COLD CALLING: Plant the seed

Let’s get straight to the point, cold calling stinks. Whether you were doing it from a phone or dropping in cold on new customers it is not comfortable at all. When you walk into a business any long-term business owner or manager can tell whether or not you are a cold calling or not.

Cold Calling Sales
Believe it or not there is a good way and a bad way to make cold calls. For now I want to focus on dropping in cold on new businesses that you want to do business with, not just talking on the phone.

Before you go to cold call you need to understand that you are not about to make a sale. Unless you were following a script given to you by some big shot stock exchange manager that expect you to sell everyone you call, you are not about to close when you walk into a business cold. The point of a cold call is to plant the seed.

Here is how typical cold call goes with me. I walk into the business with a bright shining smile on my face I walk right up to the front desk and introduce myself to “the gate keeper” The gate keeper is your access to the decision-maker. If you are not nice to the gate keeper you will never get to the decision-maker, and you will never make the sale. After I introduce myself to the gatekeeper I tell them that I’m with Dicks Graphics and Printing, and I hand them the note pad/business card/pen/brochure packet that I have provided for her or him.

Cold Calling Sales
The majority of the time, that is literally all I do. After I hand them the packet I tell them that if they have any questions that they can call me or email me, and I tell them to have an awesome day. Occasionally I will get one or two questions like “ what all do you do?” Or “do your print banners?”. When this happens I can go into a bit more of a spiel and explain more on what our company does and why we do it. Sometimes in very rare occasions they will hand me a business card, order sheet, invoice, or other printed products that they would like a quote on. This gives me a chance to build a relationship more and potentially begin talking with the decision-maker.

Cold calls should be a very minimum of 15 to 30 seconds of interaction. At the very most you want to be in there no more than five minutes. You want to get in, introduce yourself, make a great first impression, and move on to the next call.

Once you’ve made the call be sure and take a note of the address and location. Chances are you probably didn’t get a contact name, number, or email, so when you get back to the office to put it into your customer relations manager, you will put in the name and location and make a follow up appointment for 2 to 3 weeks away.

Cold Calling Sales
I want to emphasize again something I feel that a lot of sales people don’t understand: on a cold call you were not supposed to try and sell, you are there solely to plant a seed and make a good first impression. This is different with every business but for the majority of companies out there when you called call you were introducing your company potentially talking a bit about your product/products and possibly discussing some prices if that relates to what you are trying to sell.
  • Do not walk straight in and asked for the manager.
  • Do not walk straight in and ask for the manager or business owner by name.
  • Do not disrespect the gatekeeper.

These are just a few, among many ways, to NEVER get to the decision-maker, and never make the sale. DONE.