Many of my clients who are small business owners and entrepreneurs are paralyzed by the thought of making cold calls. They frequently ask me for advice on the best technique to use for cold calling and they often relay their fears about the process. They are so fearful of making cold calls that it often inhibits them from doing other simple activities to grow their business.
Who wouldn’t be somewhat intimidated by cold calling? The fear of rejection can be overwhelming especially for anyone without sales training and experience. When it’s your own business, you feel more vulnerable.
So here’s the question I ask them. “Why do you feel you need to make cold calls?”
The answer is almost always. “I need to make cold calls to grow my business.”
My reply is “YOU DO NOT NEED TO MAKE COLD CALLS TO GROW YOUR BUSINESS“.
This is my advice for small business owners and entrepreneurs who are starting a new business or looking to expand their current business. Start with your own network and you will have more than enough people to contact initially. Continue to add to the network and work it. If you are diligent about this process, you will be successful building your business. NO COLD CALLS NECESSARY.
Here’s how it works:
- Set up different categories for your contacts to stimulate your thought process and organize the names. Categories can be as simple as: family, friends, business colleagues, professional contacts (dentist, doctor, chiropractor, attorney etc).
- Create a contact sheet for each category and think about everyone you know who would fit in that category. Just brainstorm and fill in the names. Don’t worry about whether or not they can bring you business at this point.
- Rate each contact by their perceived influence to bring you business and how well you know them. If you know them well and they can bring you business, they would be an “A” and so on.
- Focus your attention first on contacts who you know well and you believe can bring you business and then work the rest of your categories.
- If your contacts give you a name of someone new they think you should talk to, ask them to make the introduction by email or phone so that it is not a cold call for you when you reach out to them. This way this new contact will already know you through your mutual connection. (Remember NO COLD CALLS.)
- Add new contacts to your categories and continue to rate them.
- Touch base with all your contacts on a regular basis to let them know about your business.
- When attending a networking event, collect business cards! It is more important to collect other people’s cards than handing out your own cards. Write notes on the cards about where and when you met them and what your conversation was about and then add their names to your contact list.
- Work social networking sites and create relationships on line. For instance, on Linked-In, you can ask for introductions through other people. (Remember NO COLD CALLS.)
- Create a system to track your activity with your contacts and follow up regularly.
If you faithfully follow this system, you will never need to make cold calls. Your network will grow and thrive and so will your business. Ignite your network. Make connections between your contacts. Nurture the network and your business will grow.