Forums » Friday Polls

Friday Poll: How Do You Open Your First Call to a New Prospect?

    • 1048 posts
    January 17, 2019 11:27 PM PST

    Some salespeople are comfortable calling on a new prospect by simply walking into their business unannounced and attempting to open a conversation.

    Many more salespeople use the telephone to introduce themselves and attempt to make an appointment for a first visit (or a "non-decision-making, fact-finding call," to paraphrase our friend Chris Lytle).

    What has been your most effective approach to introducing yourself to a brand new prospect?  What are the first words that come out of your mouth, whether in person or on the telephone?

    Please share your thoughts in the comments below. Thanks!

    • 49 posts
    January 18, 2019 5:21 AM PST

    We try to make personal contact with our clients but often resort to phone calls, texting (after initial contact) and emails. 

    Ice breakers include - "How effective is your current advertising" or "How are you getting traffic in your door?" and that usually evolves into some great conversation about how their business, their goals and how they're spending money on advertising. Our stations cover a pretty good area, so when I tell them we can tell potential advertisers in multiple counties they are interested. But there are also business owners who will blow you off, not return calls, whisper to someone at the counter - "Tell them I'm not available" (and I want to whisper back - "I can hear you"). 

    Generally, for every one rejection I get 10 people who want to hear what we can do to help them. I think of sales more as selling what the client has more than selling what we have to offer. 

    I have to tell this story. One advertiser asked what we could do to help them. They said they currently had been spending $60,000 on advertising in the local newspaper which circulates basically in one county. Subscription wise the paper is mailed to grandmothers, etc. in a few surrounding states. They print around 3500 papers twice a week and distribute a free paper to about 12,000. 

    I asked them why they were  spending that much money and they said, "Because they told us we needed to." Which goes back to a great NAB PSA from a few years back dealing with a newspaper advertiser telling the advertiser what they needed to do. 

    We were able to set them up with an add plan that was less than half what they were spending before and could deliver them a pop count of over 1 million so they were spending pennies per impression.  They've been with us for six years and are extremely happy. I sealed the deal by telling them, "You only need 10 customers spending X dollars per week to pay for your advertising."



    • 16 posts
    January 18, 2019 6:46 AM PST

    I would suggest having a "Saturday Strategy." That is, get out there on Saturday morning as the businesses are opening at 9 or 10. Walk in. Introduce yourself. Say, "I'm a new rep at KXYZ and I'd like to call on you in the future. But before I do, I'd like to learn enough about your business to ask some intelligent questions. The reason I came in today is to see what business is like on a Saturday and what kind of people shop here. And, if it's okay with you, could I borrow a recent issues of one of the trade magazines you read, so I can take it home and study it. I'm willing to do my homework."

    Your next meeting is to return the trade magazine and start asking questions.

    You do have a Saturday Sales Strategy, don't you? If you do, you'll be the only rep out there and the advertiser will see you working Saturdays just like s/he is.

    Take Thursday afternoons off, if you must, but get out there a couple of Saturday mornings evert month to accelerate your success.


    • 106 posts
    January 18, 2019 8:28 AM PST

    I look for common denominators and research before I contact anyone these days.

    (I also research those who contact us first).

    One new client last year was a financial planner whose name I discovered when she was a sponsor of an event for a non-profit that I serve on the board.


    I emailed her the following after also reaching out to her on LinkedIn:

     SUBJECT LINE: I am looking for a fresh face in the financial planning world

    Hi Lisa,


    Thanks for connecting on LinkedIn earlier this year and being a supporter of HomeBound Meals.


    I’d like to meet face to face this month and have a conversation about a couple of items…


    First off, WOWO has 3 main Financial Planners on the air and quite frankly, we need an alternative that is a fresh face, but not too fresh as in brand new to the business.


    I have been doing my research and am impressed with your credentials going back thru the years of working with Norwest/WellsFargo and later 5th3rd before striking out on your own.


    Secondly, you probably have advice on who else I should contact regarding the legal side of estate planning.


    Lisa, are you available for a 45 minute meeting at your office this month to start a conversation?

    Her reply:

    Hey Scott.  Nice to hear from you.  I would love to meet up and further discuss the opportunity.   Interestingly enough, my original major in college was Radio and Television Communications!    I later changed to Economics leading to my life as a Wealth Strategist/CFP/Financial Advisor.    


    As far as getting together, this is actually a busy month as my only daughter is getting married and we will have overseas guests.  This week and next are the best time to meet, or later the week of August 27th.  Please suggest a time/date combo and we can hone in on what might work. 


    This takes more time and effort than blindly cold calling, but it is worth it.   I'm not looking for quantity in the number of clients, but quality which includes they spend more per month per client.   For my station, a KEY account spends a minimum of $15,000 per year.  Lisa spends more than double that right now.

    • 49 posts
    January 18, 2019 10:12 AM PST

    It's all about building relationships. 

    • 1262 posts
    January 18, 2019 12:26 PM PST

    From David Kuehn: My strategy is to NEVER contact a prospect "out of the blue". 1) Do your research on the category and the specific prospect using internet, RAB, experience with similar accounts, other reps, etc. Businesses don't have time to "tell me about your business" 2) Identify the decision maker (or key gate-keeper as a fall back) then email AND call telling them who you are and that you would like a few minutes to talk about THEIR needs and to explore if your station strengths are a match 3) Call to schedule an appointment and have a specific problem/situation and a solution prepared as a conversation starter. I still use snail mail from time to time to get around the clutter - hardly anyone won't open an envelope with a media logo on it! My basic rule - "it ain't about your station or you - it's about them".