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B2B Cold Calling....

Ok, my change of direction has lead me here... At my desk with a list of companies we have just been to an exhibition week with...I didn't attend the exhibition (it was before my employment here) but it was the place to be for leisure/fitness companies.

The company I work for went to meet with one of their biggest clients and took some time to pick up contact details for every marketting manager who exhibited....

So I have a list of prospects.

The client in question requested an 'email-shot' style Christmas card last year... with the UKs (and worlds!) current focus on climate change and carbon footprint it seems like a sellable product. also - with the amount of hits on our companies website from companies looking.... it seems sure-fire...

So - vs. traditional Christmas Cards - it's cheaper, it's less hassle, better for the planet and last, but not least, it's designed specifically for the user with their own corporate branding...

So I have a product.

Now the only other variable is me! and how I talk with the potential customers....

So far, I have assumed the marketing person (who's details I have) is the person I need (???)

My call generally goes something like this :-

- Introduction - My Name and Company
- Where I got their details
- Why I am calling them (we have a product which my be of interest)
- Why the product may be of interest (cheap, hassle free, etc)
- Can I have their email to send more info to...

My thinking was I could then follow the email up - realising that most people will say "no it's ok - I'll call you if we're interested" - I don't suggest I'll call back - but call to make sure the email landed a day later.... I struggle to get back through to the person I need, emails are never returned, etc...

So i'm not getting very far. my questions are :-

Would my call and process be more effective if directed at someone else?

What things should I be saying in my call to hook some interest?

With such a cheap product - should I worry less about the detail and more about the numbers?

Apologies for a long-winded post! Better to be clear from the start I guess! Feedback would be much appreciated!

Stephen - by Stevie

Product-wise, I see advantages and disadvantages to your product which you will have to address ahead of your pitch.

You've listed the advantages pretty well. An eCard is cheaper and can be more easily customized and branded.

The disadvantages - which the prospective customer will voice as objections - include:

- How can I differentiate my eCard from the other email that my client receives (i.e., if they never see the eCard then (as far as they are concerned) I never sent a holiday card)?

- If I send a traditional Christmas card by post, then the card goes to one person but is typically displayed for all in the company to see. From an advertising perspective, this translates into "additional exposures per message" and, ultimately, "reach." How does an eCard compare?

- Everyone is deluged with email these days and the volume of "snail mail" has declined. I think executives and others love to get an envelope addressed personally to them. How does an eCard compare?

So, enough with the negatives. I'll let you cogitate on them before you start selling.

With a low cost product I would advise that you focus on numbers but also be aware of title and role. I would extend your targets to sales, customer service, accounts receivable and senior "C Level" executives - in addition to marketing.

If you try to get calls or meetings for everyone on your target list, you may get some good meetings, but you'll never hit economically attractive numbers - in my opinion.

Don't forget the suppliers that sell to the companies you target and the suppliers that sell to the suppliers, etc.

Overall, I think you have great idea but I'm not sure I see the compelling competitive advantage you offer.

Anyway, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Jim Cundiff
The Complex Sale - by jcundiff