The first thing to discuss about this episode is WHY you want to call people you’ve never met.
Why make sales phone calls?
- They are proven to work (aka make you money)
- They are essentially free
Why don’t business make sales phone calls?
- Feel they are intrusive
- Don’t know what to say.
How to get past these and start making calls?
- Realize you’ve done something WAY scarier, you started a business.
- You ARE being mildly intrusive, are ‘interrupting’ their day. It’s OK. You HAVE good intentions.
- You follow the below steps and have a plan.
The Set Up
- Decide who you are going to call. Let’s say its local owned restaurants.
- Write your ‘call plan’ – I never say ‘script’ cause you aren’t an actor.
- Choose the right time – is there a time that makes most sense? day?
Choosing a Niche / who to call
Go after the low hanging fruit first. If you are new to this, it’s best if you can call places where you will likely talk to the decision maker. e.g. Call the local sandwich shop before you call the local electric company.
BIG TIP ON WHO TO CALL:
- Find people who know people you know. “Hey, I know you are good friends with Juanita at the UPS store in your plaza. I do apparel for her, and she said you make the best sandwich in town.
- Call the competitors of your customers. I supply a lot of to-go food shops in town like Harrys BBQ and Taco Beast as examples. I think they look great, and I’d like to see if I can help your business too.
- I was driving by, and saw your pizza place. I stopped in to pick up a pizza and noticed no uniforms on staff. I do that!
Making a call plan
First, what is a BAD call plan?
- Don’t be evasive or sketchy about why you are calling.
- Don’t just talk at people, but ask questions that engage
- Don’t give up after 1 try. You might not catch them at a good time at first.
- Don’t just use the phone. Follow up with emails or social when possible
Things to avoid.
- How are you today? – it’s an empty question and you DON’T want the real answer. You don’t want to hear about how they are upset at their teenage son or how their dog has a bad case of ring worm. I saw a comedian talk about how a guy at the bank actually answered that question and he was annoyed.
- Don’t jump to a question they can say ‘no’ to fast. “Do you need shirts?”
- Don’t respond back rude (even if they are)
- Don’t be distracted. Turn off Facebook, close a door, get a babysitter, etc
Do homework (when possible)
- Look up their social media.
- Find people in groups or people you interact with online
- Look up their reviews
- Are they hiring?
- Any big announcements? (we just re-opened, we just expanded, we just moved)
The 5 key parts
- Who are you?
- Connect with them / reason WHY you called them (different than benefit below)
- How can you BENEFIT them?
- Qualify them
- What will you ask for?
Example Call Plan:
Who will you call?
– Local restaurants, to-go food, sandwich shops
When will you call them?
– Weekdays, 2-4pm
– alt – Weekdays before 10am
Who are you?
I am Marc at T-Shirt Haven here. I hope your day is going well.
Why are you calling?
- I’m because i noticed you are hiring new servers? That’s a good sign for your business. It’s a lot of work with training, HR stuff, uniforms.
- I see that you just expanded your restaurant. I love to see local restaurants succeed. I know that growth comes with pains too.
- I noticed your restaurant just opened up for inside and outside seating. That’s exciting.
How can you benefit them?
- Since you are hiring I gather you will have to deal with uniforms – shirts, hats, aprons, MASKS. I’m a local custom apparel shop and I can help make your staff look great.
- Since you are expanding, id like to improve the way your staff looks with an all new uniform style. We can really tie it all together.
- Since you just opened you are dealing with your staff wearing old uniforms or maybe new staff. I can help outfit them with current apparel. Like explaining how you appreciate their business now, or how you are still smiling under the mask. or get your team masks that all match and look great.
what will you ask for?
- Id like to propose some options for a new look for your team. Can I email you some ideas?
- I’ve got some great ideas for making restaurants look more comfortable even though it feels weird right now. Can I send you some of those via email?
- I have a couple of mask options I can create in bulk. would you be interested in me dropping off or mailing a free sample?
- How about I come in for dinner on Monday night. I’ll eat a meal with my business partner, introduce myself and drop off some ideas.