Cold Calling: What to use when you dont know the business owners name?

30 replies
Hey Guys,

Im trying my hand at cold calling, and am just struggling to find the names of business owners. I live in Sydney, Australia. If that makes any difference. I've checked manta, yellow pages, linkedin with no luck at all.

I'm not letting this discourage me, im going to bang out these calls either way, just wanted to know if theres anyway of finding out there names here in australia.

If not what should my greeting be, Can i speak with the owner dosnt sound very personal you know?

Any ways looking forward to the replies, talk soon everyone
#business #calling #cold #owners
  • Profile picture of the author StrategicCheetah
    The way I see it, there are 2 ways you can go.

    Either buy a list from a company who sell good quality lists in which case you'll have the business owners name in advance or else you just start calling without the names and ask to speak to the person who deals with what you are selling.

    So if you're selling web design, introduce yourself as a web designer and ask to the person who deals with that sort of thing.

    The thing you don't want to be doing is wasting time trying to find names because it doesn't give you enough of an edge to justify the time you'll spend mucking around.

    Usually the person you want to speak to won't be available anyway, so its a good opportunity to grab a name at that stage ready to call back at a more suitable time.
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    • Profile picture of the author marketeers
      Originally Posted by PositiveVibe View Post

      The way I see it, there are 2 ways you can go.

      Either buy a list from a company who sell good quality lists in which case you'll have the business owners name in advance or else you just start calling without the names and ask to speak to the person who deals with what you are selling.

      So if you're selling web design, introduce yourself as a web designer and ask to the person who deals with that sort of thing.

      The thing you don't want to be doing is wasting time trying to find names because it doesn't give you enough of an edge to justify the time you'll spend mucking around.

      Usually the person you want to speak to won't be available anyway, so its a good opportunity to grab a name at that stage ready to call back at a more suitable time.
      Thanks a lot for the reply mate, i dont really want to buy a list from someone as of yet not knowing wether or not ive got the ability to sell my services.

      As you said i may just have to go with calling up and seeing if i could speak with the person that deals with what i am selling.

      Im going to try calling for 3 days, if it dosnt work, ill try walking in and see if it's any easier to speak with the business owner that way. Either way ill document the success rate.
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      • Profile picture of the author StrategicCheetah
        Originally Posted by marketeers View Post

        Thanks a lot for the reply mate, i dont really want to buy a list from someone as of yet not knowing wether or not ive got the ability to sell my services.

        As you said i may just have to go with calling up and seeing if i could speak with the person that deals with what i am selling.

        Im going to try calling for 3 days, if it dosnt work, ill try walking in and see if it's any easier to speak with the business owner that way. Either way ill document the success rate.
        That's exactly what I did when I started off dude. I had no owners name and just phoned up really enthusiastic and friendly looking to help and it worked fine!

        Good luck, hope you knock it out the park
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    • Originally Posted by PositiveVibe View Post

      The way I see it, there are 2 ways you can go.

      Either buy a list from a company who sell good quality lists in which case you'll have the business owners name in advance or else you just start calling without the names and ask to speak to the person who deals with what you are selling.

      So if you're selling web design, introduce yourself as a web designer and ask to the person who deals with that sort of thing.

      The thing you don't want to be doing is wasting time trying to find names because it doesn't give you enough of an edge to justify the time you'll spend mucking around.

      Usually the person you want to speak to won't be available anyway, so its a good opportunity to grab a name at that stage ready to call back at a more suitable time.

      PV is right in his point of view from my prospective.

      Lists are great but I don't spend any more than necessary if I can get good info quickly on my own.

      Several things to consider are, that many times the owner, even in small businesses is not the decision maker you are looking for. No matter what you are selling one of the basic rules is determine who the decision maker is.

      So just because you have made it to the owner they may turn into a gate keeper shielding a decision maker they have deligated. You are asking questions in your thread and that is good. Now you must make sure you are asking the "Right" questions.

      Working the phone for getting appointments is usually what the desire of the caller (you) is. This could be a book or two in of itself and for that matter books are written on these sales steps. So never stop looking for help.

      To answer "A" way of what to do in your question is to, right from the start possibly consider making the whole process a two step operation. It may be one, two, three or more calls. You decide on your time investment.

      I simply, or have someone for me, call the business and hope a "lower" level person answers. If I get a choice from an auto operator I ask to talk to technical, the shop, kitchen or what ever. When someone answers tell them you are not sure if you hit the right button but identify your self to them and act authoritative. Say I am a service rep and need to talk with who ever does the advertising ( or what ever) at ABC company. They will tell you if they know if not thank them and say who would know?

