The Way To Make Cold Calling Painless

17 replies
I've recently learned so much here from cold calling greats like John Durham, Ken Michaels, Jason Kanigan, and David Miller.

I think this will actually add something to the discussion.

For a few decades I sold in people's homes and then in businesses. Cold calling by phone (to set appointments) or in person was always part of the prospecting...even when I had enough referrals. Cold calling finds you the easy sales, and also finds you business that just using referrals never would.

I was pretty good at personal cold calling. But I never enjoyed it. Never.
And so I did what all of us do...drank another cup of coffee, checked our e-mail one more time...drove around the block to "find a better parking spot". All of it. I could write a book on excuses.

One day I figured out my One Pushup Theory. And everything changed. I still hate the idea of cold calling. But I do it (I even speak about it). and this is what gets me to call people every day.

Here is my One Pushup Theory.

Have you ever decided to start a great exercise program? One that will change everything for you? Let's say that program is to do 100 pushups every morning. Every day.

But you put it off. "Tomorrow I'll start!". Why? Because 100 pushups is a ton of work.

So you tell yourself "I'll only do one pushup today". What's different? One pushup is nothing. So you may as well do it now.

So you change into your sweat clothes, get on the floor, and get into pushup position. And you do one pushup.

But you know what happens? You're already in your exercise clothes. You are already in pushup position. One pushup didn't tire you out.

So you feel like a damn fool if you don't do another. And you end up doing 30 pushups. "Hey, that felt pretty good!"..and you do more.

And the next day you think "Well, I'm only going to do one pushup today"

For years, I dreaded cold calling. Not fear, but I just never enjoyed the idea of it. While I was actually doing it, I was fine.

So I would start my day thinking "I'm going to call until I talk to one person on the phone. Just one" And of course, that's nothing.

So I would sit down, pick up the phone and make calls until I talked to one person. They didn't yell at me, I didn't die, it was painless. And then I'd feel like a fool if I stopped after one call. So I'd just keep going.

I even trained salespeople how to cold call...knocking on doors, using the phone. I never told anyone about my little mental game.
After all, I can't tell someone I'm training that "I just hate the thought of doing this"

This works.

Years after I figured this out, I had a salesman working for me selling vacuum cleaners in people's homes. He was in a sales contest. 16 sales in the month and he got a huge bonus. It was December 31. About 6PM. There was a blizzard. He came into my office with his tale of "I only need one more sale, but I won't get it...Will you let me make it next week and still count it?" (Well, NO.)

I said "Get your coat. We are going to go out and knock on one door...just one". And one door is just nothing. So we put on our coats and drove a few blocks to a nice street. In the dark. In a blizzard, On December 31st.

Well, it took eight doors. But he got his sale.


This is real. I really think this way. Now, I cold call to book speaking gigs.
"Today I'm going to make one call. Talk to one trade association. Then back to writing that book". Two hours later, I've booked a speaking gig.

Now, I can usually just start dialing without the mental games. But some days I frankly don't feel like it. So I just sit down to make that one call.

I hope this helps someone.
#calling #calls #cold #make #painless
  • That's a great share, thank you.

    Your little trick is definitely something I'm going to try using myself.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kristabelle
    thanks for that. i used to do the 11 conversations before 11am. and that was my goal. I got hte top sales person in commerical ( over 30mill ) - Keep It Simple Stupid!.. KISS
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  • Profile picture of the author shane_k
    really great post.

    People get so focused on the 10, 20, 50, 1,000 steps that they have to take that they get overwhelmed. So just focusing on one step like that allows them to see how it can be easy. Then because you started the hard part is over, now all you have to do is keep the momentum going to moving forward.

    What I do when I don't want to do something, is I tell myself, "just get started. Just start writing, just start recording my voice, etc. Just get started."

    and I find that after I start, it's easy to continue.

    I think it's because you are no longer thinking, "I don't want to do that." and coming up with reason why you don't want to do something. But your brain has shifted, and now you are thinking along the lines of, "I might as well continue, I am already doing it."

    people talk about the book Influence alot. And if you think about it, "commitment & consistency" applies here. You have already committed to that by taking the first action, now your brain follows through on the consistency part by continuing moving in that direction.
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  • Profile picture of the author jimbo13
    Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

    I even trained salespeople how to cold call...knocking on doors, using the phone. I never told anyone about my little mental game.
    After all, I can't tell someone I'm training that "I just hate the thought of doing this"
    Actually you can and it is not a bad idea to do so. You figure out why.

