Cold Call

MKTG 379        •        Needs Identification


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Success in any venture requires a plan. Thus, every sales call needs to be planned.


Note: Please, refer to the “Cold Call” scenario in Canvas for context.


The following is a plan of what YOU intend to do when meeting with your customer.
You are building the tools you will use to make the sale. The better your tools, the better your odds are of actually making the sale.


For this assignment, type the following sections (Parts 1 through 6 below) using the outline provided to organize your answers.


  1. Customer Issues – Product expertise is essential to successful selling. Based upon your knowledge of your product and the customer you have learned about, describe 5 issues that this business could have (related to your product). Do not just list a few words, rather describe the issues. (Hint: Pick problems where your product could provide a solution.)

List 5 bullet points below:


  1. Situation Questions – What new specific information about the prospect
    and/or the business do you need that you would likely not find from doing research?
    List 3 Situation questions (from the SPIN method) that you would need to know the answers to in order to properly prepare a proposal from your company.

List 3 bullet points below:


  1. Problem Questions – What are the prospect’s needs? For each of the 5 issues listed in Part 1 above, create a Problem question (1 for each issue – 5 in total) that will get the prospect to talk about the issue or problem. Do NOT just type, “Do you have a problem/issue/concern with . . .?” Instead, be more creative in your approach.
    You could ask, “As you continue to grow, what headaches result from . . .?”
    Also, do not just repeat the same question over and insert a different issue.

List 5 bullet points below:


  1. Implication Questions – What pain will the prospect experience if these problems continue? For each of the problem questions in Part 3, create an Implication question
    (1 for each – 5 in total)
    that helps the prospect understand what happens if the problems continue. This will depend on what your problem questions are above, but remember there can be direct and/or indirect costs associated with the issues. These things may or may not be quantifiable.

List 5 bullet points below:



  1. Need Payoff Questions – What is the value of the solution that you can offer the prospect? Create 2 different need payoff questions based on the problems and resulting implications that you might uncover. These should ask about the value/benefit of using your product as a solution.

List 2 bullet points below:



  1. Gain Pre-CommitmentCreate 1 question to see if the customer wants to take the next step and see a solution (this is gaining pre-commitment to consider your product).

List 1 bullet point below:





MKTG 379        •        Creating A Sales Meeting Plan for A Prospect


Success in any venture requires a plan. Thus, every sales call needs to be planned. In this class, we work together to sell a product to a prospect. When you are in a real job you need a plan for each product and situation.


This is a plan of what YOU intend to do. You are building the tools you will use to make the sale. The better your tools, the better your odds are of actually making the sale.


This is a plan for a face-to-face meeting for a specific appointment as a result of a cold call on this prospective client. The plan is divided into four parts:

  1. Reach out to schedule an introduction
  2. Define your objectives for the meeting and how you will open or start the meeting when you walk in.
  3. A plan of how you will uncover needs that can be addressed by your product or service.
  4. The tools (visual aids) you will use to prove you can address the uncovered issues.
  5. Anticipating the objections you will encounter and planning how will you manage them.


Each of these parts is a separate assignment. See the course calendar for the day each part is due. Each part is to be typed and turned in on or before the due date. Remember no hand-written assignments are ever acceptable.


The Prospect:



The Current Situation:

You are a recently hired Associate Sales Executive for C.H. Robinson. You have just finished the two-week ACCELERATOR onboarding class at the corporate headquarters in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. At training, you learned broadly about C.H. Robinson selling strategies, different modes of transportation they offer, and the value that C.H. Robinson brings to companies’ supply chains. As a broker for the North America Surface Transportation division of C.H. Robinson, your role is to generate new business by helping companies manage their freight through Truckload, Less Than Truckload (LTL), and Intermodal transportation service options.

A friend of yours, Chad, tipped you off that a company called Framing Traditions Photography is struggling to deal with its recent expansion. This company sells large photo prints to college merchandise retailers across the country. However, with the increased popularity of the photos, and the college football season increasing demand for photo prints, this small operation is struggling to meet the logistical demands of shipping to the countless retailers across the country. In addition, given the fragile nature of the products, logistics is a critical piece for the owner to get right.

Here are some facts about the current business that you found from your research:

  • Alec is currently shipping with UPS/FedEx/USPS/SAIA
  • Alec sells to 50 retail locations
  • Alec used to sell to 60 locations, but due to shipping issues, 10 locations dropped him as a client
  • Alec has some bad reviews recently due to damaged products needing to be returned.
  • Alec is one of five employees at the company
    • Alec (Owner/Photography)
    • Daniel (Sales)
    • Sue (Finance/Accounting)
    • Sabrina (Legal)
    • Don (Production)


Chad could not recall his phone number or email, but he did say you could use him as a referral. Your first goal is to land a meeting. Do some digging on the internet to see if you can find his number and email to schedule an introduction.



