B2B Cold Calls
If your employer requires you to make physical cold calls, yes there still are people that do this, then here are some efficient ways to get the most of your time.
Begin with establishing your core expectations, or what expectations your manager has and work backwards. How many physical visits do you need to complete per week? Does your manager track only attempts or firm face-to-face meetings? Once we know the expected outcome, we can then figure out the amount of effort needed to achieve the goal.
Getting over the fear/complaints:
- Don’t expect to get “punched in the face” every time you walk into a business on a physical cold call
- No, everyone isn’t looking at you laughing internally at your “physical cold call” process
- People are busy, but don’t think that you’re not important enough to meet with…Be positive
- No, it isn’t a waste of time
- You do have enough time to do this, stop spending wasteful hours on the phone during the day or checking your social feed 6,000 times
Realistic Expectations: Go into this process with realistic exceptions, you aren’t going to meet with someone at each company you attempt but you also aren’t walking away empty handed. Over the course of my years selling directly, I found that on average 30% of the time I was successful, so out of every 10 companies I walked into I would get meetings/conversations right there with the person of interest 3 times.
(KEY) Map Your Accounts: I’m assuming you are tracking your prospecting on either a CRM system or spreadsheet. Either export your prospect/lead list from the CRM or create a copy of your existing spreadsheet. On this “copy”, make sure you have the following; Name, Company, Physical Address, Prospect Rank (likelihood to purchase: 1, 2 or 3), and any relevant notes.
- Go to: https://www.google.com/mymaps
- Sign into your gmail account for easy future reference, if you don’t have a “gmail account” then create one.
- Create a new map and upload your prospecting/lead spreadsheet into the map (the instructions are pretty clear on the site). Make sure that you color code your “Prospect Rank” column to get a better visual picture.
- Hopefully you’ve done it correctly and you now have a map with all of your leads/prospects pinned based on physical location. If you click the pin, it brings up the column data from your spreadsheet.
(KEY) Map Your Day: Once the above is completed you can zoom into a specific location of high numbers of “Pins” to see more people in a shorter amount of time and plan your travel around that. If Mickey Mouse, FL has 16 leads/prospects within a few miles of each other, then plan on spending a morning or entire day going from account to account. Try and consolidate your driving to small pockets of multiple accounts, once you can view your territory from above you can effectively plan each time you hit the road and where you’ll spend your time.
My Funniest Experience: Walking up to a business and seeing 3 “No Soliciting” signs on the glass door (as if 1 isn’t enough), I walked inside to the vestibule and it had the ever popular sliding glass window that was frosted so I couldn’t see inside. On the glass there were 4 additional yellow post it notes with “No Soliciting” written on it, I thought “this ought to be interesting”. Next to the window was a doorbell with a post-it note above it that said, “mailman ring bell”.
So I rang the bell after quickly thinking of a rebuttal to their soon-to-come complaint. A woman opens the door with a shocked look on her face and says, “You’re not the mailman, didn’t you see our signs?” My response, “I apologize, I was a mailman for about 6 months after college so I thought you’d make an exception.” She laughed, commented on my creativeness and we chatted about the purpose of my visit. She then helped me find the right person to speak with and had a quick 10 minute meeting with them, that account grew to be a significant piece of business.
Have fun with it, be creative and personable
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Kyle Milan is a well accomplished Industrial/Manufacturing sales and marketing professional with over 18 years of experience. He is the CEO of MFG Tribe and a Sales and Marketing Strategy & Social Media Marketing expert. He has published several articles at major news media outlets on various topics of; Inbound Marketing, Digital Marketing, Social Media Marketing & Advertising, Industrial Marketing, Manufacturing Marketing, and Entrepreneurship.