To get better results from cold calling, stop doing it. Stop it right now. Those of you in sales, or with sales teams to direct are probably thinking, “If only I could.”We’ve all been taught that it’s easier to get results from your warm market than your cold market – and statistically that’s true. The only problem is that over 80% of sales people are reluctant to call their friends and family. The two most common reasons given:I don’t want to mix business and personal.In my experience, this probably makes sense – unless they come to you. The good news though, is that properly handled, business relationship can grow into friendships. Some of our suppliers have become such good friends that we go to each other’s birthday parties, rejoice in the triumphs of our kids and are there for support when parents pass on. I’ve even had clients call to wish me happy birthday when they were travelling. Once you’ve created this kind of relationship, you no longer sell clients anything – you just keep working with them.I don’t want my friends and family to think I’m hitting on them – or to start avoiding me. A lot of sales courses teach new people that this is just an unfounded fear expressed by inexperienced sales reps. Well it’s not. It’s a fact of life. Research we’ve conducted over the years, combined with anecdotal information from hundreds of people, suggests that the vast majority of people do not like it when their friends approach them to become clients. This is particularly true in the areas of insurance, financial services, advertising and any other area where there needs to be a sharing of personal or confidential business information. Once one friend has asked another to become a client, and has been turned down, the dynamics of the friendship change, sometimes forever. This is particularly true with women.Does this mean that you shouldn’t try to do business with your friends? Yes and no. You should not call them, but you should motivate them to call you. How? By sharing positive aspects of your job in the course of normal conversation. By telling them interesting anecdotes from work and, from time to time (not every time you’re together!), sharing some of your successes in helping clients (e.g. “I had the greatest week. Yesterday a lady came to me who was in danger of losing her house and I showed her a way that she could keep her home and still have enough money to do some fun things with her daughters. It made me feel really great to see the weight get lifted from that woman’s shoulders.”)Again, you make it part of normal conversation. If your friends need your service and feel comfortable dealing with you in terms of the product or service offered, then they will approach you. If not, they would likely not have responded positively to your overtures anyway.Obviously this approach takes longer and you need to earn a living. So what do you do? The following process has worked well for all the clients who have adopted the approach (adapted, of course, to meet their own situation and industry). Oh, and don’t worry, later on in this article you will find some suggestions for making it a little easier to call “strangers”. But first…• Figure out what are your areas of interest and expertise.• Determine if you can create a target audience for your product based on these interests. For instance, if you sell insurance and are a scuba enthusiast, it might make sense to concentrate on scuba divers.• Position yourself in a way that includes this point of differentiation and communicate that positioning consistently (e.g. Your 10-second “elevator speech” could be “I am insurance advisor, specializing in helping people who enjoy scuba diving and other extreme sports, and who may normally find it hard to get the coverage they need.”)• Go to trade and consumer shows where you’ll find divers (or whatever you’re going to concentrate on) and get names. Lots of names. Just make the contacts; don’t say it’s to be able to “sell” them anything!• Start a website for divers, complete with an online newsletter, that lists courses (you could even get a small sideline revenue going by getting a percentage of revenue for people who sign up for these courses from your site), has interesting articles, offers dive and dive travel tips, lets people post photos from their trips along with comments about the destination and dive shops in each area, etc. Each newsletter will have diving as its primary focus – but will also include a short paragraph on insurance and your contact info.• Write an article talking about the insurance needs of divers that can be published in magazines and newspapers of interest to divers, and included on other people’s websites, as well. Submit other articles related to diving,spyder ski jacket for women, too, always including the reference to your insurance expertise in the bio box. Take advantage of the RSS feeds and other promotion tools on the article submission sites to get your messages out.• Start a blog related to diving that also talks about their special insurance needs of divers. Use your blog to direct readers’ attention to your articles and use parts of these articles for your blog content.• Establish a twitter account and start following other divers. You’ll start to build your own following of people interested in diving and other sports. You can then send tweets directing people to your blog posts, articles, etc. • Become one of the speakers at dive conventions, or sports related trade shows, etc.• Once you start to gain a reputation as the diver’s insurance expert, you could then expand this reputation to include other sports. The idea is to become recognized as the expert on the insurance needs of sports enthusiasts, and of divers in particular.• As you carve out your position, it will become easier to make calls, because you are now calling someone with whom you already have something in common.• Go to business and upscale social events where business people congregate and get more names. You can add these people to your newsletter database – and do a second version of your newsletter that has a bit more of a business focus. These people will become your secondary market when making calls (i.e. when you have exhausted your leads for the day, you dip into this secondary market so that you can make the personal call quota – something I suggest you set for yourself). The added benefit is that you will meet sports enthusiasts who are also in the upper income brackets – and can probably refer you to others like them.Okay, so now you’ve got contact information of people with whom you have at least one interest in common. How do you make those calls?