      Note: Always get names if at all possible don't let them transfer you blindly. Also ask for their name and they will probably give truthful info. They don't want to get into trouble, etc. They can be identified. Life is always a mind game isn't it?

      Consider this process as research if you take that mindset it will keep any butterflies you may have lined up. After a while it will just become business as usual for you.

      You may, using this process, get to the DM in one call, being transferred here and there. That's ok just be ready for business if so.

      I like to make it at least a two step process. The research part as I mentioned may be done by someone else for you.

      Armed with the best info as to who the DM may be place the call.

      Now leverage the "research" to give your self some credibility.

      "Hi, DM I was talking with_____ in your shipping department and they said I should be talking to you." Use a name of non DM you talked to for credibility.

      This is just a technique to get you the name and to a DM. Think about the process, not what I necessarily scripted above for an example.

      The technique is aim low on purpose to get a bearing on the real target!

      Hope this makes some sense and helps!

      Old Dog
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      P.S. If I can be of any assistance in your "Off" or "On"- line sales and marketing please PM me or email at WinnersChoice-Warrior@yahoo.com . Old Dog

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  • Profile picture of the author Dan Ashburn
    I would not focus solely on the business owners name, regardless of whether you know their name if you are not compelling in the first 5 seconds they are not going to be interested anyway and pass you off as "another sales call"...

    Think outside the box... how can you get your foot or email in the door so it is going to be read?... "I was just browsing your website and noticed a problem with it, iv taken a screen shot can I email it over?" "Yes certainly" "Ok, what the email and who should I address it to?".... This is the type of approach iv found works... give them a reason for you to be talking to them and they will give you all the information you want!

    What approach are you taking?
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    • Profile picture of the author marketeers
      Originally Posted by Dan Ashburn View Post

      I would not focus solely on the business owners name, regardless of whether you know their name if you are not compelling in the first 5 seconds they are not going to be interested anyway and pass you off as "another sales call"...

      Think outside the box... how can you get your foot or email in the door so it is going to be read?... "I was just browsing your website and noticed a problem with it, iv taken a screen shot can I email it over?" "Yes certainly" "Ok, what the email and who should I address it to?".... This is the type of approach iv found works... give them a reason for you to be talking to them and they will give you all the information you want!

      What approach are you taking?
      Great reply mate, thats exactly what im currently working on, it's 10 pm here and i need this done before 9 am so i can get it going, so your reply was extremely helpful.

      I'm soley going to focus on setting an appointment or grabbing there email at the very least, if i dont get the appointment and get the email, i will be creating a short video for them and sending it off, then making a follow up call or visit the next day.

      I feel a push for the close over the phone is a bit much on first contact, especially when i dont even know there name.
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      • Profile picture of the author Dan Ashburn
        Originally Posted by marketeers View Post

        Great reply mate, thats exactly what im currently working on, it's 10 pm here and i need this done before 9 am so i can get it going, so your reply was extremely helpful.

        I'm soley going to focus on setting an appointment or grabbing there email at the very least, if i dont get the appointment and get the email, i will be creating a short video for them and sending it off, then making a follow up call or visit the next day.

        I feel a push for the close over the phone is a bit much on first contact, especially when i dont even know there name.
        Yep. In my experience it takes multiple contacts before you will close anything unless they have been referred to you, thats a different matter.

        If I was you I would simply aim for the email in the call and then close an appointment in the email you send to them, if they do not get back to you then follow it up a few days later "hey, it's X, did you get my email?" they will either say yes and then you proceed to arrange a meeting without giving them chance to say no or they will say No or Havent had time to look at it and in that case you can rebound with, let me show you in person, is Tuesday good for you sort of thing...

        Good luck in the morning! You will find what works best when you get going.. test and develop, test and develop...
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  • Profile picture of the author Rus Sells
    There's no easy answer to get the name of the business owner if you don't have it before hand. As mentioned you can buy a list, you can also check with the authority responsible for registering businesses, in the USA its the individual states, although sometimes the registrant isn't the business owner so you should be careful with that data. You can also do a whois search on the domain if they have one. Many times its the business owner who registered the domain and they don't usually pay for private registrations.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    Really? Buying lists? Researching? Multiple contacts within a company? You guys work too hard.

