Sunday 1 July 2012

Overcome your Fear of Cold Calling

What follows this paragraph is part of one of my articles at Helium. I still hold the rights to them because I posted all of them there before they insisted on having exclusive rights. This one was rated best of four on this topic.

If you can put your hand on your heart and say that you enjoy making cold calls, you don’t really need to read this. You are one of a small minority for whom picking up the phone to call a complete stranger out of the blue holds no terrors.

For most people, it’s not something they enjoy because they fear they will not be a welcome interlude in someone’s busy day. Let’s face it, most of us dislike taking cold calls and immediately feel an animosity towards the caller, even if it is tinged with sympathy for someone who has to earn a living this way.

Unfortunately, this kind of marketing is more essential than ever before in today’s climate of economies and cut backs. Disappearing customers and clients must be replaced. For many businesses it means they have to do it or die.

So is it a case of feel the fear and do it anyway? Perhaps it is, but only to begin with. Strangely enough, if you spend enough time cold calling, it does get easier. And when you get a positive reaction, it’s positively enjoyable. Here are some tips to help you get to that unbelievable state of looking forward to the next phone call.

1        Stay within the law. You will, of course, have checked that you are not breaking the law by calling this person or company. Regulations differ between countries and some have lists of those that have opted out of receiving such calls, often with hefty penalties in place for those that ignore them. The lists are usually readily available on the Internet.

2        Believe in what you have to offer. If you are in business for yourself, this is not likely to be difficult. You wouldn’t be selling something you don’t have a passion for and believe in. As an employee doing this for someone else, you need to find that passion and really believe that the product or service is something that will make the prospect’s life easier or more successful. You can’t communicate enthusiasm for something you don’t believe in.

3        Be prepared. Know your offer inside out, so that you will know how it can benefit the prospects when you find out more about them. Prepare the sort of questions you could ask to help them discover that they really do need your help. And be prepared to listen. Calls where the prospect does most of the talking are usually the most successful.

There's more of course. If you'd like to read it all, click here.

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