Satisfied callRecently I visited a corner cafe in my neighborhood and couldn’t help but notice all the business cards and flyers on their main counter. Now I came into the cafe with intentions of buying lunch, but totally distracted by all of these eager businesses looking for my attention. Really they want my business, though when I say business I mean my services.

I can’t tell you how many people may pick up these cards and brochures in this cafe or any other storefront, but small businesses have been doing this type of marketing for years. Now let me tell you my strategy. I looked through every single stack of cards to see which ones did NOT have email addresses to their web domain and which ones didn’t even have a website listed. Why? Because they’re my target clients. They want more exposure, don’t have too much money for a bigger firm when it comes to design, and they’d be happy to hear their phone ring – even if its someone local looking to meet them.

How to approach the call: This part is a bit easy. Even for those of you who may not like cold calling. When you call their listed number from the card or brochure, address them by their name. “Hello, John” then tell them honestly how you found their information. Complement their card design and briefly explain what your design skills are and how you’d like to meet them for coffee. Chances are they will accept your offer for a brief meetup because you also will seem like a potential client for them. Though that’s possible, just be sure to maintain control when you actually do meet up. Be sure to schedule something either for that same day or the next. Never delay it for days or weeks because they’ll lose interest. You might too.

Sell them when you meet them: Arrive a few minutes before they do and have your laptop out and connected to the internet. This is so that you can quickly show them your work. Or have a rotating slide show of your work casually displaying to the side of the table and your own brochure or flyer on the table. When they show up just act natural and woo them with charm. Ask them first about what they do, how long they’ve been doing it.

The Goal: All you need to be sure to do is leave a good impression with these meetups from the cold calls. They’ll have your flyer or business card and if they don’t sign with you for business that day follow-up with them in a week via email. If nothing after that just shelf their information. If you have an ongoing mailing list, add them to it so that they see your work and updates.

Let me know what you think on this cold call approach in the comments below. I’d like to know how many of you try it and your results. Hopefully they’ll be like mine, success!