I remember when I was a young cold caller just starting out making cold calls by telephone and I overhead another salesperson say, “I went knocking on doors yesterday.” I immediately turned around and blurted out, “Knocking on doors?” He replied, “Yes, I make cold calls in person.” Wow, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.
Could this be true? Knocking on the doors of your sales prospects? This concept of making cold calls in person was completely foreign to me. It was not even in my universe of sales thought. At the time, all I knew about cold calling was the telephone marketing part of it and never knew anything about door to door cold calling?
When I got home that night, I still couldn’t believe what I had heard. Is this really the best use of this guy’s time to cold call door to door? It’s one thing to prospect over the telephone, but another to experience sales rejection in person. For me, selling door to door was the worst possible sales scenario. I was tossing and turning trying to figure out what this guy was thinking and how he did it.
The next day, I decided to ask him exactly what he was doing to see if this might be something I might want to try as well. I called him up and said, “When cold calling door to door, what are you doing and how do make this type of cold calling effective?” Based on my conversation with him and through my experience with cold calling door to door, I’ve included a list of five “must-do’s” that you can easily apply to increase response rates and close more sales. These five strategies include the following:
Know the name of your sales prospect or the decision-maker
So many people fail at cold calling door to door because they don’t know the name of their prospect before they start knocking on doors. Without a name, you are instantly labeled as a salesperson. However, at least if you have a name to offer the receptionist this begins the sales call with more credibility. It makes you look “smarter” or “trustworthy” in the eyes of the other person. How do you find these names? One way is to visit the company’s website and check out their management profile section. Another way, it so visit a free leads website called http://www.findfreeleads.com that includes not only how to find leads, but offer various ways on how you can locate the contact names of executives and business owners.
Dress with success
This one’s easy: “Always look professional.” In most situations, this means a suit and tie for the men and pant suits and skirt suits for the women. Of course, these suggestions are not set in stone—just do what you need to do to look professional when you visit prospects unexpected and without notice.
Smile, smile, smile and keep smiling
A great smile is unstoppable. It’s harder for the receptionist (the one who usually greets the visitors as they walk into the office) to turn down a person with a confident smile and vibrant personality than someone with their frown upside down. If you are looking to create interest in what you and your company has to offer there is no better place to start then with a nice big SMILE!
A non-intrusive opening line
What does a non-intrusive opening line mean? First of all, you need to realize that for every door that you knock the people on the other end are not expecting your sales call. Your visit is announced so that means you need to use an opening line that offsets the “resistance” that you may encounter.
Once you have asked for the decision-maker, one line that always has worked well for me is, “Hi, my name is (Your name here) from (Your company here) and I’m a neighbor just down the street from you (this opening line is key here to say because if your prospect knows that you’re a neighbor then how can they not be friendly to you?) and I (or “we” if you are joined by another co-worker – it’s much easier to cold call door to door with another person then just going solo) just wanted to introduce myself and drop off a sales brochure (if you don’t have one or it looks amateurish then check out this inexpensive sales brochure service at http://www.salesflyersthatsing.com) about what we do? If they seem open to your visit then try to ask a few qualifying questions to get them talking about what they like or dislike about their current vendor (your competitor).
Follow up keeps you in the game
Most sales prospects will not buy on the first contact and because of this it’s important to consistently follow up with prospects. Being aware that sales is a process and not a one-time shot will help you to consistently stay in touch. When speaking with your prospect ask them when is a good time to follow up? Try to get some kind of commitment from them (i.e. specific date and time for a meeting or telephone conversation). Even if your prospect is not interested in a follow up call then you could say, “(First name of prospect), I realize that you’re happy with (Name of their vendor), but nothing is set in stone and you just never know what could happen tomorrow. Here’s my card and if that’s ok, how about I give you a friendly follow up call in one month?”
Copyright 2008 Mr. Cold Call, Inc. – All rights reserved.