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How much has cold calling / knocking on doors improved your sales?

It's the Gnomes. When they are happy with you, your name will be whispered into customers ears and the PO's will flow. When they're mad, they will go to your competitors. The Gnome's moods and wants are unknowable.

You can come up with whatever high-faluting marketing ideas you want, but as far as I can tell the gnomes theory fits reality just as well.

The Marketing Gnomes are cousins of the CNC Servo Amp Gnomes, who are just as unpredictable.

On a serious note, I have gotten exactly one worthwhile customer from cold calling (knocking on doors, not a phone call). The website has brought in more, and word of mouth is by far the most.
 
Cold calling is almost worthless. You can't even get a person on the phone. As for showing up the front doors are always locked. You have to know someone.

I sat down the other day and started a list of shops in my area from 1 guy and a dog/cat to 200 person companies that are willing to do Machine work in a 30 minute drive of me. That I know of


42...... 42 hungry mouths looking for work......
 
I sat down the other day and started a list of shops in my area from 1 guy and a dog/cat to 200 person companies that are willing to do Machine work in a 30 minute drive of me. That I know of


42...... 42 hungry mouths looking for work......
Move east. I'm pretty sure we're the only machine shop in the county. But good luck finding a repair tech for anything....
 
Cold calling seems really difficult today, as (generally speaking), Purchasing Managers don’t have initiative/ allowance/ won’t risk , production on new unproven sources.
They don’t get a “finders fee”, that maybe was possible in the 90’s.
Sometimes all they can do is save the company money, but they will potentially suffer backlash if the new vendor fails to perform.
 
I actually think you would do better cold calling or showing up and dropping off a card or something of the like. Having had experience at a large company in a position I now try to market to, I would usually get around 4-6 emails daily from different shops around the states trying to drum up some business. Never got any calls and certainly no one showing up. I still might not have had time if someone stopped by, but I was far more likely to investigate a company if they dropped something physical off. Maybe I'm old school but I still think there is something about showing up and talking to someone, even if it is just the receptionist.
 
Cold calling seems really difficult today, as (generally speaking), Purchasing Managers don’t have initiative/ allowance/ won’t risk , production on new unproven sources.
They don’t get a “finders fee”, that maybe was possible in the 90’s.
Sometimes all they can do is save the company money, but they will potentially suffer backlash if the new vendor fails to perform.
Precisely. The is no reward for risking a new vendor, only risk.

Down here the only way other than knowing someone is to wait until we have an oil boom and companies are desperate for vendors. But they pull back just as fast and leave you hanging with a shop full of machines they promised they would keep busy for years. I have seen it repeatedly. Seems like everyone down here with any years under their belt has owned a shop at some point.

I do want to add, to some degree I understand the buyers plight. There is a huge number of incompetent shops here that will bite off more then they can chew and either miss due dates, accept work they cannot and do then back out, or send you parts that are blatantly and obviously out of tolerance.
 
Speaking about cold calling online..... I get tired of these emails I get daily of shops looking for work. It's usually the same shop. You block their email address, and they show up next week using another email address. They put on a great store front, but it's the way they present themselves that turns me off.
I'm not against cold calling online, in fact, there's been a couple that were considered. I feel there is a right way of doing so and a wrong way of doing so.
the big thing for me is looking at how the email is written, if it even remotely looks/smells like its an automated/copy-pasted email blast, they get blocked immediately. anything that looks like it was written by a real person and addressed at me, i'll consider it.
 
If you make ten cold calls, I guarantee at least one will have a job or two for you to quote.

Sure, buyers don't like taking on new vendors, but often they have no choice. Existing vendors can be back-logged too far out, priced too high, or are having delivery and/or quality issues.

One of the responsibilities of a quality department is new vendor evaluation: site visits, sample parts, first article docs, incoming inspections, etc.

ToolCat
 
If you do cold call, please do not ask about the industry I am in and then try to relate to it at a personal level. It makes you look like a fool.
Do not try to be my friend. Respect my time and show me your capabilities. No customer will ever make up work because they think they are cool and want to be your friend. Just tell them you have a square hole and hope to find someone with a square peg.
We avoid certain suppliers simply because of how obnoxious the salesman are.
 
I started out doing that in 2008.
One of the customers that I gained is still giving me a lot of work.
Most of my (main) customers have come from word of mouth:
" We've been using Jack that used to work over at XYZ company. Here's his phone #".

Early on I managed to get into a couple of big companies.
It didn't last . They'd give me a few jobs, then use my quotes to beat down the prices of their old suppliers.
I would go and draw up a part to make them a quote, and they would ask for the drawings with the quote.
I would tell them that the drawings would cost extra.
They would try to use those to send to another company for a quote, and expect a discount.
A couple of times I sent modified drawings with a note "Not responsible for errors in drawings. These are for reference only. All measurements must be verified "
The other company made some bad parts and then the big company quit asking for my ( free) drawings.
 








 
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