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The Cold Hard Facts About Cold Calling

The Cold Hard Facts About Cold Calling

Truth be told, sales is one of the hardest careers to master. Natural charisma and extroversion will only take you so far. If you want to succeed, one must constantly develop their sales skills. It is a constant tug of war between oneself to push forward past the incognito, past the potential rejection (which is often), and past the common phrase, “No, not interested”.

Take it from me, sales is all I really know. I come from a long line of natural-born sales people. My father, my mother, my brother, and my sister are sales professionals, all of them and they are great ones at that. I guess one might say it is in our blood, yet, as anyone in sales will tell you, it takes more than that. Sales is a craft that is perfected only by hours and hours of working on it.

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Cold Calling In Sales

One of the most difficult aspects of sales is the “cold call”. I learned this quite early in my sales career and it really does not get any easier, you just get better and more comfortable with it. Like many things in life, it is all a matter of perception. I used to dread cold calling. It was incredibly daunting, and it made up 90% of what I do! I have always been in a “huntress role” thus, I am constantly in positions where I have to drum up new business. Call lists, drop-ins, networking, and new connections is what I do. I used many different approaches, in many different ways, in a few different roles thousands of times. I have failed, succeeded, lost, and triumphed through the years yet still, no matter how many times I cold called, I could not shake that sinking feeling I had in the pit of my stomach. Although, I fought and pushed through it time and time again, when I stopped to think about it, well, I dreaded it! Then one day, not so long ago, something changed.

Cold Calling Is About Perception

It was my perception. All this time I had been looking at the cold calling aspect of my profession through the wrong lens. My come to Jesus moment is tattooed in my brain, and it went down exactly like this: my little daughter was very nervous about going to summer camp. She had been to camp before, but this was a new camp. She did not know anyone and none of her school friends would be there. She was going in cold. Right away, I sprang into motion because I could relate to her apprehension and her situation so well. As I started my pep talk on how to go right up to people and make new friends, I stopped and looked at her little serious face as she swallowed the lump in her throat and said to me, “But Mommy…they are strangers.” To which I simply replied: “Strangers are just friends we haven’t met yet.”

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And that was it. It dawned on me. If I looked at everything like that with my cold calls, whether in person and or on the phone, my dread and fear would go away! It’s just a causal conversation with a new potential friend. My daughter smiled at me, and as we walked into the camp, she hugged me and said, “I’m going to meet some new friends.”

Important Truths About Cold Calling

It does not have to be that cold

It’s all about perception. Remember my come to Jesus moment? The moment I shifted my mental paradigm to think of people we don’t know as friends we are going to make instead of strangers, that was all it took. When you change your lens, you change your life.

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Don’t be so hard on yourself

I can write a book on this one! Be generous and gentle with yourself. Did one person pick up your call today after your 49th call of the day? That’s actually a win! Did you get one reply to the 32 emails you sent today? Congratulations! Don’t focus on the no’s and the non reply’s. Believe me, it’s counter-productive and will essentially kill your spirit. Celebrate the victories, big and small!

Be real and be yourself

When you think about it, really who else can you be? Be yourself. If you put on a mask or a fake persona, it just won’t come across as real. You will come across as uncomfortable and make whomever you are speaking with feel awkward. You do not need to be anyone but you. People deal with people they like and they can only like the real you. Have fun and enjoy the ride.

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Happy selling!

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Elisabeth Marmugi

Business woman, Domestic Engineer, Writer, and Entrepreneur

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Last Updated on March 29, 2021

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

When I left university I took a job immediately, I had been lucky as I had spent a year earning almost nothing as an intern so I was offered a role. On my first day I found that I had not been allocated a desk, there was no one to greet me so I was left for some hours ignored. I happened to snipe about this to another employee at the coffee machine two things happened. The first was that the person I had complained to was my new manager’s wife, and the second was, in his own words, ‘that he would come down on me like a ton of bricks if I crossed him…’

What a great start to a job! I had moved to a new city, and had been at work for less than a morning when I had my first run in with the first style of bad manager. I didn’t stay long enough to find out what Mr Agressive would do next. Bad managers are a major issue. Research from Approved Index shows that more than four in ten employees (42%) state that they have previously quit a job because of a bad manager.

