Home > Cold Calling > Working downtown.

Working downtown.

Well, I have been lurking a while and thought I would make a posting that is near and dear to my heart. First, a little background:

I live in Vancouver, BC, host city to the winter olympics and was transferred to the downtown territory just over a year ago. The company sells remanufactured toner products for desktop and workgroup printers, copiers and multifunction printers / copiers. We also sell break-fix service, new and used equipment with leasing options.

In my first year I worked a smaller territory in the suburbs and managed to break into President's Club. Missed it last year with switching to downtown. I thought I was the cat's ***..... but working downtown.... eesh. It was like going from the minor's to the big show...

Which brings me to my post. I have lead my company (17 sales reps) in new business development since joining the company. All new business is generated by the rep. We don't have inside sales reps, we don't have a marketing department, we don't direct mail, we don't advertise. My first year I opened 140 accounts. My 2nd year (new territory) opened 96. I should be really happy with my progress, however...

I don't hate working downtown... but I feel like I have gotten jaded by doing so. I read post that sales is not about doing something to a customer but for a customer. That really hit home to me.

With the olympics parking is a disaster. Parking police, bums, getting my car dented / whacked on a regular basis, walking through alleys and having to deal with smoking pits.... eesh.

I have essentially stopped prospecting the last month and a half. I have managed to open some new business and overall my business is up but that's past work that I am reaping.

Every building has no soliciting signs in one form or another. For the most part, these don't matter but because they are so prevelent, it's hard to know which ones are real or not. I always run the risk of getting kicked out of a building becuase either the building has full-time security or a property manager on site. I can always tell which buildings are not worth my time to cultivate - they have easy access to parking, no full-time security, lack of no soliciting sign.......... friendly receptionists. ;)

I know that I am very good at what I do... in fact, I am probably the best at what I do in my industry in Vancouver. I spend great amounts of time and money learning, reading, investing in technology and tools to make me excellent.


I find myself getting angry a lot... for example:

- if a security guard asks me to leave a building (they tend not to ask nicely), I get confrontational...

- if a receptionist says no soliciting in this building, I ask a stupid question like, how do they find new business partners to work with?

Maybe I need to exercise more, find a way to destress. We recently held a cold call blitz where the entire sales team goes into a single sales rep's territory and goes all out. Some of the rep's feel the way I used to about downtown - shooting ducks in a barrell... until they get down there and find out it's not all peaches and cream.

Cold calling is my life blood, if I don't find a way to get excited about it I might as well become a sandwhich artist at my local subway.

Anyone got any thoughts on this? - by greg.billings
I feel you pain… a few years ago I was involved in B2B sales, walking the street and knocking on doors. My sales record would suggest that I too am an over achiever similar to how you was given ‘down town’ I was promoted and handed a major UK cities streets to trod which was a far cry from my original post in a more rural setting.

Sales is a fickle beast and your ability is only acknowledged and rewarded based on your current position regardless of how well you have done in the past.

I found myself moving from the top tier and receiving all of the accolades to becoming very a mediocre salesman. As the time that I allocated to cold calling new clients dropped so did my revenue and so did my sales reputation.

The old cliché says “if you fail to prepare, prepare to fail” I analysed this cliché and decided to return to basics.

Determined to rise again to glory I decided would spend one whole day a week cold calling prospects from my car. I knew that I perhaps wouldn’t be able to correctly present to a client from a single cold call, but using the ‘S.M.A.R.T objectives’ formula, the purpose of every call was to simply find out (1) The name of the decision maker (2) the name of the gatekeeper/receptionist.

Armed with this information I would then spend the rest of the week walking boldly into their offices and requesting to meet the decision maker by name.

“Hi Jane, I spoke to you last Thursday, is Mr John Doe available?”

The receptionist/gatekeeper (Jane) wouldn’t recall our brief conversation, but as I was requesting people by name it offered me some validity for being there.

I found that the gatekeepers typically hold a wealth of knowledge and should be used to a salesmans advantage… they can tell you who makes deliveries, what salesmen visit and with what frequency, even who the decision makers favourite football team is and office gossip.

After a couple of new sales under my belt I was flying high again and felt unstoppable….

I hope this helps thmbp2; - by salesman
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