Cold Call or starve. Choose wisely.

cold call

Whoever you are, whatever you do for a living, you should cold call.

What you are cold calling on behalf of may vary, some people sell cars, some sell real estate. But, underneath the visible part of that iceberg we are all, always, selling ourselves.

People ask me: ‘is there a good book i can read about how to sell?’
There isn’t.

Books teach parlor tricks, little linguistic and mental games. Those things will encumber you on the phone, you will be distracted because you will be thinking of a pink elephant.

I have cold called a lot. And, I am good at it, really, really freaking good.

So here is the philosophy of a thing. It is incomplete because it is impossible to compress a career lifetime of the science and art and put it into the briefest space. But, I think these bullets give more information then more words would. it allows the reader to think and remember the essence of the thing.

  1. Cold calling is the straightest line between two points. Period. If I don’t know that person and I want to, I get the phone number and I cold call. Period.
  2. Figuring out who to call and the phone number (takes trial, error and guessing) is time consuming
  3. Get over yourself. You are not the Dalai Lama. 
  4. Don’t call people who aren’t decision makers.
  5. Most decision makers such as CEO’s and COO’s don’t mind being cold called, they enjoy the hustle and listening to how a product or service is communicated. They don’t like being cold called badly.
  6. Good cold calling is your ability to listen attentively and respond precisely, not your ability to talk charismatically.
  7. It’s okay to be rusty and nervous. Practive makes perfect. Period
  8. You must have a goal of what you would like to accomplish. What is the optimal result of your cold call? Most likely it is not a ‘sale’ because few quality products can or should be transacted from one call. It is my experience that a cold call should be the first step in a sequence to a close.
  9. A little marquis client or prospect name dropping is always helpful. Referencing prospects or clients that are in similar industries, similar demographics, similar psychographics, similar geography It may seem a little forced to introduce another company into the mix but from the listener’s perspective it is a certificate of authenticity.
  10. Different geographies have different ways of conversing. I am from NYC and most of my career I have cold called in NYC. We are very time efficient, we make decisions very quickly. I have called the south and they are nicer but is that good?
    Some people you are cold calling have difficulty saying no, or letting you know they are not interested. The biggest killer of a sales pipeline is poor quality. You thought you had a lot of deals in your hopper but you really had a bunch of people that you made your friend and they don’t have the heart to tell you they don’t want what you’re selling.
  11. Be social but don’t call them looking for a friend. That is a crutch that your ego has created to make it easier for you to dial the phone and maybe it’s a crutch that the listeners ego has created becasue they don’t want to say no.
  12. Be clear with what the objective of the call is. Set the agenda for the cold call, how much time it will take and what you would like to discuss, let them buy into that little sliver, or not. If they say no, get clarity as to why ‘no’,
  13. Cold calling is not about the pitch, its about the listen.
  14. From the time the person answers you have about 6 seconds to engage them. Cold calling is a performance art. Each call is a show. Use your voice, modulate tones up and down.
  15. Have fun

Please visit Part Two: How To Cold Call