Cold Calling Day 1 FAIL: Or not?

32 replies
SO i decided today I would start calling the restaurants in my little town here (about 50-60). I scheduled it in between my current projects around 2pm-4pm as that is when I was told its best to call food joints.

Well I only dialed about a dozen numbers as I felt so unprepared and things jsut did not go well when I had a real person on the line.

I am really good on the phone at my job talking with homeowners, granted its not cold calling. I rehearsed the script from Avid Mobile ( i made some tweaks) a couple times and off I went, waiting minutes in between calls as each call was its own mountain.

I got a couple people to give me the best time to reach the owner, and using the owners name is an easy gatekeeper buster i think. (I am using Manta for my list)

ONe owner i did get on the phone sounded upset and annoyed before i said a word, I fumbled and then she said she could barely hear me and hung up. Oh well.

One gatekeeper objection on the 2nd call was, "what is this in regards to?" I fumbled that one too even though I wrote a pretty easy script for it.

i think I need to spend some more time with the script before I make my calls and also I feel kind of bound by the script, if I just know and am passionate about SMS text message marketing I think I will be able to deliver with more confidence.

When talking to someone about a pool I know pools and hot tubs inside and out so talking to them and selling them on them is easy. I guess it will take time to get there.

I cut the session short as I know I needed a new plan or approach, or more precisely practice my approach a little more.

I live in a nice small but busy downtown in NH and want to use the fact that I am right here in town as a selling point, so making a good first impression is key.

I will hit the headset and skype again tomorrow, I plan to update this thread as I progress. Having a big payday yesterday from a CL ad and a referral has me pumped and I want to keep creating income so I can build a legit biz.

I have a couple 10am call backs and a couple 2pm call backs to make so I will try to breath, and be confident and get the appointment.

Sorry for the lack of nuggets in this post but just wanted to get my experience out there.
#calling #cold #day #fail
  • Profile picture of the author P1
    Definitely not a fail.

    You have to have a script ready and you have to have answers to all their questions ready and rebuttals to get them back on track.

    If it's a restaurant play off of that.

    Owner: What is this in regards to?
    You: Hey, I'm curious how much does the X plate cost? (rebuttal)
    Owner: It's $0.00
    You: Oh, I couldn't find your prices online because you don't have a website..

    You get the idea.

    Edit: Oops, just reread your post and saw the gatekeeper said "What is this in regards to?" you should say "this is a important business matter I need to discuss" sometimes they will keep pressing you just say you'll call back.
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    • Profile picture of the author midasman09
      Banned
      In skimming thru your post I saw "SMS" so....when Phoning prospects you MUST;
      ... "GRAB em by giving them a REASON to listen!"

      Here's what I'm talking about;

      "Hi....excuse me! I have a way to "FILL YOUR SEATS WITH HUNGRY DINERS, EVERY TUESDAY!" It's too hard to try and explain on the phone. I have an opening tomorrow at 10am or at 2, which is best for you?"

      They "can't wait" to see HOW....little ol' you...is gonna "Fill Their Seats every Tuesday!"

      Instead of speaking in "Generalities"...."BE SPECIFIC!" Biz owners get pitched every day with "Sweeping Generalities!" When someone mentions a "Specific" benefit....you are RARE!

      So....when you meet them....with SMS....you explain;
      1) How you're going to compile a List
      2) What message you're going to send every Tues morn

      Don Alm
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  • Profile picture of the author terip
    I think it's not a fail. When I started out at cold calling I fumbled and even choked during my first calls. The script and every tool is present but the courage is still lacking. Don't worry and don't give up, in time the script and flow of speaking will come out naturally even when you're faced with objections.
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  • Profile picture of the author Seth Bias
    Not a fail at all. You TOOK ACTION! Alot of people are to scared to even do that. You will get there just keep taking action and kicking A**
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  • Profile picture of the author saxatwork
    You made some calls, so now you know how it's going to be.

    I'll say this - if you plan to rehearse again, use your experience. Pick up those questions they asked you already, maybe give it to a friend, ask him to think of more stuff on those lines so that he gets the idea. Try rehearsing with him over the phone. You don't sound like you need confidence, you have a lot already . It's just a matter of practice.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    So let me ask you this:

    On Day One of learning how to swim, how well did you swim?

    On Day One of learning how to ride your first bike, how well did you ride?

    On Day One of learning algebra, how well did you do the math?

    Day One is tough. No doubt about it. Prospecting, which is what you are doing, is a skill like any other. But I can tell you that if you persist, by Day 10 you'll be comfortable and doing great.

