Recently I was asked by a CAMESE member who is starting a new business for tips on how he could develop a client base through telemarketing. The telephone remains one of the most powerful and cost-effective business tools, if it is used properly. Here are the suggestions that I passed on to him, in the hopes that they may be of use to others.
You need lists that target the right people. The white pages section of a telephone book, for example, is too broad based to be of value to a mining supplier; however, certain categories in the yellow pages could provide more targeted prospects. If, for example, you want to create contacts with Canadian mining companies working in Latin America, the Canadian Mines Handbook will give you their names and much more information. Good sources of other lists will depend upon specifically what you are selling and to whom you want to sell it.
You need get through to the person that makes decisions for your product or service. If you cannot find out who it is from the company website, ask the receptionist. Normally they will tell you and put you through if you say something like, “May I know who in your firm is involved in drilling operations in Latin America?”
Identify yourself and make a benefit statement. “This is Jane Doe from Gizmo Manufacturers. Our environmentally safe products are specifically designed to enhance the efficiency of exploration and production drilling in Latin America.”
Find out if he/she is really in charge of decisions concerning your product or service. “My research indicates that your company is working in Latin America and that you would be the most likely person to make a decision for improving your drilling procedures there. Am I correct?” If they say no, ask who is in charge and get through to him or her. If they tell you that they are not drilling in Latin America or that they are well served, this is the end of the call. However, if they need help, hopefully they will open up with their need and you can begin to tell them how you can fill it.
Have a brochure that you can email after the call. Many will say that they may have a future need and you want them to remember you.
Keep records and call those that have shown interest again after a reasonable period.
Be patient. Your success rate could be only a few per cent of the companies that you contact. However, one good order could pay for hours or days of phoning.
Jon Baird, managing director of CAMESE and the immediate past president of PDAC, is interested in collective approaches to enhancing the Canadian brand in the world of mining.