Caryn Kopp was just 11 years old when she had her first lesson in cold calling.
“The family I babysat for owned a Lawn Doctor franchise and asked me to make phone calls for free lawn evaluations,” Kopp said.
She’d learn that reading scripted answers from a big book of objections was not very lucrative.
“I found out very quickly that this was not the best way to achieve results,” she said.
So Kopp — now “chief door opener” of the multimillion-dollar Kopp Consulting in Bedminster — significantly modified her approach throughout the years to become an award-winning expert in business development, sales and marketing, an author and a nationally recognized speaker.
Which all came to fruition when she began her business in the bathroom of a gym.
After taking some time off to have her second child, Kopp was taken off guard when a woman next to her said, “I have a promotion agency; does anyone want any part-time work?”
“I said to her, ‘I can do something that might be more valuable for you. How would it be if I got you in the door with the prospects you need to meet?’” Kopp said.
“The woman couldn’t believe that there was someone who wanted to do that work for her.”
That’s how Kopp got the ball rolling. As she started to discuss her business idea with friends and acquaintances, they’d also often ask, “When can you start?”
Since 1999, Kopp Consulting has helped thousands of business owners and salespeople secure meetings with executive decision makers at almost every major Fortune 500 company, including Pfizer, Merck, Verizon, AT&T, Kraft and Target, while pinpointing more direct paths to closed sales.
“What would make a prospect agree to meet with our clients if they already had a vendor?” Kopp said.
“Our job is to develop the sales language to make that happen. We then give that to someone who is senior and knows how to use it and make it their own.”
That’s where Kopp’s door openers come in.
Each must have at least 10 years of experience in business development, as well as executive decision-making experience within a corporation, in order to be considered for Kopp Consulting.
“When you engage someone on the phone or by email, you’ve got one shot at that conversation,” Kopp said.
“The right conversation will lead to a meeting. The wrong conversation can prevent it.”
So to attract and retain such high-level talent, Kopp ensures her door openers at typically work 15 to 30 hours a week.
“They have a lifestyle that they could never otherwise have in a corporation working 60 to 80 hours a week,” Kopp said.
This kind of expertise is exactly what sets Kopp Consulting apart from its competitors.
“Instead of just getting our clients the appointments and letting them take it from there, we basically sit on our clients’ shoulders to help them close the sale,” Kopp said.
“There are some necessary behaviors and best practices that go along with closing a sale in a shorter time frame that our senior-level people can teach our clients.”
Their approach has earned Kopp Consulting some of the top awards in its industry, including the 2014 Stevie Award for Sales Outsourcing Provider of the Year.
It’s also earned its clients some very big wins.
“We were able to immediately go to some of the top companies we were targeting — Ford, Chrysler, Volkswagen, Audi, Jaguar — and had really big wins with Volvo,” said Angela Margolit, president of Bluebird Auto Rental Systems in Dover.
“Now, I’m working on an RFP with BMW due to Caryn’s efforts.”
Kopp Consulting also has allowed software development and technology companies to get in with media and entertainment companies such as ABC, HBO, Universal and Disney, and has even helped increased sales for some clients from zero to $5 million.
“Our clients don’t come to us for the easy stuff,” Kopp said.
Company: Kopp Consulting
Employees: 19 door openers
One more thing: Caryn Kopp finds time to be a part of the Women Presidents’ Organization and a board member of the Entrepreneurs Organization. In 2013, she was also a Top 25 New Jersey Leading Women Entrepreneur and Business Owner and also an Enterprising Women of the Year honoree.