I’m pretty sure the only reason I have a thriving business is that the average person is terrified of cold-calling. I can understand where they are coming from. No one wants to be hung up on. It’s hard not to take it personally, and I have been there myself, so I get it. But there are so many ways to make cold calling easier. The first way is to hire a third party to do it for you (shameless plug?). But seriously, it is often more credible for a prospect to hear ‘Hey, you might want to check these guys out’ than to hear ‘Hey, check us out! We're awesome. I promise’. The second way is to have a clear and proven solution to share with them (capabilities = boring). The third way is to identify a company and an individual that is most likely experiencing the pain you have alleviated. The fourth way is to make your approach intelligent, personal and empathetic. So many sales people aren’t smart or strategic about their approach. They don’t reference relevant things about the company or anything specific about the person they are calling on. With all the resources available to us today, it’s inexcusable not to know the business challenges the company is facing or the bio of the person you are calling on. What are they hired to achieve within their company? What could they be fired for? Where are they likely trying to go next in their career? And if cold-calling still terrifies you, call early in the morning and leave a compelling voicemail. Don’t make it vague (I HATE to receive mysterious calls that appear to be from someone who knows me, asking me to call them back with no explanation). Explain clearly why you are calling along with a next step that YOU will take (NEVER ask a prospect to call you back – you call them back). Follow up over email with an executive summary of your agency’s offering or (better yet) a specific solution you’d like to share with them on a thirty minute phone call. Always make the next step clear and simple. You’d like to set up a phone call with them to share how other companies have solved a specific problem using the agency’s solution. And if you’ve emailed and called a number of times with no response, consider sending a meeting request. In my experience, even prospects who are very interested in your solution are simply too busy to check their calendars and get back to you with a date/time to talk, so give them one! You may be surprised how many people will accept and/or propose a new time. And if they decline, find out why! Often, it’s an issue of timing, but if it’s really not a fit in their opinion, you want to understand where they are coming from and make a note of it for the future (when you try someone new in their organization!).

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