By the year 2025, roughly 40% of us will make a living in some sort of freelance work or self-employment.
Uh oh for you. Your mom should’ve paid for sales training instead of piano lessons.
Let’s be honest – any successful enterprise has a salesperson or sales team for an engine. And the fastest most cost effective way to land new clients is cold calling. (And before you delete this because the thought of cold calling makes you sick, realize that cold calling doesn’t mean going through the phone book calling random people. If you’re a back surgeon, why aren’t you calling a list of potential referring doctors? If you’re an attorney, why aren’t you calling a list of CPA’s who could send business your way? We all have calls to make.)
Heck, even The Pope is making cold calls.
Question: Why are you so afraid of cold calling?
Answer: Because you are a chicken.
And I mean that in the best sense of the word. We’re all chickens. At least we all start off as chickens. Yet some of us learn and grow and hustle and morph into something better.
Chickens wait for the clients to come to them. You hear them say strange things like,
“I should probably sponsor another Chamber event to get my name out there.”
*flaps wings in frustration*
“How much are TV ads?”
*pecks around for corn*
“I should talk to someone about radio advertising.”
This is wrong thinking most of the time. ESPECIALLY if you’re selling a service. Buying ads is expensive and it’s the shotgun approach. Not to say that ads don’t work.
“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.”John Wanamaker
When advertising works, its magic. There’s a chance you could spend $10,000 on ads and make $30,000 in sales. Crank it up, baby!
Some form of advertising should eventually be a part of your strategy.
The problem is you and I don’t know enough about advertising and maybe you don’t have enough dollars to burn while getting that education.
I’m no Don Draper and neither are you.
So here we are. Just you, me and a telephone.
And your reluctance to pick up that phone. You are scared to cold call because the feelings and emotions you have about calling are STRONGER than the feelings and emotions you have about not making the calls.
Here are 5 easy steps to solve your problem.
Step 1: Answer these questions.
What’s the action you need to take?
“Making cold calls.”
What’s the pain associated with making cold calls?
“I’m nervous and prospecting is hard and I break into a cold sweat.”
What pleasure have you gotten from not making cold calls?
“I get to stay comfortable and not stress myself.”
What does it cost you if you don’t make the calls like you know you should?
“My confidence around making calls and getting new clients will continue to suck. My income stays flat. I can’t afford my kid’s braces or that trip to Cancun my wife wants to take or that expensive gym membership. So my kid will hate me after he earns the nickname “Bucktooth”, my wife will resent another year of no vacation and I’ll stay fat with high blood pressure.”
What will you gain if you follow through on your action?
“If I make the calls I will win more clients. My confidence will go through the roof, which will only draw even more clients to me. My kids and wife will love me and I’ll end up with a rock hard healthy body.”
Step 2: Write a killer call script.
Having a script in front of you does not make you sound like a robot. It builds your confidence and turns you into Superman. I recommend something short & sweet that hits on their biggest pain point and offers value. Practice practice practice saying this script to your friends, your wife, your dog, whoever.
Step 3: Set a weekly goal and share it.
You can’t manage what you don’t measure. Build a tracking sheet on Google drive so you can share it with your manager, your coach, your fellow salesperson. Someone.
It should look similar to this.
For more sophisticated tracking, I highly recommend close.io.
Step 4: Create a huge leads list.
Identify people who should be your customers (names, addresses, phone numbers, emails)
a. you can pay for this list if you need to… salesgenie, leadgenius, your local chamber of commerce list, others
b. you need to contact your current customers and ask them for referrals. There’s a very low-pressure way to do this. Reward them for new business
Step 5: Make the calls.
You have to time block your schedule EVERY DAY to do this. I’d say 9am is best.
You will get better. I promise. And then it gets easier. Even fun. Because after 6 months or so, its just a numbers game. I know it takes 15 calls to get an appointment and every 4 appointments leads to a sale. Every sale averages $2500 in my pocket.
If you master this skill you can write your own ticket. You can live anywhere in the world and choose your own line of work.
You don’t need to depend on others to bring business to you. You are no longer a chicken. You’re a lion.
King of the jungle.