Yesterday I went and worked with my mom for a few hours, who sells direct mail advertising, which she has done for most of my life. When I posted on Facebook the other day about looking for extra work to help pay off my debt, she said that she could use some help cold calling before her next deadline.
So, that’s what I did. Took sales materials into businesses, asked to speak with the person in charge of advertising, and then got their contact information and the best time to call them, so she could follow up on the lead.
To be perfectly honest, as a two-time small business owner, I haven’t always been the happiest to see people like me walk through the doors, call, email, fax or write. When you own/run a small business, it can seem sometimes like everyone is after something from you and/or your company. And let’s be frank, when you’re struggling to get and then stay on your feet for the first few years (or maybe after many years in a struggling economy and changing world), the contacts from people who want to give you their money are much more instantly gratifying than the ones from the people who want to get some of your money. It has been interesting, with this perspective, to walk into other people’s businesses and ask them to advertise.
At the end of the day, we all have a job to do. I try and remember that when someone calls me at 9:30pm to sell me a fabulous Tahitian Cruise, which I won in a sweepstakes, that I never entered. I thought it was interesting that at one point my mom said that someone had been really cold to her, stating that they don’t accept “solicitors”. Whatever the definition may be, my mom was insulted as she doesn’t consider herself one. She truly feels that she is an aide, or helper, to the small business owner. In defense of that position, she added that she also offers a free product – online coupons. Point is, the person you rush out the door because you don’t want to take the time to hear what they have to say might be someone’s mom. She might even be mine. So take the time – be kind. =)
Going rate for one-day cold calling services: $10 an hour.
Physical exertion factor: Minimal walking and paper carrying. Lots of getting in and out of cars.
Importance of charm: High.
Next contract job: You tell me.
I’ve previously been hired to:
- Stock shelves
- Score sporting games
- Watch kids
- Sell retail
- Serve food
- Plan SCUBA trips
- Teach rock climbing
- Sell financial instruments + insurance
- Enter data (I type 95 wpm, as of last typing test)
- Manage an office
- Assist bosses (legal and otherwise)
- Transcribe books
- Teach yoga
- Prosecute criminals
- Defend accused criminals
- Conduct civil discovery
- File things with courts (runner)
To name a few.