• Position your first call in terms of the benefits of the other person and remember the old adage about tuning in the to everyone’s favourite radio station, WIFM (What’s In it For Me). Explain what you have in common; offer to send the person a free report that you have prepared that talks about your subject matter (i.e. the area of interest in which you are concentrating your efforts for growing your customer bass within your industry).• Add the person to your newsletter database.• Then follow-up and be persistent. Follow-up and persistence are the two biggest things that you can do to improve your results from cold calling efforts. Depending on the industry, it can take anywhere from 4 – 8 calls and other follow-up (letters, e-mails, etc.) to get a response – yet most people give up after one or two attempts. Their excuse: “but I don’t want to become a pest”. Truth is, your prospect probably doesn’t think about you again until the next point of contact – and even then, may not remember you. The more you stay in touch, the better chance your prospect has to get to know you – and the more likely they are to think of you when a need arises for your product or service (don’t forget the important role that timing plays in the decision process).• Whenever you call, always be upbeat and keep the tone light,cheap north face ski jackets. Tempting though it may be to let the person know that this is the third or fourth time you’ve called without a reply, don’t do it. Chances are they haven’t thought about you since you last called. They may even feel a little about not having gotten back to you – and if you are pleasant, may very well give you a few moments when you do connect.• Many sales trainers recommend making these calls standing up, or looking into a mirror. I’d suggest taking it even further. On a card that you keep by your phone, write out the reasons why your product or service is going to help the other person and read it before dialing. Stand nice and straight while the phone is ringing; as soon as the phone is answered, smile broadly at yourself and start talking. People will hear your warmth and friendliness and, usually, respond accordingly. There have been times when people in our office couldn’t get a prospective client’s name and extension number from a receptionist. When I call back, I can almost always get the needed contact info, simply by being friendly, upbeat and talking with the person as though I’m sure he or she is going to be happy to give me the info.• Then make the calls. Use your phone time wisely and don’t squander it.• Avoid the mind land minds. People who spend a lot of time “prospecting’ find that they have conversations with imaginary people, or with themselves off and on all day long. They create this whole set of rules (can’t call after 4:45 p.m. because the person is going to be going home, or before 9:00 a.m. because they’ll be settling in and won’t want to be disturbed right away, etc., and wishes “please let this call go to voicemail so that I don’t actually have to talk to this prospect”. And then they let fear creep in and can lose the whole day to busy work.So how can you put an end to this cycle? One of the big ways is to create a target market for yourself. But what do you do as you are carving out this space for yourself? Like AA says, you first have to recognize and admit that you have a problem before you solve it. In this case, you need to become more aware of your overall behaviour and daily habits so that you can make the changes that will lead to success.Figure out how many calls you need to make and, as Nike says, “Just do it!” Don’t let anything else get in your way. Here are some suggestions from successful sales reps whose “call reluctance” caused them to procrastinate to the point where it hurt their earning ability, their self esteem and, in almost their careers:”Block out a time in the day when you do nothing but make and return calls,cheap moncler ski wear. Mark it in as an appointment on your calendar – and don’t let anything get in the way, except a belly-to-belly meeting with a warm prospect.”"I get a glass of water to keep things lubricated and I don’t let myself have a coffee until I’ve made at least 10 calls.” ~ Fred B., Seattle, WA”I make a list of 20 calls I need to make the next day just before I go home -along with notes about what I need to say. If I don’t have the list, my mind seems to wander to any other task at hand so that I can avoid the calls.” ~ Wendy M,kids spyder ski pants sale., Vancouver, BC”I tape the phone to my wrist until I reach my day’s quota!” ~ Unknown”I don’t check my e-mails until I’ve made the calls. That way I can’t procrastinate by finding reasons to avoid getting on the phone.” ~ Sharif Z., New York, NY”I give my assistant $20. If I don’t have the calls made by noon (and show her my notes), then she gets to keep the $20.” ~ Sylvia B., Chicago, IL”I stand to make my calls because it gives me more energy. I don’t get to sit down at my desk until the calls have been made.” ~ Tammy H., San Francisco, CA”I choose the least important call for the first one of the day,kids north face jacket. I tell myself that it’s okay to blow it because it doesn’t really count. Often I ace the call and get the appointment and the momentum just carries me. Even if it doesn’t go well, that call has started the ball rolling and I’m okay once I get going.” ~ Bill E., London, ONIf none of these ideas help when you’re scared (yeah, I know, you have a different word for it), then remember this chant. It’s one that Jack Canfield taught me years ago – one that always works to center me and give me a smile before getting on with the task. The only trick is to actually remember to do the chant. And what is it you might ask? It’s…wait for it… and sing it to the traditional Ohm sound. It’s “Ohhhh what the heckkkkk, go for it anyway!”Going for it “anyway” is really important. You need to take that first step, make that first call, because as soon as you start taking action, the easier it is to go on. Sales reps tell me that once they get going it’s fairly easy to keep going. So pull your list together, find something in common so that these people become fellow “divers” rather than simple strangers and go for it anyway!