Social media is here to stay. It seems everyone is on social media to generate leads for their business. Everyone wants you to be a lead for their business but no one wants to be a lead for your business.
So, what do you do to keep your business growing and acquire more leads? You break out the old phone and start dialing, the old fashion way. Cold calling is not dead. So, where do you find the businesses and their phone numbers? It doesn’t seem like anyone is using the Yellow Pages anymore.
thomasnet.com is a new spin on an old source. In the “olden days,” the Thomas Register was the place to go to find manufacturers and the products they sell. These books were a great way for buyers to look up information on a particular product, to see who made it, and where to find it. Today, we have Thomasnet.com. A quick search for the topic of Electronics, gives a result count of 11,515 products that are listed in their directory. You can drill further into the list by selecting parameters such as market, state, or city. Most of the listings have a direct link to the manufacture’s website where you can find a local phone number.
What to say
Think about what you want you to say, then write it down and practice your spiel. You can review your spiel over and over in your head but it is not the same as actually saying the words over the aloud. Be sure to have what you want to say written down on a piece of paper or note card just in case you get a little stage fright. You can use a modified spiel from Peter Bowerman’s book, The Well-Fed Writer. It goes like this, “Hello, my name is (insert name) and I am a freelance (insert occupation). I am calling local businesses today to determine if you have any ongoing or occasional needs for a freelance (insert occupation). Who might be the best person to speak with?” It’s clean, it’s short, and it’s to the point. You don’t what to waste the other person’s time.
Keep Track of Your Calls
Keep track of the businesses you call and the people you have spoken too. Use an excel spreadsheet with basic information like, Company Name, Website, Phone Number, Address, and Contact Name/Notes. That way you know who you have called and the outcome of that call. Then after a few months, you can call them again to see if their needs have changed. Who knows, maybe you’ll get the job on the second or third try.
Not all leads are going to come from social media. Social media is packed with people trying to get leads of their own, maybe it’s time to try an old proven technique. I’m not suggesting that you give up on social media, I’m suggesting that you include cold calling as another avenue to generate leads.