Ande Schurr writes about the common fear of cold calling and how to tame it. He says by using one simple technique, applicable even in finding a date, the once fearful freelancer can start to enjoy cold calls like you are talking to a friend.
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Need romance in your life? Try cold calling.
Do you feel the fear as you wonder how your potential client will respond if you cold call? Will you get the right person, will they be busy, will they warm to you, what's the first thing you will say?
Cold calling is what gives business its romance because it draws upon our resources of desire, courage and pig-headedness - the same qualities needed to attract and constantly win over the man or woman we dream of being with...right?! Desire for more business, for new friends; courage to just ring them and say hello, to reduce procrastination and do what matters for your business; pig-headedness not to take 'no' for an answer - even if they can't speak to you right now, to ring with passion and enthusiasm even if there is no work to look forward to in your calendar.
Without this calling of new or existing clients, you remain in the realm of text messages, emails and hopeful telepathy. And they just don't cut it in the same way as a chat on the phone does. As a little aside, when it comes to what personality-type gets the most work in the media industry I think the 'schmoozes' win. Their association with the 'who's who' in the industry means they are never far from work. Thankfully, for those of us who don't possess that talent, there are always cold calls and maintaining an on-going communication with our existing clients.
The very act of ringing a new potential client is a great success. Forget the outcome - it doesn't matter if they don't have a need for you or can't speak to you, the fact is you took action and poured cold water on the common human fear of making business phone calls with people you don't know. It has been the hardest thing for me to learn, and still scares me up until I press 'Talk' and then it's too late to back out! When I'm not filming, I make myself ring a bunch people. I just like to hear their voice and see how they're doing. Sometimes they say 'bad timing - try in two weeks', other times we chat for half an hour.
As an example, I heard about a guy who asked one new girl out every day for a month just to pluck up his courage so that he could conquer his anxiety of approaching new people and especially girls. The success of this exercise was in the act of asking her out. Her reaction was irrelevant. Even a slap in the face! I don't know if he got many dates but he certainly would have made a giant step towards conquering his fear of cold calling!
This is the attitude that I believe is needed for us freelancers: make the act of calling the reward and turn the reaction into a somewhat irrelevant event. Of course that is not really the case - it is very nice to engage in conversation and have them be interested in you - but it's really a bonus.
To conclude, cold calling is easy when it is seen as 'checking up on a friend'. When their reaction is not important to you as much as the fact you actually made the call then you can start to enjoy it. Good luck!