Cold Calling – Visit and Add Value!

Published on July 12, 2017

Cold Calling Schools… Not just selling… Offering to Add Value!

“You can get anything you want, if you help enough people get what they want” Zig Ziglar, “The Game of Work”

  • Cold Calls by phone typically do not work, BUT you can call to make an appointment to talk to them about adding value to them (see adding value below).
    • Your goal is to get an appointment!  Your goal is NOT to tell them all about your program on the phone.
  • The very best way to get a new account is to go to the school and meet the decision makers in person.  Take them goodies.  Smile.  You have an awesome program and their parents will love them for it.  Portray this in your every interaction!
  • When you go to the office, remember their time is valuable.  A director typically wears many hats and may be distracted by her duties.  Respect their time.
  • Do your homework before you call or visit the school.   Try to answer every question on the New Business Spreadsheet BEFORE you contact them either in person or on the phone.

Visiting a School and Director

The initial conversation that takes place between you and a prospective school sets the precedent for the relationship you will have with that school. First impressions are very important, so make every word count!  When you walk into a prospective school, we recommend by opening with a friendly greeting and handshake.  Handing them a bag of cookies or donuts is also a great icebreaker!  Ask for the director by name, if you know it ahead of time.  If not, be sure to ask their name and use it often when speaking and giving your presentation.

One tool that may help with your driving route when visiting schools is http://batchgeo.com/

SRP Introductory Presentation

Once you set the appointment with the decision maker, we have a presentation that you can go though that tells about our program.  This is a great ice breaker and answers most of the questions that a director might have.

Review Presentation here:  SRP Director’s Pitch

Phone Script

Below is sample script to help guide you through an introductory phone call with a potential new school.  We do not recommend calling schools on the phone.  The most effective way to create a relationship with someone is to spend time with them… visit the school- don’t call.

Sample Script for Initial Phone Call

Ask to speak to the director by name, if possible.

IMPORTANT:  SMILE when you are talking! People like doing business with nice people. Be nice at ALL times. NEVER EVER say anything negative about anything or anyone! Remember that you are building a relationship.Get their attention — people respond in kind — simply give a greeting and use their name. People love to hear their names. “Good Morning, Ms Jones”

  1. Identify yourself and company.  “My name is Cathy.  I own a local pre-school photography company named Spoiled Rotten Photography.  I am getting more involved with my community and would love to see if we could add value to your school.  We partner with preschools to give your parents beautiful boutique-quality portraits and give your school an easy profitable fundraiser.
  2.  Give the reason for your call. You are calling to set an appointment — nothing else. “The reason I’m calling today is to set an appointment to see how we can help you.
  3.  Set the appointment. Be specific. You want the focus to be about when you are getting together — not if you are getting together.   “That’s great, Ms. Jones. We should get together, how about Tuesday at 1030?”

    When to stop by or call?

    The best time to call is when the director is not busy with kids — 20-30 min before kid’s arrive in the morning, during nap time, or just after pick up. If there is an administrative person that won’t let you through — call at a time when the gate keeper is unlikely to be there — early or late.

6 Tips to cold calling

  • Make an appointment with yourself to make the calls. Put it on the schedule.
    • This guarantees your income. To make appointments, you have to make the calls.
  • Practice! Not on prospects — on a friend or spouse — a minimum of 3 hours… you will become a natural and know your stuff!
  • Keep records of your calls. Make notes on what was said. Set an appointment to follow up.  Use the spreadsheet template provided.

Add Value.

Find ways to add value to the school other than serving them with portrait Sessions!  What does the school need?
  1.  Advertising work
    • Check out the website.  How is their imagery? Could they use some professional images to help highlight their awesome program?
    • Offer to come in to their center and create some amazing images to use on their website or marketing material.
  1.  Do they need fresh Staff Portraits?
    • I would love to come in one day and create beautiful portraits of your staff.  This service is usually $500
  2.  Do they need ID badges for their staff?
  3. Do they have an annual fundraiser?  Tons of schools have Silent or Live Auctions.  Have an auction package ready to hand to them!

Here’s some words:

  •  Hey, I’m Melissa, I’m a local mom and I’m getting more involved in the community, I’ve noticed your (whatever) program at the school and think it’s awesome!  I’d like to offer to come create some {marketing images, Teacher portraits, Creative class Portrait for you to auction}. I usually charge $500 for this service, but I’d  love to give you this service, but in return we’d love for you to offer our elective portrait sessions to your school for next season.