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Seb Anthony

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business development


I currently do a great deal of my work through a number of companies, acting as an associate.

Some are lovely, give me interesting work with good client groups, others pack me off to Inverness on a morning for a course that starts at 1.30 in the afternoon, and then fail to pay the invoice!

This year I wish to start developing my own client group, however I hate call calling! Has anyone any advice or experience I can draw on?

I have tried advertising for a commission based marketing person, however the results were far from positive!

Any assistance greatly appreciated.


Steven Rowe

steven rowe

10 Responses

  1. Networking
    We found that joining groups such as the Chamber of Commerce and being active is a good starting point.
    Secondly the catalogues of relevant trade exhibitions are the most useful source of potential clients. Look for fast growing companies with a strong product. These companies are often at a stage where they begin to see the need for your services.
    Send a letter or brochure,check the web sites and ask for an appointment to talk about their needs.

  2. hate cold calling?
    If you are not keen on calling, then why not direct mail? Lots of good advice on how to do it is the royal mail website and I would be very happy to give some pointers free of charge if you would like.
    It also sounds to me as if you may need a sales person not a marketing person.

    Kind regards


  3. Consistency and persistence
    Unfortunately there is no substitute. You’ll need to devise your own script. Make sure you are in contact with the right person – Establish a reason for calling (i) to send material (ii) to gain information – Qualify the person, to establich there is value in proceeding further through structured questions – Identify common ground and the benefit of fece-to-face contact – Works towards a meeting – Keep comprehensive records of conversation, time, date etc and follow up regularly if not successful, (not just once or twice, at least seven) it takes time. You are sowing, cultivating and reaping – Be positive – Work on the 80/20 factor. How to win more business by phone by Bernard Katz is a good starting point for reference.

  4. more info
    if you could e-mail me a more definite idea as to what you expect return wise from a cold calling exercise in regards to volumes of clients etc i may be able to help you , as i am trying to setup a direct telesales service for smaller or independant business throughout the northwest.

  5. Cold Calling 0, Networking 1
    Hello Steven

    First of all – Good Luck!!

    As people become increasingly busy, they also get very protective of time and do not like to be invaded in the privacy of their own office! Cold calls can be quite soul destroying as you try to get past yet another gate-keeper; but more importantly – they are quite simply not effective!

    Secondly – I have to agree with the earlier (first?)posting about networking – it is the way forward! If you enjoy meeting people face to face and are confident of the way you come across, a networking evening provides more valuable contacts than an afternoon on the phone.

    If these events aren’t quite your lot either… there is still hope – offer the client something in a non-threatening way – a free report, hints and tips etc. so the client responds to you rather than feeling pursued. This can be done via direct mail, email or through a website if you have one. Be aware you need permission to email etc (see data protection regs…). Then only interested (and interesting…) people are in touch and once you’ve started to build a relationship you’ll feel a lot happier about picking up the phone, and the client will be a lot happier to speak to you.

    Then simply keep in touch regularly!

    All the best


  6. Cold Calling alternative
    Try writing first, mention you will ‘phone later and then call them. It is not a surprise then and you can refer to your earlier letter.

    Remember to describe benefits to the client rather than only what you do.

  7. business development ~ thank you!
    Many thanks to all who replied to my message.

    Kind regards.


  8. How to get out of cold-calling!

    This is probably the best advice about “Cold Calling” that you will get – I am an IT recruiter and have a great deal of experience in this.

    In truth, you can’t get away from cold-calling unless you are so established in the market that you have constant business from your referrals and people come to you (a good website can also attract the business for you, but let’s face it – we all like the pipeline to be as full as possible and sometimes, waiting for an order to fly in through the window isn’t good enough to keep the invoices going out).

    Maybe you need to reassess your opinion of what a cold call is all about: If you think of it as having to get the order, you will always hate it and see yourself as a failure when no-one spends money after just one call and all you ge is repeated rejection. Unless you are prepared to batter the client to pieces and make them completely hate you, you’ll never get the order on the 1st call no matter how good you are and if you expect but don’t get the order every time, cold-calling is a real, real grind.

    Try to approach it more from the angle of getting relevant information in on the “First Call” (not on a “Cold Call”). Find out the contact name on the 1st call, find out about headcount on the 2nd, find out about the financial situation on the 3rd… then effectively you are getting all the bricks with which you can build the house – when you do go through to the decision maker (which could be the 9th call to the company), you will sound completely informed about the business, and come across as someone who really cares about the business. It can only impress when you end up pitching for the order to the decision-maker. Obviously, get in as much info as possible on any call – you don’t want to spend your life and phone bill making 50 calls per “order” – but look at it as building a picture of the company for the future, if not for now. That way, you can make the call in March 2003, saying “John – we spoke in September last year and you said that there was going to be a restructure after the merger, and that you would be losing 230 people from your back-office function. How has it been going….?” and John will be thinking “Wow – this guy really knows and cares
    about me and my business.”

    In summary – don’t try and get an order every time you call. Use cold-calling as more of an information gathering exercise and keep very accurate notes. Don’t think of it as “Cold-calling” – think of it as “First-calling” (seems less scary that way!).

    And remember – if you don’t make the calls, someone else will. No-one likes to do it, but what happens to your pipeline and earnings if you don’t…?

    Good luck with the business, and if you need a motivating chat, either email should work but use [email protected] as a preference because, with any luck, I will be leaving my current company before too long!!!


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