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Warm up to cold calls

September 19, 2010
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Most people would love to get referrals.

Why? Because referrals are easier to work with than cold calls.

Why is this true? Because a referral is an introduction and chances are, because of that introduction, the person will like and trust you.

So what about cold calls? I love them. I love them because it means I can be proactive and get new business right away with very little money.

Understand the dynamic
Some people hate cold calls. It is really not the cold call they hate, but the fear of rejection that they try to avoid.

But if you try to understand the dynamics of cold calling, you can have fun with it.

My theory is this:
  • Two out of 10 people you meet will love you.
  • Two out of 10 will hate you.
  • The remaining six can go either way and when you learn communication skills, you can get those six in the middle to lean toward loving you.
I am a genius or what? I wish I could take the credit for discovering this.

I don’t want to make it sound like I invented going door to door. I would rather be on a beach somewhere than go door to door.

But when I was in need of new business, this was always a part of the many ways that I marketed. I always wanted 10 different ways to market going at the same time.

I was also lucky in that I had a good coach/mentor that led me to door to door. That person was my wife, Ellen.

When we were just married and worked for other people, we joined an Amway group. One Saturday, my wife asked if I wanted to go door to door and sell soap from Amway.

I yelled, “No.”

They (Amway representatives/distributors) said that if we use the products ourselves and recruit a couple of people a month who do the same, you won’t have to market.

My wife said, “I know. I wasn’t asking you to go. Stay home and watch the football game.”

That worked for me.

About an hour later, she came back all smiles.

“What are you so happy about?” I said.

“I met the neighbor across the street and he is a doctor,” she said.

“I met this other neighbor around the corner and he is a lawyer. His wife was friendly. They were a nice couple. I think you would like them.

“Another neighbor owns his own business,” my wife continued.

She made it sound so great I asked right then in the middle of the football game, “Would you go out with me right now?”

Of course she said yes, and I had the same fun as she did meeting people in my neighborhood.

We went out to meet people, not sell Amway. The people who liked us would buy our products and all we had to do was mention what we did for a living.

That’s the same experience I have whenever I go out with janitorial.

Seize the opportunity
So, going door to door can give you great results right away.

Don’t go door to door selling something; go door to door to meet people.

Remember my theory:
  • Two of 10 will love you. (You can do no wrong with this group.)
  • Two of 10 will hate you. (You can do no right with this group.)
  • If you ask people questions and listen — let me say this again: Listen — you will get the six in the middle to love you, too.
People who love you will buy from you.

Just let them know you are in janitorial. Give them your card. No sales pitch. That’s it. Say no more.

Even if they do not buy right away, they will keep your card for when their need of a new company comes up.

This is how you can turn cold calling into the same situation as a referral.

For me, I can get a great potential customer in every hour of marketing like this.

Are you in need of business?

Market this week for 40 hours and you will have 40 great potential clients that need a new cleaning company right away.

Another side benefit: You may meet your new best friend.

Ron Piscatelli is a cleaning expert, coach and motivational speaker who has produced an audio CD series on marketing and sales for the JanSan industry, as well as a CD on hiring, training and incentives. He also has authored many books, including “Jump Into Janitorial”, which discusses how to build a JanSan business netting over six figures. He is president of Global Building Services and director of America Global Foundation. Visit his website,, e-mail him at, or call (619) 294-7865.
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