Tag Archives: cold calling

The government will help you find clients?

7 May

I’m always online researching new marketing techniques, looking up lists of businesses in my area, etc. and I stumbled across a government website listing all the businesses in my state who are currently on the state plan for worker’s compensation.  The website is The New Jersey Compensation Rating & Inspection Bureau website.    In New Jersey, those on the state plan are automatically charged an additional 15% premium as a fee for being on the plan.  So, if I’m able to get these people off the state plan, I should be able to save them 15% off of what they are currently paying right off the bat.  The goal, of course, would also be to quote their liability and commercial auto policies as well and create an overall better package for their business.

Here are some other helpful things I’ve found though this website:

  • Current agency each business uses.
  • Worker’s Compensation renewal dates.
  • How much each business is currently paying in premiums.
  • Experience modification numbers.
  • And I was also able to narrow searches down by county, experience mod numbers, renewal dates, name of business, etc.

Your turn:  If you’ve found the equivalent website for your state, please share the link below so others may benefit as well.  Or, if you’ve found a great website with other helpful information, please share that too!

 


Melissa Ash/NJ’s Business Insurance Lady
Irwin Edelstein Associates, Inc.

Tel: 732-549-1800 | 732-317-1979

http://www.njbusinessinsurancelady.com

 

 

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Cold Calling Like A Pro 2

3 Apr

As a continuation of yesterday’s cold calling post, we are looking to answer the following questions:  What is the best time of day and/or the best day of the week to cold call?  How many hours per day should I spend cold calling?

Let’s start with What is the best time of day and/or day of the week to cold call?

Since we all have the same objective of getting to the decision maker, the answer to this question is any time of the day or week where you can catch the decision maker.  Ok, that seems a bit too simple right?  Well, think of it this way…what type of businesses are you looking to target?  If you were in that business, when do you think you’d be the busiest?  The answer to that question will tell you the best times to avoid calling.

For example, I target a lot of auto repair shops.  I’ve found that Monday mornings are the worst since most people are dropping their cars off for service as well as most afternoons (after 3pm) since the mechanics are scrambling to finish up cars before people pick them up.  During the rest of the week, I’ve found that mid morning (10-11:30am) and after lunch (1-3pm) are the best times to reach auto repair owners.

Targeting restaurants?  Try to avoid calling restaurant owners during the breakfast, lunch or dinner rush when the owners have the least amount of time to talk.

Targeting painters?  Any rainy day is a great time to catch a painter!

Now, what about corporate businesses where there is always a gatekeeper in your way?  Well,  your first contact should be with the gatekeeper since we can get extremely valuable information from him/her such as the target person’s name, who their current carrier is and x-date, among other things.  But, now you want to get through the gatekeeper and get to the decision maker, right?  So, when do you call?  My suggestion is to call anytime the gatekeeper is away from his/her desk which would be during lunch hour, before 9am and after 5pm.  Generally decision makers will have much longer office hours then their receptionists and you will have a better shot at catching them at that time.

Also, for any business that may have to generate quarterly reports or reach monthly quotas, avoid the last week of the month.  Most of these type of employees spend this time on a mountain of paperwork in preparation for the start of the next month and/or they are scrambling to fill their monthly quota.

That being said, my personal philosophy with cold calling?  You should be cold calling or cold knocking any time you are not doing something else productive!  Anyone you don’t get this time around, you can always try again in a few months.

Let’s move on to the next question of How many hours a day should I spend cold calling?

That depends on your sales goals.  The best way to figure out how many calls a day you need is to write out the following:

1.  My annual sales goal is $_________.

2.  My monthly sales goal is $_______.

3.  I make $_________ in commission per sale (this can vary…feel free to average)

4.  I need ________ number of sales a month to hit my monthly sales goal.  #2 divided by #3 = #4

5.  It takes ________number of hot leads to make 1 sale. (A hot lead is someone willing to let you quote them and has given you all the information needed to do so.)

