Which type of businesses to CC?
Hey Anon or anyone else,
I am looking to do some cold call prospecting with
business owners. I am not looking to do business insurance planning,
rather their personal planning. I will be selling the appointment and
primarily do planning from a life insurance framework...ie not an asset
As I understand, you are well versed in cold call
marketing to the business owner; as such - in your opinion, what type
of businesses should I be prospecting that would allow me to reasonably
get in touch with the business owner, and have a reasonable level of
income that they can take from their business. My initial thought would
be a business with few employees - less than 5. Like a Chiropractor for
example...but they have the whole Dr. office mentality so it's
difficult to get past the secretary. So I'm not sure what categories of
owners - or the size of operation I should focus my efforts in.
All thoughts are most welcome,
If it's a big practice, ask to speak with the office manager. If you are nice to them, talk about a great new employee benefit (all the nurses b1tch to them about their benefits), they might be willing to slip it into their next staff meeting and get a meeting with the Doc.
For most small businesses, later in the day is best (late afternoon). This is because many operations-type businesses start real early in the a.m. (trades businesses, garages, etc.) sending out their teams, getting the staff going, etc. As such, staff knocks off around 3-4:00, and the owner then moves on to his paperwork in the office. Also, restaurants are not busy early evening (3-5pm), earlier in the day they are doing payroll, schedules, ordering supplies/food, etc.
Also, for specialty doctors (eyes, teeth, skin, chiro, etc.), the hours of operation are not always regular (some late days, some weekends, some closed weekdays like Monday, etc.). Try finding out their hours, then try to call when the office is not "officially" open. You can often find the doctor or office manager doing paperwork. You will never talk to the doc during office hours, as they are jammed with patients.
To totally threadjack...
Grab the yellow pages. Open it to any page. Call the first number in the left hand column. Next, call the second number in the left hand column. Third, call the third number. When you reach the bottom of the page, call the first number in the second column.
You will make some appointments. Arrive at your appointment 30 minutes early. Don't go in. Go to the first business on the right. Walk in. Go to the 2nd business on the right. Walk in. Go to the third business on the right. Walk in. Go to your meeting. After the meeting, go to the first meeting on the left. Walk in. Go to the 2nd business on the left. Walk in....
Obviously, I'm answering in a sarcastic way, but I'm being completely serious. If you don't get past the secretary, so what? Call the next person.
The best time to call is when you have a phone. Your time during the day needs to be spent seeing people or fighting to see them, so why worry about "best time"? If you don't have an appointment, you should be calling someone or walking in on someone.
If someone won't give you an appointment when you cold call, don't let that stop you from cold walking them. If someone tosses you out or you can't get past the gatekeeper on a cold walk, don't let that stop you from cold calling them.*
Also, in my phone book example, use your smarts to get some referrals. You are meeting with Joe Smith at Joe's Garage. You'll arrive early to cold walk. When you do, you will either have a chance to meet with the owner or not.
If you meet with an owner, let him know that you arrived early for a meeting with Joe. If he knows Joe, it will add credibility. If he doesn't it doesn't make a difference. If he does know Joe, ask him to tell you a little bit about Joe. After he tells you something positive, say something along the lines of, "May I tell Joe that you spoke highly of you." You'll get an affirmative answer. When you go to your meeting with Joe, you can tell him that you were meeting with Sam and he spoke very highly of him. You are no longer completely cold to Joe.
If you don't meet with the owner, you will get the owner's contact information. When you meet with Joe ask him about these other owners. If he knows one, see if he speaks highly of him. If he does, say, "When I call Charlie, can I tell him that you spoke highly of him?" You now have a referral to Charlie.
Or die trying, as an asset gatherer, I'm not so sure that business owners are your best bet. More often than not, even if you get the appointment, they don't have the investable assets to make good clients.
*I had a great appointment this morning. I cold walked on a business and couldn't get anywhere and was told that the owner would never meet with me. I did make sure to get his card. I cold called him and set an appointment. The appointment went great and my gut tells me that this will be a pretty sizeable case.