What I’ve Learned From Years of Cold Calling
So, you’ve been asked to make ‘Cold Calls!’
I recently had a friend of mine invite me for a drink in Uptown Waterloo. We shared a couple of laughs and caught up a bit since it had been a while since we were able to meet. Shortly after our pints arrived he said: “so…I’ve been asked to make cold calls and I’m worried that I’m not going to be good at it?”
He was not alone! Pretty much everyone feels this way when they start making cold calls.
Having made literally THOUSANDS of them, here are 3 quick things that helped me turn cold calls from an enemy into an friend.
1. Make a script.
One of the best things you can do for yourself is to make a script. Write down an introduction, a 30 second commercial (your reason for calling) and common objections that people will put in front of you on the phone. This will help you get comfortable with what to say and how to react when people ask questions.
“Before anything, preparation is the key to success”
– Alexander Graham Bell
2. Throw your script away and get comfortable.
The people you are calling will know right away if you are reading something as it really does sound scripted.
There is a big difference between “knowing” something and “owning” something. The more you own the script, the more comfortable you will be making it yours. If you are calling someone in automotive, adapt the script and value propositions to that industry. If you are calling retail, do the same.
Getting comfortable is important (at least for me anyway). Find a place which is quiet or an area which makes you relaxed, it will allow you to be more at rest and it won’t sound like you are calling from a zoo.
“Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.”
– Bruce Lee
3. Seek the word “No” and deploy your “I forcefield”
Identity / Role Theory (IR Theory) states that there are two different sides to each person: your identity and your role. Your role is what is requiring you to make cold calls and your identity is you as a person.
Making cold calls is not easy and you are going to get people rejecting you on some level or another. It is important to understand that when this happens, people are not rejecting YOU as a person, they are rejecting your role and the call.
Don’t beat yourself up if someone says “no.” Instead, thrive on it! The more times that you hear “no” means that you are getting closer to the person who will say “yes”. Sales is not a place to get your social or self-worth needs met.
“Don’t quit. Never give up trying to build the world you can see, even if others can’t see it. Listen to your drum and your drum only. It’s the one that makes the sweetest sound.”
– Simon Sinek
In closing, I often hear people say “cold calling is dead” and it always makes me smile. The advent of LinkedIn and the proliferation of engagement through Twitter and Facebook has given us more tools for business development, however, if you use these as tools to help prepare lists and learn a little about your audience, experience has taught me that cold calls (or as I call them ‘approach calls’) are still a VERY viable way to make new connections.
Any cold calling tips or stories to share? Leave me a comment below! If you’d like to chat more about business development strategies in Kitchener, please feel free to get in touch.
One thought on “What I’ve Learned From Years of Cold Calling”
Great and timely content as i am in the process of building up the nerve to go Cold Calling. Being a new Cleaning Company I feel that this is one the best ways to gain an upperhand on the competition that just focuses on Internet marketing.