A surprisingly effective approach to cold calling…

It’s been very many years since I went ‘door knocking’ – cold calling on business premises trying to get to see the business owner to sell them something. That was at the start of my selling career and was what my first sales manager insisted I do.

It was neither enjoyable, nor probably the best use of my time.

It did however produce half reasonable results and was a great grounding in handling rejection. It is not a prospecting strategy I would necessarily recommend in today’s world. BUT…

A few weeks ago I was hired by a company to do some sales training. They sold a very high priced accounting and admin system.

One of the strategies the sales director insisted his new sales team members undertook was to go door knocking on business premises. He showed me the script he taught them to use and asked me if I could improve upon it.

I asked him what percentage of ‘door knocks’ resulted in a conversation with a decision maker.

His reply was 1.4% BUT he insisted this was how they had to start out in their career with the company and the strategy was made clear at interview stage, no matter how experienced the new hire was. It was not open for discussion.

I thought about this for some time and this was my suggestion, based upon what I know now and wish I had known so many years ago when I first had to go door knocking.

I also went out on the road for two days to test and improve on the approach first and prove it would work. I had much fun and of course, was being paid handsomely to do it which was a great help!

This was my final recommendation:

‘Produce a lightweight, fast to assemble, pop up banner with a promotion for your business.

Give each salesperson one of these and teach them the following:

Walk into the reception area, and without announcing whom you are to the receptionist or asking for permission, quickly and efficiently erect the banner. Practice at home until you can get it up in less than 45 seconds.

Then approach the receptionist, hand over your business card and say:

My name is X from the XYZ company, and would you please tell your CEO or MD I have erected my information booth in your reception area and ask them to come and visit me. I have some information for them that will enable them to to decrease their administration costs by up to 55%. Would you do that please.

They took my advice.

End result: 65%of door knocks resulted in a conversation with a Decision Maker.

Some of course told them to ‘get lost’ – often far more impolitely!  But the increase in sales was staggering!

Could that work for you?

You would of course have to amend the script based on the benefits you can provide.

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