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Bootstrapping my web development business by calling

Andrei Roncea

Contributor
Aug 30, 2017
12
22
16
21
Toronto, ON, CAN
Day 1:

Hey everyone, saw a few threads on forums of people posting their daily numbers- for example one guy set a goal to call 1000 people and documented it all (simply to get over the fear of calling, he didn't have anything to sell). Myself, I started a web development business and sales is by far my weakest area. So I'm going to do something similar. In this case, I have a business I'm struggling with and valuable skills to sell. I'd just like to say that fox is the one that motivated me to get off my a$$, stop learning web design from random sources, and make my own site and start calling people.

Call 1:
Driveway sealing
-saw one of your driver's drive by, looked up you online, no website, wondering if you wanted to talk about that
-Talk about what (probably need a script lol)
-Well since you don't have a website I was thinking we could arrange a time in a few days to see if that's something you would be interested in (definitely need a script)
-Well I have your number I'll phone you
-Well do you want to arrange a time, like day tomorrow at 10am (think I did well here, you need to arrange a specific time. If they say they'll call you they won't )
-Something about how he's not in the area
-I say it's fine we don't have to meet in person
-Ok I have your number I'll call you
-Ok... (Didn't know what to say)

Call 2:
roofing
-Ok this is roofing season now so we're very busy but call me in November and we can talk about this
-Ok.. (didn't have a good answer- after making a general script I'll add good answers to common objections like "we might need your services but not at the moment")

Call 3:
nail salon
Receptionist answers
-Could I talk to the manager or owner
-She's not here
-Ok I'll email her but if you could also pass along this info
I like how you guys have a all the information a customer could possibly need, but I know your customers are very visual so im thinking we could make some changes that would make your customers like and trust you more. (Tried to say something positive before saying the website could use some improvements but in hindsight that's probably useless to say to a receptionist)
-Sorry our owner is on vacation
-When's the best time to call
-Next week
-Ok.
(No clue what to say to "our owner is on vacation"- is there even a good response?)

Call 4:
Dog store 1 of 15, it's a franchise
-Our franchise was bought by... So I only do social media for this location (like 15 locations)
But keep us posted (why idk, it's just 1 store from 15 and the owner is the one that makes those decisions)
Will do
Thanks
(Probably nothing I could do there.. maybe I could have asked for the contact info of the people that bought this franchise so that I would have some social proof from this store when I called them)

Call 5:
Drycleaners. Was tired and saying awkward shit. Realize I need a script and hook for the first 15 seconds.

Lessons learned:

1. CALL MORE
2. Be more aggressive- I remember reading somewhere that a buyer says no on average 5 times before buying. And if they say no for a website, ask them if they want to join my mailing list for deals, contests and free advice. If not that then my Facebook page with the same stuff. --- so always get something from a call
3. Use a script (I put one together for tomorrow)
4. Call more haha- I'll try to get 20 calls tomorrow, and improve every day.
 

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ZCP

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Write a script. Study zig ziglar.
 
OP
OP
Andrei Roncea

Andrei Roncea

Contributor
Aug 30, 2017
12
22
16
21
Toronto, ON, CAN
Day 2: Calling yellowpages businesses that don't have websites

I have a mini-script now (only the introduction). It's at the bottom of this post. Each call summary starts with their response since I say the same thing at the beginning of each one.

Call 6:
beach cleaners
-well actually its up to the owner to decide (was a receptionist)
-hes on vacation for 2 weeks (starting to think this is bullshit, much like when a girl you hit on says shes has a boyfriend)
-does he have a personal number i could reach him at?
-cant give that out
-do you guys have a business email
-no
-ok thank you..
lesson learned: dont call dry cleaners (other dry cleaners didn't answer- it's not a serious businesses)

Call 7:
some jeweler
-word of mouth worked for us for the past 50 years
(quality sounded like shit)
-I have a bad line right now
-yeah I can hear that, maybe ill call back, thanks (not much to do here, but still shouldn't have said maybe)

