Cold Calling Success With Your Cleaning Business
Cold calling is one of the hardest things to perform successfully. Knocking on 50 doors a day, and only getting two or three promising leads would lead even the most confident person to give up. That’s the downside of sales is any industry, whether you’re selling yourself, your service or a product it can become demoralizing pretty quickly. When I first started out with my cleaning business, cold calling was relatively foreign to myself. I had the marketing background, but selling was certainly not my cup of tea. It took me months to land even a solid two or three leads, but eventually I started to turn the corner and the leads became customers.
After growing frustrated, I turned to some reading and a friend who’s been in sales for as long time in hopes of revamping my strategy. I cut my number of calls down, but spent more time researching and weeding out prospects before picking up the phone. Here’s what I learned and how I became friends with cold calling again.
Plan Before You Call
One thing I failed at miserably was planning ahead before I made the cold calls. I used to think that by dropping in with a business card would be enough and the business would start to pour in. Boy was I wrong! I realized through a lot of trial and error that it’s not about the quantity, but rather about the quality of the cold calls. Who will you be calling? When will you be placing your calls? These are questions you should answer the day before you make the calls. Since there are many businesses, target a certain section of the city or certain types of businesses. This will help you stay organized and delay your travel time. Since I was employed full-time, most of my in person cold calling took place in the evenings or weekends. The upside to this was that it gave me an opportunity every evening to sit down, block out sometime and organize myself ahead of next day’s cold calling.
Research Before You Call
This point could very easily tie in with planning before you call, but I wanted to separate it to simplify the process. Researching ahead of your cold call seems pretty tedious, but the success of your call totally depends on how well you arm yourself before the call. The more you know, the better you’ll be off when you walk through the doors. Simply stop do a Google search on the company ahead or even look up the prospect on LinkedIn before you make the call. Even if you’re not going to use the information, you will come across more confident and more powerful when you have information on the other person and their company.
Seek Out a Personal Connection
Whether through online research or during the phone call itself, you should try to find a personal connection with your prospects. Your research might reveal that you share the same view on a mater or have a past connection with the same company. During the call, you also might discover a common interest. Let’s say that your kids and your prospect’s kids play hockey, this would be a great way to break the ice and ease the pressure on both sides. More importantly, it will give you insight about the prospect on a deeper level.
What Can You Do For Your Client?
Never forget this: People don’t care about you, they care what you can do for them. Ask a lot of questions during the call, rather than talking about yourself. Show your prospect that you care and are there to help, rather than just do another pitch like all the other predecessors. Learn about your prospect’s business needs first, so you can more effectively tailor your pitch.
Careful Note Taking
Since you’re likely a start up or relatively new in the cleaning industry – you likely don’t have a proper professional note system on your computer. However, that shouldn’t stop you from taking careful notes after your cold calling session. What works well for me is my notebook. It’s a simple 250 page notebook that I write down all my thoughts, ideas, sales visits, and other notes pertaining to the business. It’s easy to follow, as all my notes are dated and more importantly it’s all within one place. Often this notebook doesn’t leave my house, but anytime I leave the cold call session I ensure to take a business card with me. Generally I make a couple of quick small notes on the back of the card, which I later revisit and transfer into my notebook.
Sales calling is never an easy process, but not following any of the above suggestions makes cold calling that much more difficult. Rather than only going up against a potential prospect, now you’re fighting against yourself due to lack of proper research, preparation and planning. Get into a routine of doing the above steps, and soon enough this will become second nature, but more importantly your cold calling success will become greater and eventually the sales will start to flow in over time.
Readers, could you suggest any other tips for cold calling?