Author: Rhys Gillmer, M&a Account Support Executive – Asia Pacific
I have worked in Marketing and Advertising for just under 2 years. My job is to research, identify and call potential business opportunities within the Asia Pacific Region, and hopefully turn a phone call into business for M&a. It’s tough but I like it.
Every day is different and that’s because I Cold Call. This means I talk to people that neither I or the business have ever spoken to before.
I know…scary. But it doesn’t have to be. Here are 5 tips on how I make it easier.
1. Remember…Your time is just as important as theirs.
You are calling a potential client because it will be mutually beneficial. It’s usually quite intimidating calling a Senior Marketing Manager or even a CMO (if you can get through), but remember you are reaching out with an opportunity.
Your agency’s services could change the way their business functions as well as their current understanding and knowledge of their industry’s market while boosting figures . If your contact is not interested: no problem.
2. Cold Call? Clean Slate.
Not many people like making Cold Calls. It’s uncomfortable and can sometimes lead to you being abused or embarrassed over the phone. But a lot of Senior Marketing Professionals are actually always on the hunt for new opportunities… but they would never tell you that.
Nothing is worse than missing an opportunity, and that opportunity could be you – the only difference is that you found them. Make a good first impression and hopefully your agency’s experience and work is up to scratch. If they have never heard of you… who’s to say you aren’t the best at what you do?
3. 2 Ears and 1 Mouth.
Learn to listen. A lot of individuals believe BD is all about the way you pitch your business. I think that’s wrong. I think it’s about understanding another businesses needs and adapting your pitch. Ask a question and then simply be quiet.
Your job is also about gathering information on the targeted company for your next pitch in 6 -12 months time. Senior Marketers respect an individual who can learn why they are not interested in your agency – maybe you will learn something?
4. Research, Research and Research.
This is probably the most obvious point but I know plenty of professionals who dive straight into a call without doing any research on the individual or the company. Don’t ever think:
“I’ll just do the usual spiel”.
Look up your contact on LinkedIn and see who they previously worked for – perhaps you worked with their previous business or know someone they used to work with.
I highly recommend you subscribe to as many online marketing publications as possible as well e.g. AdNews, Mumbrella, CRN and B&T. They know everything that is happening within the industry and practically hand you a lead when they tell you who’s leaving where and what company is doing what and when.
5. Develop Your Own Style.
When Cold Calling you are your business’ first impression and your contact will judge you based on your answers and approach. There’s no room for errors. You have to remember the Senior Marketing Manager you talk to tomorrow would have already been called by 10 other Business Developers. How are you going to be different? What’s different about you and your company? Develop your own style and stick to your strengths.
This means never copying another individuals development approach. They are successful because they know their strengths and can shape the conversation based around that. You might like to wear a suit and gel your hair to appear like the perfect ‘Salesman’, but I can assure you the person on the other end of the phone can’t SEE YOU and they’re getting pretty good at reading people who target them for future opportunities.
Know what you’re talking about and don’t pretend to be someone you’re not because you will look like a fool. Take risks, make your contact laugh and be interested in the conversation.
This is my first article. I hope you enjoyed reading it and perhaps take away some points for Cold Calling. Remember it’s not Cold Calling if you know who they are, what their business specialises in, why they should be interested and where and when they are available to have a meeting.