Cold calling works, but not like this. Train-wreck!

If you don’t shudder when you watch this you probably never made a cold call in your life.

It may be acted but the train-wreck that is the cold-call in this video is only funny because it is based in truth.

I stole this post from my friend Tim Mushey so follow his blog too.  It is a good resource for new and renewing salespeople.

Click the image or click here to watch the 2-minute video.


Do you have a brand or just a logo?

Another missed marketing opportunity for white van man.

As I drive around town I often see a commercial vehicle and ask myself “I wonder what they do?”  I can see the name of the business, I see the logo, I see the telephone number but I have no idea what they do for a living.  I even think this about seemingly obvious businesses like electrical contractors and plumbers.  I mean they can’t be all things to all people so do they specialize in residential or commercial?  Are they interested in big projects or small ones?  If they don’t know what projects they are best at and which ones they would do all day if they could then they are headed for a big problem at some point.  That problem is contained in excessive competition, low margins, inefficient work and staff turnover.

I think that the likes of Shaw and Telus dupe businesses into thinking that their way is the proper way to wrap a vehicle.  They have a big logo, catchy picture but no need to tell anyone what you do. We already know what they do. They fix and install residential and business communications services.  What the smaller business owner often seems to fail to appreciate is that the big boys have done their branding elsewhere on TV and radio and at events.  We no longer need to be told what they do and the vans are simply a tool to add to the brand.  In the case of the smaller business, however, the van might be the only time that someone sees the logo.  It is essential therefore to tell us what to associate that logo or business name with in order that the business can claim that top of mind place in our thinking when a need arises.

Unless your business name is Mobile Auto Brake Services (which I saw recently and thought it was genius) then you have to tell the audience what it is that you do.  How else are they going to know to refer you or think of you as an expert in a certain area?

A recent example is of a local electric contractor.  The van is a simple logo, a simple name which inspires confidence in their ability to deliver electrical workmanship but no indication of what they focus on.  I went to their website and although they cast their net wide (“residential & commercial. small and large projects”) they only have a gallery of high end residential projects.  Their brand therefore is one of delivering the best in the business high-end residential new build and renovation projects.  Why doesn’t the business say that?  If people like the work they will still ask this business is they do similar sized commercial projects but in the meantime they will have captured the market for their sweet spot.

So if you have a commercial vehicle is it well branded?  Ask yourself this question: If a stranger had the exact need that fit my sweet spot for service delivery, profitability and enjoyment of the work would they even think to give me a call before my competitor.  If not then you probably need to review your decals.

For more information on how to choose a niche that you can live with and finding the right words that you are confident in wrapping your van with call me at (604) 339-5369.  I help the owners of construction businesses and related trades to thrive and I hope that you found this useful today.

Every business owner should read this and reflect.


Why reinvent the wheel?  If someone like Brian Tracy has written about the essence of success so well why bother to even paraphrase it?  The point that I want to make before you read Brian’s words (follow the link below) are that as a business owner, even if you have a sales team working for you and you “don’t do the actual sales anymore” you should read this and reflect.  How could you get better, stronger and more successful by turning one or more of these keys to success in your favour?

What a 9-Year-Old Can Teach You About Selling |

I was talking with a client a week or two ago about how he is being encouraged to do a workshop on a topic that should lead to some new business for him. However, rather than call it something straight forward like “Find out how we can save you time and make you more money”, the event was going to be titled “The reinvention of the distributed workplace – a new paradigm” or something so loaded with jargon that even we had to work hard to see if that was what his product was really about.

I have heard the Grade 5 test before (if a grade 5 student can understand it then it’s a good presentation) and it seems to work for sales pitches too.

Let’s face it, your audience can ask for more details and you can be well prepared for them but you don’t really impress anyone with jargon. Feature-shock kills more deals than anyone cares to acknowledge and I am glad that this article bears that out.

What a 9-Year-Old Can Teach You About Selling |