Endorsements Sports Agents

Warming Up To Cold Calling

A huge part of being a marketing agent and attempting to find your clients endorsements and partnerships with companies is blindly calling brands, or utilising Ringless Voicemail, and hoping that they bite on your hook. This tactic is called cold calling, and is used with an appointment setting service to try to secure new clients. Some people think it’s probably the most frustrating part of the sports agent business. When I am not in class, I have made calls to companies trying to get them interested in Dynasty‘s clients, but for the most part it has been my partner, Matthew Vuckovich, calling companies on behalf of our listed and non-listed clients. I hear about how miserable it is daily, but it is something that must be done for athletes that do not have sponsors at their feet begging for a marketing partnership (names like Peyton Manning, Tiger Woods, etc.). As a sports agency, it’s vital that this sort of cold calling is done for the clients. Whilst it might be boring, it’s important that the word is spread about these athletes. When trying to promote these young athletes, agencies try and have a team of people calling around all day. This means that they need to have a good phone line to do this. There are many different phone systems Melbourne, or wherever your agency is located, but it’s important to find the best one for your company specifically. Be sure to do some research to find the best phone system for your company to make these cold calls.

Just because cold calling may be frustrating does not mean that it has to be particularly hard or intimidating. As David Carter – Marketing Resources correctly states, the worst thing that the person on the other end can say is, “no”, and how many times have you already heard that from your mother or a Hooters girl that you were staring at for too long?

More importantly, Carter provides 14 Cold Market Prospecting Tips to aid you when making cold calls to companies that have never heard of you, your company, or your client and may never want to hear about any one of the three ever again.

Here is the list:

1. Know your presentation until it sounds like a conversation, not canned. Practice, practice, practice. This allows you to be interrupted without losing your train of thought and will give you confidence.

2. Call with the attitude that your time is just as valuable as theirs without being arrogant.

3. Have a good system of tracking your calls. Know who you called, when you called and how many calls you made. Without this you may think you are making more calls than you really are and wondering why you are not having more success. Just as important to know when you are headed is to know where you have been.

4. Ask for the decision maker. Most likely it will not be the person answering the phone so you need to make the gatekeeper feel important. Ask for the person by name if you have it.

5. When you do get them on the phone, remember that the first ten seconds they will not remember what you have said. Never start with “How are you?” Instead say his or her name and then “I know you are busy so I won’t take but just a minute of your time. Then introduce yourself. You are not asking for their time, you are taking it.

6. Do Not Talk Fast. It will not keep you from being interrupted.

7. There is no right or wrong time to call. Businessmen are available during business hours but call doctors in the evening.

8. Leave them friendly and receptive. You have the opportunity to call back. Never ask if you can call back, just assume you can. If they ask that you do not call them back, mark them off your list. Your time is too valuable to overcome that.

9. You will get “nos”. It’s going to happen. If you get enough, you will convey that negative in your presentation. Stop calling, go over your presentation and get your confidence back before you blow one more prospect.

10. Questions are good. The most difficult thing is keeping your cool when they start asking questions. If they are asking questions, you have their interest. Listen to what they are asking. If you do not know the answer, do not be afraid to say – That is a good question. I don’t have the answer at my fingertips but I will get back with you. You have their interest – Keep it!

11. This is a numbers game. The more you call, the better your chances of success. You call three a day, you fail. You call three hundred a day, you will succeed.

12. Never meet a stranger. Do not prejudge. Everybody you meet is a prospect. Learn how to get to know a stranger. You can cold call without a phone.

13. Everytime you make a sale, ask for a referral. This is an instant in with your next call.

14. The most important – Learn to ask for the sale. They will not say yes unless you help them.

I cannot disagree with a single one of these suggestions. Take heed and good luck signing your clients some new endorsements!

By Darren Heitner

Darren Heitner created Sports Agent Blog as a New Year's Resolution on December 31, 2005. Originally titled, "I Want To Be A Sports Agent," the website was founded with the intention of causing Heitner to learn more about the profession that he wanted to join, meet reputable individuals in the space and force himself to stay on top of the latest news and trends.

Heitner now runs Heitner Legal, P.L.L.C., which is a law firm with many practice areas, including sports law and contract law. Heitner has represented numerous athletes and sports agents as legal counsel. He has also served as an Adjunct Professor at Indiana University Bloomington from 2011-2014, where he created and taught a course titled, Sport Agency Management, which included subjects ranging from NCAA regulations to athlete agent certification and the rules governing the profession. Heitner serves as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, where he teaches a Sports Law class that includes case law surrounding athlete agents and the NCAA rules.

One reply on “Warming Up To Cold Calling”

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