If you are thinking about starting a cold calling campaign; if you had one and quit; if you have one now that is bogging down—then the odds are you need to get organized.
As always, I have many of the tools you will need here: www.billgood.com/coldcalling. All free of course.
Without some simple systems into your prospecting, you will begin to lose prospects. You will miss opportunities. You will start spending time looking for things. It will take too much time to “process” a new prospect. You will quit and probably tell a bunch of your friends, “Cold calling doesn’t work.”
So before you throw out the baby with the dirty bathwater, read and heed.
Be prepared to work longer, harder, earlier.
A 747-400 jet carries about 57,285 gallons of fuel. It uses about 5,000 gallons to take off and get to cruising altitude. But at cruising altitude, it only uses about five gallons to fly a mile.
Believe it or not, this has a lot to do with you.
Right now, you know someone who seems to open enough accounts with apparently a little effort. That person’s campaign is, so to speak, off the ground at cruising altitude. Your campaign is not there. Otherwise, you would not be reading this article.
It takes more effort to get a prospecting campaign off the ground than it does to maintain it. It will be hard. Slow going at first. Lots of effort. So plan on it.
1. Organize Your Day
When you are starting or restarting a cold calling campaign, I would budget about four hours a day. Within three months, you can scale that back to about two hours a day. But if you start with only two hours a day, while you work your way through the complexities of a prospecting campaign, you won’t generate enough prospects to keep you interested and, once again, you will quit.
I recommend the following schedule:
11:45–12:45 (You may have to tweak this a bit. What you are looking for in this time block is an executive or business owner who will pick up his or her own telephone.)
4:00–5:00 (You also may need to tweak this. It depends upon the commute schedule in your city or town.)
2. Develop or Adopt a Lead Classification System
A prospect says, “Send me some information.”
What is your process? Do you have to think about it? Are you (gasp!) treating each prospect uniquely? Or, can you quickly identify this prospect as a B-prospect. You fire off a canned “Here is the info letter.” You then schedule a call back either three or seven days later depending on whether the material is sent by email or letter. And you do all of this without thinking about it.
If you do not have a lead classification system, it will take you 10 or 15 minutes to process each lead. If you get your leads per hour up to three or more, it will be taking you almost as long to process your leads as it does to capture them. You have very little time left to do anything.
On my “Cold Calling Page,” I have posted a “Lead Classification Cheat Sheet.” You badly need to know what to do for each lead type. Start here.
3. Develop and Organize Your Lists
You need at least three different lists.
Business owner list. The bigger your market area the more qualified it could be. You are looking for a combination of revenue and years in the business.
Residential list. Yes, I know all about “do not call.” But you can still get names of people at home address who were not on the do-not-call list.
For your general business and residential lists, I recommend CIS Marketing. Marcia Glasser is, in my opinion, the best list broker in the industry. Call CIS at 800-678-1480.