Freelance business writers breathed a collective sigh of relief as most of their market moved online, and the cold calling process began to die off. However, the business writers who held to their regular cold calling techniques when searching for new clients now enjoy an advantage over their peers who rely solely on online job boards. Cold calling can form business relationships with clients who don’t actively publicize their need for out-of-house writers. Cold callers also create opportunities to convince a skeptical potential client that they will benefit from a professional business writer.
All businesses could use a freelance business writer from time to time, but the most profitable cold calls are relevant to a business’s current activities. Keep an eye on your local business news. Companies preparing to release a new product or service might need a press release written. Brand new businesses are typically in need of an effective slogan or tagline. Stores that are struggling with their online presence could greatly benefit from a social media expert who is willing to run their blog, website, twitter account or online advertisements.
Business writers shouldn’t pick up the phone until they have done extensive research about the company they are contacting. Jobs are more likely to be assigned to an out-of-house writer if he shows an understanding of the business’s goals, missions and values.
Writers should also look into the names of the people who can make a hiring decision. Knowing the right people to talk to can increase your odds of getting past a receptionist to someone who really calls the shots.
A popular cold calling technique is to create a script and refer to it throughout the phone conversation. A cold call is like a job interview, but it is up to you to make sure all the important questions get answered. Be ready to explain why your business writing services can benefit a company, and what makes you different from the competitors. When writing cold calling scripts, keep in mind that your final goal here is simply to get the company’s attention, and make an in-person appointment to present more information. Cold callers typically will not land a job during the first conversation.
Many business writers get nervous while make cold calls. This is natural, but also treatable. Cold callers have discovered several tricks to overcome nerves. Your confidence will receive a considerable boost from improving your environment. If you have a home office, use it to make cold calls instead of your bedroom, kitchen or living room. Writers should also wear their most professional clothing while making calls. These subtle changes will create a professional mindset and remind a nervous caller that he is a professional and the ideal fit for the job he’s pitching.
The ideal time to make cold calls is early in the morning when offices are just beginning to open for the day. You are most likely to reach your desired person at this time, when most people are not yet in meetings, on a break or already rushing through an over-scheduled day,
No matter what time you make your cold call, you might occasionally run into someone’s automated answering service. In this situation, feel free to leave a brief and professional voice mail outlining who you are, what writing services you’re offering, and promising to call back at a later time. Never ask them to call you back, always promise to try again later. When you do call back, try dialing at a different time to increase your chances of reaching the right person.
Most business writers have several encounters with a company before landing a gig. Persistence is one of the most important characteristics for business writers searching for clients through cold calling. Just because a company doesn’t need your services this week doesn’t mean they won’t need them three months from now. If a business seems interested but turns you down gently, file their name and number away under “try again.”