The dreaded cold call. Seen by some as soliciting, cold calls are often feared by Freelancers, Marketing Directors or Studio Owners and viewed as an admission of unbooked dates. Plus, it’s sometimes hard to humble ourselves to the point of actually picking up the phone and reaching out. Here are some ways to look at cold calling differently,and to suck up our artistic egos and put our business hats on.
My father sold insurance for a living and in paying just a little bit of attention, I promise if you solicit, it will yield you nothing and indeed kick your pride in the pants. So don’t do that. Don’t call asking for anything or selling anything. That’s an intrusive interruption to would-be clients and the frustration after a handful of shut-downs will result in never picking up the phone again. Instead, share. Explain what you can do for them. Express your unique capabilities, rates, etc. and explain how and why you can increase their bottom line. It doesn’t matter if we are in production, post or every aspect of the video business, what we are really in is the friend making business. Cold calling, in addition to personal networking, is a great way to make new friends.
1. Do Your Research
So what friends do you want to make? Much like a job interview, where many think they are simply being interviewed by a potential employer, the truth is the potential employee should not overlook interviewing the employer to ensure a happy and comfy fit. To that point, your cold calls should not be a canvassing of every name that comes up in a Google search. Instead, after proper research, we should identify the best fit for who we are, what we do and what we want to be doing. These leads are found most often in your town’s local Film Commission Directory. Web searches always pull up more leads, and don’t hesitate to friend and follow those you may not know but would like to be acquainted with on social media.
2. Be Social and Leverage Existing Content
Speaking of social media, in addition to connecting with potential clients, share content — not on their pages but on yours. Chances are when you do cold call these places, they will see your name as familiar, often not quite remembering from where. This makes that “cold” call much warmer and infinitely multiplies your chances to get the time to share with them what you can do for them.
Looking at this whole thing a bit differently is your motivator as we right brainers are seldom comfortable in left brain mode.
Looking at this whole thing a bit differently is your motivator as we right brainers are seldom comfortable in left brain mode. From invoicing to collecting, we all have to enter that mode, but if we look at cold calling as creative, we stay in our natural comfort zones and nothing is faked or risks sounding like a used car commercial.
3. Know Your Product
We all know what makes us unique and sets us apart from our competition. Remember, you don’t have competition because you are the only one that can do what you do in the way that you do it. This is what artistry is, so be prepared to explain this in early stages of a new conversation. They are the ones being called and when they ask why, what, or how much, be ready with enthusiastic facts. Smile. You can hear a smile on the phone. Make them laugh but don’t be corny. Like your videos, viewers have fun watching people have fun so do just that — have fun. Make friends out of clients and clients out of friends. This truly is half of our jobs.
4. Continue the Relationship
So, now you have successfully booked a new client. You have spent some time bonding, they dig you and your work and are splitting with their product. How can you ensure you will see them again? It’s simple enough, after your hug and high five and before they walk away, simply ask them “When will I see you again?” Nine times out of ten, this becomes an instant booking in the near future. You will never have a better marketing person than a happy client, so don’t hesitate to tell them to tell others.
How do I motivate myself for a cold call?
Simply look at your needs and the needs of your future clientele. See the matches and move on them. Friends are much more loyal than clients. With these principles, along with your awesome services, you have made a friend out of a client and should that competition-that-is-not-your-competition start buzzing their ears, they will respond with “Thanks, I have a good friend that takes care of that for me.”
Welcome to the friend-making business.
Grinner Hester is a 3 time EMMY Award winning Video Producer with over 30 years experience. With clients ranging from the homeless to a former President of the United States, there is no flavor of production he hasn’t seen. Having served in every position in production and post, he now specializes in turn-key productions as a one man band.