Last week I announced I’d be making a weekly “accountability” post for Snip. This is the first one.
I’ll start with what I did today since it’s freshest in my mind. I met in person with a prospect I met during Operation Get Profitable back in October of 2013. I was originally supposed to meet with this woman in last October, but she cancelled on me. I called her back a bunch of times and finally got her to meet with me again, and I think we even rescheduled that one, and we finally met today. It might sound to you like I should be taking the hint that this salon owner is just not interested, but I know from experience that this is just how these people operate. Salon software is a non-urgent need for them and in order to move forward with it they need someone to grab them by the lapels and make them take the necessary steps to move forward.
Anyway, I met with this salon owner today and she liked the product. She had a number of minor objections, but ultimately she said she was in. She wants to get buy-in from her four stylists, so I offered to do a presentation for her stylists and she agreed. She said she will call me to schedule that but I know from experience that I will have to call her. Anyway, I feel like it’s a pretty strong prospect.
Another thing I did this week was to establish a set weekly schedule for Snip activities. It goes like this:
- Mondays: 30 mins of SEO/brochure site work
- Tuesdays: 3 phone calls, 30 minutes of direct response marketing work
- Wednesdays: 3 phone calls, 30 minutes of work on application
- Thursdays: 3 phone calls, 30 minutes of email marketing work
- Fridays: 3 phone calls, contact an existing customer, 30 minutes of PPC work
I know 3 phone calls is not much. I’m saying 3 because I originally said 10 and then totally didn’t come close to making 10 per day. I did do a few phone calls every day this week, but there was at least one day where I did client work to the exclusion of Snip stuff. I gotta try to not let that happen.
In addition to meeting that salon owner in person, a couple other exciting things happened: a) a prospect called my 800 number, which is only the second time this has ever happened and b) Google evidently put it together that https://www.snipsalonsoftware.com/ is the new home of http://www.sniphq.com/, and gave all my old backlinks credit toward the new domain. My rankings have taken a dive which sucks, but I know they’ll come back, and now Google Webmaster Tools is showing me a quantity and richness of keywords that’s waaay better than what it was giving me for sniphq.com, which is interesting because all I changed was the domain.
In addition to plugging away with the phone calls, I’m thinking about a few things like moving my brochure site from Rails to WordPress, reducing the number of fields on my free trial sign-up form, setting up an email mini-course, and putting together some demo videos.
Talk to you next week.
Do you have a particular strategy or endgoal when you make a call? Do you have secondary objectives if it doesn’t seem like you’re making headway with your original objective?
Asking because I’ll be making a few cold calls soon for a project and it would be super-nice to learn from someone already doing it 🙂
Very good question. To be honest I’m kind of fumbling around.
My original (terrible) strategy was to emulate the dickbags who call you up and say, “Hi, this is Glarf from Boring Systems, Inc.! How are you today?!” Not surprisingly, stylists and salon owners wouldn’t give me the time of day when I used that approach.
What I do now is say, “Hi, I have kind of a random question,” (even though I hate the word “random”), “Do you use the computer for your appointments or do you use pen and paper?” That’s literally what I start with. I don’t say who I’m “with” or anything like that. I’ve found that most of the time the person is happy to answer my question.
My hope is that some of my prospects will use pen and paper, and be interested in the idea of using software for scheduling. Then maybe they can take a look at my product.
Hope that helps. Good luck!
thanks for sharing, interesting to see how someone else is going about this. I found this post was awesome place to start when doing customer dev over the phone http://whitetailsoftware.com/2011/07/how-i-got-a-100-conversion-rate-cold-calling-prospects-for-customer-development/ hope that helps.
ps. the book is worth buying!