Call 8:
welding
-i just don't have the budget right now, if I got more businesses I would invest in a site, i tried to get a website done before but the cheapest they quoted was 800
-something about websites being an online business card and how you might not have much money now but having a professional website will grow your business and be a great investment for the future (all these sales books taught me to not give up until they REALLY say no)
-ok maybe, how much would it cost
-well that depends on what you require on the site...blahblah (don't focus on prices early on)
-how about you give me your email and ill send some info over later tonight
-ok sure
-great
-btw how much would it cost
-well the absolute cheapest would be $400 or $500 (now that I got the email I can "qualify" him, if he thought this was too much then I wouldn't bother trying to sell to him anymore)
ok thats good
:)
*gives me email*

Call 9:
welding
-i already have someone to do it
-so then how come you guys dont have one (maybe too aggressive but best to err on this side)
*hangs up*

Call 10:
welding
-hung up (probably sounded too preppy to a welder)

Call 11:
welding
-im just about to retire, thank you very much
-ok, well whos taking over
*hung up*
(i dont know, do you guys think im being too aggressive?)

Call 12:
welding
-i dont have a website, but you could find me, isnt that great?
-well yeah but online business card (i need to devise a proper objection hadnler, this online b-card shit doesnt work well)
hangs up

Call 13:
(welding?)
-receptionist, we dont need it thank you
HELP! (what do I say to a receptionist to get her to pass the message on or connect me with an owner- the frustrating thing is that owners that have receptionist to handle calls and solicitors are probably smart guys that would see the value in investing in a professional site. So they're gold mines that are very hard to reach)

Call 14:
health store
-receptionist says can you hold on
wait 5min and hang up...

Call 15:
hair removal
number on yelp ON THE FIRST PAGE OF SEARCH RESULTS FOR THAT CATEGORY, was a random person. Had no idea what that was. Some businesses would kill to be in the first 10 results in their category, it's crazy. I feel the same about shitty websites on the first page of search results on google. Look up *city + small business* and youll see what I mean.

Call 16:
tanning salon
number i called was on the same street but an entirely different company (stuff like this you really just got sift through, nothing to do about it other than making sure its not your mistake)




Lessons learned:
1. Don't say um or uh. Be confident. Strategic pauses only make you sound more confident.
2. Stop yelling, you don't have to be too enthusiastic, be chill.

Lessons solidified:
1. Be aggressive.

Things to do:
  1. Make common objection scripts (and yes you do need a script- Jordan Belfort in Straight Line Persuasion and Chet Holmes in the Ultimate Sales Machine stress the importance of scripts to ensure you're saying the best things possible to get the sale, otherwise you're leaving the sale up to chance. Of course it's important to sound natural, but you can sound natural and still know what you're going to say. It's just a skill you have to work on)
  2. Make more calls- I'll go for 20 tomorrow (went from 5 to 10 so far)
  3. Pick better businesses to call- go for "Dream 100 clients" as Chet Holmes says. Clients that are perfect fits for your business that you relentlessly pursue. *Be a sniper instead of a bird hunter.

SCRIPT:
Hi, I found you on the first page of search results on the yellowpages, and noticed you dont have a website. Is that correct? I work with omnius web development in Toronto, and am wondering why you don't think you need a website.

after several calls, changing to:

Hi, I found you on the yellowpages, and noticed you don't have a website. Is that correct?*** I work with Omnius web development in Toronto, and am wondering why you don't think you need a website.
(saying first page might make them feel they don't need a site, which happened to me today)
 

sparechange

Gold Contributor
Speedway Pass
Nov 11, 2016
1,219
1,410
435
Canada (Vancouver/Calgary)
the best thing you can do is get a sales job and learn from professionals, work a few days and quit, *paid training*
 

BrooklynHustle

Gold Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Apr 3, 2014
736
1,481
441
36
DMV
Day 2: Calling yellowpages businesses that don't have websites

I have a mini-script now (only the introduction). It's at the bottom of this post. Each call summary starts with their response since I say the same thing at the beginning of each one.

