Can cold-calling build a big offline business quickly?

34 replies
Hi Warriors,

I'm expecting lots of 'yes' answers, but I also want to confirm what I've suspected, based on my own results.

I've been struggling with offline for nearly a year, trying everything but solid cold phone calling.

I've been focusing on mobile, mainly.

I've tried cold walk-ins, to all businesses - advertising or not, and got lukewarm reception. I've tried emailing personalised, educating videos to those that are advertising and who aren't mobile (poor response obviously). I tried a few cold phone calls - 20-30 - in a bid to book a 10 minutes walk-in mobile mock-up face-to-face demo, but they gave me the brush-off when they heard the word 'website' ("I have a website person, etc.").

And just lately, I've been finding non-mobilised websites from the first page of Google, making a mock-up, and walking-in cold with the mock-up on my phone ready to pitch. I find I can visit about 10 premises a day (I've been doing hair salons), with about half of those the owner being in, and half again that will listen to the pitch after seeing the mock-up. It's the same old objections - already have web guy, etc. I can't even get folks to agree to a sit-down appointment.

Now, I know it's a numbers game, and I know it's possible to become good enough to overcome these objections and make progress. But what's in my mind is the lack of momentum I'm able to build-up with a day of walk-in demos.

Driving around all day, through town/traffic, walking down the road to the premises, finding the owner not in, etc. I know that a face-to-face demo trumps a cold call. But I'm now thinking that with cold phone calling, even though it's not as effective per person as a walk-in, you can get through so many more in a day, and build up so much more momentum that surely you end up selling more per hour. I remember John Durham saying about the same thing.

A friend keeps bugging me to join the local Chambers, BNI, Rotary, etc., as a way to build my business via referral. But I can't stop thinking that massive cold calling is the quickest way to build a big business, and I should just concentrate on that and the site-building, until I can afford to outsource, go to meetings, etc. Plus I want money in the bank ASAP.

The other thing is, I've read a handful of threads of people doing well with mobile, but even more doing well with desktop websites, people like Pantera, Luke/payoman, James/s62731. They have some great threads selling desktop websites by cold calling. I have lots of great desktop themes that I've bought over the last few months, in tonnes of niches, too. I'm going to focus on this as my front end for the time being to see how this goes. I'm not dropping mobile. I'm just going to re-focus on desktop for the front end, and upsell mobile/SMS/SEO, etc.

So I'm ready to focus on cold calling over the phone, but I'd like some tips please. I've been referred some great threads on the forum about cold calling and selling, which I'll be going through. But can anyone please answer the following questions?:

1) I do this full-time (at least at the moment; I'm pretty much out of money and will have to get a part-time job if things continue like this). So I have all day to do this. My thinking is cold call those with no/bad website who are paying for advertising in directories/sites, email a mock-up, set-up an appointment to close face-to-face/upsell. If I'm planning on spending a good few hours a day cold calling, does it makes sense to contact those that have free listings also (Google+ Local listings/free YP listings, etc.), as opposed to just premium advertisers? I'm thinking of 500 calls a week, and wonder if I'll run out of premium advertisers to phone.

2) I'm a maniac for record-keeping, and like to add leads to a spreadsheet before calling, but I know some call straight out the book. Don't you forget who you've phoned? Do you simply make a note of the interested people/call-backs, and move on to the next call immediately?

3) If I have time, is it worth researching before my phoning session, to check Google to see if they have a website, and get the owner's name. Like a 1-2 hour block of time at night, before I make the calls the following day?

If anyone has any other advice regarding cold calling, feel free to chip in. I'm ready to dive in tomorrow.

Thanks in advance, and for all the great cold calling threads/advice.
#big #build #business #cold calling #coldcalling #offline #quickly #websites
  • Profile picture of the author PanteraIM
    Originally Posted by Scotty Stevens View Post


    1) If I'm planning on spending a good few hours a day cold calling, does it makes sense to contact those that have free listings also (Google+ Local listings/free YP listings, etc.), as opposed to just premium advertisers? I'm thinking of 500 calls a week, and wonder if I'll run out of premium advertisers to phone.

    2) I'm a maniac for record-keeping, and like to add leads to a spreadsheet before calling, but I know some call straight out the book. Don't you forget who you've phoned? Do you simply make a note of the interested people/call-backs, and move on to the next call immediately?

    3) If I have time, is it worth researching before my phoning session, to check Google to see if they have a website, and get the owner's name. Like a 1-2 hour block of time at night, before I make the calls the following day?



    Thanks in advance, and for all the great cold calling threads/advice.
    1) It will take you forever to get thru all the premium listings from every local business directory. You're only going to contact maybe 20% the leads you dial for that session, and out of those 20% statistically you might get 1/10 agree to an appointment to begin with.

    2) Yes. I am a data maniac as well Firstly you should be set up with an autodialler program at the minimum and have a VoIP account with a good quality headset.