    You do not need the owner's name. What you do need to do is disrupt the typical "Salesperson attacker vs Receptionist defender" role pattern that you drop into by announcing "How are you today?" or some other "Here Comes A Salesperson" callsign.

    What I'm about to say will go against common sense. After all, aren't you supposed to sound confident?

    But try this: Be a little unsure.

    Here is an actual example from a real call to show you how this works.

    password: arctic1

    By being a little unsure, the gatekeeper wants to move to help you. Every time. It's human nature. Think ying and yang, gestalt, tai chi. Move back, the other moves forward to fill the space.

    Think about how many more contacts you'll make, instead of wasting your time researching for exactly the right person before picking up the phone.
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    • Profile picture of the author Deidra Renee
      Originally Posted by kaniganj View Post

      Really? Buying lists? Researching? Multiple contacts within a company? You guys work too hard.

      You do not need the owner's name. What you do need to do is disrupt the typical "Salesperson attacker vs Receptionist defender" role pattern that you drop into by announcing "How are you today?" or some other "Here Comes A Salesperson" callsign.

      What I'm about to say will go against common sense. After all, aren't you supposed to sound confident?

      But try this: Be a little unsure.

      Here is an actual example from a real call to show you how this works.

      password: arctic1

      By being a little unsure, the gatekeeper wants to move to help you. Every time. It's human nature. Think ying and yang, gestalt, tai chi. Move back, the other moves forward to fill the space.

      Think about how many more contacts you'll make, instead of wasting your time researching for exactly the right person before picking up the phone.
      ..and after working so hard to find the business owner's name, that might not even be the owner anymore, so all that time spent tracking them down for nothing. If you can get the owner's name..great, if not it's not that big of a deal.

      If I don't have the name, I just pitch the person that answers the phone. They'll usually send you to the person that handles marketing or whatever you're offering, or simply say they're not interested. Depending on which niche you're targeting, the owner may answer the phone, so just make a quick pitch or use of the *unsure* methods above, just make the calls and don't worry too much about having a name.
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      • Profile picture of the author Jgregory
        First, I'd ask you if you are doing lead generation or tele-sales?

        If you are doing lead generation to find qualified prospects to nurture into a presentation, then having the contact name is a big advantage, but not a show-stopper.

        I'm a list broker(USA only) and all my B2B lists have a Contact Name, Job title, and gender. This is very useful for direct mail where you merge that into the address and the sales copy, and also for cold calling for lead generation.

        If you don't have a name, just say who you are, what your company does, and ask the gatekeeper for some help... "We do yada-yada and I'm not sure who to speak with... perhaps you can help me out with that."

        Some Key Points on Lead Generation Cold Calls

        1. The owner is not always the decision maker.

        2. There can be other influencers in the business as well.

        3. Gatekeepers are allies. If you don't sound like a telemarketer.

        4. Human nature is universal. We like to help others if they deserve help. See point 3 above.

        Lastly, know your product/service cold. Use "out of the box" thinking and try out some good openers.

        I coached a client for calling about Mobile Websites like this...

        " Hi, this is Jan with DRS Media... I was wondering.... what is the URL for your smartphone website for Joe's Pizza... Could you help me with that?"

        Invariably, this created confusion and a sincere attempt to locate the right person to speak with about mobile websites. And the conversation led naturally to the close for a meeting if they did not have a URL.

        Best Regards,
        Jan Gregory
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        • Profile picture of the author marketeers
          WOW! okay i want to say a big thankyou to all that posted on this thread helping me out it was a lot to read through but provided me with some great tips and info.

          I wasnt expecting to recieve such amazing support and help.

          Well the results are in im not quite sure how many numbers i dialled but i was so into it that i forgot to eat lunch...Im not exactly sure how many numbers i dialled guys unfortunately sorry about that, i was just mainly focusing on call after call...I managed to set 12 appointments split over thursday and friday..I had a lot higher expectations but im not complaining with that result, i feel that i will be able to close the majority if not all of them. If i can close them all i will definately be well on my way to a target of 20 sales per week...

          I am used to creating conversations with people and making things natural as possible since I do currently work full time as a BDM for Cisco Systems (Currently on holidays till the end of next week). So selling is nothing new for me but as a BDM i have a lot of existing clients, and warm leads so its never really a cold call. So this was my first try at it and i feel i went pretty well...