Call 6:
beach cleaners
-well actually its up to the owner to decide (was a receptionist)
-hes on vacation for 2 weeks (starting to think this is bullshit, much like when a girl you hit on says shes has a boyfriend)
-does he have a personal number i could reach him at?
-cant give that out
-do you guys have a business email
-no
-ok thank you..
lesson learned: dont call dry cleaners (other dry cleaners didn't answer- it's not a serious businesses)

Call 7:
some jeweler
-word of mouth worked for us for the past 50 years
(quality sounded like shit)
-I have a bad line right now
-yeah I can hear that, maybe ill call back, thanks (not much to do here, but still shouldn't have said maybe)

Call 8:
welding
-i just don't have the budget right now, if I got more businesses I would invest in a site, i tried to get a website done before but the cheapest they quoted was 800
-something about websites being an online business card and how you might not have much money now but having a professional website will grow your business and be a great investment for the future (all these sales books taught me to not give up until they REALLY say no)
-ok maybe, how much would it cost
-well that depends on what you require on the site...blahblah (don't focus on prices early on)
-how about you give me your email and ill send some info over later tonight
-ok sure
-great
-btw how much would it cost
-well the absolute cheapest would be $400 or $500 (now that I got the email I can "qualify" him, if he thought this was too much then I wouldn't bother trying to sell to him anymore)
ok thats good
:)
*gives me email*

Call 9:
welding
-i already have someone to do it
-so then how come you guys dont have one (maybe too aggressive but best to err on this side)
*hangs up*

Call 10:
welding
-hung up (probably sounded too preppy to a welder)

Call 11:
welding
-im just about to retire, thank you very much
-ok, well whos taking over
*hung up*
(i dont know, do you guys think im being too aggressive?)

Call 12:
welding
-i dont have a website, but you could find me, isnt that great?
-well yeah but online business card (i need to devise a proper objection hadnler, this online b-card shit doesnt work well)
hangs up

Call 13:
(welding?)
-receptionist, we dont need it thank you
HELP! (what do I say to a receptionist to get her to pass the message on or connect me with an owner- the frustrating thing is that owners that have receptionist to handle calls and solicitors are probably smart guys that would see the value in investing in a professional site. So they're gold mines that are very hard to reach)

Call 14:
health store
-receptionist says can you hold on
wait 5min and hang up...

Call 15:
hair removal
number on yelp ON THE FIRST PAGE OF SEARCH RESULTS FOR THAT CATEGORY, was a random person. Had no idea what that was. Some businesses would kill to be in the first 10 results in their category, it's crazy. I feel the same about shitty websites on the first page of search results on google. Look up *city + small business* and youll see what I mean.

Call 16:
tanning salon
number i called was on the same street but an entirely different company (stuff like this you really just got sift through, nothing to do about it other than making sure its not your mistake)




Lessons learned:
1. Don't say um or uh. Be confident. Strategic pauses only make you sound more confident.
2. Stop yelling, you don't have to be too enthusiastic, be chill.

Lessons solidified:
1. Be aggressive.

Things to do:
  1. Make common objection scripts (and yes you do need a script- Jordan Belfort in Straight Line Persuasion and Chet Holmes in the Ultimate Sales Machine stress the importance of scripts to ensure you're saying the best things possible to get the sale, otherwise you're leaving the sale up to chance. Of course it's important to sound natural, but you can sound natural and still know what you're going to say. It's just a skill you have to work on)
  2. Make more calls- I'll go for 20 tomorrow (went from 5 to 10 so far)
  3. Pick better businesses to call- go for "Dream 100 clients" as Chet Holmes says. Clients that are perfect fits for your business that you relentlessly pursue. *Be a sniper instead of a bird hunter.

SCRIPT:
Hi, I found you on the first page of search results on the yellowpages, and noticed you dont have a website. Is that correct? I work with omnius web development in Toronto, and am wondering why you don't think you need a website.

after several calls, changing to:

Hi, I found you on the yellowpages, and noticed you don't have a website. Is that correct?*** I work with Omnius web development in Toronto, and am wondering why you don't think you need a website.
(saying first page might make them feel they don't need a site, which happened to me today)
Congrats on getting out there and taking action. Even if it is not the most effective right now, it will help you a lot more than avoiding contact & customers

Now you just need to learn the skills and hone your craft by doing some just in time learning and lots more reps...

Best of luck!
 

Denim Chicken

Silver Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Jun 5, 2010
424
893
318
California
I'm seeing a lot of symptoms that show they want to get off the phone and all of those are excuses as you haven't really got them interested in the offer.