    I now get someone to do the data entry for me where they simply copy paste the business name and phone number into a spreadsheet. On this spreadsheet I have separate tabs for how each deal is progressing in the pipeline, Hot & Progressing leads get their own column.

    3) Yes. That's a very good idea. Before you start your session you need everything prepared to make appointments for that block of time. Separate the irrleivant tasks so all you are doing for the next hour is dialing.
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    • Profile picture of the author Scott Stevens
      Originally Posted by PanteraIM View Post

      1) It will take you forever to get thru all the premium listings from every local business directory. You're only going to contact maybe 20% the leads you dial for that session, and out of those 20% statistically you might get 1/10 agree to an appointment to begin with.

      2) Yes. I am a data maniac as well Firstly you should be set up with an autodialler program at the minimum and have a VoIP account with a good quality headset.

      I now get someone to do the data entry for me where they simply copy paste the business name and phone number into a spreadsheet. On this spreadsheet I have separate tabs for how each deal is progressing in the pipeline, Hot & Progressing leads get their own column.

      3) Yes. That's a very good idea. Before you start your session you need everything prepared to make appointments for that block of time. Separate the irrleivant tasks so all you are doing for the next hour is dialing.
      Thanks a million for the sound advice.

      I just tried to sign up to your list in your sig, but it says the list isn't active. Let me know if it's working, and I'll sign up.

      Thanks again.
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      • Profile picture of the author PanteraIM
        Originally Posted by Scotty Stevens View Post

        Thanks a million for the sound advice.

        I just tried to sign up to your list in your sig, but it says the list isn't active. Let me know if it's working, and I'll sign up.

        Thanks again.
        Thanks for pointing this out to me, Scotty!

        I've fixed the form, I recently changed the list name..
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    • Profile picture of the author Adebayo
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      • Profile picture of the author PanteraIM
        Originally Posted by Adebayo View Post

        Hey Pantera,

        Do you mind telling us what phone dialer and CRM you're using or one's that you'd recommend. At the moment infusionsoft is kinda out of my budget so any suggestions are most welcome?
        Hey mate,

        I've covered this a few times already in several threads. I'm thinking maybe I should make a post somewhere and have a permalink for my setup?

        I've converted a whole floor of my house into a small call centre that's ready to be scaled up, I'm just waiting on a permit from my local council to turn my dwelling into a business of more than 5 people... anyway.

        To answer your question:

        I use a heavily modified vtiger CRM which is open source and therefore free.

        It is available to install as a script in most web hosting packages.

        The dialler I use which has also been modified to shit by me over the years is OsDial this is another open source software that runs on Asterisk.

        I have it so the dialler queries the leads and records stored in Vtiger so there's that convenience. It doesn't work this way out of the box though.

        You need a dedicated LINUX server to run OsDial but the client software runs on a thumb drive that can be used on any Windows machine.

        I have an old computer that sits downstairs which controls our call centre on the second level, doesn't need to be expensive but you have to be prepared to invest the time if you want to do it this way. The pay off is huge in terms of unlimited seats and lines though.

        I am a huge nerd so I love messing around with this kind of shit.

        However, for most people I'd suspect that just having an Excel spreadsheet would be sufficient as a way of recording leads and with some further programming, sales and invoicing with a Skype click to call feature. There's your CRM.

        In terms of a dialler on a Windows computer you are really only left to choose between Skype and a solution by Voicent which I really, really recommend.

        It has kind of BS licencing features per line and per update and all that, but it does predictive, auto dialling, voice broadcasting, can leave a recorded voicemail automatically etc.

        It's also very easy to use and doesn't require a lot of experience to get set up. You just need your own VOIP account.

        Hope this helps.
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        • Profile picture of the author Adebayo
          Yeah that's a big help...gonna look into those now. I've heard about phone burner and power dailer but from what you being suggested in this thread I don't even really need that...this is a great thread, thanks guys.

          BTW Has anyone had experience using appointment setters, I know it kinda goes against what we're discussing but I'd be interested if anyone could recommend a good service for the UK? Best of luck to you Scotty...I'm in the same boat man and all I can say is that when you have a consistent natural flow on the phone and can control the conversation naturally then the deals come. I'm slowly starting to see results after being on the phone for just over 2 weeks now.
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          • Profile picture of the author nyk24
            Hey Scotty

            Nice thread...as a fellow brit I thought you might welcome my input.

            Yes folks in the uk are more stubborn, don't like being sold to and don't get on board with the latest thing like our cousins across the pond but we get there eventually!

            Anyway my experiences have taught me this:

            1. This is the most important thing I find.....don't come across as a salesman - you are a web guy, a programmer, a google guy, a mobile guy etc. You don't carry brochures and wear a suit. As soon as someone sniffs a salesman over the phone or sees you coming into his shop then BOOM....it don't matter what you are offering 99/100 he wants rid of you. That is the mentality here in the uk and consequently your message is lost in the blurrr (you can usually see the owners eyes glaze over)

            2. A referral can go a long way....Whether you ask for it from a complete stranger, your family, friends etc. I constantly bore my mates and family about business they won't forget you do something with websites or google and guess what? One day you get the call saying, "I have told someone you do websites...they are expecting your call." I would even tell the hairdresser, the guy that repairs your car, your washing machine...in fact anyone you come into contact what you do.

