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You Make The Calls

6 steps to turning cold calls into hot sales.

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This story appears in the April 1998 issue of Business Start-Ups magazine.

When Donna Chaiet looks for new students to enroll in self-defense classes at Prepare Inc., her New York City-based business, she does something many start-up entrepreneurs consider totally outside their comfort zone: She makes cold calls. Her goal: to encourage the person to request information about Prepare Inc., drop by the school for a tour or sign up for a 20-hour Impact Personal Safety training seminar.

"I make 20 to 50 calls a day, depending on my schedule," says Chaiet. "I found it intimidating [at first]. But I took a deep breath and told myself to believe the person wouldn't be turned off by my call but would want to hear about my seminar. This shift in my attitude, plus being passionate about my services, makes cold calling more palatable and a successful marketing tool."

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