Try to figure out 1 concise, sentence that can get them interested to give you the next 30 seconds. Once that works, work on the next step but for now, work on that.
And you're trying to sell them a website on the spot, try to just book an appointment to see if you can help them with their business needs.

Answer this question: Who are you and what do you want?
Answer it tactfully, concisely and respectful of people's time, and in a way to intrigue the prospect.

And get armed with a case study or a previous website you made that brought results for a different business.

If you can afford the time, apply for entry level sales jobs and get some training, it will be indispensable to learn from professionals in a quota carrying environment. You might enjoy it.

Aggression is an advanced skill IMO. You want to rather mirror their energy and tone if you're new to sales, it's the easiest to do.

Ums and Ahs are perfectly fine when placed carefully and naturally. Which brings me to my next point..

SPEAK SLOWLY. If you call and start talking rapidly, it sounds like you already know I'm going to hang up because it's a sales call. Speak slowly, articulate and conversationally.
 

fhs8

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Jan 22, 2016
270
306
169
Lessons learned:

Don't blindly cold call people if it gets you nowhere.
 

KSR

Bronze Contributor
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Feb 28, 2017
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406
213
Australia
You're being way too aggressive man! People buy the salesman, not the product. Build trust with the customer. Good luck!
 

TheCj

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Saying you found someone as your opening line then trying to sell them on your service to help them be found doesn't sound like the best way to open.

Maybe look up some Grant Cardone stuff, he talks a lot about getting peoples attention on the phone. I read his book Sell or be sold, it broke it down for me on uniformly interacting with customers. He has lots of books etc. which I haven't read so can't recommend but might be worth looking into

Something along the lines of Introduction --> Finding there want's need's --> Providing solution options --> Closing

I might of missed some steps but is general take away idea I got from it.

So the guy saying he got a price for $800, you would rather find out what he wants his website to do or his budget he had in mind. Then you can explain what he would get for his price point, and how much more it would be to add other features down the line, what it would do, how it would help etc..
 

jon.M

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Aggression is an advanced skill IMO. You want to rather mirror their energy and tone if you're new to sales, it's the easiest to do.

Ums and Ahs are perfectly fine when placed carefully and naturally. Which brings me to my next point..

SPEAK SLOWLY. If you call and start talking rapidly, it sounds like you already know I'm going to hang up because it's a sales call. Speak slowly, articulate and conversationally.
This is golden advice.
Speaking slowly and conversationally was a dealmaker for me. In the beginning I practically got one advice: Read the script slowly! It makes you sound like a real person and not a salesman. It works.
 

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ZCP

Legendary Contributor
Staff member
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Are you recording your calls?
Have you read Zig?
What is your value proposition? ..... you just found them, why do they need to be found?

Possible pitch ....... I just found you in the phone book. Do you know there are 3 people who are looking for you online right now that cannot find you. I would like to help you bring those 3 new customers to your door. Who could we schedule a call with to make that happen?

To owner / decision maker: You need a site and help getting it in front of your new customers. We can get you a standard site up in 'x' days and you do not pay until you get your first sale. I'll send you a price list and some example sites. Then follow up with you to get started. What questions do you have?
 

sam9530130

Bronze Contributor
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Dec 29, 2016
67
123
137
Canada
First, kudos for actually cold calling.

One thing you may want to explore (like what Fox is doing) is to call people who already have a website but it is really bad or outdated. The way I see it is that, you have 1 less hurdle... You're trying to convince someone who doesn't have a website to get one and then you have to convince that person to trust you to do it for him. Maybe it'd be easier to skip the part about having to convince them that they would benefit from having a website.

You may also try sending an email (day 1) and then cold call them (day 3) for example. This way, you already made contact with them (even if they didn't reply).

Just some suggestions. You may want to be less aggressive and more calm... speak slower. It may help a little. Good luck. Curious to see how you progress.
 
OP
OP
Andrei Roncea

Andrei Roncea

Contributor
Aug 30, 2017
12
22
16
21
Toronto, ON, CAN
I'm seeing a lot of symptoms that show they want to get off the phone and all of those are excuses as you haven't really got them interested in the offer.

