If you’re a small business owner or marketer, you probably get annoyed at times with salespeople cold calling you to sell you on a new service or tool. In the marketing world, there are many agencies who are eager for new business. Many of them think that they can teach you something that you don’t already know or that they can undercut a service that you’re already using.
Taking these calls gets tiring. And the immediate response when a new call comes in is to ignore it completely. But I find that more often than not, you can get something out of the call, even if you don’t end up purchasing or signing up for the service.
Here’s what I recommend:
- Take the call
- Tell them you’re pressed for time and would like a quicker version of the pitch
- Ask them exactly how they will help you specifically, and don’t let them skirt around the question
- Make sure they know that you are the decision maker here, they’ll be much more likely to give you anything you ask for
- Tell them to follow up with an email describing the product or service
- Ask for free trials, info on competitors using the service, a complimentary review of your current practices
My experience is that you will be able to tell whether or not you’re interested after 5 minutes on the phone. But if they’re willing to give you something for free, like a sample of their services or an industry report, it’s worth taking advantage of.
In reality, only a small percentage of these calls will be able to offer you something that’s worth your while. But if you ignore them all, the good ones will never make it through.
At the end of the day, my advice is to take more calls than not and give your business to the people who can identify specific areas and ways that they can make a difference. Then hold them to their promises.