          As for getting past the gatekeeper i simply drummed up a conversation about the weather i know not that original however i knew it would work since it was an absolutely beautiful summers day here in Sydney...Although my chat with the gatekeeper was for no longer than 1-2mins i feel that it really broke the ice talking about something completey different, and made things a lot more friendly which enabled me to have a higher success rate of getting through to the director...

          Will let you guys know how i get on with the appointments..Got a lot of work to do tonight creating sample work for them all so im off and will be back tomorrow thanks again for all the helpful info and tips guys and gals!
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  • Profile picture of the author Rus Sells
    Just say, This is IRIS but slur it a little bit. You'll have the business owner on the phone pronto. = ) Oh! darn you're not in the USA. = (

    Nice tactic about being "unsure" works like a charm. I've used that a lot when I was telemarketing.
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  • Profile picture of the author PeckhamPirate
    Head for the second, third and fourth pages of a Google search or Google Places listings then scrape up the dead meat and offer them one of your easiest gigs as a freebie. Works for me...
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    • Profile picture of the author wordsofmagic
      I remember buying a list of 1000 contacts for £170 approx a year ago from a broker. I found the list a waste of money, as I went through it, many contact names no longer worked there,wrong telephone numbers etc. I now use http://www.marketingmanagersinfo.co.uk/

      Hope this helps,
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    • Profile picture of the author Adwizard
      Originally Posted by PeckhamPirate View Post

      Head for the second, third and fourth pages of a Google search or Google Places listings then scrape up the dead meat and offer them one of your easiest gigs as a freebie. Works for me...

      If at all possible do not give product or service away free! Give them a rediculously low price like $20. Because they are more likely to pay you for business later. You become a very trusted advisor to them that they will have to pay!
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      • Profile picture of the author freeburd
        Originally Posted by Adwizard View Post

        If at all possible do not give product or service away free! Give them a rediculously low price like $20. Because they are more likely to pay you for business later. You become a very trusted advisor to them that they will have to pay!
        That's exactly how I feel. If I give people something free before they pay me even $1 they will never open their pockets for me. I would rather give free things to my paying clients.
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        • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
          Here's what works for me like a charm...
          without asking or trying to get the persons name...

          ------------------------------------------------------------------------
          "Hi, Ewen here, just calling to see if I can get you people a better deal on X,
          who should I be speaking to about this?"
          -------------------------------------------------------------------------

          This gets the call directed to the right person or the right person is taking the call.

          If the person on the other end wants to direct the call, you've given her what she wants,
          a name and what you are calling about.

          She gets what she wants and then you get what you want, talking to the decision maker which the receptionist often says the name, or if not then the decision maker gives his
          name when answering the call anyway.

          This is how I get talking to the decision maker, and that's my whole point of the call,
          not to get the name of some person.

          Best,
          Ewen
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  • Profile picture of the author marketman007
    hey... i am in sydney australia, just doing the same thing as you.

    i have tried so many other channels, only some worked, lots didnt.

    i figure we could share what our strategy and offers are going to be , since we targeting the same people, and are in the same time zone.. better to have a partner/friend working on campaigns, so get ahead faster, from learning what does work and what does not.

    check out my site, so you can see what i am about.

    i also got freinds working at cisco sydney.

    talk soon
    dan
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  • Profile picture of the author NewParadigm
    most small/med businesses dont have sophisticated admins to screen calls. Just ask, and 7-8 out of 10 will tell you if you are nice.
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  • Profile picture of the author Teez
    One of those hidden WF GEMS hope it helsp

    http://www.warriorforum.com/offline-...hot-bring.html
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    My first stab at success is the Nike Air Yeezys this is what made me believe.

    You can't be scared of rejection on the quest to perfection.

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  • Profile picture of the author Eugene Celestine
    Nice Information. One need a lot of courage to do cold calling. Some people are too scare of rejection.
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  • Yes cold-calling can be pretty tedious. Better do your research first before starting awkward and ending up with wasted time.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    Just use the method I gave above. You don't need to do a second of research--that's a time-waster to avoid calling.

    Calling does not have to be difficult or embarrassing. If you don't believe, truly BELIEVE, that you are sharing value and trying to improve your prospects' lives, then that's what you need to work on--not your phone technique.
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    • Profile picture of the author Tim Zager
      I can vouch for the "unsure" method. I had to wrestle with my sales manager over this technique. He was convinced it was unprofessional. (I help book appointments for a service that costs a minimum of $10,000) I proved to him I didn't need to spend time researching "who" to talk to.

