As an entrepreneur, you already understand the cold call is necessary and unavoidable. As long as you need something in business -- more clients, a permit, a loan or a favor, you will have to get to the right person, get their attention and convince them to take action.
When I started my first business, no one knew me. I had some sales experience and almost no cold calling experience, but I did have a lot of guts and an idea I was 100 percent sold on. I made 500 to 750 cold calls a week and followed up in-person with people who had hung up on me just days before. The number of successes were few and far between. I thought -- if I can cold call and not be negatively effected, I could do anything.
I still have to cold call in business today. Here are the six key ways to go about it successfully:
1. Confidence is key. Be sold on what you have to offer so much that it would be unethical not to tell the prospect about it. I'm serious. Think of your product or service as a solution to a problem. "I hope I'm not bothering you" should be changed to "I have something that will help you make (or save) more money and quickly impact your business."
2. Open with your reason for calling. It's about the customer. “John, this is Grant Cardone, and the reason I am calling you is....” Open with enthusiasm, excited about why you're calling. This helps get their attention without meandering. Be clear and concise.
3. Make a monster-size claim early in the call. "The reason I am calling is to save you money, lower your rate, show you a way to increase sales." If you aren't able to make that big claim with conviction, go back and resell yourself.
4. Anticipate questions, complaints and objections. You must be able to predict every possible response from the person you are calling. Make a list of possible responses, questions, complaints and objections with answers that you can offer quickly.
5. Maintain a great attitude. If they're rude or dismissive, stay positive no matter what. I get cold calls all the time. My receptionist gathers information about callers to determine how best to help them. She's polite and professional. I wasn't available and one caller got frustrated because they wanted to speak with me directly. They didn't get their way and abruptly hung up. If the caller maintained a great attitude he'd probably have a better chance winning over the staff and getting his goal accomplished. Instead, he took a tone with my receptionist and never met his goal.
6. Be polite, professional, positive and persistent (the 4 p's). I once had a guy cold call me every day to get a job. Each time he called, he was polite and professional to my receptionist and managers. He was committed and made it clear in a professional manner that he wouldn't stop calling until he got a meeting with me. By the third week, anyone at my office who answered his call, knew who he was. We even talked about him in meetings and my staff was starting to vouch for him. He used these 4 p's, got to me, got hired and is now my VP of Sales.
Cold calling is one of those things an entrepreneur must learn to master. The sooner you start to cold call as a way to promote your business, the better off you will be. Set your targets incredibly high, ten times higher than you would normally and then get dialing. The more calls you have to make, the quicker you'll deal with rejection. And with all those calls to make, you have no time to dwell.
The author is an Entrepreneur contributor. The opinions expressed are those of the writer.
Grant Cardone is an international sales expert, New York Times best-selling author, and radio show host of The Cardone Zone. He has founded three companies: Cardone Enterprises, Cardone Real Estate Holdings, and the Cardone Group. He has shared his sales and business expertise as a motivational speaker and author of five books: Sell to Survive; The Closers Survival Guide; If You're Not First, You're Last; The 10X Rule; and Sell or Be Sold.