It goes without saying that in the recording studio business, connections play an important role in finding business. The best way to market your business is a satisfied customer who will talk about your services to others and refer other people over to you in course of time.
It’s always a good idea to ask your customer if he was happy with your services and the work you’d done for their project and if they know of any other clients who might be interested in your services.
If someone actually does refer someone over to you, make sure to give them a call and thank them for helping you get that referral. Small things like this go a long way in making your client feel appreciated. Not only do they feel appreciated they will also know that he or she looks good in the eye of the client.
The COLD Call:
I don’t understand the fear that usually comes attached with cold calling. Yes, we all live in a world today where people get cold calls from people to buy their product or services and most people will tell you that cold calls don’t work, but I have to admit that some of the biggest clients that I have personally gained in the last few years which led to some major projects started as a cold call. Well, not the kind of cold call you’re thinking but a more structured pitch that is oriented towards that specific client.
The way I started doing cold calls was with a simple script. I sat down and wrote down things that I would expect the client to say and how I could catch their attention in the limited amount of time that I had on call.
It’s important to drop the fear that you might have in your head and go ahead and make the call, the worst that you’re going to get out of this might be a rejection, and well if you’re starting your new business you should develop a thick skin.
When someone picks up, tell them who you are first, and then ask to be switched to the person you’re after. If your call is intercepted by an assistant or secretary, tell them why you’re calling. If you can’t get through from the executive to the person you’re trying to speak to, try another angle. Don’t keep haranguing the same person over with calls.
Things to remember in a telephone PITCH:
1. Be crisp and concise, explain your intention within the first 15 seconds of the call.
2. Try to switch from a Pitch to a conversation, this could be any information about the client, maybe their new release, or your observations about it.
3. Get to the heart of the matter, if someone asks you for rates or a quote on-call be prepared to answer them immediately. If you’re dealing with someone who knows the technical side of things, make sure that you have your ground covered in terms of the technical information that you’d require.
4. Be ready for questions and objections and anticipate them in time.
5. Don’t sell too hard / Don’t Oversell
Let me give you guys an example of a simple script:
Cold Call Script: Production Company
— to the reception, if we know the exec’s name
Hi, this is John from XYZ Studios. May I speak to [name] please?
— to the reception, if we don’t know anyone’s name
Hi, my name is John from XYZ Studios, a place that specializes in audio posts.
I wonder if you could tell me who’d be the best person to speak to about post-production.
— switched directly to exec
Hello. My name is John, and I manage an audio post studio in (insert location) called XYZ. We specialize in locking up 24-track audio to video at pretty competitive prices, and today, (pause) I’m specializing in locking in some new companies as clients.
So, are you folks currently in production? [conversation]
— after talking about projects
Anyway, [name], I’m following up on a mailing that we sent you last week, it’s a chronicle of some of the more recent adventures we’ve had around here working with clients like [names of recent people who’ve worked at the studio].
Did you receive it?
— Yes/no/don’t remember
Well, it also included some material on our latest promotion. You see, in an effort to expand our current client base, and to try and get your attention, we’re offering our first day of services at a special rate: just $[your rate] an hour.
And that includes just about every service we offer, from custom digital effects to digital laydowns and laybacks.
Does something like that sound interesting to you?
— Whoa, we do everything somewhere else.
Well, I understand what it’s like to keep working in a place that feels like home. A lot of our clients feel that way about working with us. For instance… [launch into a clever anecdote about a big-name client that loves your studio].
But the day may come when your regular place is booked solid and you need to book another place in a hurry. Maybe if you knew about us, you’d think about us at that time. If it’s alright with you, I’d like to send you some rate info that you could refer to at your convenience.
— Well, that’s not very likely. Look, I’m really busy.
Okay, but please don’t hold it against me for being excited about what we’re doing here. Nice talking to you. Have a good one.
[Don’t hang up! Wait for a possible reply!]
[If the person hangs up: Keep working on the mailing list, but don’t try calling this person for another three months.]
— I’ll bite. Tell me more.
Well, we’ve worked on a wide variety of projects over the years, everything from TV specials to music videos and film soundtracks. We have a huge custom- sampled library of instruments and effects, and a great staff who perform all our services in-house to help keep our rates down.
The studio, by the way, is big and private and comfortable, and it’s located in a very unique setting that’s a bit off the beaten path, but right in the center of town. We think of it as our quiet little oasis, with lots of trees and open space.
Anyway, if any of this sounds good to you, I’d like to send you a little more. Then if you’re interested, I’d be glad to come by to say hello, or to have you visit our place to see how it feels. That way, I won’t just be this drone voice on the phone, and maybe we can discuss what it is that you’re doing and how we might be able to help…
— Well, I don’t know.
Tell you what. Why don’t I just send you some more material for now, and let you form your own opinion? Thanks for your time’