            3. The price....that's all you ever get from business owners "what's the price." Instead of getting all hung up about this question at the begining of a conversation you need to swerve it..change subject and tell them what they get for their money and how it benefits them financially. When you are ready to give a price I usually explain before giving a price e.g. if you tell a client a site will take a week tell them that's 40 hours and I charge £15 an hour therefore that's going to cost you £600. Now minimum wage in UK is just over £6 so even the best negotiator is not going to dare try to offer less than £240 to you. He will also think that the other prices he may of heard of during the past of say £200 was too cheap and therefore no good. See you have demonstrated YOUR VALUE to the business owner. Now you will probably tell me you can knock out a simple wordpress site in a day or two but the business owner normally will not know this. This is how you get the price you want!

            4. Advertisers......as mentioned here several times over several posts go after the local advertisers. They have the will and the money to potentially spend with you. They don't want a long boring sales ptich they want to know can you get them top of google, can you make a site similar to exampe x etc. When you say yes then let them ask all the questions if they are interested. Boring talk about features etc bores the ordinary man in the street.

            5. Less talking more sales..........Don't waste time with rebuttals (by all means call them back in 6 months they may have changed their minds by then) keep cold calling or walkins until someone say yes I am interested tell me more then you briefly explain the benefits in a minute or two then you SHUT UP.....let the owner talk and talk and answer his questions and say sure mr. smith I can so that, sure mr. smith I have examples you can look at online etc. Then you talk about price at the end and justify that price to owner as in point 3.

            To sum up referrals are so powerful as you already have an element of trust and less to prove to a business owner. Keep talking about your business to everyone and anyone. The more you talk the more people remember to recommend you.

            Remember don't ramble on about your service. Don't waste your time with the nay sayers. Most of all don't sound like a tele marketer when you call up and don't cold walkin like a slick salesman with a suit a brochure - smart jeans and a shirt or polo top will surfice (you look smart casuall....you look like a customer at first sight).

            Us Brits are a shrewd bunch we hate salesman and can spot them a mile away....if theres interest then theres a sale you just have to be yourself and proactive then you will find the wheel start to turn.

            HTH

            Nick

            P.S. Websites are still selling in this economy. I have found not just new businesses but companies that keep being asked by customers why have they not got a website yet and they end up buying a site to avoid future embarrasment.

            P.P.S Mobile sites and seo are a side sell, concentrate on selling sites first. SMS? Not sure about this one...could it be a main sell say for appointment setting hair salons who have clients not turn up? Answers on a postcard please :-)
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason_V
    To answer your first question, absolutely you should try to focus on businesses that already have some sort of paid advertisement. In fact, the more forms of advertising the better. You want to take the path of least resistance.

    A business that uses multiple forms of advertising "gets it." They know they have to spend money to make money. We're in a down economy. A lot of businesses make the mistake of pulling advertising to save money. The fact is, that's when businesses need to kick their advertising into even higher gear. It benefits you to have a smart business owner in this regard. Instead of a penny pinching owner.

    Secondly, I think you're kind of targeting the wrong types of businesses for this. I'm not saying hair salons won't buy a mobile site. However, there seem to be certain businesses that mobile is a better fit.

    I can't speak to experience on this as I don't do mobile. I'm sure other people on here can help point you to higher converting businesses that need mobile. From my understanding, restaurants and pizzerias are high on the list for mobile.

    I understand that smart phones are taking over. Eventually, most businesses are going to want/need mobile sites. However, it's like anything else, there are going to be laggers. Hell, there are still businesses that don't even have a website.

    People as much as they don't want to admit it, have a herd mentality. Mobile hasn't quite, in my opinion, caught on to the mainstream yet. It's not quite seen as a necessity yet. So, you're kind of fighting two battles.

    I'll point you to another thread I wrote 3 years ago that is still relevant that will help you to find prime spending potential clients and shows you understand how much money they're spending per month on advertising:

    http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...ight-gold.html

    I'll throw in a suggestion for you too, if you also want to help get the ball rolling, do some free mobiles for non-profits of your choice. Such as your animal shelter, perhaps some churches (The priest, preacher, rabbi will probably announce the church now has a mobile site thanks to you), a women's domestic abuse shelter, etc...At the bottom you can put a link that says "mobile site designed by" and a link back to your site with your contact information. Once you do it for the non-profit don't be afraid to ask for some references from the people you deal with at the non-profit.

