During the past few months I had the occasion to “cold call” on business owners, both large and small. The intent of my call, during this period, was to find out about their business; how it worked and to how the owner felt about the future of their particular enterprise.
Before I share my results, let me explain my feelings about people walking into a place of business without the intent to purchase anything. I believe that everyone is a “customer”, or at least a potential referral source or future customer. In the past, I have written about the importance of people contact; that, in my opinion, is the most powerful sales opportunity we have.
Back to my findings. In almost all my meetings, as soon as I said I was seeking information about their business and not a cusomer at this time, their expression told the story. The owner, manager, staff person, ( WHOEVER i SAW FIRST) appeared to have lost all interest in me and did not have the time to visit with me, even though there were no other customers in the store, nor was their phone ringing. In one case, the person, who did not have time for me, started talking to another employee about a movie they saw.
Each of us is in the people business. Spending money for advertising in hopes that someone will read it and then get motivated to call you is, in most cases, a waste of money. Unsolicited mail or e-mail is deleted as soon as it arrives.
As business owners we are in the people business first and then in the sale of a product or service. We have a story to tell and perhaps a direct approach should be an opening statement such as “I would like to exchange business stories with you, the result of this meeting could be beneficial for you.”
Make it a point to call on at least one business each day ( more if you have time) and determine the best way (the one most comfortable to you)_ to engage in a conversation. After 60 days and 60 conversation, you will notice a growth in your business.
Set your sights high and strive for something grand.
Have a great day!