To some sales people cold calling on companies is old fashioned, belonging to an age pre social media and not the most efficient way of generating business. This need not be so and applied in the manner I prescribe will bring tangible results quickly and make selling more productive.
Prepare a sales pack with business card attached for each company visit and always ask that it be handed in to the key decision maker.
With this approach a key decision maker is more likely to read a brochure and perhaps follow up with an enquiry. Indeed if the timing is not right, it may get filed for another time. The alternate method is to hand in a business card to a receptionist which invariably gets lost in a drawer somewhere never to see the light of day again.
Always ask to see the decision maker with every company visit. 5% of the time you will get to meet someone which may therefore lead to a prospect gained. 50 cold calls per month means you get to meet an additional 30 decision makers you would not necessarily have met had you not made the effort.
Make three cold calls for every meeting and you make 30 cold calls weekly based on 10 scheduled weekly meetings. This will mean that follow up meetings from prospecting will be compressed together in similar areas.
Refrain from Group Cold Calling Campaigns.
Nobody will put in the same effort into your area as you will and my experience found it to be a distraction from the serious business of selling. First comes the early morning breakfast before the team heads off and then everyone meets up for a coffee to comment on progress. Valuable time gets lost.
Target your client base with a planned cold calling campaign.
Cold calling need not be confined to non customers. Prepare your sales packs with specific product brochures for each targeted client. For instance if your client has a 25 cpm machine; drop in the latest mid level product offering with bells and whistles. Make it a flying visit, meet your contact; educate them on new possibilities and then move on after a few minutes. A 100 client base could be covered in 1 / 2 days depending on individual areas. In this manner you then have reasons to follow up with a call to determine interest and schedule follow up meetings.
Indeed once you get talking to a decision maker or an existing client and rapport is quickly developed; ask for a referral ‘who would you recommend I call into with a brochure?’ This works. Give it a try.
If you have only two hours to cold call, then apply the 80:20 rule to ensure you visit the type of company more likely to buy your product. An online search will identify the tenants in the IE of your choosing. Your time is precious so call into ‘cash rich’ companies – multinationals, medical, pharmaceuticals and professions etc. Skip the obvious companies that won’t be in the market and you save valuable time. Leave the ‘lesser prospects’ to the competition.
Send a quick ‘thank you’ email to anyone you meet and try connecting with them on LinkedIn. Once vital information has been gathered and entered into a database, the information will always be there to tele-canvass and this too will reduce the tendency to rely completely on an inherited client base. Cold calling is just one of several prospecting strategies to adopt by all sales people at all levels.