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Old 04-24-2005, 11:49 AM   #1
cesahr
 
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Default Cold Calls -- Kid/CE et al

Kid et al: When you cold call prod cos, could you share with us what you say? Do you ask for a specific person, knowing you'll get the assistant? I made a couple last week -- they went okay, got a couple of requests, but I was A MESS. And, I don't normally have a problem speaking to strangers or in front of people. I think for me its the unknown: Example, called Alan Kaplan at Cine La, used the number in the HCD and he answered himself and just said "hello". I did fine, he asked for an email submission in lieu of a fax, and responded right away, but I swear I was covered in hives...okay, maybe not, but still. My stomache was a mess. I realize this is because I LOVE the prospect of making a connection, but I think I would do better if I had a "script" for what to say.

Dont divulge secrets or anything, but generally, how do you do it? Thanks. CE feel free to chime in on what works on your end...that would be helpfull too.
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Old 04-24-2005, 12:58 PM   #2
miles
 
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Default Cold Calls -- kid/CE et al

Yes please. let us know how you went about it. I feel the same way when I've made similiar calls. Any relaxation techniques? I have to really work up the gusto so I don't end up sounding like a studdering idiot. The pain! Even when I've called when I have a referral -- I'm a nervous wreck.
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Old 04-24-2005, 01:03 PM   #3
Carlton Redford
 
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C,

Very likely your speculation on the value of having a “script” refers to ready words and thoughts for the entire process of introducing yourself, stating your intention, who you ideally want to pitch to, and the story pitch itself. You definitely should at a minimum, have a written script for the following vital area:

You’ll be much more at ease if you always do have a written pitch nearby that specifically does state everything you want to say re: the genre, logline, a two or three-sentence, compelling “synopsis,” plus some thoughts about why it may be a good fit for that prodco (to demonstrate that you know a bit about the company’s credits and you’re not just shotgunning from a long list of random targets – even if you are).

Practice the written story pitch till it’s natural-sounding; then you’ll be so confident you can extemporaneously stray from the wording, and you also won’t be thrown by a normal few questions that are often posed mid-pitch. Above all, you cannot sound like you’re reading from that script.

Many professional phone pitchers find that their voice sounds more relaxed when they pitch while standing, even though that at first seems counterintuitive. Try it both ways.

-- Carlton
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Old 04-24-2005, 01:32 PM   #4
cesahr
 
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oh man, I'm a pacer BIG TIME...will wear a groove in the carpet if I'm not careful, especially during these phone calls. Thanks for the info guys/gals, keep 'em comin'.

c
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Old 04-24-2005, 03:15 PM   #5
miles
 
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Default Cold Calls -- Kid/CE et al

Thanks for the info on calling. I naturally pace my ass of when I'm talking during these kinds of situations. So, at least, I've got that part down.

Miles
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Old 04-24-2005, 05:58 PM   #6
KidCharlemagne108
 
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Default Re: Cold Calls -- kid/CE et al

Hi Miles,

Well ditto to a lot of what Carlton said. I prepare a phone pitch. I practice this out loud. Yes, that means I pick up the phone and talk into an empty telephone and go through the whole pitch and even practice responses like an actor's improv session. Yes, I always stand and even smile. It helps to project a positive image. This is all selling 101 by the way. It's all in those selling books you find in the biz section in bookstores.

I also prepare responses to every possible objection that I might receive so that I am not caught off guard. For instance, I try to pre-empt possible objections to the subject matter of the script. I basically try and think of every question that would 'ambush' me and leave me lost for words. How to respond to the assistant's 'can I leave a message?' etc. You need to prepare a response for every scenario.

If they listen to the pitch but say that it's not what they're looking for e.g 'that's too broad we're looking for character-driven comedies', I have a response to that which is to leave the door open for other projects. The last thing I want is to be tounge-tied, or floored or to have a moments silence where I let out a sigh of disappointment. If it's not for them I respond immediately with a 'I'm actually developing a project that would be more suitable, can I contact you when the project's ready?' or something like that.

I've done a lot of selling and training and most of the fear comes from lack of preparation. The more prepared you are, the less fear you will have and the more confident you will be. That confidence will come across on the other end and you'll be taken seriously.

I find phone campaigns to be far, far more effective than email campaigns. Oh, and if you get put through to the exec's voice mail then leave a message, a confident, clear message. People do call back. Not everyone, but some will. If you've done your research and the script has been well targeted for that company then when they do call back, 9 times out of 10 you'll get a script request.

Hope this helps
KC
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Old 04-24-2005, 06:08 PM   #7
cesahr
 
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Default Re: Cold Calls -- kid/CE et al

Good stuff guys thanks.

A-always
B- Be
c- closing

second prize................set of steak knives.

c
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Old 04-24-2005, 07:40 PM   #8
miles
 
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Default Cold Calls -- kid/CE et al

And you what the third prize is? You're fired. Oh, do I have your attention now?

Aren't those the following lines? I think.

Or maybe: Put the coffee down! Coffee is only for producers who read my script!

A screenwriter doesn't submit his script lest he wants to sell it. Writers are out there wanting to give you your script. Are you man enough to read it?

Hey KC, thanks for the excellent information. It's greatly appreciated.

Miles
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Old 04-24-2005, 08:45 PM   #9
cesahr
 
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Default Re: Cold Calls -- kid/CE et al

lol, good one.

c
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