Cold Calling

Actor John Wayne said, “Courage is being scared to death—but saddling up anyway.”  If you’re a one-call-close salesperson, this post is for you.  If you’re not a one-call-close salesperson, I suggest you read Sam Richter’s Take the Cold Out of Cold Calling.

If you’ve ever perused sales-job ads, you’ve probably noticed many promising “leads, leads, leads—no cold calling.”  Even successful salespeople can be terrified of cold calling; they freeze up like a Popsicle at the thought of it.  It’s the one aspect of selling which is detested more than any other, men and women alike.  They’ll do anything to avoid cold calling.  You’d think they were asked to slink unarmed into a dark grizzly-bear cave, which for many would be preferable.

A friend of mine for 52 years, David Samson, runs an insurance agency with his son Ken.  At a Cubs’ game last year, he admitted he doesn’t cold call, even though he thinks he should (fortunately he doesn’t have to, Dasco Insurance is a highly successful agency).  Dave’s a Pro who has plenty of company when it comes to cold calling.


A Sporting Event

I find all this fear of cold calling amusing.  Remember: If you think you can, or if you think you can’t, you’re right.

I spent 40 years doing 95% of my approaches via cold calling, 25 years on the telephone.  There was nothing to it—a piece of cake.  Sure, you must possess an armor-plated mental attitude to ward off all the “rejection,” to say nothing of occasional hostility; but for the Pro who understands the noes matter not at all, only the yeses count, cold calling is a sporting event.  It’s a numbers game.  I get into the numbers game in my upcoming book, in Part III, Work Habits.

Why are salespeople so afraid of cold calling?  It’s fear of the unknown, fear of strangers, and fear of rejection; the imagination run amok.


It’s Only Business

Like the gangsters say: “It’s only business.”  There isn’t anything personal about it, except in your imagination.  What we’re talking about is a self-limiting belief.  It can be rewired easily as changing your clothes.  You have a choice to make.  Are you going to control your mind, or is your mind going to control you?  Which is it?

Cold calling is like anything else in life: once you challenge yourself, believe you can do it, break the ice and keep succeeding, it becomes part of your comfort zone and is forever yours.

Doesn’t it make sense to exponentially expand your galaxy of prospects?  Why sit around twiddling your thumbs when you can be working?  When you possess the wherewithal to cold call, anyone is fair game; you can open up the telephone book if you want to.  The word “prospecting” won’t have to be part of your selling lexicon; it never was part of mine.

Be a salesperson who isn’t afraid to cold call and you‘ll be a Green Beret of selling and on the path to becoming a master.  You’ll truly be selling fearlessly.