    There are certain key phrases that get people interested in each industry you call into. You'll pick these up as you go. You'll get more comfortable with talking with people. I promise you that, if you keep at it, prospecting will get easier. Talk to the guy who started this thread: he had a tough first little while...and then cracked the code and started making money.
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  • Profile picture of the author sondrac
    Verbally practice until it rolls off the tongue. Pat yourself on the back for getting through Day One, that's the hardest!
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  • Profile picture of the author mjbmedia
    If you're in a smallish place you dont have too many businesses to 'waste' on practice, so I suggest calling businesses in the next town first whilst you 'perfect' yourself then hit the hotter prospects once you're more naturally attuned to what and how to say
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    Mike

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    • Profile picture of the author kenmichaels
      since you in a small town. with only so many businesses, can i suggest you cut your teeth on people not in your town? Do the next town over.
      This way you still have your local gold mine to tap, when you have the experience to get the sales.

      Just my 2 cents
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      • Profile picture of the author JBroyer44
        Ken and Mike

        You are exactly right! It is amazing how something so simple does not connect until someone else says it.

        I'm going to compile a list today of Restaurants in other towns within a 30min drive.

        Start my cold calling from the furthest away and work my way back to my home town. Hopefully by the time I am ready to call in my town I will have a few clients under my belt.

        By the way anyone doing any SMS cold calling and have any tips?

        I see lots of info on web design and SEO cold calling but not a lot of discussion on SMS calls. Avid mobile has some great webinars and scripts but would like to hear from some guys in the trenches.
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        • Profile picture of the author criniit
          Originally Posted by JBroyer44 View Post

          Ken and Mike

          You are exactly right! It is amazing how something so simple does not connect until someone else says it.

          I'm going to compile a list today of Restaurants in other towns within a 30min drive.

          Start my cold calling from the furthest away and work my way back to my home town. Hopefully by the time I am ready to call in my town I will have a few clients under my belt.

          By the way anyone doing any SMS cold calling and have any tips?

          I see lots of info on web design and SEO cold calling but not a lot of discussion on SMS calls. Avid mobile has some great webinars and scripts but would like to hear from some guys in the trenches.
          Hey man I use AdvidMobile as well. And use cold calling as one of my main ways to get business. The scripts that they give have never worked for me, they are WAY to long. The biggest lesson I have learned is never, never, never (repeat that a couple more time for emphasis) try and sell them on the phone. The only hing you should be selling on the phone is an appointment.

          My general script is:

          Gate Keeper (In restaraunts its either a server or a hostess): Hi thanks for calling (restaurant name), how can I help you?

          Me:Hey how are you doing today?

          GK: Im great thanks!

          Me: Great! I am actually looking for the owner, is the owner in? (Never say "is he in" or "is she in" unless you know for a fact the owners gender..have gotten yelled at a couple times because of this)

          1 of 3 things will happen here, either they will say hold on one second and connect you, they will say he/she isnt in and then you ask for when hey are in and the owners name to call back, or they will ask why the hell you want to talk to the owner.

          GK: What is this in regards to?

          Me: My name is (your name) and I just wanted to tell them how great I thought their restaurant was and had a couple suggestions to make it that much better!

          Usually that gets me past no problem, they generally think I am a customer who has some praise, and who dosen't like praise?

          Now once you have the owner on the phone I say something along the lines of:

          Owner: This is John.

          Me: Hey John, Steve Brodsky here, getting rich off the restaurant industry yet? (yeah this part I stole from avidmobile because I liked it )

          Owner: (usually chuckles) Nope, not yet.

          Me: Well I can help you out with that. Again my name is Steve and I own (am VP/district manager/whatever the hell you want to call yoursef) __________ (your business name). We are a national mobile marketing company and what we do is work with restaurant owners just like you to bring customers right into your restaurant, whenever you want! On demand!

          Owner: (He/she will generally either say something along the lines of yeah right...or what are you talking about?)

          Me: (at this point I close for the appointment). Well its actually a very simple technology we use to do this, but the easiest way to explain it would be to simply show you in person. I am free tomorrow or Thursday at 2, which is better for you?

          At this point either you get the appointment or they start giving you objections. Just remember to continually close for the appointment! Do not try and sell SMS, or even try to explain it, just keep telling them its easiest and best to show them how it works in person, eventually they will break down and give you an appointment.

          The reason you do not try and sell on the phone is because it is SO MUCH easier to sell it in person. This is because the whole dynamic changes when you are talking with someone in person Over the phone people guards are up, they feel like the are disconnected from you and therefore can be unnaturally mean. When in person, people naturally feel that they have to be nicer/kinder and are much more responsive.

          This is the script I have used for the past year+ to land tons of SMS clients in my town.

          If ya have any more questions feel free to PM me or email me at: stevie.brodsky@gmail.com

          Best of luck!
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          • Profile picture of the author JBroyer44
            Steve,

            thanks man, great helpful post I sent you an email with a couple questions.

            that gatekeeper line seems akward to me at the moment, may have to sit with that one, haha.
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            • Profile picture of the author criniit
              Just sent you a reply back.