Try to figure out 1 concise, sentence that can get them interested to give you the next 30 seconds. Once that works, work on the next step but for now, work on that.
And you're trying to sell them a website on the spot, try to just book an appointment to see if you can help them with their business needs.

Answer this question: Who are you and what do you want?
Answer it tactfully, concisely and respectful of people's time, and in a way to intrigue the prospect.

And get armed with a case study or a previous website you made that brought results for a different business.

If you can afford the time, apply for entry level sales jobs and get some training, it will be indispensable to learn from professionals in a quota carrying environment. You might enjoy it.

Aggression is an advanced skill IMO. You want to rather mirror their energy and tone if you're new to sales, it's the easiest to do.

Ums and Ahs are perfectly fine when placed carefully and naturally. Which brings me to my next point..

SPEAK SLOWLY. If you call and start talking rapidly, it sounds like you already know I'm going to hang up because it's a sales call. Speak slowly, articulate and conversationally.
That's great advice. Thank you! I'll devise a hook that involves facts and numbers. And speaking slowly is something I've definitely realized helps.
 
OP
OP
Andrei Roncea

Andrei Roncea

Contributor
Aug 30, 2017
12
22
16
21
Toronto, ON, CAN
Are you recording your calls?
Have you read Zig?
What is your value proposition? ..... you just found them, why do they need to be found?

Possible pitch ....... I just found you in the phone book. Do you know there are 3 people who are looking for you online right now that cannot find you. I would like to help you bring those 3 new customers to your door. Who could we schedule a call with to make that happen?

To owner / decision maker: You need a site and help getting it in front of your new customers. We can get you a standard site up in 'x' days and you do not pay until you get your first sale. I'll send you a price list and some example sites. Then follow up with you to get started. What questions do you have?
Also some great advice. I definitely need to update my script and will have a great "hook" ready for next week.
 
OP
OP
Andrei Roncea

Andrei Roncea

Contributor
Aug 30, 2017
12
22
16
21
Toronto, ON, CAN
Day 3:
End of week, won't be calling this weekend. Very excited for the improvements I'm going to make to my system and about the changes I've made in 2 days.

Script:
Hi, I found you on the yellowpages, and noticed you dont have a website. I work with omnius web development in Toronto, and am wondering why you don't think you need a website.

CHANGED TO THIS BECAUSE OF CALLS MADE TODAY:

Hi, I found you on the yellowpages, and noticed you dont have a website. I work with omnius web development in Toronto, and was wondering if you've ever thought about getting a website done.

(Didn't check this thread before I started calling today)

call 17:
solar
-had a website but took it down
-and if you want to sell me your service we dont need it thank you
-can i ask you a quick question
*hangs up*


call 18:
solar
-receptionist said the manager was in a meeting, but to email him
EMAIL


call 19:
solar
-we have a website (even though on yellowpages it didnt show)
-I stumbled and didnt sound confident, when I call I have to be completely focused (I was doing other stuff at the time) and give it my full energy. This is also in order to give a good impression for the follow up email)

call 20:
nothing good
(all these solar companies weren't serious at all)

call 21:
market garden
-idk I just work here
-oh ok, you're not the owner
-no hes in and out, idk where he is
-ok, can you give me his email
-sure give me one second
hangs up
(I guess I need to sound more authoritative. I may be young but I have a deep voice, I just need to use tone and pitch better)

call 22:
garden
just asked if the owner of manager was there and said no (i think he was because she left when I asked for his email and came back and gave it to me- so she must have asked him if it was ok)
EMAIL

call 23:
market
actually had a website but had to call them so sort of made this up on the spot- said "I found you on the yellowpages, I'm the owner of Omnius Web Development based in Toronto, and I was wondering if you wanted to talk about potential imporvements made to your site" (looking back on it what I said was terrible, but I'll make a script with a good hook for companies with websites this weekend)
I have a lot of customers in my store now so just send me an email
EMAIL

