My experiment with cold calling

My first real product was launched last year. Dibbist is an online appointment system for small businesses. I’ve failed to attract any subscribers and I know all the reasons why. I’ll do an more in depth post about what I did wrong. This post is about my cold calling experiment for Dibbist.

I have connections to an owner of a small BPO (business process outsourcing) company. BPOs are always looking for ways to make money. One way is to find an easy to sell product and cold call to a script, taking commission on generated leads. My connection was happy to see if it was possible to sell Dibbist. The purpose of the cold call was to propose a trial to the contacts. This was pretty straight forward. I created a call flow and a detailed fact sheet that provided everything someone would need to talk through the product.

The arrangement was $2 for each generated lead (someone agreeing to a trial), plus $1 if the lead actually signed in. 20% commission would be paid if the lead when on to subscribe. The commission would apply to the first year of the subscription.

I already had contact lists from scraping the national yellow pages. This gave me phone numbers, and for some websites and email addresses. I went through the lists and pulled out any businesses from the list that both fit Dibbist and I could find a contact name.

During the 3 day trial the agent called 159 contacts. 13 agreed to a trial. 2 of those 13 provided fake email addresses.

I provisioned the 11 leads in Dibbist and sent a welcome email, which guides them to log in to their account. None have. 1 of the contacted businesses did come and check out the site.

Obviously this was a failure, but it was really interesting. Going through the contact list gave me a really good idea about the businesses in the market I was going after. I’d made assumptions that this research proved wrong.

The main thing this campaign confirmed is build an audience.