Most of us do not wake up every morning, or any morning, and get excited about cold calling. The thought of walking into businesses to see people we do not know, who have very little desire to talk to us about something they don't want to talk about is tough. It can be down right scary! Well, I cannot tell you it will be easy, but I can offer a few tips and ideas that will make you better at it.
First, we have to get ourselves in a cold call mindset. We have to put the armor on and get going. Usually the things we dread doing the most are not nearly as bad as we think once we get started. As with anything, it starts with a plan. We must focus on cold calling. If we do not set time in our day, week or month to do it, it probably will not get done. Set aside time that is only for calling on new business.
Next, we must start focusing on the beginning and not the end. As we all know, very few times will we walk into a business and leave with a signed contract. It just doesn't generally happen that way. Therefore, let's take the pressure off! Start focusing on making a connection with the very first person you encounter on a cold call visit. It may be the maintenance man changing a light bulb, someone on the sales floor or the receptionist. It's time we start focusing on building relationships and stop asking that dreaded, awful question. You know the one! "May I speak to the person in charge of (fill in the blank)?" Stop it!! Right now, commit to never asking this question again. Focus on building a relationship with the very first person you meet. Make a connection with them. Make it about them. Learn about them. Once you have built rapport with this person, I think you will find them more willing to offer up who you need to speak to next. Always remember, it is someone's job to be the gatekeeper.
Now, pay close attention. When you leave this visit, it is imperative that you send this person you met a hand written thank you note. Let them know it was a pleasure to meet them and that you enjoyed the conversation. If you will do this, I promise you that you will have done something no one else in your market has ever done. You just showed some "love" to the gatekeeper!
I am confident you will find the path to a successful business relationship shorter if you will follow these simple steps. Cold calling can be intimidating, but it doesn't have to be as painful or difficult as we make it. And remember, in sales, put the client first and always find your swagger!
Written by Derron Steenbergen, President of Swagger Institute.
The Swagger Institute is a full service business development company specializing in sales and leadership training, motivational speaking and organizational consulting.