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Less Pressure, Better Results

A few weeks ago we presented a session on chamber member sales at the Western Association of Chamber Executives conference in Portland. As we chatted with member reps who attended the conference, we found that many of them struggle with cold-calling prospects.

It's true, cold-calling can be a drag. But we have a tip to help you get better results from that first contact with a prospect.


When you are able to reach prospective members, you generally catch them off guard. Your phone call is unscheduled, and prospective members will almost always think, “What do you want?”  

Don’t worry; it’s not personal, it’s just the way it is. The real point is that it’s difficult to get them focused; let alone willing to discuss the impact of the challenges they are facing in their business.  

That’s why the aim of the first telephone connection with small business prospects should be to build rapport and create enough interest to either extend the call or schedule a follow-up call.

With middle-market prospects and prospective investors, we don’t recommend presenting over the phone. Instead, the aim is to create enough interest on that initial call to arrange an in-person visit.

Aiming to schedule a follow-up call, or in-person visit, takes the pressure off of you because you don’t have to worry about making a sale.  When you call back or visit at the scheduled time, prospective members are focused and willing to discuss their circumstances and learn about your chamber.  

Sometimes it can be tough to get on a small business owner's calendar, so we do always recommend offering small business prospects the option to extend the call instead of connecting later.  

Extending the call relieves pressure as well because these business leaders have chosen to take the time to learn more about your chamber.

Scheduling follow-up calls, and in-person visits, also serves another fundamental purpose. Before the call or visit, you have time to organize your thoughts and prepare questions based on the surface problems you uncovered during your prospecting call.  

So, take the pressure off of yourself and your prospects, by easing into the sales process and using that initial contact to build rapport with potential members and investors.

As always, we encourage you to practice this technique, make it your own, and let us know how it goes.

Remember, we're easy to talk to. Feel free to reach out with questions about this technique or other issues.

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