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From Cowardly to Courageous - How to Succeed at Cold Calling by Jim McCormick

There it is. That darn phone. And you have to pick it up and call someone you
don't know. You need to make some cold calls.

The first thing to know is this - the longer you put off picking up the phone and
making that first call, the heavier that phone gets. Give it enough time and you'll
swear the phone weighs 500 pounds when you try to lift it.

I've been skydiving for years. In thousands of jumps, I've learned some valuable
lessons that apply to lots of things ... including cold calling. So, let me share
some insights with you I've reaped from all those skydives that will make you
more successful at cold calling.

So, how do you get started? How do you overcome the understandable fear of
cold calling? Here are a few simple steps.

Step 1 - You Have to Believe in What You're Offering

You have to believe in the product or service you are offering. You have to know
you are selling something of value - something that will assist the person or
organization you are calling.

If you are not sure of the benefits you are offering your prospect, you need to
sit down and think about it. Ask yourself, "How will this person or their
organization be better off if they buy what I am selling?" How will they sell more,
operate better, be happier - whatever the benefits are they will enjoy.

This is vital! Do not bother going on to the next steps until you have this really
clear in your mind. You will be wasting your time. You have to be absolutely
convinced, deep down, of the value of your product or service.

Now if you are stumped on this one, get some help. Ask some colleagues or
friends for their thoughts on the value you are offering. If you do all this and
conclude there really is not much value in what you are offering ... move on!
You will never be a success at selling something you don't believe in. And life
is too short to spend your time doing it.

It's similar to skydiving. If you do not believe in yourself and your equipment,
you have no business being in the plane. You owe it to yourself, and your
prospects, to only sell something you in which you truly believe.

Step 2 - See It From the Buyer's Viewpoint

When I was getting certified to take people for their first skydive, I was required
to put on the student harness and ride on the front of an experienced instructor -
just like my students do now. This was required because it is critical that I
understand my student's viewpoint. Experiencing a jump from the student's
perspective has definitely made me a better instructor.

It is the same for cold calling. You have to put yourself in the buyer's shoes.
In your mind, trade places with your prospect. Ask yourself, "What would make
me say, yes?" And also ask yourself, "What would make me say, no?"
You have to appreciate the buyer's perspective to effectively sell to them.

It may help to ask people you have already sold to why they said, "yes." What
made the difference to them? You'll gain valuable insights that will help you
better understand you prospects' perspective - and make you more effective.

Step 3 - Separate Yourself from the Inevitable Rejection

When you are cold calling, you will experience rejection. It is unavoidable. Here
is the important thing to keep in mind: It is not about you! Your prospect is not
rejecting you. They are rejecting the product or service you are offering. They
may just not need it right now. Or they may be so overwhelmed with challenges,
they just cannot focus on what you are offering and have to say. They are
not rejecting you! They do not even know you.

Rejection is a part of life. So is occasional sub-par performance. I have walked
away from many skydives very disappointed with my performance. But you
have to shake it off and keep going. If I allowed my disappointment to get to me,
I would eventually stop jumping. And that would deprive me of something I truly love.

It is similar with cold calling. If you allow the rejection to get to you, it will
profoundly impact your effectiveness. When you get the "no's," the terse
responses, or even the hang ups, you have to be able to say to yourself,
"Oh well, their loss. I'm sorry they're not able to take advantage of the wonderful
product or service I am offering right now. But I am going to keep calling to find
people who can" - and mean it.

Step 4 - Accept the Fear - Then Move Through It

No one likes being rejected or hearing "no." That is normal and okay. It is easy
to allow the desire to succeed lapse into a desire not to fail, which can then
lapse into fear.

Don't worry. Being fearful of rejection or failure is common and appropriate. What is
important is that you not play games with yourself. If the fear is there, don't try to
fool yourself into thinking otherwise. Don't deny it.

Until you accept the presence of the fear, it is in charge. When you accept its
presence and the fact that it is likely effecting you, you take a great deal of the
power away from the fear.

I have had to learn this lesson thoroughly in order to succeed as a Professional
Exhibition Skydiver. If I had not learned to acknowledge and accept my fears, there
is no way I could have successfully jumped into small landing areas on the middle
of large cities or into sporting events with audiences of over 100,000. (If you
would like more information in this method of fear management, see the article
called Risking to Win at So, accept that the fear is there
and you are experiencing it. Not doing so will hold you back.

Step 5 - Keep Dialing

You build momentum with each call. When you stop dialing, you lose it. Set things
up so you have plenty of prospects to call before you get started. Do your
research in advance. When it comes time to call, do it with a vengeance! The
sooner you make the next call, regardless of whether it is a sale or not, the better.
You build momentum. One sale will lead to another.

If the last call was not a success, it is even more important to pick up the phone
right away. The longer you wait, the more likely it is to get to you.

Get Started

Cold calling will always be challenging. But you can make it more pleasant and be
more successful at it by following these steps. Now get started. The sooner the
better! It's time to leave the plane!

Jim McCormick a professional skydiver and motivational speaker. As a skydiver
he regularly deals with performance threatening fear. As a speaker he regularly
encounters the challenge of cold calling. In both roles, he draws on his
experiences as a World Record and North Pole skydiver to prevail. More
information on Jim and his presentations is available at
or +1.650.726.2900.(c) Jim McCormick 2002

This article was submitted by - Jim McCormick Please Rate/Review this Article - Recommend it to friends

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