Do Your Homework Before Making That Call
I cannot understand why a service provider would cold call me without checking me out online ahead of time. But this keeps happening, despite it being 2014, despite Google search, despite Twitter and LinkedIn and Facebook, and so on.
When someone calls me and remarks almost immediately that he’s heard my name “for years,” I assume he’s done his homework, and that he knows what business I’m in. But time after time (sorry, Cyndi Lauper), I’m disappointed. The caller’s done no such thing.
If you’re guilty of this sort of ice-cold calling to get a prospect’s attention and business, you don’t deserve it.
Do what you should do before you dial, and take notes as well. Here’s what I’d do:
- Google the person by name.
- Go to LinkedIn and search. If you find the person, check out their employment history. How long have they been at their current job? Where were they before that? What’s their specialty? What recommendations are listed on their profile, and what can you learn from them? Where did they get their education? You never know: maybe you share a city or country or an alma mater. Maybe you worked where they once worked, or you may know someone who did. You can learn a ton about someone who has a robust LinkedIn profile.
- If this person’s an employee, check out his or her company Website to learn what they’re about and how you or your business might serve them.
- Go to Twitter and Facebook and see if you can find that person there.
- Google the person’s company and maybe recent news stories will pop up.
All of this research—which will take less than 10 minutes, by the way—will give you insights that will help you engage this prospect on the phone (or perhaps convince you there’s no reason to call).
When I get cold called by someone who hasn’t so much as Googled my name, I lose respect. It sends a very specific message to me, as in, “I sound like I’m excited to speak to you but in fact, you’re just someone on my list to call and I want something from you.”
I dismiss these types of callers.
Don’t waste your time or your prospects’ time. Make an effort before you make a call.
Long regarded as a print buyer expert and trade writer, Margie Dana launched a new business as a marketing communications strategist with a specialty in printing and print buying. She is as comfortable working in social media as she is in traditional media, and now she’s on a mission to help clients build customer communities through carefully crafted content. Dana was the producer of the annual Print & Media Conference.
Although she has exited the event business, Dana is still publishing her Print Tips newsletter each week. For more details and to sign up for her newsletter and marketing blog, visit www.margiedana.com