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Relentless
Space Mining
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
In the past I've voiced my preference for email, mostly for efficiency. I hereby acknowledge that in-person conversations are more likely to turn into work. So the question is, how do you get a stranger to meet you? My gut says phone calls will turn into meetings better than emails. What to say on the phone is the question...

I find that I'm kinda clumsy on the phone - not really sure what angle to use to get the office manager (OM) to put me on the phone with a decision maker. At the moment, I'm reaching out to general contractors, but would appreciate strategies of all types, for all sorts of prospective clients (owners, property managers, GCs).

I'm leaning toward just asking for the estimator (these are residential companies I'm calling - commercial I would ask for the chief estimator or I would already know the name of at least one estimator). If the estimator is out, do I back track and ask for a project manager? The OM is gonna smell blood at that point - "this guy doesn't even care who he talks to, as long as it's not me!"

What if the OM says, "Fred Hammersnails is the owner and the estimator, and he's currently estimating he's got twelve hours left sheathing a roof and tomorrow he'll be digging a big ditch by himself and by the way can I take a message?"

Creepy but effective would be, "Tell me where he's working" while doing a weird thing with my voice, maybe try to sound like the crazy guy from "No Country For Old Men" and then I could stop by and bring him donuts and annoy him. Or do I ask if OM has his schedule, and if they can get me a meeting. Or ask what time to call so I can speak to Fred.

IDK. The commercial side is very structured, but on the residential side I'm dealing with anything from [owner, office manager, chief estimator, estimators one and two, and project managers one through five] to [Danny Duzzitall and Bernie, the golden retriever].

Gotta make more calls. If I call one of you guys and leave a message you'd better call back. Or else...
 

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Remodel
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When I did that kind if stuff, I'd say who I am, and ask who the decision maker was. Hopefully the gate keeper gives me a name so if they refuse to connect me, I can call and ask for the person by nane later.

If you can find people who subcontracted with them before, buy a lunch, tell them what you do and you're just getting a feel for commercial work. See what they have to say.
 

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Relentless
Space Mining
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4,395 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I just called a builder about fifteen miles away. It sounded chaotic in the office. I asked for the estimator and I got one of them, he asked me some questions, then asked for my contact info. I offered to send him an email so he'd have it and he said that sounds great, I'll share it with the rest of the team.

I think I need to build a script to anticipate all the different situations - a decision tree, that starts with the same question every time and is all determined by what they say back to me. That would make it much easier to do this type of outreach - bang out five, ten phone calls easily.
 

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Radical Basement Dweller
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37,245 Posts
When I was in marketing, I always sent out a quick, handwritten note thanking that person for taking the time to speak with me.
I also would mention meeting for lunch so I could go over what I/we offered.

Keeping your name in front of them without being a pest is important.
 

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Goin' Down in Flames....
Highwayman
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8,297 Posts
My opinion, which isn’t even worth the proverbial 2 cents is, anything honest and down to earth has a far better chance than anything program, or scripted performance.

I get dozens of spam calls a week, pre-recorded messages trying to sell me insurance, trying to make business loans, trying to sell me dash cams for my fleet, trying to manage my DOT info……..It’s nauseating.

But if a dude called me up and talked like a normal individual, I’d listen, even if I wasn’t ready to rerun his services.

Sales rep from UR a calls me every few months. I used to do a ton of business with them, and then they got a new office manager. Nasty ignorant hag, that I refuse to deal with.

Tell the sales rep every time he calls that until they fire that crazy hooker in the office, I ain’t coming back.

We talk about business, he begs, I refuse, wash, rinse, repeat. But I’ll always take his call. 👍🤣
 

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Relentless
Space Mining
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Okay okay, no script. I’ll just ask to speak to the person in charge of the credit card account.
 

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FL CBC / SC RBC / SC RBI
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Anytime I think someone is calling me scripted, it's the end of the conversation. The more you talk freely, the better you will become at it. The more you will learn the type of reactions or questions you will get and you will be better prepared after every call.
Decision makers in construction are typically Project Managers. They are the ones that vet and hire subs.
I would always ask for the project manager and let them delegate you to someone if they choose to.
Cold calling can be helped with an introductory email first and then a follow up call in a few days. Did you get my email, do you have any questions about us and the services we can provide, is there anything I can do to help you.
Always get their email and always follow up with an email the next day, after the conversation. (never send the email the same day unless they asked you to). That way they can always go back and find you when they think of you instead of having to ask around, hey anyone remember who that guy was, we need him now.
 
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Relentless
Space Mining
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Anytime I think someone is calling me scripted, it's the end of the conversation. The more you talk freely, the better you will become at it. The more you will learn the type of reactions or questions you will get and you will be better prepared after every call.
Decision makers in construction are typically Project Managers. They are the ones that vet and hire subs.
I would always ask for the project manager and let them delegate you to someone if they choose to.
Cold calling can be helped with an introductory email first and then a follow up call in a few days. Did you get my email, do you have any questions about us and the services we can provide, is there anything I can do to help you.
Always get their email and always follow up with an email the next day, after the conversation. (never send the email the same day unless they asked you to). That way they can always go back and find you when they think of you instead of having to ask around, hey anyone remember who that guy was, we need him now.
Very wise, thanks!
 
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Sounds like you are on track, just new at this stuff. Don't overthink it, just get in touch with those people, tell them what you do and ask them if they ever have need for your type of services.
If the phone call goes well, see if you can get a face to face meeting to do a personal introduction. I like to set meetings like this around 11:00, then if it goes well, ask if you can buy them lunch. At lunch I don't even talk business, unless they do. Instead inquire about there personal interests, family, etc.
 

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However you approach it, think forward momentum and decision making... it's one thing to introduce yourself (i.e. - cold call), it's another to get your leg in the door (get them to make a decision for a next step instead of the end of a cold call)... a conversation that doesn't have a next step involved is usually a wasted conversation... learning to structure your conversation so that it leads to a forward momentum and ultimately a decision to take the next step is no different in concept than selling in person...

Developing the proverbial elevator pitch to garner interest so the conversation develops beyond a cold call is important... open ended questions and shared experiences that solve their issues and engage the person and get them thinking more of you than a cold call is something that comes with practice...

Knowing a bit about the company you're calling generally helps or if you've heard anything about them or what they've done in past so you can bring it up in the conversation also helps...
 
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