    "Listen, since I'm starting out at this, could you please suggest to me some business owners you may know, who may also be interested in having a mobile site done?" It's a lot easier to sell something when you can walk into a business and say:

    "Yeah, Fred Jones from the animal shelter, said I should come talk to you." "Oh, you know Fred? He's a great guy. How's he doing? What do you want to talk about?"

    If you do a good thing for a non-profit, especially something tangible that the people who work there will show off, you may get some business from it, you'll also get some karma points.

    Good luck with your cold calling too.
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  • Profile picture of the author payoman
    You know what, I just love step-by-step guides, they are so precise and you can't mis-interpret them, or second guess them. You just DO them. Here's what I literally do if I have no clients and need work ASAP, like THIS WEEK :

    1. Go buy as many local rags as you can, local newspapers, magazines ESPECIALLY anything with a 'Home Services' section (classified ads for business services).

    2. Sit at your desk with a phone, a computer and the classified ads in front of you and type each listing into Google and search. Now these newspapers/magazines should have contractors/small home service businesses listed, hopefully with their mobile phone numbers. You are looking for businesses that either :

    a) Don't have a website.
    b) Have a website but it looks old or outdated.

    If a site has clearly been done in the last 12 months (Usually you can tell by the 'modern' look of an image slider, with widgets, social media icons are a big one), it might be worth just moving onto the next classified ad.

    3. Call the mobile phone numbers and address them by their first name (hopefully its on the ad or listed online in one of the Yellowpages/yellowbook listings they have).

    4. Say this : "HI *their name*, I just found your newspaper/magazine ad, I actually have a business here in *your town/suburb/area* as well, we do websites for small businesses, just thought I'd give you a ring and see if
    you were happy with your current site (if they have one)
    (or)
    might have looked into getting a website at some point?" (if you cant find one in Google)

    5. If they object in any way
    (not interested, not really, don't need it etc), take another shot and say "Well that's fair enough, but obviously you are using the newspaper to advertise and that can't be cheap. You probably know that maintaining a website, once its up and running, only costs between $15-$30 per month, and its online 24/7 for your potential customers. If you compare that to the cost of a newspaper ad, its good value dont you think?"

    6. If they still give you some crap like 'no, thanks anyway' or 'my brother in law/sister/parent/dog does websites', just say thanks and move on. If they show any interest at all, move to step 7.

    7. You need to do 3 things before you say goodbye to the prospect :
    (1) Get their email address and send examples of your sites, and all pricing info/whatever they request.
    (2) You need to PUSH for an inperson meeting (will increase your close rate by a huge amount) if possible. Remember, we are going for the best chance at a sale, so in the beginning you want to do this.
    (3) If a meet isn't possible, schedule a follow up call. "Could I give you a call later this week/early next week to see how you went with the email?"

    8. Rinse and repeat with each classified ad. I don't have solid statistics, but doing this VS just cold calling random businesses, I have had much better success because A) They are already advertising so they understand the value and B) They usually have their ad placed among other ads with websites (point this out if you can) so they feel pressure and C) They are local so you can meet and grow a relationship.

    Hope this helps. You should definitely see success using this method.
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    • Profile picture of the author zimbizee
      I see your in the UK like me, and i have found unlike our cousins across the pond a lot of business owners just don't get online marketing whether it's a website, mobile, video etc. I sometimes feel like i'm banging my head against a brick wall. I think the UK is months behind the rest of the world sometimes

      I envy those that can cold call, i'm not a salesman by any stretch of the imagination and therefore avoid it. I also believe one of the main reasons i don't do it is because subconsciously i actually hate being cold called myself with the attempt of of being sold on something i was not in the market before i picked up the phone(weird as i'm in the marketing biz). I'm much happier face to face than on the phone, direct mail works but email without a follow up is a shot in the dark imo.

      best of luck with your endeavors
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  • Profile picture of the author Aaron Doud
    I'm going to touch on a few points that came to mind as I read your post.

    1. The cold method you focus on should be the one that works the best for you. While "it is a numbers game" is true to a point that isn't the whole story. Calling 200 people a day and closing 1 is fine but if you could cold walk talk to 10 and close 2 which is a better use of your time? Only you can figure out which way you sell best but as you get closer and closer to the person your closing should go up.

    So track everything and follow the path that makes the most sense.

    2. Are you calling it a 10 minute meeting? My personal opinion is nothing of value can be sold in 10 minutes. Hell 10 minutes won't give me time to ask you questions. That tells me you are expecting me not to buy so you want to keep it short so I won't feel like I am wasting my time.

    The problem is that is you just in my mind told me what you have to show me isn't worth my time. So why would I give you money? Consider how you are presenting the meeting. Short isn't always the best way since short makes me (and likely others) assume it isn't worth our time.

    30 minutes minimum. "What I would like to do John is set up a time to meet in person. I could come to your office. When would be the best time? My presentation can be done in about 30 minutes but I always schedule myself for 1 hour so don't worry if you have questions and we go over the 30 minutes." You didn't ask for an hour but you told him he could have an hour if he wanted it. This shows you don't need a lot of time (30 mins) but you know it will be worth his time and you will schedule an hour on your calendar. Also makes it sound like you are busy since you have to schedule "overage" time into your schedule. "Important people are busy" is something a lot of managers and business owners believe since it is true for them.

