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How to Sell Yourself – Cold Calling

How to Sell Yourself – Cold Calling

“Making the all-important Cold Call and approaching new businesses”


Welcome back to the blog and after a few days of looking at various ideas including tournaments, sponsorship and building rapport, today I am going to revert back to looking at how to sell your business services with some tips and advice on cold calling.


Until you build up a reputation the truth of the matter is that, if you want business, you will have to search for it yourself. Bars are not going to come flocking to you and it takes time to build a reputation and a following where work will come your way. Some people I have spoken to in the past are adverse to cold calls as they feel they aren’t successful but I can tell you for a fact they are and that there are a few simple rules to follow to make them effective.


In this article we will cover –

  • Who to call?
  • When to call?
  • How to introduce yourself?
  • Speaking to the right person
  • Arranging a meeting
  • Being short and brief
  • What to say

Let us begin –

Cold Calling – Who to call?

I have used the internet on many occasions, got a number and it hasn’t worked or the bar has been closed for years or they already run a trivia night and I have fallen out with other hosts for “stealing business”. To make the most of cold calling then you need to do your groundwork. Don’t just call random pubs.

  • Make a spreadsheet and list pubs, contact names and numbers.
  • Look at which ones already have trivia and which ones don’t.
  • Maybe look into the nature of the bar…is it a 7-day a week live music venue?
  • Is it only open when there are concerts in town?


A little bit of research will go a long way to boosting your chances and will impress the punters.


Cold Calling – When to Call?

Timing is everything. Ideally you do not want to be pestering a venue time after time with the same message. They will soon get sick of you and it will mean you lose the business so you need to call at the right time. Calling in the middle of the night is not going to work and there may not be anyone in during the day. Leaving answer phone messages may just lead to them being ignored. Calling at off peak times or a few hours before opening, or in the morning when the owner will be there doing the books etc…..that is the best time.


Cold Calling – How To Introduce Yourself?

The key to the call is the first impression as we have mentioned in all manner of business approaches before. You need to ensure that the owner doesn’t hang up straight away hence you don’t want to make it too “business like” or sound as if you are reading from a script. Have a warm, friendly opening and get to the point straight away otherwise they will hang up (either mentally or physically).


Cold Calling – Speaking to the Right Person

Don’t settle for bar staff, night cleaners or porters….get the name of the person who can make the decision. If you ring and the manager isn’t free to talk don’t waste your time telling someone who a) won’t be able to decide and b) probably won’t relay the message.




Business person

Cold Calling – Arranging a meeting

Chances are that you are not going to get booked over the phone…….99.9% of venue owners will want to meet you first before ploughing time and money into giving you the platform for a trivia event in their venue. Its common sense! So what you need to do on the phone is get a meeting arranged straight away. Try not to over complicate things, head into long speeches and the bore the venue owner to death with endless sales patter. Try and make sure your aim of the call isn’t so much to get the booking there and then but to entice them enough so that they offer you a face to face meeting where you can really start to shine. That’s the aim of the game!


Cold Calling – Being Short and Brief

Again, just like yourself, venue owners are busy people and they do not tend to have the time, or in my experience the patience to listen to endless sales pitches and ideas. You need to get the point, make it snappy and get your points across sooner rather than later. Make yourself a little list of what you want to see to avoid delays and stumbles….highlight only the key points and as I have stressed above, make sure you secure that all important meeting.

  • Nothing says the most with the least words like a video of your game show in action.  Make sure the video is no more than 30 seconds in length.  Make it fun, exciting, and use quick succession of clips to show how fun your trivia shows are to the players and audience.  End the video with the testimonial of a bar owner or other client.  I have seen video testimonials on other game hosts websites go on and on endlessly.  That is too suspicious.  Any testimonial over 15 seconds will be a step backwards. If you are just getting started, ask us about creating a video for you until you have made your own.


Cold Calling – What to Say

  • You need to not only talk about how good you are, the brilliant services and technology you offer and the all round package you can bring but you need to explain how it works for them.
  • Have facts and figures of players who attended other events.
  • Talk about how you are going to attract people to the bar and get them playing and above all else sell yourself in terms of how you can help them.
  • Speak with confidence.  You are a professional at what you do, so speak up.
  • Sell the end result.  The end result is whatever the goal of the client is.  Is the goal to increase revenue, then highlight how you can do it.  Is the goal to attract more people to a slow night?  Then sell the solution.  This should be stated in 1-2 sentences.  Reserve additional information for the face-to-face meeting.
  • Are you using technology, like a wireless buzzer trivia system?  Then focus on how your technology will give other trivia hosts a run for their money.  This should be stated in 1-2 sentences.  Reserve additional information for the face-to-face meeting.



Above all else, you need to remember one thing…… are cold calling with the hope of landing a meeting. Keep everything brief, use the meeting to show the goods, give examples and really go to town on selling yourself. Get inside your head the key points, the key reasons why the venue owner should consider trivia and the key ideas and mould all that together into a short and effective sales pitch. Don’t be afraid to change it if you feel its not working and when you get a formula that works and when you are finding that cold calls are resulting in meetings then you have cracked it.


Thanks for reading todays entry and hopefully it helped. Cold calling is something that causes fear in some trivia hosts but at the end of the day with a intelligent approach it should never be an issue!

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