              Yeah you just have to try out different things and see what you are comfortable with. That one works great for small local restaurants most of the time, occasionally you run into the stubborn hostesses, and in that case I just hang up and call back later. Thats the good thing about restaurants, its someone different answering the phones all the time!
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          • Profile picture of the author kenmichaels
            Originally Posted by criniit View Post

            Me: My name is (your name) and I just wanted to tell them how great I thought their restaurant was and had a couple suggestions to make it that much better!

            Usually that gets me past no problem, they generally think I am a customer who has some praise, and who dosen't like praise?
            I don't agree, with the don't close them on the phone, but that just me.
            everybody has to do what works for them.

            with that said. what i quoted above is nothing less then brilliant. kudo's !!!
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            • Profile picture of the author criniit
              Originally Posted by kenmichaels View Post

              I don't agree, with the don't close them on the phone, but that just me.
              everybody has to do what works for them.

              with that said. what i quoted above is nothing less then brilliant. kudo's !!!
              I say that from my own experience. Might just be me but it is much easier for me to build rapport and actually get people to write checks in person.

              But your are 100% right you have to find what works for you!
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  • Profile picture of the author JBroyer44
    So I dialed 32 more restaurants this morning, Manta has a lot of bad numbers haha.

    Anyway, are restaurants like really high level telemarketing? I am jsut not getting into any kind of groove. It seems like when the owners answered they were nasty and dismissive. My tone was relaxed and friendly but when you ask "Is the owner around" your caught.

    Even when I have a name and say "hi is John around" people get skeptical and I say I'm Jay from XX mobile in (my town) and I wanted to talk to them about how we can help bring some more people into the restaurant." Or something along those lines, it does not work, they are so tuned into shutting down sales calls.

    I wanted to try Steve's script above but only got to use it once. I know its a numbers game but I'm getting a bad feeling about Restaraunt owners.

    Anyone with more experience selling offline to restaurants I would appreciate any pointers. I want to put in 100 calls today.

    Yet I also have 2 web design projects to work on so should probably get back to those. Was hoping I could bang out my calls in a couple of hours but not the case.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    Are you prejudging the next call? Bad idea!

    You called 20 people and nobody wanted to talk...so now you think the 21st won't want to talk, either? That's prejudging the call and it's headtrash that will shut you down.

    You just joined the forum, so you probably haven't seen the videos I put up last month that are all about cold calling. They are available on my website.

    I can tell that as soon as the person who answers the phone at the restaurant says something like, "What is this about?", you inwardly cringe and say to yourself, "Crap, here we go again." And the call turns out the way you fear it will.

    Try being a little unsure. People move to "rescue" others who are unsure; it's a psychological thing. Turns gatekeepers into friends all the time for me. As soon as they answer the phone, say in your 'a little unsure tone',

    "Hi, I'm not sure if you can help me. My name is <your name>, and I help restaurants <do whatever it is that you do>. But I'm not sure who would be the right person there for me to talk to about that...."

    and trail off. Wait for them to respond. Nearly all the time, this will get you through. The key is to treat the gatekeeper as if they were the decision maker.

    I do not say, nor do I train anyone to keep saying, "How are you today?" That is the phrase that broadcasts "Here Comes A Salesperson" and the wall goes up. Lose it. And false enthusiasm is the oil slick of the slimy low-skill salesperson.

    Of the calls you make, half the people you want to talk to won't be available to take your call. When they do pick up, half of those people won't want to talk right then. So immediately, you're down to 1 in 4 calls being ready & willing to talk to you. Don't take it personally. The numbers are the same for everyone else. Most of my calls are 30 seconds or less (not there), about 1:30 (if I have to go through a switchboard and leave a voicemail), or 5 - 10 minutes or so (if I'm having a real conversation with a prospect).

    Most of the time, you're going to be off the phone in 30 to 90 seconds. Again, don't take it personally: those are the numbers of the game. Don't stop and think--move on to the next call.
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    • Profile picture of the author JBroyer44
      thanks for the tips

      SO you do go ahead and leave voicemailson the decision makers personal voicemail?

      Do you leave messages if you get a general answering machine?

      That was another question i had.

      I'm going to try another session at 2pm with your technique
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    LOL I spent a half-hour when I was writing the last post trying to find the right call recording for an example to listen to...then I figured you probably wouldn't be interested (silly me.)

    I have put them up on this page.

