I make a lot of cold calls to set up appointments. In order to cut throughthe clutter of the other cold calls I know my prospects receive, I always add apersonalized twist. Whatever kind of business my prospects are in, I do a littleresearch in advance on their companies (if possible) or on their particularindustries. Then my typical cold call goes like this:

Me: Good morning, Mr. Smith. Nan Mione calling from Continental Shelfware.

Prospect: Um. Good morning.

Me: We manufacture a line of retail store fixtures that might be ideal for your Balloon World store. By the way, I noticed an article in Inc. Magazine this month about specialty retailing, and there was a profile on another company in Minneapolis that has been successful in balloon retailing.

Prospect: Oh, really? I missed that one.

Me: Yes. And it made some nice points about what this store had done to make it so successful. Tell you what, I wanted to get together with you anyway to show you our retail point of sale systems. Why don't I drop by, and I'll bring along a copy of the article. How does your afternoon look tomorrow?

My approach varies depending upon what my research turned up, but I find thatmy appointment rate goes way up when I show prospects I am interested enough intheir businesses to have done some homework. And I can warm up my otherwise coldcall by discussing something of interest to them.

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