Have you ever wondered why veteran boxers do not bleed as quickly as beginners when hit with a right hook to the left eye?
It is because they have developed scar tissue from being hit so many times in previous fights. I developed scar tissue from cold calling, and hopefully by sharing what I learned, I will prevent you from having to get punched 1,500 times.
Anytime I think about making phone calls, I am reminded of beginning in the commercial insurance industry and having to make 1,500 cold calls to local business owners with the first six months of employment. This was brutal, and I am not suggesting you make cold calls in this manner, but I must admit I learned many lessons through this exercise. Many of them will be beneficial to you, as they have been for me, within the nonprofit sector.
As I mentioned previously, you should have a predetermined time scheduled with yourself to make these calls every week. If you will not agree to do this, you should stop reading because your failure is almost guaranteed.
Assuming you have agreed to this, how should you plan for this time?
3 Steps to Planning Your Calls
- Make a list – This list should be on one sheet of paper, or on one worksheet within Excel. It should include the person’s name, organization, phone #, and any notes you have about this person. One of the largest time wasters is sifting through a stack of papers looking for who you are going to call next. I was truly amazed at how much time I could waste doing the paper shuffle. Start with the first name on the list and work your way straight down the page until you are finished.
- Have a goal – Before you sit down to make calls, have a goal. Whether it is a goal of scheduling a certain number of appointments, or just making a certain number of calls, you must have a goal.
- Limit disruptions – If you work within an office with multiple people, close your door during this time. If your organization has a receptionist, please notify them of what you are doing and ask to not have any calls transferred to you. Close your email, and yes that includes silencing your smart phone.
FEEDBACK: What have you found helpful when making prospecting calls? Secrets you can share?