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Guerrillas Revive The Cold Call
By Orvel Ray Wilson   Printer Friendly Version

The next time you find yourself between appointments with time to kill, make a cold call! Yes, we know, cold calling went out with Fuller Brush, but that's exactly why it's in, for guerrillas.

Here's why: face-to-face cold calling is rare, so receptionists and secretaries aren't as poised against salespeople, prospects aren't as suspicious of your motives, and no one else is doing it. Remember the goal of the cold call is simply to get an appointment.

Since you're in the right neighborhood, knock on a door, walk right in, smile warmly, and use that famous guerrilla opener:

"I wonder if you could help me with some information?"

Introduce yourself, give a short statement of what you do, and ask to speak to the appropriate person. Work on your first two sentences; make sure they're clear and convey an important benefit to the firm. Practice them out loud. For example: "I represent XYZ. We help companies find more customers, increase their production, and improve customer relations. Who's in charge of managing your customer service?"

"That would be Linda Johnson, but she's very busy right now."

"Yes, of course. Besides, I have another appointment down the hall in just a few minutes. May I please set an appointment?"

You might also ask, "I have some literature I'd like to direct to her attention. Do you have one of her cards?" Add the pertinent information to your mailing list. Then when you return for your appointment, present her card to the receptionist. "I have a 1:00 appointment with Linda. My name is . . . She's expecting me."

Wherever you encounter people, look for something to talk about: traffic, the building, a picture on the wall, even the weather! Speak up, be cheerful, upbeat and confident. People respond warmly to cheerful enthusiasm. Volunteer your name. "Hi, I'm Orvel Ray Wilson." Above all, assume that you are going to get an appointment. Your positive spirit is no infringement on their time.

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