call 24:
welding
-Yeah we were thinking of getting a website done, but it doesn't seem to be that important nowadays
-Well actually I see websites as online business cards, so if you have a way to drive traffic to your site, like with fb ads or google adwords, then the visitors you get will judge you based on how professional your website looks. A website that looks professional and has organized information builds trust in potential customers, and lets you charge more per customer, and will probably get you new customers also.
-Ok yeah
-So let me get your email and ill send some information over
*gives email*
-So where are you located
*I give him a street in toronto where I used to live (in my dorm haha)
-Ok good cause we want a professional company
-Perfect
-How much do you charge btw
About 1000 but that all depends on your requirements (f*cked up here by starting with price because I was really winging it- should have had a script) But ill send info on this through the email and we'll find out how much it will cost you (my wording was more awkward than that. It was awkward the whole time, I really need more practice, and some sort of script- it doesn't have to be word for word from start to finish, but I need great answers to common questions)
lesson: MAKE A SCRIPT FOR WHAT TO SAY ONCE THEY SHOW INTEREST

Call 25:
Walk in medical centre
*Sounded like a receptionist so I said:
-I'm guessing you're the receptionist
-yes
-well I'm calling because I noticed you guys don't have a website and I'm actually part of Omnius Web Development in Toronto
-im sorry what are you calling for
-web design (thhrew me off guard with that question, maybe the call quality was bad or maybe I just need to really explicitly say I'm calling to design your website haha)
-Oh well we don't need one
-How do you know you don't need one
-Well my office manager is here, and we got calls from web design companies often
-Wow ok (also threw me off guard- is web design becoming too saturated, or was she just saying that to get me off the line? Either way, those other web design companies aren't as persisitnat as I'm going to be. Read the Ultimate Sales Machine by Chet Holmes guys!)
-Yeah is that all (i could tell she was pissed but shes used to being courteous)
-Well actually I have a question, about how many calls do you get per month from web design companies (Sitting down to call is hard for me to do, but once I'm in the call, and especially once I get a no, I enjoy myself)
-That is an irrelevant question
-well Ok

Call 26:
solar
Left a voicemail for the hell of it. Stumbling and rambled on for a minute. If I do leave voicemails I should just say something to get their attention- like a headline, and then tell them to text me back saying they got the message (very easy to send a text back, and I might not answer some phone calls)

Call 27:
tanning studio
-guessing you're the receptionist
-I'm sorry couldnt hear you
(I think it might be my call quality that's bad- I'll call some friends and ask them if I sound okay. If it is a problem on my end I'll definitely have to get that fixed)
-I'm guessing you're not the owner or maanger
-Oh yeah I'm just an employee
-Ok well i found you guys on the yellowpages and noticed you don't have a website, and i'm actually a part of Omnius Web Development in Toronto and was wondering who I could talk to about that (bit awkward- I guess I need a script for receptionists too)
-Managers in from 10-6 tomorrow
-Ok perfect ill call then
-ok thanks

Ended early (only 11 calls) because I didn't have any calls to businesses that aren't ideal (like dry cleaners) to make that didn't have websites. Figured searching for more (outside of the list I already had) isn't really worth it- I'll be back next week calling businesses that are perfect for me, and that already have websites.


Lessons learned:
-Say I'm calling *local competitors* in intro, especially to receptionists
-Focus on education based selling, use surprising facts and numbers which they can't argue with. Then when they retreat from the logical arguement and enter emotional territory, I'll have my objection-handling script to take them by the hand and show them its a great investment
-Call places twice, if they dont answer, probably not worth it
-But call in the morning, between 9-11, as those are the times that people feel fresh and open
- Will only call the right places starting next week (dream 100)
- Also, I think places that already have websites will be easier sells. I'll start only calling those next week.

Lessons learned from previous posts or millionaire fastlane thread:
1. Speak slowly
2. Devise a hook with facts and numbers

MUST DO:
1. Make email template to send to businesses once I get their emails. I have a script for calls, so I need one with emails. Luckily I've been studying copywriting (bought a book by ogilvy among others)
2. Fix call quality
3. Devise a hook with facts and numbers


Questions:
1. Is it best to sound like a customer at the very beginning so they don't tune you out right away? I've been saying, I found you on the yellowpages and noticed you don't have a website (took out the "is that correct"), and then I hit them with, I'm actually part of Omnius Web Development in Toronto...
 

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