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Damascus, Oregon, United States
I absolutely love anything that plugs in! My iPhone may just be an extension of my body. Networking, business, Christ, serving the community, husbandry, fatherhood, friends, and my amazing family are all that keep me ticking!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Cold Calling!

Oh cold calling!  Such a loathsome art hated by most when having to carry it out, yet hated more when on the receiving end.  As miserable as it may seem, I don't think that those in the sales industry understand the true value.  I agree that it can be a relatively painstaking process, but the treasure doesn't lie solely in the rare win at the end of the disparate tunnel, rather it is DURING all of the hang ups, nonsense rebuttals, bulletproof contracts, and the occasional "no one loves me feeling."

When you first decide to cold call, you exercise the ability to hope.  Yep, just plain ol' hope.  The hope that one day you will convince someone will listen to you, believe that you can actually help them, and buy from you.  Not only may you get yourself a sale, it may be one that pays you a year's worth of commission.

During cold calling, don't allow the sudden slamming down of the phone to serve only as discouragement.  Instead, treat it as motivation.  Look to it as a game, a bit of comic relief in your serious work day.  Don't ever take yourself too seriously, it will drive you nuts, then to the soup line.

Second, cold calling helps you understand the customer.  If a customer opens up their doors to you and just signs your contract, you have learned NOTHING!  It is imperative that you experience a customer in their rawest state, sometimes that means while they are yelling at you.  This interaction could tell you what they hate about sales people so you don't act that way, what their past pains with vendors so you know where to perform, and how busy they are working on a project so you can provide them with the tools to complete that project more efficiently.  The best advice I ever received from a past employer of mine was, "You have one of the biggest mouths I have ever experienced, but you know exactly when to shut it."  If you can't shut your mouth long enough to listen to the needs of the customer, you don't even deserve an unemployment check. 

Lastly, the most valuable element, I feel, in cold calling is that of being able to polish up what you are known for as a salesman, your mouth.  The more you practice, the better you get with your weapon.  If the person you're calling asks a question you don't know, you are most likely going to sound inexperienced when you try to answer it.  The next time that question is asked, you'd better sound like an expert.  Multiply this by 100 times a day, five days a week, and you'll have the answers to a lot of questions.  Customers who are ready to talk, expect you to have a good amount of info for them.  Don't be afraid to ask someone the answer, but don't rely on others to do your job.  It's important to learn as you progress through this process.  Just because you are a sales person, doesn't mean you don't need to be technical, or educated on your product or service.

So pick up that phone, take a deep breath, and enjoy the process of cold calling.  Remember, it is impossible for you to feel a true win until you know what loss is.

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