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Cold calling requires being persistent and having a convincing, outgoing and friendly personality. Those that are shy may have a problem calling people they don't know and trying to entice them to become clients. Being shy can hinder getting and keeping certain jobs. Adhering to cold calling basics can help individuals, especially those that are shy, to have all the skills necessary to bring in the clients.
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Research the Demographic
You can't call someone you don't know and expect to know exactly what they want without some type of research on your side. Take time to research your demographic. For example, if you are offering a product that's great to use in snow, look up the upcoming weather and annual snow totals before you call potential clients. One option is to say “I see you live in an area that gets above average amounts of snow per year and this product would make it much easier for you to get where you need to go.” When you have a reason to offer the product and service, you'll feel more confident about telling potential clients why it would benefit them.
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Know Your Product and Company
Selling a product you know nothing about for a company you only know the name of, is like trying to talk with a person in a language you can't speak. Sure some form of communication is possible, but it's nowhere near what it could be, if you knew how to speak the language. Learn what your product is about and research the company. Use the Internet and past customer service feedback from your employer to find out what people like about the product or service. You'll feel more comfortable if potential clients catch you off guard with questions, if you already have the answers.
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Keep Notes With You
Instead of worrying about trying to remember all the information you researched, write down notes and keep them with you at all times. If you have material to reference, you're likely to feel more confident in your abilities.
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Walking around helps some people feel more relaxed than if they were sitting stiffly in a chair. You can also alternate between sitting, walking and standing while you're talking, even if you're doing it in a tiny cubicle.
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Think Success Not Failure
One of the most important cold calling basics, is to have it set in your head before you pick up the phone that you're going to succeed. When you think you're going to fail, you're going to psych yourself out. For shy individuals, that thought process can make an already timid person feel more uneasy about making the calls.
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Brush Off Failure
Although you want a thought process built on success, failure is going to happen and it's okay. A lot of people take out whatever stress they're feeling at the moment on people they don't know so they don't take it out on people they care about and risk problems with that person. Whether the person yells at you or hangs up on you, it is nothing against you, even if it seems that way. Brushing off failure is one of the best ways to succeed at cold calling. There are many cold calling books that can help you with this problem, and many others for those shy at the process of cold calling.
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Ask loved ones to evaluate your cold calling approach. Call them and pretend they're a potential client and act as you would if you didn't know them. After you finish, ask them to let you know what you did right and what you can improve on. Take what they say as constructive criticism and make adjustments if necessary.
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Develop a Mantra
When you have a mantra, it can help you when you're feeling nervous or unsure. One of the basics of cold calling is to repeat a mantra in your mind as often as you need to. Consider it your power phrase – whenever you repeat it, you immediately feel more powerful and capable of drawing in customers.
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Take It Slow
If you're shy, you're likely not going to change from timid to an outgoing powerhouse overnight. Don't get frustrated over it – continue to push forward with small steps. For example, try something small, like changing the tone of your voice to sound more confident and keep trying different techniques as you grow to feel more comfortable.
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Put Yourself in the Customers Place
Think about what it would take for someone you don't know to call you and not only keep you on the phone, but convince you to become a customer. Next, consider what you would think if someone used your cold calling approach when call you. If there's anything you probably wouldn't react favorably to, use that as a chance to improve.
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If you're shy, it likely won't be easy to call people you don't know. Adhering to the basics of cold calling can help you in your professional life by allowing you to become more confident, outgoing and expressive in order to get the job done. You may also find yourself exhibiting those characteristics in your personal life as well. Take things slow and in no time, you may be doing cold calling with more panache than anyone else in the office.
For more cold calling tips, please review "Top 10 Cold Calling Sales Techniques."
Photo Source: Copyright by Donovan Graen via Flickr.