My favorite advice to entrepreneurs – when it comes to marketing themselves – is to leverage “anti-trends” to your advantage. For example, every business is currently obsessed with blogging, SEO and social media… while simultaneously announcing “the death of print ads”.
This is great for small and locally-oriented businesses because newspapers and magazines are DESPERATE for new ad buyers. There has historically never been a better time for negotiating ad rates than right now!
Another example of an “anti-trend” is the idea that cold-calls are dead. I personally think that this is an invalid theory that’s primarily based on fear and ignorance.
- Fear of rejection and social discomfort
- Ignorance about how to make people pay attention
Here are a few tips that can help you close more leads through cold calls, and secure this local channel for yourself… while your competitors are running for the over-saturated digital hills.
Never call empty-handed
5 years ago, promotional give-aways and brochures were expensive. But today, it’s fairly inexpensive to prepare a digital treat that will make the prospect remember you.
When you call the prospect, the goal of your call should be to offer something… preferably a short YouTube webinar of some sort.
For example: A cleaning company could product a webinar on “Chemical solvents, and their affect employee absenteeism” or “How to eliminate clutter and improve office productivity”
If the prospect accepts, collect their contact information and put them into your marketing funnel. (You have a funnel, right?)
Call back a few days later to see if they’ve had a chance to watch the video… and ask for the sale. Regardless of their answer, always ask for the sale. Even if they haven’t seen the video.
It takes multiple calls to convert the prospect
It’s a fairly simple matter to create 4 or 5 informative high-quality YouTube videos, and set them as “private” so they don’t get published to the web.
As with the previous cleaning company example, they could also create a PDF eBook and checklist entitled “Criteria for choosing the right cleaning company”. Or they can hire someone on Elance to create a Flash ROI calculator which compares the cost of in-house cleaning vs. outsourced janitorial services.
Now you’ve got a reason to call the prospect again every month, for at least 4 or 5 months. Over time, they will slowly let their guard down as they realize that you’re not a pushy salesperson. Instead, you’re the guy who calls just once per month and offers interesting videos, books, and other treats.
As they get more comfortable with your calls, it will become easier to convert them… and they will discuss you with other people.
Use a loss-leader
On the third or fourth call, put together an incredible offer that’s only valid for one week.
A short expiry date will pressure the client to take action. And a high-value offer (even if you end up losing a bit of money on the first deal) will get your foot in the door and greatly increase your chances of getting repeat business.
Remember. The first sale is always the hardest.
Ask for the sale
This may seem obvious, but too many people get cold feet when it’s time to close. Never ever walk away, leaving money on the table.
Your competitors are slowly moving away from traditional marketing tactics to chase the latest business fads. This is creating a vacuum, where you can stake your claim and take the low-hanging fruit they leave behind.
About The Author:
Ontario Cleaninghas built their reputation for services by relying heavily on old-fashioned people-oriented lead generation tactics.
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