    Password: arctic1


    Also, look at the posts down the right frame of my site: many of those are free training videos.
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  • Profile picture of the author JBroyer44
    thanks Jason really appreciate it! I'm going to check these out today.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    Oh, and it often takes a few calls to get through and talk with the right person. Your successes often come from things you did or started doing 10 days ago! So persistence is key...getting enough action going on that one more or less prospect/customer doesn't really matter.

    One of my sisters-in-law (I have many since I married) is a singer & musician. When I got to Wilmington, she had one weekly gig. If they cancelled on her, she was *devastated*. After I got to work on the marketing side, she had many gigs after a few months. If one cancelled, it was no longer a big deal.
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    • Profile picture of the author JBroyer44
      hehe I know that gig, I'm a musician myself and am down to one gig every other week as my focus has changed to IM and building a biz.

      So is this kind of along the lines of what I should be using?

      "Hi, I'm not sure if you can help me. My name is Jay Broyer and I help restaurants bring in more customers using simple text message marketing. But I'm not sure who would be the right person there for me to talk to about that...."

      or

      "Hi, I'm not sure if you can help me. My name is Jay Broyer and I help restaurants bring in more customers using mobile marketing. But I'm not sure who would be the right person there for me to talk to about that...."

      not be too specific , instead of saying SMS text, just say mobile marketing. BUt I feel just the word marketing is going to make them put up the defense.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    I wouldn't even mention *how* you do what you do at the moment. Stick with emotional reasons to do business with you:

    "My name is Jay and I work with restaurants who are frustrated that they aren't getting enough customers in the door, and hate seeing empty seats during peak and off-peak hours...and want to do something about it."

    The person answering the phone, regardless of who they are, should be interested in this because more business for the restaurant = more money for them, too.
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    • Profile picture of the author JBroyer44
      that seems simple, to the point, will get me in or out fast and takes the pressure off of me trying to explain myself.

      They either want more business or they don't

      If they ask," is this a sales call?"

      say?............... "Well I jsut have some quick ideas that may help them bring in some more business." something like that?
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    They probably won't ask that...should be obvious that it is.

    The question is a porcupine...sharp, spiny and painful...with training you would normally throw those back. ("Does it come in blue?" "Would you like it in blue?" "No, I hate blue.")

    I would answer honestly, "Well right now I don't even know if your restaurant needs what I offer. Who do you think I should talk to so we can find that out?"

    You can also modify this to respond to the "How do you do what you do?" question if it comes up too early.
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    • Profile picture of the author criniit
      Originally Posted by kaniganj View Post

      They probably won't ask that...should be obvious that it is.

      The question is a porcupine...sharp, spiny and painful...with training you would normally throw those back. ("Does it come in blue?" "Would you like it in blue?" "No, I hate blue.")

      I would answer honestly, "Well right now I don't even know if your restaurant needs what I offer. Who do you think I should talk to so we can find that out?"

      You can also modify this to respond to the "How do you do what you do?" question if it comes up too early.
      Hey just listened to some of your recordings, loved them! Great stuff, think you so much for sharing.
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  • Profile picture of the author JBroyer44
    you guys want some LOVE!!!!

    Jason 2nd call using your Gatekeeper script called a Raost Beef place, got the owner, got the appointment, he gav eme his personal cell number!!!!!

    BAM!!!

    THank you Jason and Steve, now back to the phones!
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  • Profile picture of the author iThinkhard
    try hiring a experienced telemarketer and focus on the thing you do the best
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    • Profile picture of the author HypeText
      Take a lesson from Thomas Edison. When asked about how he felt about all his failures in his attempt to invent the incandescent light bulb he replied:

      "I didn't fail ten thousand times. I successfully eliminated, ten thousand times, materials and combinations which wouldn't work."


      Now that you have an idea on what doesn't work, I will offer this advice.

      Restaurants are not the easiest sell. Managers in Restaurants receive constant sales calls from Credit Card Processors, Suppliers, Advertising companies, Grease Collection Services, Etc. As a result their guard is automatically up.

      The fact that you were able to reach Management is a good sign.

      Keep in mind that the public's view of "Salesman" is slightly lower than that of a Prostitute. Don't be a Salesman, be a Consultant.

      Your prospects need to perceive value before they will exhibit interest. They need to see you as an expert...and confidence will play a large part.

      Develop a script and learn it by heart. Never repeat it word for word or you will sound canned which is a huge turn off. Take a deep breath....relax, be conversational.

      I get the impression that you don't have a Sales & Marketing Background, so you are on a learning curve.

      Read what you can on Sales Psychology and glean what you can from those who have successfully cold called themselves.
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Bucker
    Jason is giving good adivce here so I am not going to add much. I would add this only. To close odd gaps in a call create a list of questions to ask. When you ask a question the other person feels compelled to answer.

    As long as you are asking questions people tend to answer them. Done right you will have all the info you need to present your product based on things they have said not what you are telling them they need.
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