Keep in mind that since I am a catalog writer, my suggestions in this article will be case specific to the catalog industry. If you're not in the catalog industry then rearrange the words to fit your particular needs.
This article will provide some tips on handling the initial sales phone call.
When preparing to make a sales call or “cold" call there are several things you might consider to increase your receptiveness to your future clients. Sitting up straight keeps your voice authoritative, keeping material in front of you for rebuttals keeps your mind quick and ready to answer the call, also have a calling list with a pen to ensure faster downtimes between calls. Learn how to write while making a call with the other hand and you will understand the basics of mass calling. Try to get in a rhythm.
Once you have someone on the phone say something like “Can I speak to the creative director in charge of [writing] the catalog?" Either they will know who you are talking about or they will transfer you to someone who does.
Once I have the person I want on the phone, Introduce yourself “Hi, my name is Garren Washington and I am a freelance copywriter specializing in catalogs, I'm looking for an opportunity to write for your catalog. Does such an opportunity exist?" Or a shorter version “I was looking for the opportunity to write for your catalog. " Anything along these lines will do as long as you clearly state your intentions.
At this point, you will either have a client, an appointment or a ‘No’ in which case you move on. Either they're interested or they're not. If they are I use a quick intake sheet with a couple questions (13 actually) so I can familiarize myself with the product and the project. If you have another phone appointment or a face to face meeting prepare for it handle it in stride. Luckily, this article just covers the phone call.
Lastly, you want to thank the person for taking time out of their busy schedule to assist you. This is what I have learned and used to successfully make appointment after appointment as a business broker helping my clients sell their businesses. It is un-intrusive and direct. Both necessities in today's marketplace.
Garren Washington is a catalog copywriter. You can visit him at Catalogwriter. blogspot.com or reach via email at firstname.lastname@example.org