Welcome back to our blog. In order to book meetings for our Industry Research Project, we have spent most of this week cold-calling as a team. It's about introducing ourselves to the decision maker of the business and acquiring organizational data. It's important to explain to them our position and reasoning for the research, to establish our credibility.
I was the first to conduct the Industry Research Survey; which meant I had to "test" it out. So I had booked a meeting with a company that I had previously cold-called. They were excited to know that I was a co-op student and wanted to participate. Being my first meeting, I got all the answers I needed and the participants were easy to talk to and made the meeting enjoyable! I wasn't nervous and found that the meeting went by quickly.With a project like this, communication skills and leadership skills are improved. This meeting was a little different than the rest we had scheduled,because all the decisions made in the business were done by their head office. While trying to understand buying behaviour -- we had to ask questions based on what they would have done if the business wasn't corporately owned.
It's interesting to learn how different people decide on office technology. Most of the common answers are choosing devices based on the cheapest cost, the best quality, or best service. It could be a combination of the three -- but often cost increases as quality and service do. There was one meeting I conducted where the interviewee simply chose a brand because he was loyal to them. After buying equipment from them for over 20+ years, it seemed logical to stay with them -- despite other technology being offered.
The tough part about booking these meeting was making sure we are asking these questions to the right person. It's great booking a meeting -- but, when it's with someone who doesn't make the decisions, doesn't have any sort of influence on what the business might do, or haven't been in their position for much time, they can't answer our questions. These questions should be directed to the person in charge, who understands their business dynamic and can decide to make changes whenever they please. The decision-makers are definitely the hardest to get in contact with since they are very busy and we acknowledge that. It takes persistence and hopefully a little bit of persuasion to get them to schedule 15 minutes aside for us.
The first meeting that I had was at a doctor's office, with the person in charge of purchasing their office equipment. I started off by confirming a few details, that we previously discussed when booking the meeting. The survey was finished in about 15 minutes, and we got the answers that we were seeking. The goal of the survey is to learn as much as possible about the buying behaviours of different businesses in the Windsor region, and I think the answers gave us a unique insight to them. I was a little nervous leading my first meeting, but completed it with no major hiccups. In order to improve my communication skills in a meeting, I'm going to need to keep booking more appointments. Practice is the key to becoming more comfortable in that type of an environment. I have one more meeting booked for this week, and another booked for next week as well. I hope to keep the momentum going, and schedule as many meetings as I can get to get the most out of my co-op experience.
It's about having to rely on somebody other than yourself to succeed. In our case, we depend on each other in the work-environment. A team is not effective if each member couldn't depend on one another, and complete their share of the work. Since the start of our co-op placement, we've had to cold-call, create scripts, and schedule meetings as a team.
We can be more effective and efficient as a team, compared to working individually. For example, cold-calling requires us to simultaneously drive and spot businesses to call on by ourselves. Compared to us cold calling as a team, where one person is the driver and the other person is the spotter. We alternate between the two roles on a daily basis, and we have become a more effective as a team. We've noticed strengths in each other when alternating roles. Santeena is clearly the better driver; who drives safely and is able to make necessary lane changes when needed. Michel is a better suited for spotting businesses; which might be because of his better eye sight. With our current system, we managed to book several meetings in one week.
Overall, we're excited to make more meetings and analyze the data we'll be retrieving. Once all of our questions have been answered, we ask the interviewee to rate our performance and the overall questionnaire. So far -- we've received great feedback and positive motivation! We hope to understand brand loyalty and consumer buying behaviour on the next level.
Thanks for reading our blog!
Santeena & Michel
|Tags:University of Windsor Co-Op|