Monday Morning Agonizing Cold-Calling Blues

Robert Terson

It’s Monday morning and, muscles tense, stomach churning, you’re staring at the telephone as you mentally gear yourself up to start making those damn cold calls. Truth be told, you’d rather go bungee jumping on a fishing line off a 200-feet cliff, but…. You close your eyes and tell yourself how much better life would be if you didn’t have to do this lousy part of the job, deal with all that rejection, occasional hostility you just know you’re going to get bombarded with. Ugh, you could throw up! Wouldn’t life be grand if they’d call you, instead of it being the other way around, if making those rotten cold calls weren’t part of the deal?

Yeah, right; fat chance! The problem with that fantasy is it would turn you into an order taker, instead of a professional salesperson, and order takers don’t make nearly as much money, do they? Hardly! No, awful as it seems, there’s no way around making those calls….

(Now, there are “geniuses” out there who will tell you otherwise, that selling has changed to the point that you don’t have to make cold calls anymore, that they’re no longer productive. It is true that selling has changed, a lot, but I for one do not agree that cold calling is no longer a productive methodology. How you go about the call, interact with the prospect, is somewhat different these days because of how selling has evolved, but the basic concept of reaching out to prospects, initiating contact, remains the same. At least it is for those individuals smart enough to not listen to the “geniuses.” Sure, you want to “warm up” the call as much as you possibly can, but you still have to make the call!)

This is the moment of truth most salespeople must face; if it’s any consolation to you, even some of the great ones, real Pros, suffer this moment of mental agony. It’s not all that different from the butterflies the athlete feels before he takes the field for the big game; and like the athlete, once the “game” begins for the salesperson, once he starts making those calls and gets involved in the mano-a-mano interaction with gatekeepers and prospects, the mental gyrations he felt are nowhere to be found. The “game” takes over and the process creates a deep involvement, which dissipates all that nervous energy—at least until next Monday morning….

But not so for the amateur who, unable to face the moment, decides to procrastinate, get a bunch of other “necessary” tasks out of the way first. I could list some of them for you, but you already know what they are, so why bother, right? The point is, those damn cold calls still have to be made, which means the mental anguish—another term for fear, my friends—of facing that task doesn’t dissipate, it stays with you like a bad head cold, gnawing away at your peace of mind. You know you’re going to have to do it, and you will—at least you tell yourself that—but it’s not a promise always kept, is it? No, you keep putting it off…and putting it off…and putting it off…

Here’s the reality, my friends: if you want to make a lot of money, you have to make sales; if you want to make sales, you have to give a set number of presentations, at least ten a week; if you want to give those presentations, you have to make the required number of calls to set up your appointments to present. There’s no way around this math. So why torture yourself with a lot of fear and procrastination? Why spend hours, days, torturing yourself, hating yourself for your weakness, when you can turn that into just a few minutes before tackling the inevitable? If you’ll enthusiastically dive in and get the calls out of the way now, you’ll save yourself so much unnecessary mental wear and tear

What do you think?  Make sense to you?


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