    3. Selling only mobile sites could be a problem because we do have a web guy. We want our websites to work together so we will have out web guy do the mobile site as well. You might be better offering full web redesigns including mobile. It's hard to know for sure but I don't personally get the guys who make mobile sites only. I can just have my web guy do it for the same or less. In fact we had our web guys do that for our dealership.

    4. Why hair salons? I know hair dressers and the money isn't good. They may not have the budgets for it. How are you justifying the costs to a business that gets a great deal (if not all) of their business from referrals and repeats? That train of thought is likely their real objections.

    5. Networking has worked for many. It isn't quick but I believe you should do it if you have the time as you will sooner or later want to get past prospecting and start getting businesses to come to you.

    6. "Plus I want money in the bank ASAP." I can honestly say when it comes to sales this is never a good mentality. And there are actually two reasons for it. First selling should be about the client and not you. If you are not thinking that way you won't be putting money in your bank.

    As you become a pro client-first becomes second nature and this is where "hunger" comes in. Often the lazy and average sales professionals sell more when they need to pay bills. So second money is never what you want or need. Money is a bad motivator. You need to need that money for things. It is those things that will motivate you not money in the bank. For example I think about cars. For you it might be vacations or homes or even video games. But money doesn't motivate people and those that focus on it often will not be motivated enough. It is easy to blow off prospecting when you see it as $300. It's harder to blow off when you see it as half your Corvette payment.

    7. Sell websites as a whole. Packages starting at _____ for simple and then customize the solution with mobile sites and etc.

    8. You are ready to focus on cold calling over the phone but do you know you will do better using the phone? Personally I think you need to learn to sell and the best way to learn is face to face where you can learn to read people.

    Need money and not closing sales? Maybe you should go sell for someone else first. Car, Furniture, or Appliance sales would give you a chance to get paid while learning how to sell better.

    I believe that most people would be happier as their own boss but I and many others make damn good money as employees. And the training and experience you get selling for someone else will help you better sell for yourself later. plus hopefully gives you the tools to train others to sell for you which should always be the goal long term.

    So think about getting your sales experience on someone else's dime for a year or so.

    9. (RE:1): If you need money for bills (paying bills not money itself remember) you should get a job. I know it isn't the advice you want to hear but if you are out of money fear of losing your home/etc has not been enough motivation for you so far. Drive (which I assume you have) will only take you so far without the skills needed. Get paid and get the training and experience you need. Sometimes the greatest victory is knowing when to retreat and regroup.

    10. (RE:1): I would say if you do continue on this self employed path you need to maximize your closing. So focus on local businesses (appears you are). I wouldn't worry about looking online. Go grab a newspaper and call the people advertising there. Do the same with radio and TV. These guys are spending a lot and hopefully are ignoring their internet marketing. These are the guys you can really get in with. Hell ask why their ad didn't list their website (wouldn't even search for their site). Get into a conversation and sell them on how you can create a plan of action around the internet that will tie into all their other marketing and increase the ROI for their whole marketing budget. List building, social media, web coupons. All of this you can do for them. Hell maybe they are not tracking their ROI and you can teach them how on various mediums. Be more and you will make more.

    11. (RE:2): Tracking is great but make sure you are tracking the right things. I mean do you really need a crm(what you excel sheet is) when you are cold calling. As long as there is an order to it you won't be calling them enough for them to remember you. And if you have that few to call you would be better off with a real CRM and a true prospecting plan. Hint: Hitting them once via ______ isn't a prospecting plan. It is about a series of steps that are designed to bring them closer to buying with each step. You can even have multiple tracks depending on how interested they are.

    12. (RE:3): It depends. If you are selling something quick and easy just go for it. if you are going in as more of a consultant you can just go in as well because you will learn it all while talking to them. On the other hand if you want to create a bigger sale and customize the pitch to each do the research. But you shouldn't do this for everyone. Pick your top say 20 to 100 prospects and create a prospecting plan around landing them. I would still simple cold call those not on that list to build up business while going after those top prospects.

    Ok sorry that was so long. Hopefully my points will have value for you.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jason Morris
      I would add as well that if you are not giving them a reason to buy from you nothing will happen. Just asking them if they would like a mobile site is not enough.
      What will a mobile website do for them? why should they have one?
      These reasons should be built into any script you are using.
      The key thing to remember is the person on the other end of the phone is asking "whats in it for me?"
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  • Profile picture of the author bsummers
    For your first question, it makes sense that you look for people who are using premium advertisement already. Usually, these are the people who understands the value of marketing expenditure. If you offer them something good, then they might be more likely to do business with you.

