Cold calling has been traditionally used by marketers to directly reach an elusive audience that is already bombarded with print, online, and television advertising, By speaking directly with the consumer, the sales person is hoping to increase his odds of cutting through the media clutter and making a sale. Cold calling can also be used by wholesalers to reach clothing stores, dollar stores, and discount stores. Because retailers are constantly receiving wholesale product catalogues and closeout offers by email and mail, a direct phone call can do wonders.
Take notes throughout the phone call. This will accomplish two important objectives. For one, it will show the retailer that you are serious about supplying him with what he needs, and you are taking your time to see what he wants, not just what you want to sell. Secondly, you will have a great deal of information which you can incorporate into future communications with him, and other potential retail accounts.
Compile a list of all interested prospects so that you can call them periodically to offer them new closeout products. Just because someone is not ready to buy now, does not mean that he won't give you a $10,000 order next month.
Follow through. If you told a store owner that you are mailing him a catalogue, sending out samples, or visiting his shop, make sure you do it at the time and date that you said you would. By being consistent you demonstrate that you are a reliable wholesale source.
Speak to the actual merchandise buyer. Because your time is valuable, quickly determine if you are speaking to the right person. If not, ask to be directed to the buyer for the store. If you are selling to national retailer such as the Gap or Victoria's Secret, ask to be given the phone number of the corporate buyer.
Your approach should be friendly and business like. If the retailer feels pressured, or senses desperation, he will end the phone call shortly. Always stay positive and recognize that you are in business for the long term. While you can make a sale on the first cold call, you should be happy with just introducing your merchandise the first time.
Repetition works wonders with cold calling. A weekly call reminding potential and actual customers of your closeout inventory can triple your sales. Think about how quickly people forget an ad or an offer they saw just a few days ago. Now imagine them trying to remember an ad they say a month ago. If you want a dress boutique to remember that you are a dress supplier, you need to remind them at least once a week until they are ready to order. And once they order, follow up every week to see if they need a fresh shipment of clothing.
Donny Lowy owns www.CloseoutExplosion.com a wholesale export company that specializes in brand name designer clothing, handbags, and shoes for the United States, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, South America, the Caribbean, and Europe.
His warehouse is located in Brooklyn, NY.
Donny can be reached directly at 718-389-5502