Prepare Before Cold-Calling –Dana
I know a certain sales rep in greater Boston who spent years in the paper industry. She's a gold mine of knowledge about paper, with great taste to match. I hope she uses this pedigree, when appropriate.
Everyone has unique qualities and talents. Print buyers often select printing firms based on the sales rep. What is it about you that would attract new customers?
Make the offer to the client that you will follow up with an e-mail. When I reach a prospect who's too busy to chat, I offer to send an e-mail with lots of detail about why I'm calling. They always say yes.
Then I follow up with them (telling them I will be doing so) in about a week to be sure they've received it (assuming they haven't already replied by then).
I hope these tips help. Try and take the "sales" out of your sales calls. Doing research ahead of time is the most important tip I can give you. Always be professional and courteous. Practice with someone you trust, if you're new at selling.
When you're ready, take a deep breath. Exhale slowly. Feel confident. Have notes in front of you? Good. Now, dial. PI
About the Author
Margie Dana is the founder of Print Buyers International (www.printbuyersinternational.com), which offers educational and networking opportunities to those who work with the printing industry. She produces an annual print buyers conference (www.printbuyersconference.com) and has written her popular e-column, "Margie's Print Tips," since 1999. Dana speaks regularly at trade events and offers consulting services as a print buyer specialist. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.