If we’ve spent any time together on the phone or over coffee, you know how much I despise cold calls. They just aren’t enjoyable to me. But I have come to believe that they are just necessary. Maybe you’ve been blessed to rely primarily on referrals but that is really the minority. Most people, in order to build a solid business that makes them good money, need to cold call here and there (or always).
Here are 3 ways to become a cold calling master.
- Pick up the phone and do it. Because most of us don’t like cold calling, we will put it off time and time again. Get out your list, schedule the time in your calendar (yes, like any other appointment), and hammer the phone. Ignoring your calls kills more opportunities than anything else you do (or don’t do). Michael Jordan said “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” So lovingly I say, quit being afraid of rejection, prepare a solid phone script, pick up the phone, and cold call!
- Get over yourself. All too often “experienced” professionals believe that cold calling is below them. Or maybe you’ve gotten some referrals so you think you can live that way forever. Think again. If billionaires have to cold call, so you do (just ask Mark Cuban). If you want to be successful, you will have to do the things others don’t like doing (ie: cold calling). The quicker you get over yourself, the quicker you will achieve your goals.
- Use Your Gifts to Succeed. If you aren’t great on the phone but you shine in person, take your cold calling on the road. If you feel more comfortable sending emails, then shoot an introduction via email that includes a promise to follow up via phone (with a specific date and time) and then look to #1 above! If you are a coffee or beer connoisseur, invite all your prospects to a local spot and win them over with your passion for drink. Basically what I am saying here is that you have been gifted in specific areas. Find out what those are and capitalize on them.
I cannot say enough how unfun I find cold calling to be but doesn’t mean I get to delete that action from my sales process. I will say that after three years of being in business, I have been successful enough to hire someone else to do the front end of those calls. I worked hard, created scripts, and recruited others who are willing to do it. But from time to time, when the prospect is a really good one, I pick up the phone and throw everything I have at them. I just want it that bad! How about you?