As we head into the new year and start thinking about the things that we want to accomplish in 2015, I thought I’d share an experience that presented it self to me all wrapped up with a pretty bow on it -yes, just like a Christmas present! You’ll have to stay tuned to my upcoming Connecting the Dots episode with Warren MacDonald for the entire discussion about how “When you change the way you see the world, you change the world”. In brief, the concept was at the forefront of my mind when I had a paradigm shift when it comes to ‘Cold Calling’! Here’s my story.
Cold calling is something I talk about often. It is one of the most dreaded tasks of all sales people. It was also something that I used to dread as well but over the years I have actually come to love it. I know, I know, you’re calling bullshit right now but it is true. You see I have long believed that in sales if you want to sell more of your product, service or whatever it is you sell, then you need to talk to more people. It is as simple as that. If you want to sell more, then you need to talk to more people about what it is you sell. It is this belief that has led me to embrace the cold call as part of my business. Don’t get me wrong, I hated it at first. The first cold calls I ever made were as a telemarketer in my late teens soliciting donations for the hearing impaired. I HATED it. I think I lasted two weeks. The straw that broke the camels back there was when one of the people I called told me that they themselves were deaf and appreciated the call. Well, being young and naive I thought they were just mocking me so I got all sarcastic and likely fairly rude only to have them continue to explain that they had some type of TDD (Telephone Device for the Deaf). I was so embarrassed at my ignorance that I quit that afternoon. Flash forward to my introduction to the mortgage business and I was put in a call room making phone calls out of a Target Marketing directory calling senior level executives soliciting funds for investment into mortgages. Again, I hated the idea but my ambition was greater than my fear so I made the calls. Gradually as I started to have some success (and much more failure), my confidence grew and the prospect of picking up the phone dwindled. Fast forward to the holiday season of 2014 and my story.
You see, even up until this day, while I enjoy the outcome of cold calling, I still looked at it largely as a one way proposition. I made the call and tried to convince the person on the other end that my offering was worth exploring further. Part of my role today is to find mortgage brokers that can benefit from the services that we offer as a brokerage network. If you know me you also know that I am far from a “hard sell” kind of guy and that my approach is much more about getting to know my “prospects” needs and seeing if I have a solution that might fit the bill. Some of my most valued relationships today have come as a result of a direct cold call so the value, not only to my business but to my life, has been immense. That said a conversation that I had at our company Christmas party this year really put things in perspective for me. You see Dave is an individual that has recently joined our organization. My first introduction to Dave was by way of a phone call. I picked up the phone and called him to introduce myself and over the course of the conversation identified that he may have some gaps in what he needs and what he was currently getting from his brokerage. After a series of further discussions with me and the rest of our team Dave made the decision to come on board. The first time Dave and I ever met face to face was at our Christmas party in Calgary. It was obviously a festive atmosphere and we had a glass of wine together and some great conversation. The thing that really struck me during that conversation was when he said to me “That phone call changed my life”. Now I know we’re not talking about world peace here but the impact that that cold call had on both us as an organization and him as an individual really spoke to me.
Here is an activity that many of us consider intrusive and undesirable that had the net result of making a significant positive impact on an individuals business life. With every connection we make we not only create opportunity for ourselves but we also create opportunity for those that we touch. Changing your mindset about how we view an activity like cold calling can help make the difference between taking action and not. You never know the impact that you might be able to make on someone else’s life by simply reaching out.
As you sit down to plan out your 2015 goals try to find a way to shift the way you look at things. You will be amazed at the possibilities that open up with you simply take another perspective.