture of the author cherry_b
    I think you should do whatever you are comfortable with, because ultimately that will lead to your best results.

    When you are first starting out it can be an intimidating experience, and cold calling is intimidating in and of itself. However, I feel cold calling is one of the most surefire and efficient ways to get business rolling in. But...I think you need to be fairly comfortable in your business AND your abilities to really develop the confidence and relaxation to make yourself effective on the phone.

    I remember one of the first sales jobs I had - I spent two whole days calling hundreds of numbers trying to get an appointment. I went to my "mentor" at the company, who had been doing this for years, to get advice. He picked up the phone and called the next number on my list - had an engaging conversation and booked appointment that resulted in sale. I was blown away - it was all in his confidence and the way he was able to relax the prospect but still get his business in. I sat there and spent close to 16 hours with zero result - he spent ten and made money

    Like I said, I think the correct answer is to do what you are comfortable with. As you progress and gain confidence, you should always strive to make your sales more efficient because ultimately time is money, which if you don't already know you will learn QUICKLY in this business.

    GOOD LUCK!!!!!
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  • Profile picture of the author cchipster
    Taking action is the 1st step to success! I HIGHLY recommend carrying a small notepad and paper along with you...

    Everytime you go into a business, simply inquire who is in charge of their advertising efforts? If its not the person you are talking to, you WILL easily be able to ask for thier contact info, so WRITE IT DOWN AND FOLLOW UP!
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    No signature, I'm sure you will be ok.
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  • Originally Posted by mrcouchpotato View Post

    So today was my first day of going out and visiting pizza shops and other businesses trying to pitch my SMS services. I definitely learned a few things and most of them are good.

    1. Business owners and employees are WAYYYY friendlier in person than on the phone. Maybe it's because when they first see me they think I'm a customer so their guard is down. Maybe people are just friendlier face to face in general. But whatever it is, talking to them in person is a lot less mentally draining than it is making cold calls.

    2. Visiting pizza places and restaurants between 1:30 and 4:00 is best. It's definitely a slow time for them and they can actually give you a few minutes to talk.

    3. Most of the time the owners aren't in. BUT, the employees never seem to have a problem giving out the owner's name and when they usually are in. I never got that far with cold calls.

    4. Pizza owners always seem to have a partner they have to talk to first.

    So, that being said. I had two pretty successful (although not sales) drop in visits.

    Number one was a franchise pizza shop and the owner liked what I showed him. Even though he didn't understand it, he said his partner would and I should come back and meet both of them next Tuesday. He even gave me a specific time since he knows his partner will be there. Also, even though it's a franchise, the owners are still allowed to do some marketing and advertising on their own.

    Number two was a Chinese restaurant which I made an appointment with last week while I was there for lunch. The owner was a very friendly guy and also loved what I showed him. But he too didn't understand it (he was in his late 50s) but said his daughter would and he'd show it to her. He said that his restaurant dies after Mothers day and during the summer and he HAS to do something to bring customers in. I told him that SMS text marketing would be perfect for that. He also said that he likes that he can change his text coupons anytime....unlike print ads that, once they're out, they can't be changed.

    Most of the other places I hit didn't have the owner in but I did find out the name and times that they are...so I"ll be following up then with another visit.

    One place that sold popcorn said she's heard of text coupons but wasn't interested because she felt that the only people that would sign up and use the them are customers that she already has. I told her a few ways to bring in new customers but she was a bit subborn. Oh well. I did purchase some tasty peanut butter carmel popcorn with chocolate sprinkled on it, though.

    So I'll be hitting the pavement again tomorrow and next week. I hope to start seeing some sales happen soon.

    Mike
    Mike, I love your action taking and willingness to try different strategies. Don't know if you do this already, but, how about grabbing the mobile numbers of each of the business owners you encounter and using text messages to follow up with them?
    Nothing like a real life demo for someone to begin to understand what you have to offer. Of course, never hurts to show potential customers that you practice what you preach by using the marketing method you are selling them. Side benefit of course, is that you are building your own mobile list. That way, whether you leave with a sale or not, if you leave with another business owner on your list and their agreement to keep hearing from you (relationship building) you win!
    Practice making offers of your own to show off your skills in creating campaigns and learn more about what helps you get your list to respond.
    Thanks for sharing your experience. Keep it up!
    CP
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  • Profile picture of the author sloanjim
    isn't it a bit desperate doing that? I mean i'd kind of think "wow you are this hot shot SEO ers and yet here you are cold callnig on bizz trying to drum up some sales..."

    I am not knocking you...i hope you get some business etc..but it just seems a bit too desperate to me. Do oyu outsource all your SEO stuff then?
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    • Profile picture of the author mrcouchpotato
      Originally Posted by sloanjim View Post

      isn't it a bit desperate doing that? I mean i'd kind of think "wow you are this hot shot SEO ers and yet here you are cold callnig on bizz trying to drum up some sales..."

      I am not knocking you...i hope you get some business etc..but it just seems a bit too desperate to me. Do oyu outsource all your SEO stuff then?
      Well, if you read my original post, I'm not selling SEO stuff. I'm selling a text marketing service.

      However, are you telling me that even if you sell SEO stuff, it's not a good idea to knock on doors and visit business owners?
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  • Profile picture of the author sloanjim
    Yes....if some big shot marketer came cold calling on my bizz door my immediate impression would be "how desperate is this guy for bizz."

    Same with cold callnig. Now I know it works but let's face it anyone with one once of common sense knows good bizz opportunities NEVER cold call. In fact my motto "if you never asked for it leave it well alone!"

    Any how..good luck.
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    • Profile picture of the author JordanBanks
      Originally Posted by sloanjim View Post

      Yes....if some big shot marketer came cold calling on my bizz door my immediate impression would be "how desperate is this guy for bizz."

      Same with cold callnig. Now I know it works but let's face it anyone with one once of common sense knows good bizz opportunities NEVER cold call. In fact my motto "if you never asked for it leave it well alone!"

      Any how..good luck.
      :confused: "anyone with one once of common sense knows good bizz opportunities NEVER cold call."
      ????? Care to cite a few examples of a successful business that you know has "NEVER" made a cold call? I'm curious as to which specific business you are referring to. Actually, it doesn't even have to be specific. Which general category can you say has NEVER made a cold call? And what reasoning would have prevented that business from doing so? And what was the outcome that was so negative, that anyone with common sense would swear off of cold calling ever again? I just don't get your post.
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  • Profile picture of the author mark healy
    i haven't really done much offline marketing will need your help.Any good marketing methods you recommend that work?
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    • Profile picture of the author Shane Hale
      One thing, since you are focusing on restaurants are plan out who you will talk to and find out if their menu is online. If so copy the link and "Google" QR code generator.

      Create a QR code on a print out and then at the bottom of the page put a contact number or link to your website stated this was provided by you.

      Present this to them as a gift. (Of course show them how it works.)

      Which can open the door for you and your text services. Show them how QR codes work for smart phones ect ect. This will open the door for your text services.

      Reciprocity goes a long way. Also, mention how mobile marketing and social media are the next biggest thing.

      Also, ask if they run specials on Foursquare ect ect. You could upsell 2 or 3 different services for them.
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