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Cold Feet, Cold Sweat, Cold Calling

Posted Aug 18 2009 11:00pm
I was pretty spoiled in my last two sales jobs. I was given a protected territory with customers that needed my services and were expecting me to show up. It was sales, but it was soft -sales, based on relationships, account management. This is a totally different type of sales than what I am doing now, which is the cold-calling, get in-get out type of sales.

Just as there are different types of sales, there are different types of sales people. Some people love the get in-get out type of sales, the immediate gratification of getting the sale and then no hassles with having to follow up and manage an account. Others prefer the slow burn of the relationship sale, where it takes days, weeks, and sometimes months to make the sale. Or, you have to keep making the sale once you've made it. I definitely prefer the latter method of selling. I like getting in, getting to know the customer, bringing value to their business, and then getting the sale. I am patient, it doesn't have to happen today.

I am now in the former, cold-calling businesses to have them purchase advertising space in a print and on-line news publication. I am expected to make between 50 and 100 cold calls today off of completely cold leads. I have done cold calling before, when I worked for an insurance company, booking appointments for an insurance agent. It was a tough job. I still loved the challenge of it though, and obviously, it got me hooked on sales. I just went on to what I viewed as a "kinder, gentler" form of sales and found it even more enjoyable.

So, yesterday morning, I joined in on our first training call. We were given some basic information about the ads, pricing, and such, and then were told to make 20 plus calls so we could discuss those calls on today's call.

I received my lead sheet and put Will down for a nap. I knew that I now had a couple of uninterrupted hours to make calls. I took a quick shower first and then sat down at the computer to begin my work.

I felt my heart beating faster. I felt my palms getting sweaty. I felt a little rock in the pit in my stomach. These were feelings I hadn't had in a long time.

I had to give myself a little pep talk, but I picked up the phone and made my first call. Then my second. Then my third. When I hit 20 calls, I kept going. When I hit 50, I stopped. I stopped mostly because Will woke up from his nap (early, the little bugger!), but also because I hadn't made any sales and I wanted to get more training before I "wasted" anymore of the leads. It got a lot easier to make the calls, but I didn't really feel as if I got any better at making them.

When M asked me how my morning went, I told him that cold calling is only fun when and if you sell something. It is frustrating when you spend an hour of your time calling people and nothing comes of it. I would say it's frustrating being new. Like anything else, it takes time to get used to selling a product, to gain confidence, to get into the rhythm of something new. Kind of like Will was a newborn!

It just takes time and patience. How I wish I had more of those things!
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