The joy of cold calling- 2 reasons to LOVE doing it! Plus some wisdom from Rocky Balboa

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Greg Warner is CEO and Founder of MarketSmart, a revolutionary marketing software and services firm that helps nonprofits raise more for less. In 2012 Greg coined the phrase “Engagement Fundraising” to encapsulate his breakthrough fundraising formula for achieving extraordinary results. Using their own innovative strategies and technologies, MarketSmart helps fundraisers around the world zero in on the donors most ready to support their organizations and institutions with major and legacy gifts.

Here are two reasons you should absolutely love cold-calling.  One is mine.  The other is a reason I recently heard from a salesman I interviewed on Friday.

1- Progress is happiness:

When I was starting out- selling printing services back in the early 90’s- I made about 100 calls a day.  What kept me going?  I figured out really quick that, each day, I could set about 1 to 2 appointments and find about 5-10 other “interested” prospects with some sort of pain or problem that I could solve.  Of course those 5-10 would need nurturing and follow-up calls to set appointments.

Also, I knew that (on average) a sale would result from 1 out of 5 appointments.

So, if I made 100 calls a day and added 5-10 interested prospects to my funnel each day, I was always making progress.  Sales would happen inevitably.

Sure there were days when I’d hit a skid and no appointments were set.  And then there were days when it seemed like appointments were falling out of the sky- like rain.  But over time the averages always worked out.  If I kept moving forward… if I kept making the calls, I would always progress yet another step closer to the ultimate goal- another sale.

Thus, there was never a reason to hate cold calling because even rejection meant “failing forward”.  “Fail fast and fail frequently”, someone once told me.  Rejection was progress.  Each rejection brought me one step closer to my objective.   If I made 5 calls in the morning and each one was a rejection, I knew I only had about 95 left before I’d set an appointment.  Five more rejections meant I only had 90 remaining.   “Yahoo! I’m getting closer”, I thought with each consecutive rejection.

And I know there are tons of people who might comment on this post saying you should do this or that to improve your batting average.  But that’s not what this post is about.  It’s about the numbers game.  We’ll get to style in another post.   A client told me that progress is happiness.  So, now I say… let’s keep in mind that if cold-calling is a numbers game, then every cold call, every rejection, and every failure is a step forward.  Each one is progress.  Each one takes you closer to finding the person who is in pain and truly needs your help.  If you don’t make the calls, you’ll never find them.

2- Monetize your calls:

I love this one.  So I interviewed this guy who showed me how he broke down his cold-calls to monetize them.  If he ended up selling 1 out of 100 (for instance)… and if each sale was $10,000 (giving him a $1,000 commission).  Then each call was actually worth $10 ($10 x 100 = $1,000).  Ten rejections actually made him $100.  Neat!

Rocky Balboa.

And finally- what does Rocky think about all this?  In the very last Rocky movie, Sylvester Stallone created one of my favorite inspirational speeches.  Here it is:

The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard ya hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done! Now if you know what you’re worth then go out and get what you’re worth. But ya gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody! Cowards do that and that ain’t you! You’re better than that! I’m always gonna love you no matter what. No matter what happens. You’re my son and you’re my blood. You’re the best thing in my life. But until you start believing in yourself, ya ain’t gonna have a life. Don’t forget to visit your mother.

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