It was amazing how many other pressing things I could find to do when it was time to start making cold calls. Suddenly, implementing that new seven-step system into my filing cabinet became positively urgent the second I pulled out that cold calling list.
Thankfully, now, after a lot of reading on the subject, a heap of practice and a fair dose of good old-fashioned guts, I’ve actually come to enjoy ringing people up and trying to find out whether our media buying website can help them.
But the whole issue got me thinking: how many people with great ideas are sitting in unfulfilling jobs, desperate to go out on their own, but ultimately held back by their deep fear of cold calling?
The number is 205,748. Just kidding. Obviously, I don’t have the figures on this and the actual number is impossible to work out, but I think the number would be very large.
I’m sure that there are heaps of people who would desperately love to start their own business and probably could find the start-up capital but are ultimately scared (possibly even subconsciously) of that one necessary ingredient: a willingness to metaphorically go banging on doors.
So, what is the secret to mastering cold calling? I’ll answer that with an analogy.
Let’s say you want to get fit and decide that you are going to start running three times a week. You would reasonably expect that hitting the running track would necessarily involve discomfort – your lungs will burn, your legs will ache and your mind will be begging you to stop.
They are all perfectly normal feeling and thoughts that you would expect when we push ourselves out of our physical comfort zone. We easily accept them and we can move with them.
It’s really no different when we push ourselves out of our psychological comfort zone. Instead of screaming legs and lungs, we feel butterflies in our stomachs and our chests constrict. We have lots of negative thoughts about how rude the person on the other end of the line is going to be and so on.
And it’s at this point that most people decide that because they have these feelings, cold calling is not for them. They can’t do it!
The solution is to go into your cold calling expecting these thoughts and feelings. They will be there just as inevitably as those other uncomfortable feelings turn up when we go for a run.
But we put up with them when we go running because we want to get fitter. And we need to put up with them when we go cold calling because we want to grow our business.
By truly understanding this concept – and more importantly, really living it daily – you take the sting out of cold calling and make it so much easier. It may not be easy but it will be more than doable, just like that pesky jog after work.
So, when you pull out that list of 10 or 20 or 100 people that you have to ring that day, expect to feel those butterflies, but also remember that to the best of my knowledge, butterflies have never killed anyone.