People who are nervous or uncomfortable when cold calling are often told to “just do it.” Call 30 or 40 times and you’ll get over it — that’s the idea. Though there is a kernel of truth in that, it’s a teeny, tiny kernel. Here are things to know before you decide to grit your teeth and just do it.
30 or 40 Calls Won’t Reach 30 or 40 People
People aren’t always at their desk or home. You’ll get lots of voicemail, which means you mostly get used to leaving voicemail. This also means nervousness about talking with humans in a cold call acquires a layer of “Whew, got their voicemail.”
So how many calls will you need to make to get over feeling nervous? That’s not how it works, so read on.
A Bad Calling Approach Just Equals a Bad Experience
When starting cold calling, many people imitate the kind of call that actually drives them crazy on the receiving end. They don’t necessarily do that on purpose, it’s simply the model that comes to mind.
The common, assumptive, canned type of call that jumps to mind mostly generates a lot of push-back and “no.” What’s more, the approach is not how most callers want to behave or be perceived. All of that means the caller has little to no success and feels bad at the same time. Doing it 30 or 40 times reinforces those feelings, it doesn’t alleviate them.
You need a different model — one that works well on both ends of the phone line. And then you need to use it a bunch of times to unlearn the old feelings and feel more comfortable. How many times will you need to use that model? That’s not quite how it works, so read on.
The Surprise Learning Curve
Learning a new, more effective approach to calling certainly includes practicing new skills so it all sinks in (e.g., in role play). The learning curve also includes applying concepts in real life and there can be an unexpected catch:
The consultative approach often makes intuitive sense right away, which leads people to expect it will feel comfortable right away, too. Alas, that’s not so. Whenever we’re doing something different it tends to feel awkward and uncomfortable because it is awkward and uncomfortable. That’s true whether we’re changing our golf grip, using new software, or making cold calls.
The good news is there are easy things to do that help you get through the learning curve with a minimum of discomfort. One of those things is to set a dials goal, not an appointments goal. That dials goal should be one you can hit, too, because stretch goals will only undermine completion of the learning curve.
So… How Many Calls Does it Take?
Takes a couple hundred dials for most people. (Bet you thought I wasn’t going to give you a number, didn’t you.)