6.  It takes ________ number of cold calls to make 1 hot lead.

7.  Multiply the numbers from #4, 5, & 6 to find the total number of cold calls you need to make per month. _________

8.  Divide the answer to #7 by the number of days you work per month, and this will give you the number of cold calls you need to make each of those days to hit your monthly and yearly sales goals.  ________________

And, thus, the answer to #8 will give you a general idea of how much time per day you should spend cold calling.  I generally cold call until I’ve hit my cold calling goals (number of cold calls not including those that don’t answer), but some people set daily cold calling goals based on the number of leads they generate (I’m not stopping until I get 10 leads),  or based on the number of x-dates they receive.   However you want to do it is fine, just make sure you have a goal and you stick to it!

Your turn:  Please share your experience with cold calling.  I’d love to hear any other advice you may have for us concerning the topics discussed above.

If you have any ideas or requests for future posts, please feel free to email me at melissa@njbusinessinsurancelady.com

Melissa Ash

New Jersey’s Business Insurance Lady

www.njbusinessinsurancelady.com

 

 

Cold Calling Like A Pro

2 Apr

Ahh, the dreaded cold calling post!  But, since we all need to do it (at least in the beginning of our career), I might as well post about it and, hopefully, get some good feedback from all of you.

In my opinion, cold calling is an art.  Don’t get me wrong, everyone can pick up a phone, dial a number and spit out a script but the art of it comes in being able to sell.  Whether you are selling your product, your company or just an appointment, it’s important to have a plan before you start.

Before you pick up the phone, you’ll need a few things prepared ahead of time (and this list may seem obvious but bear with me):

  • A targeted list
  • A reason why you are calling
  • A basic script
  • A way to track your calling success/failures

Let’s break these down a little more:

  • A targeted list:  Who are you calling?  Will you focus on restaurants today or contractors?  Are you taking numbers right from the phone book or have you discovered a way to narrow the list down to only include those who are paying out the premium range you are looking for?  Knowing these answers will help you go from one call to the next seamlessly since there will be no floundering between calls.
  • A reason why you are calling:  Are you calling to give a quote over the phone, get the expiration date of their current policy or set an appointment with you?  Keep in mind, most people will only stay on the phone with you for a few minutes (if that) so you will want to get your question answered as quickly as possible.
  • A basic script:  I’m a big fan of not using a script at all because the last thing you want is to sound like you are reading something word for word.  But, having a general script in front of you, to remind you of your goal with the call, is a great way to have a little bit of a safety net, just in case.  Be prepared, however, to be interrupted by the person you are calling who may have questions to ask you.  You certainly don’t want to be so stuck on that one script that you can’t break loose to answer a question.
  • A way to track your cold calling successes and failures:  I keep a piece of scrap paper on my desk next to the phone with these categories – leads, call boss back, x-date, rejection, no answer, total calls.  Then, as I make each call, I put a small line next to the appropriate category.  This helps me keep track of how many calls I need to hit my goals.  It also helps me come up with ways to overcome any rejections since next to the rejections line, I list why I was rejected (my cousin does my insurance, I’m happy with my current company, etc).  I also have an excel file for leads, call boss back, x-date and call ratios.  Each excel sheet is updated appropriately at the end of each call.  At this point, I have 35 leads (those who want to get a quote now), 23 call boss back (with boss’s name), and 80 x-dates (all organized by month I need to call them back).  These are all potential customers and what I call cold calling success!

Since this is a post about cold calling, I should also address cold calling reluctance.  I hear over and over again that agents hate cold calling and dread picking up the phone to do it.  What I say to them is, “What is the worst that could happen?”  You may get hung up on, yelled at or just told no thank you.  But, these people will NEVER be able to jump through the phone and wring your neck!  So, who cares?  Just start dialing and the rest will fall into place!

Here are a few tips for getting over your reluctance (and/or your potentially robotic, monotonous tone):

  • Smile while you dial.  The person on the other end really can hear a difference in your voice.
  • Stand up while you talk.  You will sound more confident and your words will flow easier.

There are many other factors to consider as well when cold calling.  When is the best time of day to call?  How many hours should I be calling?  Where do I get leads?  What are some examples of scripts?

These are all valid questions and are ones I will address in tomorrow’s post.  For now, it’s your turn.  Have I forgotten anything on my ‘be prepared to cold call’ list?  Feel free to share with us all so we can learn from each other.

If you have any ideas or requests for future posts, please feel free to email me at melissa@njbusinessinsurancelady.com

Melissa Ash

New Jersey’s Business Insurance Lady

www.njbusinessinsurancelady.com

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