    Second, it pays to keep a detailed record of your prospects and whatever details the two of you have discussed. Remember that most lead generation efforts take time to complete, so you might have to make a couple of more calls before a deal could be closed.

    Lastly, research should be number one. I've seen a lot of marketers fail to catch the interest of their prospects due to lack of research. There might be details about your prospects that can only be gleaned if you studied their background deeper.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    Keep your calling simple so that you do it. All you need to track with your calling are 3 variables:

    * Dials

    * Conversations

    * Sales.

    Dials = you pick up the phone and call someone. Maybe they answer and maybe they don't.

    Conversations = they answer and talk to you for more than 10 seconds. An interruption of your opening and "We're not interested" *click* doesn't count as a conversation.

    Sale = they buy.

    With these 3 numbers, you can predict how many dials it will take to hit your revenue target. As you proceed and learn, this number will shrink. As you add in more leadgen methods, like referrals and club talks, it will shrink even further (the right kind of referral can literally wipe out the need for hundreds of dials).

    You need to track your activities with a CRM. Plenty of people I've worked with absolutely hate their CRM. It alone can be a big reason not to get on the phone! So the best CRM is the one that you will use. In my time I've used clunky to fancy, and what I use now is a basic Excel spreadsheet with some conditional formatting to highlight what I must do today...and what's coming up tomorrow. Very few columns, under a dozen, and one cell only per prospect for entering discussion updates. Think about it like a file folder system: is it easier to find things in one big file, or have to flip through a bunch of thin ones? Is it easier to misfile with the one big file, or the many little ones?

    Throw out the phrase "cold calling". It creates an unpleasant visceral reaction in the human body and mind. Start using "prospecting" or "making prospecting calls". You are like a panner looking for gold. Sift. Sort. No gold in this part of the riverbank? No big deal. Not your fault. Move on to the next part of the riverbank.

    I'll share with you a secret I share with some of my 1-on-1 clients: the gold is already out there. It's out there right now. And it has YOUR name on it. All you have to do is go claim it.

    A lot of people have trouble believing that. They also have difficulty understanding that people choose their own economic level ie. you choose the amount of money you make. The economists like Galbraith proved this 60 or more years ago. You choose it by the problems you choose to solve for others...the education you get (and I mean formal and school of hard knocks--equally valuable)...who you associate with...what you do with your time.

    I don't have cable tv, and I haven't for a decade now. I watch maybe an hour on netflix a night, after 11PM. I'm not interested. Although I have to admit commercials really stand out for me when I'm at a friend's who has the tv on.

    I don't go to bars for a "night out with the guys."

    I do my best to make sure I add at least one friend a year who is earning much more than I am. I can count four over the last 16 months. Guess what, my income went up.

    Choose to sit home on the couch or hang out at the watering hole wasting time, and the dream will never be realized.

    Get into the zone of uncomfortable--that's where the magic happens.

    You need to call consistently, at least 2 hours a day Mon-Fri, to grow your business.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mwind076
    1) I do this full-time (at least at the moment; I'm pretty much out of money and will have to get a part-time job if things continue like this). So I have all day to do this. My thinking is cold call those with no/bad website who are paying for advertising in directories/sites, email a mock-up, set-up an appointment to close face-to-face/upsell. If I'm planning on spending a good few hours a day cold calling, does it makes sense to contact those that have free listings also (Google+ Local listings/free YP listings, etc.), as opposed to just premium advertisers? I'm thinking of 500 calls a week, and wonder if I'll run out of premium advertisers to phone.

    2) I'm a maniac for record-keeping, and like to add leads to a spreadsheet before calling, but I know some call straight out the book. Don't you forget who you've phoned? Do you simply make a note of the interested people/call-backs, and move on to the next call immediately?

    3) If I have time, is it worth researching before my phoning session, to check Google to see if they have a website, and get the owner's name. Like a 1-2 hour block of time at night, before I make the calls the following day?
    1) If you are only doing in person appts, then you may run out of "premium" numbers in the first week, however, you won't reach them all, so no, you won't. Also, "premium" means different things to different people. Just call, someone you don't think is premium may be your best client. If you are doing phone appts, you will not run out of numbers...either way, you won't, there are plenty of lists out there.

    2) Yes, you need a spreadsheet, a simple excel sheet with Company, Contact name (which you will find out on your own) and phone number, and a Notes column is sufficient. You do not need a dialer if it is JUST you calling. It's a waste of money and time. You don't want to power dial, you want to reach people and talk to them. Your goal is not 70 calls per hour, because that means you aren't talking to anyone.

    3) No, there is no need to research every number before calling. Make the calls, find the interest and THEN research so you are prepared for the meeting. You will waste 1-2 hours a night gathering information on disconnected numbers, and people who are not qualified or have no interest.
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    • Profile picture of the author Scott Stevens
      Once again, thanks a million to everyone who contributed to this thread. This was the kind of feedback I was after. Worth its weight in gold. I've been going through the best cold-calling threads as recommended on the forum, getting the best advice I can.