      Over 90% of the gatekeepers I asked to help, sent me directly to the person I needed. The other 10% would probably not help no matter what I said. :-) Bottom line, I was barely making 20-30 calls a day before using Jason's ideas. Now I'm easily cranking out about 60.
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  • Profile picture of the author Bayo
    Why go the cold-calling route at all?

    There are so many other methods that are less stressful and get better results. When you cold call you lump yourself in with every other sales person that's doing exactly the same, and you can't do exactly the same as every other sales person and expect to be given a different reception by the business or the owner.

    So in a nutshell I would recommend using other methods.

    Having said that, I do know that sometimes it's something that has to be done (topic of another post probably in the future) and one way is to have something of real value to offer the business owner.

    You simply call up the business and ask along the lines of "I've got a (whatever item of value it is) that (delivers value/solves a problem e.t.c) who would be the person I need to send it to?"

    I wrote about this as a post in this section so feel free to check it out for more details...but do seriously consider cold-calling as a last resort if you want to be received, positioned and treated differently from others who use exactly the same approach.

    All the best

    BAYO
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    • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
      Maybe, Bayo, you don't know how to SOUND DIFFERENT.

      When you sound different, behave differently, you get treated differently.

      Yes, if you are like the majority who have no skill and do calling badly, then you'll get lumped in with everyone else.

      Now I dislike these "Why do it at all" type posts. Why not take it out of the thread and start your own? There's nothing wrong with marketing methods, but these cold call-bashing threads are really annoying. As for "get better results"? Depends on who you're talking to.

      Obviously I use calling as a marketing method and I am NOT perceived like anyone else.

      I would be happy to see your advice in another thread.



      Originally Posted by Bayo View Post

      Why go the cold-calling route at all?

      There are so many other methods that are less stressful and get better results. When you cold call you lump yourself in with every other sales person that's doing exactly the same, and you can't do exactly the same as every other sales person and expect to be given a different reception by the business or the owner.

      So in a nutshell I would recommend using other methods.

      Having said that, I do know that sometimes it's something that has to be done (topic of another post probably in the future) and one way is to have something of real value to offer the business owner.

      You simply call up the business and ask along the lines of "I've got a (whatever item of value it is) that (delivers value/solves a problem e.t.c) who would be the person I need to send it to?"

      I wrote about this as a post in this section so feel free to check it out for more details...but do seriously consider cold-calling as a last resort if you want to be received, positioned and treated differently from others who use exactly the same approach.

      All the best

      BAYO
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    • Profile picture of the author Tim Zager
      Originally Posted by Bayo View Post

      Why go the cold-calling route at all?

      When you cold call you lump yourself in with every other sales person that's doing exactly the same...
      You could say that for *any marketing method.

      Originally Posted by Bayo View Post

      So in a nutshell I would recommend using other methods.
      That's not what this thread is about. Someone asked how to handle a call when you don't have a contact name.

      Originally Posted by Bayo View Post

      You simply call up the business and ask along the lines of "I've got a (whatever item of value it is) that (delivers value/solves a problem e.t.c) who would be the person I need to send it to?"
      Isn't that essentially what Jason said?

      Originally Posted by Bayo View Post

      I wrote about this as a post in this section so feel free to check it out for more details..
      Would you mind pointing me to that post? I would like to learn more.
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      • Profile picture of the author taranisman
        Great advice here. These offline discussions are the best part of the WF.

        I was getting worn out on cold calling and feeling like a typical "salesperson".

        But, now I think I can go back at it full force.

        I've been told I have a great radio/phone voice, so it's about time to put it to work.

        Thanks go out to Jason Kanigan for sharing some extremely valuable tips that I'm sure you charge much more for.

        This kind of advice will be very helpful for me. I plan on using your techniques right away.

        I'll be back with my successes soon. Thanks again, guys.
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  • Profile picture of the author lucafo
    You don't need the name of the business owner.

    After reading some great posts of Jason Kanigan I just started to call and 90% of the times I reach the right person to speak with and honestly also if I don't know his name, I often set an appointment.

    Become " friend " with gatekeepers and they will provide to you all the informations you need.

    Also if I started to cold call 2 weeks ago, I learned A LOT and it's fantastic how the phone can help you to boost your business.

    Just don't stop calling... that's all.

    Last but not less important:
    thank you Jason, you gave me the motivation and the " method " to start calling effectively... and you shared your great knowledge for free.

    Thanks!
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