You’re sitting there looking at your phone, aren’t you? You don’t want to pick it up, do you?
Oh sure, you’ve taken the cold calling seminars, read the online blogs, written out your scripts, and you’d still rather crawl naked through broken glass than make that first call. Why?
For one thing, just about every human being on the planet harbors some degree of the fear of rejection. It may be buried deep inside. It may be small, but it’s real, no matter how self-confident you appear on the surface. The word “no” looms large in our vocabulary, whether it comes from your first attempt at getting a date to the prom or your latest attempt to land that lucrative listing you want so much.
How can we get past this barrier and learn to love that phone? Because that phone could be your step up to the next level of selling success. So let’s warm up to cold calling. Here are a couple of critical don’ts, followed by some essential do’s.
- Don’t play the numbers game. You’ve probably been taught that it’s all about statistics. Make 10 calls and you’ll get one appointment. So you dutifully slog through your list of leads and if #10 says “no,” you’re done. This is the quickest way to make yourself miserable. It’s like trekking through the desert without a water bottle. Forget the numbers. Don’t keep score, keep going.
- Don’t indulge in fantasy. It’s so tempting to make up stories about why this person said “no.” You can easily get paranoid about what your competition is doing, or tell yourself that nobody loves you. Make the conscious decision to move from fantasy to reality. Your stories don’t matter. What does matter is that you can become a cold calling ninja. And ninjas can sell a lot of homes.
So now for the do’s:
- Get an attitude. When you look at it positively and creatively, cold-calling can empower you to be your best. With this skill you can pre-empt your competition, build your personal reputation, and establish relationships that will bring repeat business to your door on a regular basis. Write down five reasons why cold calling will make you successful. Post them on your wall or turn them into a screensaver on your computer. Read them every day, out loud if possible. Now you are ready to pick up the phone.
- Set a time frame. Every project needs a plan. It’s so easy to procrastinate. You’ll just check your Facebook page one more time, or heat up your coffee. Or maybe you’ll try to work in a call or two before the tour leaves or after the staff meeting. NO! Set aside a defined period of time. No interruptions. Clear your desk and start dialing.
- Swallow a frog. There’s an old Irish proverb that says, “If you have to swallow a frog, try not to think about it. If you have to swallow two frogs, swallow the big one first.” Treat your phone calls like frogs. The one you dread the most comes first. Regardless of the outcome, it will make you feel confident and the rest will seem easier and more fun.
- Reward yourself. When you’ve made your calls for the day, reward yourself. You deserve a latte at your favorite coffee hangout, or a nice lunch with a friend. If you stick to your plan for a week, plan a bigger reward. If you stick to your plan for a month, you won’t need to look for rewards, because they will start showing up in your bank account.
So what are you waiting for? Your future is just a phone call away.
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