I actually have spent much time cold calling so decided to share some useful tips I’ve learned on Women’s Post – and now here!
As frightening as it may sound to some people, cold calling is an excellent method to attain your goals in job hunting and selling. Cold calling is not a numbers game that degrades you to human spam. It’s about establishing real relationships, adding value to others and gaining value back.
Successful cold calling gains you insight, builds your contact list, teaches you about new opportunities, and allows you to meet some great people!
Here’s my guide on how to successfully cold call:
Do your research, learn as much as possible about who you are contacting, and try to get the name and contact of the exact person you need to talk to (this will vary according to your goals). Make a list of who you will be contacting to go through systematically.
Grab a pen and paper — you will be making notes on where you call, who you talk to, and what they say.
Visualize desired outcomes, stay positive, and don’t lose sight of how your actions tie into your overall goals.
Script and PRACTICE!:
Make a short script (under 30 seconds) that concisely and clearly states who you are and what your objective is.
Practice this out loud. You won’t know where you might stumble if you don’t run through it at least once, and you definitely don’t want to sound rehearsed, stay conversational and genuine.
Be confident, clear, and use proper grammar.
The first few calls will be the most difficult, so it might be better to leave the most important calls for last.
Call early in the day, and don’t leave a message with the secretary. Instead, ask what time is best to call back. If you encounter a voicemail, keep your message short and sweet.
Ask questions — the people you will encounter during your calling adventures will have information that you do not have. Just through conversing with them you can gain valuable insight into organizations, get names of key people, and learn of other opportunities in the field (this is why you have a pen and paper).
Be present, listen to what the other person is saying, and draw from the information they are giving you to align yourself with what they are looking for. Remember to present your objective as how it helps them, align your goals with how it furthers their goals, and don’t be pushy or aggressive on the phone.
Never, ever be rude to anyone for any reason. Your reputation is on the line, not theirs.
Be prepared for rejection! It happens, but it’s not the end of the world. And even if you are rejected, you can still ask for referrals to other people you can talk to.
After the call — make sure to follow up, even if it’s just an e-mail thanking them for their time. Maybe at the time you call things aren’t going to work out, but the future brings endless possibilities. Keep communication pathways open because, well, you never know!
And lastly, BE PERSISTENT!
If you want results, you need to work for them. What is going to differentiate you from your competition is how hard you are prepared to work, how persistent you are, and how badly you want to get to where you are going. Think of these things if you feel discouraged or want to give up — remind yourself of your goals and how each action helps move you towards them!