There is a cure for the common cold call. Don’t do it. It’s not that it can’t work but rather that it is a very inefficient method (produces minimum results for maximum effort) that should be used only as a last resort.
Here are some ideas about how to approach an important decision-maker in a manner that has a much better probability of getting a meeting:
- Do research on them to learn about their business and personal goals, interests and experience. The more you know before you contact them, the greater the potential outcome of your interaction.
- Reach out to them through a common connection. This may be through the staff on an Association they belong to, one of their colleagues whom you know or somebody who knows them personally. If you don’t have a common connection, create one.
- Start the relationship in “learn” mode, not “sell” mode. If they want to buy from you, that can be determined after communication begins so don’t assume it. If it turns out that they are not a candidate to purchase from you but they like you (partially because you didn’t try to sell them), they may make a valuable introduction to somebody else.
- Develop a keen understanding of their concerns, which are often shaped by conditions in their industry so that you can speak intelligently with them about their perceived needs
- Email blast short messages with very appealing titles that indicate strong subject matter understanding of their industry, market and needs. If the title is right, the percentage of recipients who read it is dramatically higher.
- Create a new email blast campaign every Quarter and follow up every single email sent with a series of 5 phone calls that span the Quarter: 1 a week later, 2 & 3 spaced a week apart and 4 and 5 spaced a month apart.
- Be active in Associations where your target prospects congregate. Help bring in Members, with Events and make friends with the staff and with Board Members. They know the members and can open doors after you’ve contributed.