Company Information on Next Page






About C.H. Robinson

At C.H. Robinson, we accelerate global trade to seamlessly deliver the products and goods that drive the world’s economy. With more than a century of industry experience, we know what it takes to manage rapid growth, embrace change, and to stay competitive in the marketplace.  Our people are leading supply chain experts, and together, the team is driving the industry forward.


C.H. Robinson is publicly traded and sits at #193 on the Fortune 500 list. Today, we are one of the world’s largest third party logistic providers (3PL)—delivering innovative supply chain solutions to more than 120,000 customers across the world. Whether our customers need truckload services, ocean or air shipping, or supply chain consulting, our knowledgeable people, proven processes, and global technology provide unmatched connectivity, capabilities, and experience. We have contracts with over 73,000 transportation providers across the globe which contributes to our success being the largest motor carrier capacity provider in North America.





C.H. Robinson North America Surface Transportation (NAST) Modes





·         The largest third party logistics providers in North America for truckload freight

·         Reliable truckload capacity

·         The largest pool of contracted motor carriers

·         Flexible supply chain solutions from truckload experts

·          Access to over 73,000 transportation providers worldwide

·          More than one million pieces of contracted equipment in North America alone

·          Customized supply chain solutions—from a single truckload to an entire supply chain

·          A network of over 175 CHR North American offices

·          Established relationships with local, regional, and national carriers throughout North America

·          Qualified relationships with local, regional, and national carriers throughout North America


Less than Truckload





·         Our size, scale, and resources allow us to handle changes of price swings and capacity within the market

·         Access to local, regional, and national LTL carriers for strategic planning and improved service

·         Dry, temperature controlled, cross-border, expedited, and flatbed LTL capacity

·         Data analysis for a clear look at freight characteristics to optimize a shipper’s LTL freight strategy

·         A consistent customer experience

·         Operational network support through LTL service centers

·          Relationships with local, regional, national, and multinational LTL carriers





Asset-Based Carrier A carrier that owns assets (equipment) needed for transportation: trucks, airplanes, steamships, warehouse facilities, etc.

Broker Arranges for shipments for their customers with various carriers. The broker does not take possession or ownership of the goods and does not operate fleets or facilities of their own.

Carrier An individual, partnership, or a corporation that is a part of the business of transferring goods for a fee.

Distribution Center The warehouse facility which holds inventory pending the transfer of those goods to stores or another location.

Dry Van The most common type of trailers for surface transportation in the U.S., which is what you typically know as a “semi-truck.” This trailer protects goods from the elements, but does not include temperature-controlled function.

Flatbed A trailer with an open platform bed. The trailers have no sides and are typically used to carry large objects like heavy machinery and construction materials.

Freight Any good that is being shipped.

Inbound This term refers to the activities and items that flow INTO a company, oftentimes raw materials, parts, or other items.

Less than Truckload (LTL) Service line where freight shipments do not occupy an entire truck trailer. This service typically never exceeds 10,000 pounds and comes from several shippers loaded onto one trailer. A network of hubs and terminals is used to efficiently move freight from origin to destination. LTL example carriers: UPS, FedEx, etc.

Load The quantity that is, or can be, carried at one time. Also called a ‘shipment’.

Logistics The management of all inbound and outbound materials, parts, supplies, and finished goods. Responsibilities include forecasting, order entry, inventory control, production scheduling, and product allocation.

Mode The manner in which a load is transported. This includes air, ocean, rail, and over the road (truck) services.

Navisphere C.H. Robinson’s global technology platform. It is used both internally and externally to provide customers with complete visibility to their entire supply chain, no matter how the goods are being transported. Navisphere is used to track/trace shipments, get rate quotes, run business intelligence reporting/analytics, and manage payables.

Four Key Outcomes The benefits C.H. Robinson provides to customers: manage spend, improve efficiency, manage risk, and manage change.

Outbound This refers to the activities and items that flow OUT-OF a company. Usually, this refers to finished goods going to a customer.

Reefer Refrigerated trucks for freight that requires a temperature-controlled environment, such as perishable food, medical supplies, or chemicals. These trailers can also be partitioned for zoned temperature control. Reefer can sometimes (with approval of customer) ship loads that typically ship in a dry van; based on capacity of reefer/dry vans, this can save our customers money.

Supply Chain The entire network of suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, and end user channels that work together to design, produce, deliver, and service products.

Third Party Logistics (3PL) Service A broker to which a company can outsource part or all of their logistics functions. A 3PL provides logistics services to companies that have freight to be shipped around the world. Logistic services encompass transportation, warehousing, and other services required to move products from point A to point B. A 3PL acts as the broker for those services between companies that ship and the carriers who will physically move the goods

Truckload Service line where freight shipments solely occupy a truck trailer. This includes dry vans, flatbeds, and refrigerated trailers.


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