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Cold calling on the phone or in person?

Just wanted to see what everyone thinks. I have had both success with cold calling on the phone for appointments and cold calling in person. The positives for cold calling on the phone is you can pre qualify your prospects with out waisting time driving to their office and you can make probably 5 calls in the amount of time it takes you to drive from point A to point B depending on your territory size. The downside I've seen to that is you can get shut down alot easier with the gate keeper, you don't get to see where they office out of therefor you dont get as good an idea what potential they have, and sometimes if you make a cold call in person, you can get lucky and talk to the decision maker right there face to face. I would be an advocate of making the first call on the telephone but as I said, it seems easy to get shut out by someone on the phone than in person, in person they may at least hear you out, alot of times on the phone they cut you off and say "were not interested, thank you" even if your a legit vendor with a product that pertains to their business, but you may get treated like a door to door salesman selling encyclopedias. (not to offend anyone that does that) - by halidon
Also to add to that, in person you can bring a demo of the product you sell and it can grab some ppl's attention to where they will start asking you about. For myself, I sell power tools for professional contractors, it makes a difference when i walk in their with a big gas powered gun drawing all this attention than when I call on the phone trying to describe it. - by halidon
From a merchant/buyer's point of view, I'd rather see someone in person, with real products or information on their service. The only drawback there is that, if I'm busy, I'll brush you off. But the chance that I'd actually at least listen to you and look at your promo materials is better in person. On the phone, it's all to easy to say "No thanks" and hang up. - by CarrieGee
In terms of reach, "Mail" comes in at number one, followed by "Phone" and then "In Person".

In terms of conversion, "In-Person" comes in at number one, followed by "Phone" and them "Mail". - by SalesGuy
Absolutely mail in terms of "reach" comes in first. It allows me to sit down and look at the materials when I have time to pay attention to it. Someone at the door or on the phone when I'm doing other things won't get the attention I give to the mail when I finally have a moment to sit and relax. This does not include email, I just toss that.

- Des ;sm - by destiny
In terms of reach, "Mail" comes in at number one, followed by "Phone" and then "In Person".

In terms of conversion, "In-Person" comes in at number one, followed by "Phone" and them "Mail".
So ... arguably the best approach is to send out a mailer and then show up in person to make the sale? - by CarrieGee
It's definately better to mail something first, or send out flyers. Just think of annoyed a potential buy can be if he/she received a call at the wrong time. The flyer allows them to view the selection at their convenience. - by crassus
Does mailing flyers really work? Has anyone actually done that and it resulted in sales? - by halidon
So ... arguably the best approach is to send out a mailer and then show up in person to make the sale?
Best approach for who and what? ;wi - by SalesGuy
Best approach for who and what? ;wi
Is that the best approach to making an effective sales call and closing more sales? I had an idea, how about I call on whatever prospects I plan on seeing this week without sending out a mailer first b/c they will not get it by the time I get to their office this week, but for the prospects I plan on cold calling next week, I mail them a letter this week in advance and drop in next week and do that every week for the prospects you plan on visiting the next week? Now the only problem is I dont know who to address these mailers to, any ideas? - by halidon
Is that the best approach to making an effective sales call and closing more sales?
I would go out on a short limb and say there is no one "best approach".

...but for the prospects I plan on cold calling next week, I mail them a letter this week in advance and drop in next week and do that every week for the prospects you plan on visiting the next week? Now the only problem is I dont know who to address these mailers to, any ideas?
What will the purpose of the letter be?

I would address it to the prospect you intend on talking with during your visit. - by SalesGuy
Halidon, what will the content of the "mailer" be? - by AZBroker
Halidon, what will the content of the "mailer" be?
The mailer can be a breif introduction of the company and what we do and how we can possibly benefit their company. It woud also state my interest in setting