That first step: the cold call

The first day of college, we’ve all been through it. We meet new people, and it’s time, time to sell yourself. But you’re not selling yourself, you’re just being yourself or at least who you want to be. You say all the right things at the right times and for the next few weeks you continue to do the same. You make your own judgment on how others have sold themselves too and either keep making friendship transactions with them or you get rid, leave them sit at the other side of the lecture hall, they’ll be fine, they know how it works. You put in the sales pitch countless times over the previous few weeks and now you have your band of brothers with whom you’ll go through university with. This can take weeks or sometimes only days but it all starts with the initial conversation, or in business speak the cold call.

Some will tell you cold calling is a dead art, picking up the phone and introducing yourself to someone who not only doesn’t know you, but doesn’t even know your call is coming. It’s a pointless, waste of time. You’re better off, going through existing contacts to talk to someone. Nobody likes cold calls, nobody likes receiving them so why do them at all?

Others will say it is an essential step in the sales process and one which can help grow your business. Done correctly it can do wonders, business relations must start somewhere and with one call you could be starting off a transaction that will make your company millions. Done poorly and the opposite happens, you’ve killed it, before it even had the chance to live. A lot of pressure to deal with.

According to some stats, cold callers should be making over 50 calls a day while it will take up to 10 attempts to talk to the person you want. Talk about a waste of time, a depressing way to spend your day, calling 50 numbers and only talking to 5 that are happy to. While being ignored by the rest or, even worse, talking to them and having to deal with their openly rude attitude towards you. Great work if you can find it.

So next time, you receive a cold call, spare a thought for the poor worker on the other end of the phone, take a second and humour him for at least a minute. After all, your friends did the same back in university when you were putting your unique brand of comedy and friendship forward.