Asking for a manager/owner?

by Volux
16 replies
When you cold call to sell your web design services, do you instantly open with asking for a moment of their time (or however you do it for your clients)? Or do you ask if you are speaking to a manager or owner first?

Interested in knowing how people go about with this, as I am about to start my cold calling this week.
#manager or owner
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    • Profile picture of the author kellyyarnsbro
      Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post

      Talking to a person unqualified to decide on and buy your product or service is a waste of time, isn't it?
      I totally agree with this. I don't get the point either as to why spend time to people who just reallies on their bosses decision.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Durham
    I'm agreeing with Jason, though I feel like, with prospects in general, people give qualifying the wrong kind of focus... In this case, (The case of cold calling) the manager is usually a "go between"...its almost a complete waste of breath to spend time on them.

    Back when we could bill on peoples phone bills, they didnt need the company credit card like they do now (which most managers do not have access to) they could just agree verbally, which we recorded.

    Many times, later on, we would find out the managers had told us that they had authority to make decisions (because it fulfilled their ego mostly) when in fact the owners had not given them authority to make such decisions. So, what I have found through that experience and others is that many managers will say "I'm the one you need to talk to, and Im a decision maker" , but they rarely are.

    As often as possible , you want to be speaking to the person who controls the spending and holds the checkbook.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rearden
    Always ask for the owner in your approach.

    This is especially effective when calling on small businesses.
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    • Profile picture of the author RRG
      Even better is to know the owner's name before you call.

      As for dealing with the manager, "Never take a NO from someone who doesn't have the power to say YES."
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  • Profile picture of the author Volux
    I know it's a waste of time..but how do you go about it?

    Start off by saying "May I please speak to the owner?" Or do you do it differently.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Durham
    You get a commercial list from info usa or some place similar, and create your list selecting the criteria option that you want owners names only.... then if the lead says "Bill Thompson", you answer the phone and say "Yeah, is Bill handy?", or "Is Bill around?", or if its a male voice that answers, you say "Hi, Bill?"

    They will either say "This is him", or they will say "No, this is Tom, let me get him for ya, can I say who is calling?"

    If you dont have a name , or a commercial list, you are stuck asking "Can I speak with the owner?" or something similar, and that works, but decreases your connections by around 50%.

    To speak with more owners...:


    Create a list based on business owners with 5-10 employees or less. This way you will focus on indy's and not corps who need 3 board meetings to make a decision, and , as I have always said there is a 100% greater chance that, if the owner doesnt answer the phone himself, he is within arms reach of whoever answers the phone, as opposed to being off in some other location across the country, protected by a big staff, and virtually inaccessible to people like yourself.

    All these little things increase your chances of pitching a decision maker, and every pitch increases your chances of a sale.

    If you call corps all day, you are going to be getting turned down by secretaries all day... It helps to focus on indy's, if you want to connect with alot more with decision makers. Wont rule out the secretaries entirely, but will definitely increase your odds of connecting with owners, tremendously, throughout your session, and you will get 100% more pitches in.

    Hope this helps.

    You might try manta dot com. They wont let you download the lists for free, but you can create the customized lists and read them off of your screen as you call down them... Just cant download them to your PC.

    -John
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  • Profile picture of the author Volux
    I intend on starting off with local businesses in my town and surrounding communities.

    I will definitely seek out lists for the future.

    Thanks for that block of info!
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    • Profile picture of the author John Durham
      Originally Posted by Volux View Post

      I intend on starting off with local businesses in my town and surrounding communities.

      I will definitely seek out lists for the future.

      Thanks for that block of info!
      No prob. I added the part about manta dot com, so you may want to re read. You can make the lists just for your hometown. Mess around with manta and you will see how simple it is.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rearden
    If you don't have business owner names, just ask for whom would make decisions on website services, put the name in your database, and call back in a week or two.

    You'll have to build your list to an extent.

    Also consider cold walking businesses, too. Great way to build a clientele. Go for 30+ businesses daily.
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      John just gave you a boatload of great information. I am constantly impressed with the depth of his knowledge.

      Now I have my swing at bat, from the point of view of a prospect.

      If someone calls me and say "Hi, Claude?". ..I now assume that I want to talk to this person. I set whatever I was doing aside, and try to find out what it's about. In fact, you are now at the top of my attention meter. You now have to screw up the call, before I lose interest. Really.

      You call me and say "May I speak to the manager or owner, please?"

      You are now at the bottom of my list of people I want to talk to. These calls are never from someone I want to talk to. You now have to fight your way up to zero on my attention meter.

      So having the owner's name is a real boost, I think.
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      • Profile picture of the author Rearden
        That's why walking in cold, suited up, is going to give you an exponential edge versus your normal phone spammer (no offense intended) when you are collecting information.

        Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

        John just gave you a boatload of great information. I am constantly impressed with the depth of his knowledge.

        Now I have my swing at bat, from the point of view of a prospect.

        If someone calls me and say "Hi, Claude?". ..I now assume that I want to talk to this person. I set whatever I was doing aside, and try to find out what it's about. In fact, you are now at the top of my attention meter. You now have to screw up the call, before I lose interest. Really.

        You call me and say "May I speak to the manager or owner, please?"

        You are now at the bottom of my list of people I want to talk to. These calls arenever from someone I want to talk to. You now have to fight your way up to zero on my attention meter.

        So having the owner's name is a real boost, I think.
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        David Duford -- Providing On-Going, Personalized Mentorship And Training From A Real Final Expense Producer To Agents New To The Final Expense Life Insurance Business.
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  • Profile picture of the author avandrunen
    I am just in the beginning of my prospecting journey as well, I have yet to close a deal over the phone but I have become quite deft at getting owners names from gate keepers when the owner is not at hand or getting past to the owner if they are on hand.

    Look up Jason Kanigan's "little unsure technique" it works wonderfully...give it a shot and see how it feels.

    Good luck
    Adrian
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  • Profile picture of the author John Durham
    Originally Posted by Rearden View Post

    That's why walking in cold, suited up, is going to give you an exponential edge versus your normal "phone spammer" (no offense intended) when you are collecting information.
    No offense taken Buddy!

    Door spamming, and just walking in without announcing yourself first, is much less intrusive.

    In all seriousness, it is higher "conversion" I must admit.
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  • Profile picture of the author Volux
    Great information guys, I really appreciate it!

    EDIT: I've been searching manta for some of the businesses I'll be contacting. Owners name in every one of them!
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