(*This article was originally written for Networking Moms, facebook.com/networkingmoms and ran on typemonkeys.com, where I work with an awesome graphic designer to create websites and other marketing materials.)
Dread cold calling? Don’t! Here are 10 ways to change your attitude about it:
1. Embrace that sometimes you have to do it. Even in today’s world of email, sometimes (frequently?) you must pick up the phone to make an effective connection.
2. In fact, embrace cold calling because in a world of email, you’ll stand out from the crowd.
3. Embrace people as people. Try to find something enjoyable and likable about each person you talk with. Treat the folks you call with respect, not as income waiting to happen.
4. Embrace the gatekeepers. Instead of looking at the assistant or receptionist who answers the phone as an obstacle, develop a relationship. Being friendly and likeable is a great way to work your way through (plus it’s the decent thing to do!).
5. Embrace voicemail as tool to convey your message exactly as you’d like. Sure, sometimes an assistant will pick up the message and return the call, but frequently the recipient will listen to his or her own messages. A friendly tone with useful information that actually helps the listener will go a long way to getting a call back if he or she has any interest.
6. Embrace humor. If you make a prospect (aka a person) laugh, you’ll go a long way to developing a relationship.
7. Embrace the uncomfortable pause. Marie Forleo did a video about this recently (https://www.marieforleo.com/2013/12/communication-skills/), and it works. It really works. You’ll be surprised what you’ll learn if you just stay quiet.
8. Embrace selectivity. Don’t like the person you just called? Don’t call him or her again, even for your routine follow-up, if you can avoid it. Life is too short, and you can spend those precious moments calling likeable. I call this my no-asshole rule.
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9. Which brings me to: Embrace rejection! Rejection is awesome. It allows you to move along to better prospects who are more likely to buy your product or service. Do not fear rejection. Encourage it from the fence-sitters as a way to save time.
10. Embrace the power! With so many people shunning cold calling, it’s a way to move up quickly and master a skill so few have. Go for it!
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