Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Heat Up Your Cold Calls

I don't know many people who would say cold calling is one of their favorite things to do, but plenty of people make a great living from it. Sales trainer and telesales expert Renee Walkup is one of those people, and today she shares a story that will get you going - no matter how much you like or dislike cold calling.

Renee's story:

There I was, having coffee with a successful, seasoned business partner today, when he said, "You know, I have bad days sometimes. These are the days when I just don't feel like making cold calls. So do you know what I do?" Eagerly leaning forward in my chair, I looked him in the eyeball and asked, "What?"

Lee responded. "Well, for the last 7 years, I've been collecting script ideas. Stuff I've listened to on tapes. Books I've read. Speakers I've heard. In fact, I even have some stuff from when we first met when you were speaking at a Sales and Marketing Executives luncheon. I have compiled all the best ideas and have my own little black book of stuff to use. When I'm too tired, unmotivated, or just bored, I take the notes out and use them. After about 10 calls or so, I'm back on track. You know, it works!"

At this point, I got excited. Here is this highly motivated, successful person at the top of his profession, willingly admitting that he gets stuck sometimes. He uses his crutch sometimes. Someone who is dedicated to his profession and to his company. In short, a TRUE professional!

I mentioned to Lee that most people hate making cold calls. My theory is that since we were about 2 years old, our parents started drilling into us that we shouldn't talk to strangers. Now, we're in sales. What are we supposed to do? We HAVE to talk to strangers - in fact, sometimes the stranger, the better!

So, what do you do when you are tired of making cold calls? You can take a tip from Lee and use your "little black book" of scripts. You can sit down and write out your own scripts. How about reading an article? Or listening to a download on sales techniques? You can picture your greatest sale. But no matter what, get back on the phone!

Renee Walkup is president of SalesPEAK, a national sales performance company, as well as a well-recognized keynote speaker, sales coach, and author, with a 25-year background in sales, sales team management and training. Learn more at

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