Home – New Forums Marketing mastery Cold Calling… Does it work?

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  • #964726
    marvelit
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    Hi Guys,

    I have been in business now since Jan last year, and have done little cold calling. Most of my client base has come from my newspaper ad I used to run, word of mouth and google (organic and adwords).

    I provide computer solutions for business and home users, so I am really looking for local work, without too much travel.

    I am trying to come up with some ideas on how I can cold call businesses in person. Basically, go around my local offices and offer my services to businesses that are in my scope.

    How would you recommend I go about it, or maybe just give me some innovative ideas?

    I find cold calling really akward and I really hate it, but I know it’s going to be able to get me more clients if I do it right.

    My ideas so far:

    1.
    Get some coffee mugs made, fill them with chocolates and attach my business card. Walk into offices and give them the gift and basically say “I look after computers in our local area, feel free to give me a call whenever you need some help”. People usually listen to you when you give them something, or at least are more polite lol.

    2. My business motto / part of my logo is “Marvel I.T. Your modern day super hero!”. I was thinking about just walking into an office front desk, and saying “Hi my name is Jacob, I am a local super hero who looks after our area, here is my card if you ever need help just call that number” then basically leave it at that haha.

    I really want to give myself an innovative edge. I feel I can provide so much more than what other businesses are doing in my area, in all aspects. How do I get people to realise that I guess? I guess thats like saying, “what’s the meaning of life” isnt it!

    Cheers,

    Jacob

    #1007595
    Benedict
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    I quite like the sound of idea #1

    You could dress in a cape with your undies on the outside but that will probably look silly when you need to look professional.

    Try the coffee cup with chocolates – maybe you can get a local shop to sponsor the coccies or something.

    :)

    #1007596
    marvelit
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    Hehe thanks for the reply,

    Obviously that has come across my mind doing something like what you said, but I think it would just look super tacky, and no one would take me seriously.

    I am also going to offer a free I.T computer and infrastructure evaluation for all business clients too. I some how need to emphasise that, and make sure they understand what the hell that actually means haha.

    #1007597
    Thrive Promotional
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    Hi

    My first ever post. While I am all for using promotional products (hey, it’s what I do, and they have terrific impact). However, I am not sure if your approach will hit the spot i.e. the person or people who make the decisions.

    You may have a lot of reception desks with nice coffee mugs but no real reason why they have them and no influence anyway (and you haven’t obtained any details about them).

    What about a two phase approach …

    1) some ground work first by cold calling various businesses either by phone first or by face to face, and finding out some background (and importantly, who would be the person to approach). You can leave a small leave behind/branded promotional item (perhaps something quirky that has relevance to your service and inviting action i.e. to make contact).

    The new information you obtain will then give you a starting point to develop your presentation to a particular need.

    2) a 2nd follow up with direct approach to the key person, asking for a sales call time. Then, you have more qualified people to give out your promotional mugs together with opportunity to sell the benefits of your service .

    Would be happy to help with some further ideas.

    Cheers
    Morgan
    Thrive Promotional Products & Corporate Gifts

    #1007598
    marvelit
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    Thank you for your in depth reply.

    I have been thinking that, in regards to the people at the front desk.

    I just dont really want to be hassling people too much with phone calls, organising meetings etc. As a general rule I found people are not interested, don’t want to talk to you if you don’t know them, even if you are offering something for free. People are too cautious these days because of bad experiences in the past with people cold calling. This is why it is called “cold” I guess hehe.

    What I was thinking, is that If I make a small lolly / choc bag, paper clip together a business card, DL flyer, and a Marvel I.T. sticker or two they can stick to their actual computer, it will save me more money, but still do basically the same thing. Instead of going all out cold calling for a few hours sort of thing, I was thinking I could just keep a few of these little pakcages in the car, and when I go to a clients office, go to all the offices around it.

    this way I can say “I look after so and so next door, thought I would drop this off incase you ever have any issues with your computer, we are running a promotion at the momen here is a flyer with a bit of info” etc etc.

    Guess there is just so many ways to go about it!

    #1007599
    Wattsup
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    Hi Marvelit

    You said….”Most of my client base has come from my newspaper ad I used to run, word of mouth and google (organic and adwords).”

    Why not concentrate on trying to get as many referals as possible from these current customers?

    Much easier than cold calling.

    So how can u get say 20 referals from each one?

    Hmmm…..u have to offer them something of substance.

    i’ll leave that part up to you to think about.

    im sure others here have some great ideas on ways to get referals.

    One wayto do this

    call your current customers, have a bit of a chat with them about their business or life in general then ask them……

    how many people do u know that have a computer?

    Most will say hundreds.. or heaps.. or most people I know have a computer.

    Great, im asking my current loyal customers today for as many referals as possible to help me become even more successful and would love to look after your hundreds of friends with computers……..

    Im sending you an email…..when u get 5 minutes could you do me a favour and reply to my email with as many referals as you can?

    If you get a yes……send the email and in that email state that you are so thankful and that you have sent them (current customer)(something) in the post in appreciation of the expected incoming referals and that you are giving away a (…………..) for the most referals.

    Now u could send movie tickets, flowers, 1 hour free computer training session, something…anything…….but make sure its personal.

