It’s important to maximize all possible advantages when making cold-calls. And in that spirit, I’ve compiled a list of fundamental “do’s” and “don’ts” I’ve discovered.
Do approach mid-size companies. Large corporations are more difficult to establish relationships and potentially gain an in with; smaller companies may not have the research and development funds available to invest in the production of your idea. Ideally, identify mid-sized companies that want to be number one. They are more likely to pursue a new idea that may give them the boost they need.
Don’t pitch your idea to the President of the company. Form a relationship with an individual who can use your idea to his or her own advantage, like a marketing manager or assistant marketing manager. An individual who will receive credit or possibly a promotion if your idea is successful is more likely to fight for it. You need someone to champion your idea and establishing a mutually beneficial relationship is the best way to ensure that it is.
Do be persistent. You will probably need to call, call, and call again. I don’t recommend leaving a message, because then you’re ensuring that you definitely won’t be called back. It’s too difficult to communicate all that you need to on an answering machine. Try calling a little bit before the workday begins or a little after it ends. Make sure to receive the name and extension for your contact from the operator – you may need to call twenty times! Be a bulldog.
Don’t pitch your best lead first. Give yourself some time to warm up and practice your introduction and pitch. You’re never going to be your very best the first time around. I know some inventors that have called companies they have no intention licensing to, just for practice and to discover how easy and possible the process can be.
Do make sure you’re feeling good, feeling confident before you begin calling. Enthusiasm travels across phone lines – it’s almost tangible to the receiver. If you’re excited about your product, other people will be too.