Messimer-Henley on Out of Home Cold Calling

henleyBy Andrea Messimer Henley

What’s Wrong About Cold Calling:

  • 30 cold calls in a day is unrealistic.  No one wants to do that and it’s unproductive.  Let’s be honest.
  • You might get lucky, but it’s not fun.
  • There is no plan most of the time
  • It’s a check in the box to say I was there or I sent out a bunch of emails so you can put it on a report and turn in to your manager.  That’s why people say they hate it.  Because they have to do it.  They don’t want to do it.

Here’s my approach to fun and smart cold calling:

  • Research five solid prospects.
  • Find out where they are advertising currently. Radio, TV, On Line, Newspaper etc.
  • Prepare a mini billboard with OOH spec artwork that is consistent with their current media mix, glue your business card on the back. 
  • Find out who the decision maker is. Ask for them by name when you walk in the door whether you have an appointment or not. You have a gift to give them; so act like you are supposed to be there.   Introduce yourself if they come out and set up an appointment for another time to sit down and discuss OOH and how it benefits their current advertising campaign  Hand them the gift and say thank you for your time. Don’t discuss pricing, locations etc. Don’t leave anything behind.  Leave and come back when you have their full attention and they have an open mind to OOH.  
  • Everyone in the office will love the billboard mini and talk about it until you come back for your appointment.  Don’t be surprised if it is sitting on the reception desk or on the decision makers desk when you come back.
  • messimer-henley-billboardOn your way to a SMART CALL, listen to your favorite songs, get pumped up, drink coffee, you have to be energetic, like this is the best day of your life and it is infectious.  People feed off of that…   If you are not having a good day, don’t SMART CALL that day.  
  • Do Smart Calling On Fridays because people are in a good mood at the end of the week.

Here’s a real life success story.  I had a client who would not call me back.  I put spec artwork on top of a taxi and took a picture next to the taxi holding a “Call Me” sign.  The client called laughing and said he wouldn’t expect anything less.  He bought 200 taxi tops that year.

Andrea Messimer Henley has 20 years experience in out of home advertising sales.  Henley is an independent outdoor advertising sales rep in Tampa Florida.  Prior to launching her own firm she was a SE Region manager for CBS Malls, an account executive for CBS Outdoor, Clear Channel Outdoor and Adams.  You can reach Andrea at andreamessimer@gmail.com or (941) 592-7200.


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