As a new business, I decided that I needed some more clients to tie me over until I am at the top of Google for a couple of keywords. SEO does take about 3-6 months before your keywords reach page one. So while I am waiting for that to happen I thought: perhaps I should cold call?
What was my angle?
This is tricky, because I have never done cold calling before. I know my product inside-out, I know that we do the best websites for our pricing point (in the world!), and I also know that small and big businesses can really benefit heavily from the knowledge I have acquired in the last five years. So I turned to my good friend Mark who is an expert in cold calling. He has been doing it for 30 years. Get this: he started cold calling on Wall Street selling $10 million products. Knowing Wall Street, they probably had no value at all!
What did my expert friend say?
It is simple. All you have to do is be frank and start having a chat. Don’t even try and sell them anything, just start a dialogue.
Ok, so I got my act together and acquired a list of businesses. I thought that I will start in Prescott, since I am targeting the keyword of Prescott Web Design in Google. I also decided that I need to find my ideal business.
- They would have a high dollar amount per client
- They have a terrible website
- They are looking to grow their business “ I thought every business wanted this (not the case)
Drum roll please: my perfect business will be home builders. I did it once before and I can do it again. Do you remember GotEasyLiving.com? I redesigned their website and they saw business increase immediately. They closed their first sale, from the website, in just one week.
Now I have my perfect business & industry what now?
So I acquired a list of home builders within Prescott and Prescott Valley, Arizona. They had between 1-9 employees with sales of over $500,000. This would make it easy to speak to the decision maker.
22 businesses came from those filters and I called every single one of them. Some didn’t answer, some were deceased, and some were very nice. All in all, out of the 22 I have meetings with 6 of them. I still have to follow up with a couple of others, but hopefully I will make a sale.
What were the objections?
This absolutely shocked me! The number one objection I got was that they had too much business already. Isn’t that weird? I thought that the purpose of all businesses is to get as much business as they can. When you get a lot of business, don’t you just hire more people and grow? Surely, the home builders in Arizona can’t be that awash with cash? I just heard Mitt Romney and Obama talk about how terrible everything and that America is going to hell (each blaming the other).
Anyways. I managed to get a solid number of real leads to follow up with. If just one of the six decide to invest in their business then it would be worth it. Every client is worth a lot more than they pay you.
E.g. I charge $1,500 for a website (interest free for 6 months – hehe), but every client I have had so far has referred someone. That automatically makes every client worth at least $3,000. Now add the marketing that I might sell them too which is another $3,000 over a year’s time. You are looking at $6,000 value per client. Each new client brings another client, the snowball is rolling.
The only problem is that it takes a lot of time and patience. You have to deal with a lot of business owners who think they know what will make them successful online. One guy told me that they have a friend who does their website, so we don’t need this:. But, the website is terrible and won’t even convince a Jew to keep being Jewish. However, rule numero uno “ always be polite. Whether your friend does your website or not, if one of your competitors hires someone proficient in online marketing, then you will lose out on a HUGE chunk of business.
So to answer the question posed in this lengthy blog post: Is cold calling worth it?
For me, the answer is yes. B2B cold calling is much easier than B2C, and here is why.
I approach the conversation like I am a guy enquiring whether we are able to work together. It is very casual and sincere. I simply introduce myself and say I have this much experience in this, I really believe I can help you out. Would you be interested in working together?
If I was to call consumers it would be a totally different ball game. I would have to come out a little more aggressive with something like “hi my name is Peter and if I can have 15 seconds of your time I will tell you exactly how I can improve your life.” Terrible!
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