    Dan
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by jimbo13 View Post

      Actually you can and it is not a bad idea to do so. You figure out why.

      Dan
      I just did. Thanks, and you're right.

      Strange that I would include this story in a speech, and when training other people's salespeople. But I never mentioned it to the people working for me. Human nature is a funny thing.
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  • Profile picture of the author Carl Fridsjö
    Yea, I'm actually using a similar idea. Great tip and it really works. Thanks for sharing.
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  • Profile picture of the author PeacefulCalamity
    I'd like to think all of us have thought about or practiced this in one way or another, and it's a good theory.

    When you have to do a monumental task, it's often a terrible idea to look at it as a whole. Even the biggest beasts of a job to do are made up of little, small things. Take care of those small things, one step at a time and you're golden.
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      I should say that this only works (at least for me) if I'm not really trying to trick myself. Maybe I really will only make one call, knock on one door, write one page of a book....

      And on rare occasions, I really do just the one "pushup".
      But in most cases, the momentum carries me to the next attempt....

      This isn't really a mind trick. I really give myself the option to quit. But in practice, I usually keep going.
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  • Profile picture of the author reidsteven75
    This is a great idea! The hardest part in doing anything is the first step. After that you might as well keep walking.
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  • Profile picture of the author Aaron Doud
    I think a lot in life can be said for smaller goals. These little victories are what drive us further.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    I'm glad this is working for the OP and possibly a few other people. Everyone should try this and see if it works for them.

    However, in my experience it's not the case for the majority. Most people are willing to make one dial. The shutdown typically actually occurs between about a dozen and twenty dials for the novice, and 40-60 for the slightly more seasoned caller. It occurs because in those first dials a large percentage of people don't even answer...and of those that do, the "I'm not interested!" snap response happens and ends the call very quickly. This piles on the caller (you), and you begin to feel frustrated and upset. Really taking it personally that these people aren't answering and won't talk to you. After that initial feeling begins, it only takes a few more dials before full-blown shutdown occurs.

    The sweats.

    The shakes.

    The staring at the phone.

    There won't be any "one more call."

    Sound familiar?
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    • Profile picture of the author Mark68
      Jason,

      Do you just push through or do you stop and regroup? Stopping risks that you won't start again. And what you describe is exactly why I don't get started in the first place. ie- What if I make calls every day for a week and get no results? What if the only response I get is from the cheapos who offer me $97 for a website. Etc.

      The no's pile up mentally and you can't see the law of large numbers working for you, either from the start or in the middle. Even though you believed (on sunday) it can work work for you, even though you believe that x on this board calls every day using y's training. Somehow that doesn't translate to I believe it will work for me staying in my head before or while calling.

      But, I agree with the original poster, the one pushup theory works for starting a lot of things, from cold calling to building a website for your consulting business.

      Thanks,

      Mark


      [/B]
      Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post

      I'm glad this is working for the OP and possibly a few other people. Everyone should try this and see if it works for them.

      However, in my experience it's not the case for the majority. Most people are willing to make one dial. The shutdown typically actually occurs between about a dozen and twenty dials for the novice, and 40-60 for the slightly more seasoned caller. It occurs because in those first dials a large percentage of people don't even answer...and of those that do, the "I'm not interested!" snap response happens and ends the call very quickly. This piles on the caller (you), and you begin to feel frustrated and upset. Really taking it personally that these people aren't answering and won't talk to you. After that initial feeling begins, it only takes a few more dials before full-blown shutdown occurs.

      The sweats.

      The shakes.

      The staring at the phone.

      There won't be any "one more call."

      Sound familiar?
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      • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
        Originally Posted by Mark68 View Post

        What if I make calls every day for a week and get no results?
        This right here is part of what stops you from succeeding.

        You have to behave like you are going to be here forever. It takes months to become known as the guy or gal who people call for whatever it is that you do.

