The best approach is to prepare some telephone scripts. If you will be speaking to people in more than one language, spend some time working on a good professional sounding translation.
Here are a few examples:
Example Telephone Script #1
Hi, my name is Michael Milette and I am in the process of leveraging my education in the area of coaching, my years of experience as a parent of four children and my years and training a leader in scouting to start a coaching business where I can help people deal with parenting issues. The reason for my call today is to set-up a time to meet with you for over a coffee for about 20 minutes so that I can learn about some of the challenges parents face so that I can tailor my services to better meet the needs of people like you. I realize you are very busy. When might you be available to meet with me?
Example Telephone Script #2
Good afternoon (or morning), my name is Michael Milette and I am in the process of starting an IT consulting career. I recently graduated from The Computer School as an analyst and would like to learn more about the IT industry by meeting with people such as yourself. The reason for my call today is to set-up a time for us to meet, perhaps over a cup of coffee for about 20 minutes so that I can learn about some of the challenges people in your business face so that I can tailor my services to better meet the business needs of people in your industry. I realize you are very busy. When might you be available to meet with me?
Example Telephone Script #3
Hi, my name is Michael Milette and I am in the process of starting up a business designed assist people succesfully startup a new service based business. I have owned and run my own business for many years and am personally dedicated to ongoing learning and helping others succeed. I am contacting you today because I would like to learn more about your company, how you got started and how you overcame some of the challenges you faced and your businesses role in the <specify> industry. I realize you are very busy but I was wondering if we could meet briefly in person for you to share your some of your experiences, challenges and to answer a few questions. Would you be available this week?
Handling Objections and Other Responses
Prepared additional scripts to overcome objections and concerns expressed by potential clients. That way, when you call, you will be ready to handle most of the more common situations you might encounter.
Other scripts you will want to create could include:
- How to deal with and get around receptionists. Never lie in order to get a meeting. Breaking a persons trust up front is no way to start a long healthy and prosperous business relationship.
- How to deal with a manager who is too busy right now.
- How to deal with being asked if you are looking for a job
- How to deal with being passed down to an assistant
- How to deal with someone who wants to take a message (don't -- call back later instead)
- Don't forget to develop scripts on how to thank them when they accept meet with you and what contact and meeting details need to be exchanged.
- As a last resort, ask "Would you know of any other companies what I could contact?". Be sure to also get permission to to mention who referred you to them.
Remember, always stay positive and truthful.
Practice CANI (Constant And Never-ending Improvement)
After each call, especially in the beginning, it is very common for you to want to refine, add to and update your scripts to make them more natural sounding (flow) and compelling. In fact, I have found it useful to have several scripts. Sometimes it will just feel better to use one instead of another. By all means, go ahead. Learning from your experiences and improving can only help you succeed.
Always have your agenda handy so that you can book an appointment on the spot.
Last but not least, if the person would rather hire you than chat with you, do you really need to make them go through the whole information meeting process? Not really. You'll be spending enough time working out the details of your business arrangement.