This morning I took a ballet class with world renowned ballet teacher, Finis Jhung. (My previous career was as a ballet dancer and I still take dance classes.) During the class we were working on pirouettes—one of the most difficult moves for most dancers.
A pirouette is a turn. You turn multiple times on one leg without ever putting the other leg down. (And the women are doing this on their toes.) In the ballet world today one must be able to perform a minimum of a double pirouette and more often than not the expectation is for three or four pirouettes. (The men are expected to do even more.) And it’s hard. A perfect pirouette is a combination of rhythm, timing, coordination and strength. When everything comes together you spin like a top and it’s exhilarating.
When training as a young dancer, pirouettes are taught in stages. Later on there are entire classes devoted to learning to execute multiple turns. Pirouettes are simply one of the ‘must have’ tricks of any successful dancer. And hard as they are to execute, many, many dancers are able to execute multiple pirouettes flawlessly.
But sometimes you don’t execute turns flawlessly. Some times you fall down. When that happens, and it can happen a lot, there is a reason. The reason is, as Finis Jhung said this morning, “ If you fall down, you are doing it wrong.”
Such a simple concept. True for ballet and also true for cold calling. Most of the time, if you fall down, that is, if you make calls and prospects berate you and hang up on you, to quote Finis, “ …you are doing it wrong.”
Talking to prospects on the telephone is the same skill set whether you’re speaking with a referral, a networking contact, a lead you’ve met through social media or a cold call. In each of these instances you need to quickly get the prospect’s attention, build rapport, help that prospect understand the value you offer and most importantly get that prospect’s commitment to taking that all important next step. While having a referral or having met someone through social media may buy you an extra 30 seconds, the reality is that if you are not able to quickly do those things, that prospect will hang up just as quickly as a prospect on a cold call. That is why skills are so very important and why the label (warm or cold) is not.
Difficult as it may seem, many, many sales professionals and business owners are able to cold call effectively. Are they simply smarter, more charming and more gifted than everyone else? No, they simply have a better skill set. Like ballet dancers learning to executive multiple turns they have studied and learned how to be effective on the telephone. (And I can tell you from personal experience with both that it is much easier to learn to be effective on the telephone.)
If you are making cold calls (or any type of prospecting call) and prospects are yelling at you, berating you and/or hanging up on you, then to quote Finis Jhung, “ …you are doing it wrong.”© Copyright 2010 Wendy Weiss