        The biggest problem people create with selling is that they are trying to make money in the next ninety seconds and aren't in it for the long haul. Then they try to turn everyone they talk to into a customer. Prospects pick up on that. "We're good, thanks." No discussion = no sale.
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      • Profile picture of the author shane_k
        Originally Posted by Mark68 View Post


        And what you describe is exactly why I don't get started in the first place. ie- What if I make calls every day for a week and get no results?

        In one of these two videos below this guy had a student come up to him and said something pretty much similar to what you are saying. And he said to the kid if you keep doing what you are doing, there is no guarantee that you will be successful. But if you stop, if you quit, then you ARE guaranteed to fail.

        I don't remember which on it is in, but watch both of them.

        and then when you are thinking those thoughts again, "what if I make calls and get no results?"

        then watch these videos again, and right after you are done start making your calls.


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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post

      I'm glad this is working for the OP and possibly a few other people. Everyone should try this and see if it works for them.

      However, in my experience it's not the case for the majority. Most people are willing to make one dial. The shutdown typically actually occurs between about a dozen and twenty dials for the novice, and 40-60 for the slightly more seasoned caller. It occurs because in those first dials a large percentage of people don't even answer...and of those that do, the "I'm not interested!" snap response happens and ends the call very quickly. This piles on the caller (you), and you begin to feel frustrated and upset. Really taking it personally that these people aren't answering and won't talk to you. After that initial feeling begins, it only takes a few more dials before full-blown shutdown occurs.

      The sweats.

      The shakes.

      The staring at the phone.

      There won't be any "one more call."

      Sound familiar?
      Jason: I understand what you mean, I think. When training salespeople to either call for appointments or knock on doors, they just get discouraged after several attempts. I think it's why the average salesperson lasts two weeks. It takes a few days for the sheer lack of response to wear them down, and for it to seem hopeless. Then they are simply not going to make another effort.

      A couple things may really help. (This isn't new to you, I know)

      In selling, seeing multiple successes from someone else. This does two things;
      1) Helps stop them from wanting to change a proven script.
      2) Let's them see that sales happen normally, and that the process is tried and proven.

      I know in cold calling on the phone, sales come less frequently than in a personal sales situation (assuming that the person is trained).

      So....Mr. Kanigan, is there benefit to a new person watching an experienced person go through calls (maybe for a day)? My thought is that they would see that the "No"s aren't deadly, and getting lots of "No"s is actually normal, even with a proven script. I may be way off in this thinking, but I know it worked when hiring new salespeople. Of course, this wasn't true cold calling, which may be different.

      And if you can't be with the new person, a recording of an actual several hour session, so see how this really works. I'm here to learn (OK, I'm here to brag and learn). Thoughts?


      When I was 22 years old, a man came to our home and sold us a high dollar vacuum cleaner. It was shiny, so of course I bought it.
      Then I decided to sell them. I went through a day of training (I was trained by the worst salesman in the office). I went on 2 or 3 calls every day and didn't make a single sale for three weeks. That's a lot of failure.
      My wife (at the time) said I should quit. I said "We bought one. I know that hundreds of people have bought one. It isn't the machine...it's me."

      And it was me. Eventually I figured it out on my own, and made some real money. I went with an experienced salesman and saw how sales actually take place. It made a huge difference in my sales.

      Some new cold callers don't have access to this kind of mentorship.

      If only someone offered a course on cold calling......if only.....



      And frankly, my idea may not apply as much to real cold calling by phone, as to prospecting in person.
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  • Profile picture of the author shane_k
    @Mark68, it's the "Failure doesn't make you a Failure" video which is the video on the bottom. He mentions what you are talking about right at the beginning so watch that one first.
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      I've spent the last few minutes wondering why Jason Kanigan disagrees with my original post...and I agree with his. I can't hold two opposing views at the same time can I?

      No. I see it now. I was talking about making cold calls, and am experienced in making them. I already know the numbers. I already know what results I'll get (over time). I just dislike the actual prospect of cold calling. Whether it's in person or over the phone.

      Jason was saying that people tend to quit after so many "No"s. That is, your reality changes after so many times at bat with no sales.
      And I have found that to be completely true.

      But for experienced salespeople...that are used to cold calling...and just tend to put it off...my method helps.

      There. Can we all get a group hug now? :p
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