These days having the best product, service or experience doesn’t matter if the world doesn’t know you’re here. For the millions of Canadians who are either self-employed, consultants, entrepreneurs, or unemployed, the one skill they need more than anything is the ability to pick up the telephone and create opportunities for themselves. The good news is that every day there are millions of doors of opportunity just waiting to be opened. The better news is that now Canadians have an effective system for prying them open. It can be found in Steven J. Schwartz’s thought-provoking book How To Make Hot Cold Calls, Your Calling Card To Personal Success. This book is not new. It has been around for a decade.
Schwartz is on a mission to get Canadians to generate more wealth for themselves and in the process, create employment for others. As he says with a passion, “if every self employed Canadian entrepreneur, consultant or salesperson were to open just one more door of opportunity per month, you would see a significant increase in the employment rate.” Today Schwartz changes people’s lives by giving them the power to open new doors of opportunity, and he does that by providing the tools and motivation to make successful telephone sale calls consistently and confidently.
How To Make Hot Cold Calls is more than a book. It’s a system for changing our beliefs in our ability to reach goals; a disciplined approach for generating business that really works. Part of that comes from the fact that it was invented in the trenches, and as we all know, nothing works quite so well as something invented out of necessity and the inventor not only living to talk about it, but thriving on it.
Eighteen years ago Schwartz was starting out building his own business, and like most self-employed professionals, he had to make cold calls to generate customers. Like most people, he hated it. He got so fed up with his stomach twisting into knots every time he picked up the telephone that he decided that the only thing that would boost his confidence would be a system – preferable one that worked. Since non existed, he invented his own. Schwartz’s hard-earned experience comes out in every word, as well his conversational style of writing. And like most other inventions cradled in trenches that change the world, this system completely bucks conventional wisdom. (It’s almost as if Schwartz went out his way to turn the telemarketing and sales industries upside down and give them a much needed wake-up call.)
The first unusual idea is the “telephone commercial” concept, which redefines the common cold call as a thirty-second advertising message much like a radio commercial. Good point. Since you can’t see the person you’re speaking with, the art is knowing how to get some one’s attention by convincingly saying words they want to hear. Schwartz calls that hitting their “greed glands”.
He points out that two things affect your success; your ability to reach people and your effectiveness on the telephone. Regarding the former, Schwartz has a sobering point when he says that too many of us pass by unbelievably lucrative opportunities because we give up trying to reach someone on the telephone. Flying by opportunities is akin to “panning for gold in an airplane”. His call planning methodology keeps you in control of the entire call process so that you reach 100% of your prospects. (Control is a central theme because it is the foundation of confidence. When was the last time you were out of control and feeling confident?) He’s also a big believer in organizing calls into small campaigns, shredding the old myth that calling is a numbers game. This system is designed to get you to make fewer calls to accomplish your goals.
How To Make Hot Cold Calls preaches quality not quantity. If your focus in on making calls, and calling hundreds of people at a time, you tend to miss opportunities and sound like you’re calling a number when you speak to someone. When you focus on booking appointments, and you call only a small number of people at a time, you tend to reach more prospects and talk to people as if they were real human beings.
As for being effective on telephone, that comes down to three things; your ability to learn from your mistakes, the quality of what you say and the passion with which you say it, and taking the time to self-motivate between calls. To that end, Schwartz serves up valuable tools for uncovering hard to identify mistakes, Strategic Scripting for communicating what you’re doing in less than thirty seconds (also handy at cocktail parties when you want to WOW someone who asks what you do), sonic traffic signs to speak convincingly, and a diagnostic approach to motivation called Call Caffeine® – fourteen effective techniques to keep you focused, energized and enthusiastic when you call.
With a refreshing dose of common sense, interactive workshops, and highly usable techniques, How To Make Hot Cold Calls challenges all of us to seize every opportunity in a land that knows no shortage of them. It’s amazing the kind of success Canadians can generate – one call at a time.
By: Mark Borkowski is president of Mercantile Mergers & Acquisitions Corp. Mercantile is a mid market private company M&A brokerage. www.mercantilemergersacquisitions.com