“I get motivated when I feel I am making a meaningful difference in the lives of others. I think this could hurt me because of how I perceive negative reactions on the phone. Any suggestions remaining motivated when cold calling?”

You’re actually raising two issues:

1) Dealing with prospects’ reactions on the phone.
2) Staying motivated during cold calling when the most enjoyable part (when you talk with potential clients) is down the road time-wise.

Here are tips for both:

Remember you have interrupted prospects. They were/are doing something else, thinking about something else, etc.. In addition, your call is just a couple minutes out of their day, week, month, life. Because of this, teach yourself not to interpret a prospect’s tone of voice. Their tone — or how the tone sounds to you — probably has nothing to do with you or your call and that goes both ways: Prospects may seem irritated and that probably has nothing or very little to do with you; they may seem delighted and that probably has nothing or little to do with you.

So how do you teach yourself not to interpret tone, etc?

Make the calls and stick with it through the awkward learning curve. Focus on saying why you are calling right up front, in very direct yet consultative language. Right after that, ask permission to continue with the call. The prospect’s answer to your request is the reaction to pay attention to.

To stay motivated as you call:

  • Set a dials goal. Be sure to use one you can hit, not a stretch goal.
  • As you call, make a little hash-mark on paper for each one. This physical act reminds you on a deep level that you are indeed making progress.
  • Directly after the last dial of your goal, stop and take a little reward. Something you can do at work, but is not work.