When you’re looking for ways to prospect for new clients for your IT Support business, there are many, many forms of effective marketing you can use.
But if you’re looking for one that is exceptionally cheap, can potentially provide very fast results and has been proven to work effectively for as long as people have had something to sell, few options can match the power of cold calling.
Cold calling takes two primary forms – telephone and door-to-door.
Now, in my experience, I’ve found both to be very effective, but each in their own way.
Telephone calling is generally more difficult because, well, people generally don’t like being interrupted by a sales call on the phone. However, you can make a lot of phone calls in a short period of time and if you keep at it, eventually you will encounter someone with a need who’s interested in hearing more.
Door-to-door cold calling is much slower than phone calling, simply because of the physical nature of actually having to visit each of your prospects and each will generally spend more time talking to you.
But, while door-to-door allows you to meet fewer prospects in the same amount of time as phone calling, I’ve always found the quality of the calls to be much more effective simply because people are more receptive when talking to you face to face.
I’d like to give you my specific process for performing door-to-door cold calling, so if you’d like to give it a go yourself, you’ll have my proven process to give you a head start.
First thing you need to do when preparing to knock on some doors is to be very aware of what your primary objective is.
Your objective is NOT to land a new client. At least not yet.
What you simply want to achieve is to introduce yourself to your prospect and identify if there is a potential need for your service.
I’ve found it most effective to keep calls to less than a minute or two. Here’s my step-by-step process:
- I Introduce myself to the receptionist or first person encountered
- Describe in one sentence what it is that I do
- Ask if they use computers on a network and if they have less than 25 employees (my “sweet-spot” for an ideal client)
- If yes, ask who the person is that makes the decisions on how to care for the network.
- If the person I’m speaking to IS the decision maker, I then go into my telephone pitch (described in a moment). This call will run longer than the typical one or two minutes.
- If the receptionist gives me the name of the decision maker, I ask if it would be alright to leave a note and some information (a flyer) for this person. (Beforehand, I would handwrite my notes on personalized note cards and then fill in the person’s name when “writing the note” at the person’s office)
- I’d then ask for the decision maker’s card, or if declined, I’d ask for the receptionist’s card. If I can’t get a phone number, I could always Google the company’s info when I get back to my office.
- I thank the receptionist, leave my note, business card and flyer and ask the receptionist’s name.
After leaving the office, I document the:
- Company name
- Building address
- Suite number
- Receptionist and decision maker’s names
- Office phone number.
Then, the following day I would call on the phone, say hello to the receptionist and ask if the decision maker is available. If so, I get connected, ask if they received the note I left yesterday and go into my telephone pitch.
The basic structure of the follow-up telephone call should consist of the following components:
- I open by politely introducing myself.
- I briefly, but powerfully describe what I do – this is typically called an “elevator pitch”.
- I briefly describe the benefits that I may be able to provide to them.
- I explain that I would like to determine if our two companies are a good fit for each other and ask permission to ask a few general questions.
- If given permission, I ask a short list of questions (no more than 10) designed to identify the following:
- Possible problems or weaknesses in their infrastructure
- What kind of support solution are they using now and how did they chose this solution
- What specific problems are they experiencing now that they would like to eliminate
- Once the questions are asked, I recap their answers to enforce that I have an understanding of their issues.
- I suggest that if I can show in a short, 30 min. presentation how I can address their problems and strengthen their infrastructure, would it be worth their while to hear me out?
- I set a date and time for a follow-up meeting and thank my potential new customer for their time.
If presented properly, the entire call should take no longer than 5-10 minutes to complete.
Following this process has served me very well over the years and has brought me many loyal, valued clients.
Want to know the number one factor for achieving success with door-to-door cold calling?
Stick with it. Do it consistently, don’t give up and you will achieve great success too.