The Dream Type Of Manager

My best manager was a total opposite. A man who had been the head of the UK tax system and was working his retirement running a company I was a very junior and green employee for. I made a stupid mistake, one which cost a lot of time and money and I felt I was going to be sacked without doubt.

I was nervous, beating myself up about what I had done, what would happen. At the end of the day I was called to his office, he had made me wait and I had spent that day talking to other employees, trying to understand where I had gone wrong. It had been a simple mistyped line of code which sent a massive print job out totally wrong. I learn how I should have done it and I fretted.

My boss asked me to step into his office, he asked me to sit down. “Do you know what you did?” I babbled, yes, I had been stupid, I had not double-checked or asked for advice when I was doing something I had not really understood. It was totally my fault. He paused. “Will you do that again?” Of course I told him I would not, I would always double check, ask for help and not try to be so clever when I was not!

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“Okay…”

That was it. I paused and asked, should I clear my desk. He smiled. “You have learnt a valuable lesson, I can be sure that you will never make a mistake like that again. Why would I want to get rid of an employee who knows that?”

I stayed with that company for many years, the way I was treated was a real object lesson in good management. Sadly, far too many poor managers exist out there.

The Complete Catalogue of Bad Managers

The Bully

My first boss fitted into the classic bully class. This is so often the ‘old school’ management by power style. I encountered this style again in the retail sector where one manager felt the only way to get the best from staff was to bawl and yell.

However, like so many bullies you will often find that this can be someone who either knows no better or is under stress and they are themselves running scared of the situation they have found themselves in.

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The Invisible Boss

This can either present itself as management from afar (usually the golf course or ‘important meetings) or just a boss who is too busy being important to deal with their staff.

It can feel refreshing as you will often have almost total freedom with your manager taking little or no interest in your activities, however you will soon find that you also lack the support that a good manager will provide. Without direction you may feel you are doing well just to find that you are not delivering against expectations you were not told about and suddenly it is all your fault.

The Micro Manager

The frustration of having a manager who feels the need to be involved in everything you do. The polar opposite to the Invisible Boss you will feel that there is no trust in your work as they will want to meddle in everything you do.

Dealing with the micro-manager can be difficult. Often their management style comes from their own insecurity. You can try confronting them, tell them that you can do your job however in many cases this will not succeed and can in fact make things worse.

The Over Promoted Boss

The Over promoted boss categorises someone who has no idea. They have found themselves in a management position through service, family or some corporate mystery. They are people who are not only highly unqualified to be managers they will generally be unable to do even your job.

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You can find yourself persistently frustrated by the situation you are in, however it can seem impossible to get out without handing over your resignation.

The Credit Stealer

The credit stealer is the boss who will never publically acknowledge the work you do. You will put in the extra hours working on a project and you know that, in the ‘big meeting’ it will be your credit stealing boss who will take all of the credit!

Again it is demoralising, you see all of the credit for your labour being stolen and this can often lead to good employees looking for new careers.

3 Essential Ways to Work (Cope) with Bad Managers

Whatever type of bad boss you have there are certain things that you can do to ensure that you get the recognition and protection you require to not only remain sane but to also build your career.

1. Keep evidence

Whether it is incidents with the bully or examples of projects you have completed with the credit stealer you will always be well served to keep notes and supporting evidence for projects you are working on.

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Buy your own notebook and ensure that you are always making notes, it becomes a habit and a very useful one as you have a constant reminder as well as somewhere to explore ideas.

Importantly, if you do have to go to HR or stand-up for yourself you will have clear records! Also, don’t always trust that corporate servers or emails will always be available or not tampered with. Keep your own content.

2. Hold regular meetings

Ensure that you make time for regular meetings with your boss. This is especially useful for the over-promoted or the invisible boss to allow you to ‘manage upwards’. Take charge where you can to set your objectives and use these meetings to set clear objectives and document the status of your work.

3. Stand your ground, but be ready to jump…

Remember that you don’t have to put up with poor management. If you have issues you should face them with your boss, maybe they do not know that they are coming across in a bad way.

However, be ready to recognise if the situation is not going to change. If that is the case, keep your head down and get working on polishing your CV! If it isn’t working, there will be something better out there for you!

Good luck!

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