Cold Calling

So to continue on yesterday’s train of thought

Before I had my motivation adjustment, I had long had a mechanism in place for making the cold calls and scheduling appointments. This too had it’s own unique mind set.

Again when I first started out, the thought of making cold calls was paralyzing. I would literally sit and stare at the phone. As if staring at it would make a client call me out of the blue, so that I would not have to make the call. Every day it was the same. I struggled to pick up the phone and make the first call… or the second!

My shift in this area came in the form of two things; organization and a game.

I’ll start with the game..

I don’t remember where it came from, but it started out very easily and built up to amazing productivity.
I made cold calling a game. And here were my rules:

  • Cold Calls were to schedule appointments to show the portfolio.
  • You either have to talk to the person you are trying to meet or leave a voice mail.
  • Cold Calls happen Mon-Wed
  • Portfolio Showings Wed-Fri (exceptions of course for people who could ONLY meet on Mon or Tues)
  • Day One: Make 5 cold calls and you are done for the day. (Needless to say I finished work WELL before lunch that day!)
  • Day Two: Make 5 new cold calls plus call back anyone from Day One whom you did not speak to in person. (again done before lunch!)
  • Day Three: Make 5 new cold calls plus call anyone from Day One or Day Two whom you did not speak to in person.
  • And so on…
  • And so on…

It was at this point that I was feeling pretty pathetic and realized that I could easily step this up to adding 15 new cold calls each day plus all of the un-reached calls and still not do a full days work. And with this the competition started (with myself). It worked like a charm. And within a couple of weeks I was making between 75-150 phone calls a week and showing the portfolio between 6-9 times a week. Being this productive made me a much happier person as well! I did not have time to mope around thinking about not working!

The other part of this equation was organization. In order to do this effectively I needed a system to track who I had called and who I had seen and who I had sent promos to and what they said on the calls when I spoke to them. For this I used some software that kept everything organized, findable, and useable. At the time my computers were PC-based. And I used a program called Act! It is a contact database and scheduling software. At the end of each day I was able to schedule my calls for the following day. I was able to schedule portfolio showings, notate what an art director said on a phone call, schedule a future call if they requested that I call back at another time and be able to say when I called back, what day we originally spoke and that they requested I call back. I was able to notate assistant / secretary names so that when I called back I could address them by name (which definitely helps when you are trying to get PAST the secretary and TO the Art Director) When I got voice mail I could leave a message and immediately schedule my call back for the following day. When someone called me I could flag them as a high priority to follow up with. All the while I was building my own client (or potential client) database from which I could do promotional mailings etc.

Since so many of us are Mac based these days (or should be) I will also share a link for a similar program for Macs since Act! is on PC. It is called Now|Up-to-Date & Contact. All the same principles but on a Mac.

So with the mindset of trying to out-do myself and see just how many calls I could get done in a week and the tools to organize the process, I became a cold calling, portfolio showing machine.