Small Business and Cold Calls

Posted by Eric Christ

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Cold Calls. Those two words strike fear in the hearts of salespeople across the globe. Even the most experienced sales force dislikes the cold call. There is something about this act that causes most people, whose chosen profession is sales, to cringe. The cold call is an interruption of someone’s day, and often times one that is not entirely appreciated. That being said, it is a “necessary evil”.


Even in this day and age of hyper-connectedness, the cold call has an important role in all aspects of sales, and more importantly local businesses. While you are interrupting someone’s day, it is for good reason. You have a service or product that can, in fact, help their business. You are calling to introduce yourself to a person, or business that would otherwise not know you, and help them become more profitable. Yes, in the process you will be rewarded. However, in the end it is YOUR BELIEF THAT YOU CAN HELP THAT PERSON OR BUSINESS. That is what motivates you to pick up that phone and make that call.  


The first dental practice to join the Likeable family with me was the result of a cold call! It was a slow afternoon, and I was not making a lot of connections with my calls.  It was a situation where I had honestly hit a wall that day. It was about that point that my manager gave me a list of practices to call, and said, “Pick up the phone, and dial! You can’t make a sale without first picking up that phone!” So I started calling the list of practices. Some of the calls went well, some didn’t. I was halfway through the list when Jenny answered the phone.


It was great to have someone so kind and considerate on the other end of the phone.  She seemed to genuinely be interested in what I had to say.  In reality, it was that I had started to ask the right questions. I was engaging, and curious. I was not talking at Jenny, but rather trying to find out if Likeable Dentists, a product of Likeable Local,  would be something her practice would benefit from. Prior to my call, Jenny didn’t know who I was, or what Likeable Dentists was. After a few questions, I briefly explained how I thought Likeable Dentists would be able to help their practice. We had a great conversation about the power of social media, and word of mouth marketing. The key element here is that we had a great conversation.


The call ended without a Jenny signing up. However, there was a barrier that had been broken between the two of us. We had become familiar with one another on the phone. It had been a likeable conversation. Before we hung up, I let Jenny know that I would follow up the following week.  As it turned out I didn’t have to wait that long. Jenny called my mobile phone the following morning and joined the Likeable family. The practice she works for has 10 locations. All 10 locations signed up.


So in conclusion, It all begins with the simple act of picking up the phone and dialing.  However, there is much more to it than that. It’s about asking questions, finding out if you can actually help the person or business.