NOTE: If the customer says YES they will meet with you at any point in the conversation, set a date and time, and be sure to confirm the spelling of their name, title, company name, address and email address so that you can send them a confirmation of your meeting by email.
[you] Good morning/afternoon/evening. My name is <your name>. I am in the process of starting up a new business designed to provide <service> to companies such as yours. I have over <XX> years of experience in performing administrative services for my past employer(s). I am contacting you today because I would like to learn more about the <industry name> industry, the challenges people such as yourself face, and the role of your businesses role in the <industry name> industry so that I can better customize my services to meet the needs of businesses like yours. When might you be available to meet with me?
[customer] I am on another telephone call right now. Can I take your name and number, and call you back?
[you] That's alright. I will be happy to call back a little later or tomorrow. I will look forward to talking with you again soon.
[customer] Sorry, I don't have an office OR Sorry, I am working on-site.
[you] No problem. We can meet at a Tim Horton for a coffee or any place that would be convenient for you.
[customer] Sorry, I am too busy,
[you] I realize you are very busy. I can assure you that I would only require about 10-20 minutes of your time. Would daytime or evening work better for you? Perhaps Tuesday morning or Wednesday evening.
[customer] Sorry, I am not available during those times.
[you] Would another time be more convenient? Perhaps Monday evening or Saturday morning?
[customer] Why do you want to meet with me?
[you] I would like to get your professional advice about theindustry, to learn more about how it works, what challenges you face and how you are dealing with them.
[customer] What are you selling?
[you] Although I am starting up a business of providing administrative services to people in your industry, the reason I would like to meet with you is not to solicit my business to you but rather learn about theindustry and what type of services I could offer to better meet the needs of companies like yours in this industry.
[customer] What kind of information are you looking for?
[you] I would like to meet briefly in person for you to share with me some of your experiences, challenges and to answer a few questions. Would this week or next week be better for you?
[customer] Are you looking for a job?
[you] I am starting up a new administrative services business and am available on a as-needed basis or on a contract basis. Speaking with someone like you to better understand the needs of businesses like yours would really help me figure things like that out. However, if you are looking for someone like that, I would definitely be interested in meeting with you to learn how I could be of services to you.
[customer] If you've already worked in the administrative assistance industry, aren't you already knowledgeable about the business?
[you] When I was working as an employee, I didn't have the chance to go around and meet different professionals in the field. This is a good opportunity for me to do that now. I want to create a business which will directly address my clients business requirements.
[customer] If you email me your questions, I will be happy to send the information back to you.
[you] I would really prefer to meet with you briefly to discuss…
[customer] I'm going on vacation for a month.
[you] Would there be someone else in the company that I could meet with or would it be better for us to schedule an appointment for when you get back?
[customer] Sorry, I am not interested.
[you] Ok, while I still have you on the line, would you happen to know anyone who could meet with me to discuss this? It could be a customer, supplier or another company.
[customer] Sure. You can give … a call. Here is his/her contact information… / Sorry.
[you] Would it be alright if I mentioned to them that you referred them to me?
[customer] Yes / No. (be sure to respect their wishes)
[you] May I call you back in a few weeks to see if you might have more time or there are any new developments?
[customer] Yes / No.
[you: Yes] Thank you. I look forward to talking with you again in a few weeks.
[you: No] May I drop off a pamphlet describing my services just in case you ever decide you might need someone like me who is familiar with theindustry and can help you with administrative services such as bookkeeping, invoicing clients, answering telephones, etc.
[customer: yes] Yes / No
[you: Yes] Great, it would be great to meet you. When would you be there so that I could give it to you in person?
[you: No] I understand. Thank you for your time.