      I'll make sure to keep you posted.

      Great forum.
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      Skochy - The Musical Salesman

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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    Prospects often ask about price because they don't know enough to ask about anything else. It's the only basis for comparison they have.

    You must divert their process and get them onto your process.

    Read this.

    It'll guide you into what can be a one-call close.
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  • Profile picture of the author ishwar
    Keep your eyes open we are coming out with a BAD Ass dialer to that will help you make calls using your mobile/cell phone. I use the system everyday; made 30 calls yesterday. Left a whole lot of messages and 3 called back.
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    Ishwar
    Always looking for few good affiliates
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    • Profile picture of the author jimbo13
      Originally Posted by ishwar View Post

      Keep your eyes open we are coming out with a BAD Ass dialer to that will help you make calls using your mobile/cell phone. I used the system everyday; made 30 calls yesterday.
      Would a finger not suffice?

      Dan
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  • Profile picture of the author hirechrisgunn
    Since everyone seems to have covered the ground here, I'll just share my experience. Cold calling has its pluses because you can get two things: #1 A business card with some info, and #2 The name of the person in charge. If you're just cold calling on the phone, you run into what I ran into with every place I cold called -- the dreaded, evil secretary -- who doesn't want to talk to you and definitely not if you don't know who your calling.

    If you can get the information you need for the places you need to contact all online, then go for it! That personal touch is nice, but if you need to solicit places that already have your product or service (like cleaning for instance), it's going to come down to price at the end of the day, so a phone call may be more worth it to your pocket. At the end of the day, they want to meet you once, draw up a contract, sign it and move on.
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  • Profile picture of the author DaniMc
    Originally Posted by Scotty Stevens View Post

    A friend keeps bugging me to join the local Chambers, BNI, Rotary, etc., as a way to build my business via referral. But I can't stop thinking that massive cold calling is the quickest way to build a big business, and I should just concentrate on that and the site-building, until I can afford to outsource, go to meetings, etc. Plus I want money in the bank ASAP.
    Don't think of this as an either/or situation. You need to be thinking in terms of ALL.

    You can join these groups and create a center of influence. Your centers of influence will bring you a lot of business.

    Your business is like a train, hard to get moving at first. Sorry, but if you are only talking to 10 businesses per day, you are not putting in enough effort.

    If you get a part-time job, you will have failed yourself man. Look, working part-time for someone else is harder than making a few sales per week. Get it deep in your heart that you will make this happen. You have an obligation to make this happen. Get up earlier, stay up later, talk to at least 50 or 60 people per day in some way or another - on the phone, in person, networking...do ALL of it.
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    Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.
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    • Profile picture of the author SümerTech
      Originally Posted by Dan McCoy View Post

      Don't think of this as an either/or situation. You need to be thinking in terms of ALL.

      You can join these groups and create a center of influence. Your centers of influence will bring you a lot of business.

      I have several full-time callers now, and I still work my centers of influence. Your business is like a train, hard to get moving at first. Sorry, but if you are only talking to 10 businesses per day, you are not putting in enough effort.

      If you get a part-time job, you will have failed yourself man. Look, working part-time for someone else is harder than making a few sales per week. Get it deep in your heart that you will make this happen. You have an obligation to make this happen. Get up earlier, stay up later, talk to at least 50 or 60 people per day in some way or another - on the phone, in person, networking...do ALL of it.

      I completely agree with this, and to add more to this topic I would suggest taking out an ad on craigslist or any other classifieds site or micro workers site and hire a telemarketer to actually make all the cold calls for you (or at least in addition to all the calls you're making). You can even tell the person that you will pay them strictly commission, which works out in everyone's favor since they will work harder to make the sale and you will only pay say 80% of the sale or something along those lines. You would be surprised at the amount of people who are willing to do this type of work.
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      • Profile picture of the author marketingrep4u
        While I'm a strong advocate of direct response marketing efforts over cold calling, I do have another idea for you.

        Since you'd like to use the phone as a primary marketing effort, do it with a twist:
        1. Join your local Chamber of Commerce.
        2. Construct a 'FREE Gift' offer.
        3. Obtain a member list of your Chamber.
        4. Call each member and tell them that it's your mission to meet every member face-to-face and that you have a 'FREE Gift' you'd like to drop off at their place of business.
        This will get you in front of many more people much quicker than making a cold-cold call. At least the members will be somewhat warm. The Chamber is your Affinity group that you can leverage your relationship with the Chamber to be the premise for the call.

        The 'FREE Gift' would be something (a service maybe) that you do within your existing business. Make it something where once they 'taste' the benefits of it, they'll want to know how they can get it on a regular basis.

        While you may not convert ALL of them, you'll still get more appointments faster than traditional cold calling. You won't sell to all of them, but your conversion rate using an Affinity marketing model for your calls WILL convert much higher than the current cold calling you're planning on doing.

