Home > Cold Calling > Face to face cold call visits - B2B

Face to face cold call visits - B2B

Hello. I am fairly new to sales. I represent products that manufacturers use to improve processes (sales, design/engineering, testing, manufacturing).

I want to cultivate leads and I feel a good way is by visiting prospects.

My cold call visit plan is:
  • Introduce myself and company I represent.
  • Mention the purpose of visit and mission of the company I represent.
  • Give information packet to the receptionist and ask them to deliver it to a manager, director, or business owner.
  • Inform the receptionist I would like to make an appointment with the person he/she provides the information to and that I would call within a week to schedule an appointment.
The part I anticipate struggling with is setting up appointments. Here are some of the challenges I anticipate:
  • No receptionist at all. Just a lobby, phone, and a locked door. What should I do?
  • What can I do to avoid having the receptionist just drop my information into the garbage after I leave?
  • How can I ensure my message gets to the manager clearly?
Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time.

Today is my first day travelling to gather prospects, so I will probably have many more questions at the end of the day. - by deandm
Out of curiosity, what results did you experience on your first day traveling and did they match what you were anticipating? - by Jeff Blackwell
Jeff, Thank you for asking. It went well. I was surprised at how many receptionists were willing to pass the information along to the appropriate person and to give me that persons contact info. I now have a good next step for those leads. I was also surprised at how many other new leads I found as I was just driving from business to business on my route. This was much better for me than picking up a phone, especially since I could pre-qualify and see if a follow up is worthwhile.

I did run into a few cases where there was no receptionist and just an in-box for literature. I'll have to do something to get those drop offs into the right hands. - by deandm
I am having the same issue. New to sales ect, been out once. I hate that you just dont know how many of those receptionists or office managers are tossing your card and lit in the basket as you walk out of their door.

As far as your introduction, mine is similar, mostly because I have no formal (none whatsoever) sales training, and that kind of is the obvious pitch to give (from what I've been hearing, however, that is the worst thing to do... its boaring and predictable salesman talk).

I hope that someone can go in depth more with this, I know that my first day I wasn't expecting much and its exactally what I got. - by Kapture1
The best way to get the attention of the person(s) who does the buying in the organization you are visiting is to first find out any information about that company that would suggest that your products would help them achieve their goals. Try to look for specifics. That info coud be gleaned from industry associations or general or specific info about the company itself. Check local papers the web. Do your homework. It doesn't have to be exhaustive for initial contact, but it should be of interest to the buying organization. A little info about the company can go a long way in you learning more about their issues that can lead to a sale. Good start for sales training in Miller-Heiman Strategic and Conceptual Selling. - by Herbert
Excellent advice.

It is all about homework.

When you walk in the door and start talking to the receptionist as if you are an ex-employee; that's impressive. You will rise above the others in his or her eyes because you showed respect for the company and did not treat them like another number or a quick commission check.

If you are that diligent in your first meeting, the receptionist will wonder how much more service they will receive from you. You show quality and the game has yet to begin.

If there is no receptionist, write a letter directly to the decision maker. What is most important is to hand write the envelope and the body of the letter if possible.

I would plan a month in advance and call for their promotional material and even Business Prospectus to be mailed to me before a made my first visit.

Of course joining a local organization is always a good idea.

After 30 years of cold calling, I found that the relationship between the boss and the receptionist can be dicey.

Maybe everyone gets their card tossed because he or she is: lazy, forgetful, the owners daughter or son and feels superior, makes false assumptions and many other issues can come to play.

Maybe the boss is wondering why suppliers are not dropping by--you never really know until you step through the door. - by John Voris
Is it best in doing homework to find out who is the President or CEO of the company before ever stopping by?

Call ahead, "I have some important information about Insurance, who would I send that to?"
"Is there anyone else who is involved in the decision of these types of things?" (If questioned... I usally send out two packets of information if more than person is involved)
"Thank you... What was your name? Thank you very much Cathy" (people love to hear praise and their name in the same sentence)

Send the Information. (dont follow up with did you get a chance to review the packet. Instead say "I sent you some information, and some of it wasn't self explanatory, I'd like to spend five min. to go over it with you."

Now you know the gatekeepers name, and the name(s) of Who will be making the decision to buy. So when you make the face to face cold call or over the phone call, you dont sound like a salsman as much "Hi is the owner there" it's more like "Hi Cathy, may I speak with Jim".

This is a strategy I learned from Jeffrey Gitomer's Sales Bible. - by Kapture1
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