After having selected the goat milk farmers as my first market, and getting a list of the businesses in that area, I had phone numbers but no email addresses. This meant jumping right into cold calling farmers to set up Idea Extraction calls.
Although this seemed very frightening at first, I was really surprised and pleased to find out that this method of approach was very successful: I wrote the following bits after having made only 9 cold calls, but the proportion holds for the about 30 cold calls I've made in total:
As I don't have email addresses for my market, but "just" phone numbers, I did 9 cold calls yesterday, and got 3 IE calls scheduled for tomorrow and Friday!
Of those 9 calls:
- 2 didn't pick up (will try again another day)
- 1 was an incorrect phone number (makes for a funny "No, we don't have goats here..." ;) )
- 2 didn't produce milk (one farm camping, the other only has horses)
- only one was a "rejection" (her: "we're too busy with the animals at this time with the nice weather", me: "can I call you back when it rains", her [confused]: "well, I guess so...") (edited)
After 45 minutes and having called 7 numbers, I was ready to take a break and get back to my dayjob's tasks, but I thought "a real entrepreneur pushes harder", so I called 2 more numbers. And both lead to scheduling IE calls. It pays to persist!
I had made my first 2 calls on Saturday, 1 wrong number and 1 IE call scheduled.
That makes for a 36% success rate (and even 80% success rate [4 out of 5] if you only count folks that picked up the phone and are in my market, i.e. actually producing milk). I'm really pleased, and surprised, by that number.
You can read the script I've used on these first cold calls.
Now pick up the phone and start calling!