        Do all those other things with your local Chamber too. Get on a committee. Show up at networking events, etc., etc. This will let them know that you genuinely want to get involved and want to build a relationship with them.

        Your typical Chamber dues will run you about $250 a year. That's still a low price to pay to get a targeted warm list.

        Now, before this idea gets criticized, I do this in the 'Real World' and it WORKS for me.

        Best of luck to you OP!!!
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  • Profile picture of the author ewilner
    hey everyone. I am doing a fundraiser for my school and created a directory site but everyone we are contacting are saying they want to see traffic before paying a monthly fee.

    Is there any great script or idea that we can get them to pay us 10 monthly to be listed if we dont have traffic yet.
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    • Profile picture of the author Scott Stevens
      Originally Posted by ewilner View Post

      hey everyone. I am doing a fundraiser for my school and created a directory site but everyone we are contacting are saying they want to see traffic before paying a monthly fee.

      Is there any great script or idea that we can get them to pay us 10 monthly to be listed if we dont have traffic yet.
      Probably best starting a new thread with this one.
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      Skochy - The Musical Salesman

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  • Profile picture of the author Writerdave
    Some solid advice for Jason. Get into the uncomfortable zone and see the much you can achieve. All the best in your business.
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  • Profile picture of the author mckennabrowny
    Scotty, it's been a while since you started this thread so I hope you have found your way. I wanted to put my two cents in. Anything can happen when cold calling. I have sold people within 5 minutes and there have been other times where it felt like all I did was chase people down. Jason Kanigan explained it best by keeping it simple by those 3 things. Dial, talk and present your offer, sale. Cold calling will build you business quicker than any other method. There are many methods, but for quick cash, nothing will beat cold calling period. It can be done. When I started my offline biz I started with zero clients and from day one I was able to call someone and one call close. When I started I made 50-100 calls a day. Out of that list I had anywhere from 5-10 follow ups for the next few day and always sold 1 or 2. I now have employees where I showed them how to duplicate what I did and I still get on the phones from time to time compete with them. Gotta stay fresh.
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  • Profile picture of the author AZRanger
    I use 8x8 with SalesForce (a little overpriced for SalesForce) because you need a good CRM-then dial, dial, dial. That is my main method of generating online traffic is off to on conversion-I dial anywhere between 300-350 dials a day-leave 200 or so voicemails, get voice to voice with 25 or so a day and close 5-6 a day with 1 that usually closes the next day--from voicemails I get about 1 everyother day on average. It's a grind but, I earn comfortable living but, it's work. For me-cold calling the right list(s) is the fastest way to deals.
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    • Profile picture of the author Daniel LaRusso
      Originally Posted by AZRanger View Post

      I use 8x8 with SalesForce (a little overpriced for SalesForce) because you need a good CRM-then dial, dial, dial. That is my main method of generating online traffic is off to on conversion-I dial anywhere between 300-350 dials a day-leave 200 or so voicemails, get voice to voice with 25 or so a day and close 5-6 a day with 1 that usually closes the next day--from voicemails I get about 1 everyother day on average. It's a grind but, I earn comfortable living but, it's work. For me-cold calling the right list(s) is the fastest way to deals.
      What services do you sell? What do you lead with on your calls?
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  • Profile picture of the author ADukes81
    I recently heard a Jay Abraham protege say in an interview...

    The only cold calling I do is to set up joint venture alliances

    Find Jay's book Mindshift Challenge and never cold all another day in your life. It completely changed my attitude towards business.
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  • One thing to consider with your attraction marketing: At times the person that contacts you will not be the ultimate decision maker. You still need to make sure you ask the questions you would in a cold calling scenario.

    This often happens in B2B when a lower level person might gather information at the top of their buying funnel, and later is tasked with making first contact with vendors.
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    Marketing is not a battle of products. It is a battle of perceptions.
    - Jack Trout
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  • Profile picture of the author sunlounger10004
    Cold calling is a pain but like Jason said the gold is out there waiting for you. Get a few sales give them incentives to generate you referrals and bam say good-bye to calling.
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  • Profile picture of the author Leon Zykos
    Cold calling is like what you mention a numbers game in the sense that you may or may not be able to get a client to meet you even when you do a cold call. Furthermore, even if you pick up the phone to make a call, you may need to also get past the gatekeeper whom may not be so receptive in letting you speak to the person-in-charge. So, I would suggest if you are doing mobile and if the client have a mobile website, show them something that is missing that you could supply. In other words, email them and let them know that the mobile website has problems or could be better. You could create a landing page with an attractive video outlining the problem and what can your service do to help them. More often, I find this have a higher hit rate.
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    • Profile picture of the author Derelle1
      I wanted to try offline but I can't deal with rejection after all the effort. That is why I looked online to find VA's to do it for me. I never went through with the process however for the reason that you are speaking about and that is ROI. I didn't want to pay for cold calls that were not productive. I however may go this route again when I got some comfort money in the bank just to explore the possibilities.
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