Taking the initiative to fill unbooked dates by turning stones not looked under and reaching out to add to your client base
BIO: author bio: Grinner Hester is a 3 time EMMY Award winning Video Producer with over 30 years experience. With clients ranging from the homeless to s former President of the United States, there is no flavor of production he hasn’t seen. Having served in every position in production and post, he now specializes in turn-key productions as a one man band.
Why cold call?
Ah, the dreaded cold call. Seen as some as soliciting and often feared by the Freelancer, Marketing Director or Studio Owner as an admission of unbooked dates, it’s sometimes hard to humble ourselves to the point of actually picking up the phone and reaching out. Here are some ways to look at this differently, suck up our artist’s egos and put our business hats on.
Why cold call?
Webster Defines the word “solicit” as: (verb) To ask for or try to obtain (something) from someone. My father sold insurance for a living and in paying just a little bit of attention, I promise if you solicit it will yield you nothing and indeed kick your pride in the pants. So don’t do that… by definition. Don’t call asking for anything or selling anything. That’s an intrusive interuption to would be clients and the frustration after a handful of shut downs will result in never picking up the phone again. Instead, SHARE. Explain what you can do for THEM. Express your unique capabilities, rates, ect. and explain how and why you can increase their bottom line. It doesn’t matter if we are in production, post or in every aspect of the video business, what we are really in is the friend making business. Cold calling, in addition to personal networking is a great way to make new friends.
What benefits ar ethere to cold calling and how do I research for a cold call?
Making new friends, of course. So what friends do you want to make? Much like a job interview, where many think they are simply being interviewed by a potential employer, the truth is the potential employee should not overlook interviewing the employer to ensure a happy and comfy fit. Afterall this is how or where you will spending most of your waking hours. To that point, your cold calls should not be a canvassing of every name that comes up in a google search, but after proper research, the best fit for who we are, what we do and what we want to be doing. These leads are found most often in your town’s local Film Commission Directory. Web searches always pull up more leads and don’t hesitate to friend and follow those you may not know but would like to be aquanted with on social media. Share content, not on their pages but on yours, and chances are when you do cold call these places they will see your name as familiar, often not quite remembering from where. This makes that “cold” call much warmer and infinately multiplies your chances to get the time to share with them what you can do for them.
Looking at this whole thing a bit differently is your motivator as we right brainers are seldom comfortable in left brain mode. From invoicing to collecting, we all have to enter that mode and if we look at cold calling as creative, we stay in our natural comfort zones and nothing is faked, sounding like a used car commerical.
Know your product.
We all know what makes us unique and sets us apart from our competition. Remember, you don’t have competition because you are the only one that can do what you do in the way that you do it. This is what artestry is so be prepared to explain this in early stages of a new conversation. They are the ones being called and when they ask why, what or how much, be ready with enthusiastic facts. Smile. You can hear a smile on the phone. Make them laugh but don’t be corny. Like your videos, viewers have fun watching people have fun so do just that… have fun. Make friends out of clients and clients out of friends. This truly is half of our jobs.
So now you have succesfully booked a new client. You have spent some time bonding, they dig you and your work and are splitting with their product. How can you ensure you will see them again? It’s simple enouph, after your hug and high five and before they walk away, simply ask them “When will I see you again?” Nine times out of ten this becomes an instant booking in the near future. You will never have a better marketing person than a happy client so don’t hesitate to tell them to tell others.
How do I motivate myself for a cold call?
Simply look at your needs and the needs of your future clientel. See the matches and move on them. Friends are much more loyal than clients. With these principals, along with your awesome services, you have made a friend out of a client and should that competition that is not your competition start buzzing their ears, they will respond with “Thanks, I have a good friend that takes care of that for me.”
Welcome to the friend-making business. ☺