COLD-CALLING IS usually the most challenging part of the selling process. Moreover, for most sales people, cold calling is becoming increasingly challenging because the prospective customer's time is increasingly valuable. Consequently, cold-call recipients are becoming increasingly resistant. Furthermore, prospects and decision-makers are getting increasingly more difficult to reach--they have their guard-up, and they are more in-touch with very common sales and closing techniques.

Therefore, the sales person feels extra pressure with over-zealous sales management or systems to push the sales numbers, understandably creating a feeling, in the prospective customer, of being pushed or manipulated. In these circumstances, any hope of forming meaningful trust is typically lost, and recovery is essentially impossible. However, sales people who embrace a positive and skillful approach to cold-calling, generally find that cold-calling becomes easier with practice and experience.

If cold-calling was easy, then everyone would do it; therefore, it would be very difficult to accomplish, stand out, be noticed, respected and valued. My advice: try picking up a couple of selling and rebuttal books at your local bookstore or online, so you’ll have some ammo to fire back when prospects give you reasons as to why they are not interested. A great quote from New Line Cinema’s “Boiler Room” is when one of the characters says to his sales men, when they’re not performing and closing deals, “There is no such thing as a ‘no sale’ call. A sale is made on every call you make. You either sell the client some stock or he sells you a reason he can't. Either way, it's a sale. The question is: who's gonna close--you or him”? Overcoming these challenges leaves you available to focus on the business opportunities at hand, and adopting a solid strategy to work from while trying to maximize outcomes.

You may notice an overwhelming theme of not actually selling individuals during the cold-calling process.  People will hang-up on you, be rude to you, and may even curse at you.  Don't get discouraged, after a hand-full of calls, you become immune to it, and you’ll be able to move on like nothing ever happened.  Just keep in mind that, generally, the purpose of cold-calling is simply to open dialogue and make a connection with that potential customer, and possibly to make an appointment for further discussion. If you don't make an appointment, but you were memorable and you delivered your message accurately, at the very least, you made them aware of your company and that's still a huge step in the right direction. You never know, in the near future, they might require your services and they’ll call you back.

In closing, cold-calling is an art and it takes time to get over your fears. Hopefully, these techniques and suggestions will guide you on your way to success.