    Anyway enough dribbling from me……just an idea.

    #1007600
    marvelit
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    Thanks for the Reply.

    I will have to think about this one in regards to what I can offer. I do get a fair few refferals already to home users, but its not the type of customer I want.

    I want to be reffered to other businesses. It does happen occasionaly but I need to get some more!

    Great Idea though, I think I can make that work just approach my business clients.

    #1007601
    Lucki
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    Hi Marvelit,

    I personally like the coffee mug with chocolates idea. However, I think you should get the name of the person who is the decision maker and then make sure they receive the gift. It creates a first good impression. Then perhaps follow up with a phone call because then they’ll have the benefit of knowing you. You can then ask if they require your services. Later you could send a letter with a discount voucher to encourage them to use your services.

    Regarding existing clients, when you speak with them see if they can refer 1-3 clients, whatever you think is a good number and then give them a freebie for their referrals.

    Do you issue a newsletter? If so when giving out the chocolates, get their email address too and that way you can correspond via email without having to cold call. Perhaps offer some time saving tips or something of value, whether it’s advice, benefits etc so you stand out from your competitors.

    You come across with a great sense of humor, down to earth sort of approach, I think that’s a bonus and you should use it to your advantage (having said that, forget the cape and undies look, it may work against you).

    Have fun.

    Lucki

    #1007602
    Lucki
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    Hi Marvelit,

    Forgot to check out your website, should have done that first – doh!

    Just checked out your Marvel PC tips, great info! Do you send that out to your clients?

    Lucki

    #1007603
    techedit
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    MarvelIT

    I like the chocolate and mug idea, but agree that you have to get to the decision maker. So an initial call to find out who this is would be good. Then you can personally address it.

    good luck!

    #1007604
    JagO1213
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    Marvel (If I can use your first name) :)

    Lots of great ideas here…and I hope there are as many when I come back to Aust.

    The referral idea seems to be working for you, I guess what you want is more business type clients, ie B2B rather then B2C.

    What you could do is host an event, where you can invite some of your business type clients and ask them to bring along at least one of their own business contacts.

    The event you could host in collaboration with someone else and have a speaker that may talk about something interesting in the IT sector, such as web marketing or the like…something that will interest people.

    At the event you could have some information about your business along with your event partner. You will also be able to collect business cards during the event and at the same time go around and meet as many people as possible. The following week chase them up with an email and request a meeting to discuss their IT needs.

    Prior to the event you might want to get to know who has RSVP’d to the event and who you think will give you business so that during the event you spend time gettig to know these businesses well.

    I guess my post has turned more into a networking post rather then cold calling…

    nuff rambling.
    Jag

    #1007605
    VacuumRobot.com.au
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    I used to work as a telemarketer for a while selling SIM plus mobile phone contract, both cold and warm calling. It’s actually not bad, as it is a numbers game. Although you got to have a good script, one where you can be flexible with, but is proven to work. Buy some books on telesales, you’ll find many eye openers.

    Sales is interesting because if you’re good, you can make a killing, and be unstoppable.

    Also, you can call your current customers to refer you to their friends, which you can cold call. When calling referrals, use the word “asked..promised” in the example below:

    Rob “asked” me to give you a call, and I “promised” him that I would.

    This is why I like sales, as it speaks to the customers’ subconscious. Depending on the words you use, you can direct the customers to your attention/desire. Just work on your script and you’ll find which one works which don’t.

    Best of luck

    Dave

    #1007606
    CarolineB
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    I have given cold calling a go in quiet times and it’s very difficult if you’re not used to it. Once I start and get on a roll it’s ok though. I aggree that you must have a good script and it needs to be flexible. It also helps if you stand while talking.

    Most of the time I call people offering to send them information first just to try and get a foot in the door and get past the spam act. I usually give a follow up call a week later to ask if there is anything that I can quote on. So far I’ve not had much luck, yet I know other designers that have had great feedback. Perhaps I’m not targeting the right businesses.

    It’s not something I’ll give up on, but I need more responses to give me more encouragement.

    #1007607
    Burgo
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    Cold calling is all about making contact with a prospective client/customer,
    giving them information that will help them make more informed decissions. Buying your product or service. To be successful in cold calling you have to be patient and go with the flow if the customer wants to buy now the close the deal if the customer show disinterest dont give up call back ina month and then every month untill you break them down

    #1007608
    peoplehub
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    Hi MarvelIT,

    Cold calling is one of those things… we hate doing it and generally we hate receiving those calls. Having said that, it does not mean it is an ineffective method of promoting your business. I would suggest going down the path of looking at developing a ‘prospecting process’ of which cold calls are a part. It can be a little disheartening making the call and getting rejected – it is important to realise your chances of actually closing a deal on that first call are virtually nil… your potential client will require several ‘touches’.

    I have asked myself and several associates the same question as you have posted to this forum. The best advice I was given was this “design a process…. try and move people through a prospecting funnel (your goal might be to get them to opt in to an e-newsletter), test different markets and scripts, measure the success and document. A truly great prospecting process can be picked up and applied across market segments. Always test though – it will save you 000’s in the long run.

    All the best
    Matt

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