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It’s a good thing that Credit Managers are NOT with DSRs when they make some cold calls.
I, DSR Dave, was riding with a DSR last week when we made a Cold Call that was a classic example of why DSRs (or Credit Managers) should not judge a book, or a customer, by its cover.
It was around 3:00 PM when we pulled into a prospect’s parking lot and there were a few cars and a bunch of pot-holes. There also were no stripes for us to park between, and as we were walking in noticing how bad the windows needed cleaned, we looked at each other and realized this guy really needs help! When we got up to the front door, there was a little relief that things were being worked on when we saw painting equipment and ladders.
We sat down at the bar, which is always where I sit on a cold call. We asked the bartender for menus (because he didn’t offer), and when he set them down in the dust on the bar another man sweeping the floor came over and picked up our menus to wipe the dust the painters had left behind and apologized. And by the way, the painters were still there painting at the other end of the restaurant. Again we looked at each other and said this guy needs help, which is always a good thing in my opinion because that means there’s an opportunity, if you willing to help.
We ordered six or seven different items from a menu (that needed redone) because we could not find the sandwiches until we turned over the menu to the very back page. This guy needs help!
As you might expect, the food was awful, again more opportunity.
The DSR said this place had been around for years and used to be really successful. So what happened? Did the owner run out of money the last few years after making it through the great recession? Did the owner just lose interest and didn’t have a good DSR to help point out the obvious things that needed updated and changed? I told him that if the credit manager does extend this prospect credit, he better be careful on this one. Heck, if it was me I would only sell them COD only based on what we had experienced so far!
Before we left I decided to check out what kind of shape the restrooms were in and had to walk around the busy painters with my hands covering my head so paint would not drip on me. When I came back around heading for my seat the man sweeping the floor asked me how we liked the food. This is where thinking on your feet comes in real handy. I said, “Do you own the place?” He said, “Yes”. I commented on how it looked like the painting would be done pretty soon. He answered with a “Thank God,” and talked about how they were scheduled to be done last night, but didn’t make that deadline. NOTICE I did not answer his question about how we liked the food J.
When I asked him how long the place had been there, he remarked that it had been around for 19 years but that he had just purchased it a few months ago. I proceeded to ask how long he’d been in the restaurant business and he said “just since I bought the place from the original owner who had been real sick for the past few years.” Which explained why the place looked like it did.
I caught myself before blurting out a “Holy mackerel, what are you doing in this business?” I then asked him what kind of business he’d been in. He said that he is an electrical engineer and had been in the software business for 20 years and made a lot of money, so he thought he would give the restaurant business a try. Matter of fact, he was also looking at another place that was doing about twice the business this place was. He then asked us for our cards because he needed help and we were the first ones to come in and offer!
Halleluiah! Halleluiah! Halleluiah!
The point is: You MUST do the research on a prospect and NOT just judge a book (or prospect) by the cover.
DSRs, Be a Resource…
and Sell Something!