Rocky Balboa said, “It’s not about how hard you get hit, it’s about how hard you get hit and can keep moving forward.”

Boy, does this ever apply to cold calling!

Cold calling turned out to be one of the best things we ever did for our business as dental consultants, but it was tough going in the beginning. In an effort to stay positive and not avoid getting slammed, our strategic plan was to never pass by a dental office without stopping in and introducing ourselves and our services. We would place bets with each other as to what office would slam us the hardest or would treat us the worst. There were many.

We would walk into an office and provide the front desk person with pertinent information about our company and how we could partner with them to make the office more successful. We would ask a few questions about what concerns the office had and were they already working with a consultant or coach?

We knew we only had two minutes of their time to make a quick, positive impression. We always wrapped up by asking for a introduction to the doctor, the grand prize of a successful cold call, or at least a chance to follow up. We often did get the 30 second introduction to the doctor and would set up a lunch or after work meeting. We knew from our numbers it took 30 to 40 cold calls to get 1 meeting. At that time 3 meetings meant we may get 1 client.

As you can imagine, most front office gatekeepers would roll their eyes and say, “Okay, I will see that the doctor gets this information.” We would walk out of the office chuckling and betting on how long it would take her to dump the brochure in the trash!
SCG Candy
The game kept us from getting discouraged, we were determined. If the front office gatekeeper was really mean or rude to us, we would run to a near by store and get a frozen ice cream bar or some chocolate, walk back in and say something like, “I understand how you may be having a bad day. We’ve been there, we hope this treat cheers you up! Have a nice day.” It at least gave us a reason to follow up and made that follow up much easier.

We continued this process day in and day out for weeks and months. We would go door to door for 20 miles one way, jump over one main street and do it again 20 miles back to towards the office.

One office really stands out as the slam of all slams.

Late in the day, after many “Thanks, but no thanks” offices we met Bertha. Before we were even able to introduce ourselves and let her know that we were new to the area, she had an attitude by assuming we were soliciting salespeople. Verbatim, she said, “If you are salespeople we don’t want to buy what you are selling. Could you not read the No Soliciting sign on the door?”

We replied, “Yes, ma’am, we are in sales, but we are new to the area and are also looking for a new dentist. But if this is how you treat salespeople, I guess we chose the wrong office to become patients at.”

The doctor overheard this exchange from the back and he came running up front, apologizing all the way. We had our moment to let him know we were looking for a dentist, but the door also opened to tell him about what we do. We became his patient and later on he became a client of ours.

It’s important to never let a sign or fear keep you from showing up. Sure, the possibility of getting a NO is there, but your initial NO could turn out to be a YES that leads to many other opportunities. The more NOs you get, the closer you are to the YES.

We still do the occasional day of cold calling to keep us on our toes, but most of our business these days comes from referrals or the many speaking engagements we do.

From time to time someone will come up to us and say, “We met you years ago and you brought me a ice cream bar.” That always gets a laugh from us.

Keep moving forward.