Confession time – I hate cold calling people. Almost everybody in the United States is afraid of talking on the phone, much less talking on the phone to someone you don't know who might be hostile toward you. As musicians, cold calling is a vital part of drumming up business. Here are five ways to get around the fear:
While it's unavoidable to feel nervous during a cold call, focusing on relaxing during the conversation will help you be more effective.
Develop a repeatable trick to help you stay calm, and do it right before every phone call. For instance, I often picture myself listening in from the outside during telephone conversations, which helps me distance myself from what the conversation's emotional content is and focus on communicating what I have to say.
2. Write It Down
Write out a bullet point list of what you want to cover in the conversation. Don't call people you don't know and waste their time by rambling.
Ask a friend to help you by purposefully being difficult on the phone (be careful who you choose, for obvious reasons). Write down the objections that you think the person you'll be cold calling will have, and have him rephrase your notes during the conversation. The more you practice, the easier it will be.
4. Use Your Imagination
Try and picture your client: what motivates them? What will make them say no? If you know who you'll be cold calling, do some research on them before you call. A simple Google search can give you a lot of information about the personality of the person you'll be calling.
5. Start With The End In Mind
Why am I calling this person and what would I like to see as the result of our conversation? If you can't clearly answer this question, don't waste your time and there is with the lengthy phone conversation that will ultimately not do either of you any good.