I know some folks will say that cold-calling is a waste of time, but let’s face it, some clients will never see your ads or your website, and sooner or later there’s a prospect you need to make contact with. So, unless you’re selling something that involves no human contact whatsoever, there will always be some kind of initial contact. Thus, every first contact is basically a cold call. Even with a referral, that person has yet to experience you. Whether you’re looking to land a big client, or just trying to talk to a pretty girl, there are communication skills you need to build the rapport that will give you the opportunity to make that sale, or get a date.
Even in personal relationships, there’s the old saying, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” It’s an old saying for a reason: it’s true! Some quick tips for making a better impression include:
- Smile with your whole body, not just your face.
- Give a firm handshake, with eye contact and a smile.
- Be genuinely interested in others, and they’ll find you more interesting.
- Walk confidently. Watch a few James Bond movies and try his walk, and see what happens. I’m 5’4″, but when I do the James Bond walk, people get out of my way and do double-takes, wondering who I might be. I’ve gotten more than a few deals just because someone noticed me by my walk.
In my book, The HOT Cold Call, I discuss the communication skills I used to earn over $4M as a rookie stockbroker, and which I’ve used over the years to land big clients again and again.
You can download The HOT Cold Call here.
Imagine for a moment that you’ve achieved your wildest dreams of success. How wise, fun, witty, capable, confident, and discerning would you be at that point? How would you communicate with and relate to people? What would you allow to waste your time?
Now, I want you to realize that this person you just imagined already exists inside you. You just haven’t given yourself permission to behave like him.
So, what are you waiting for?
Most of us who are in business have heard it again and again. Usually it’s some smug successful person telling an unsuccessful person that success is 90% ‘showing up.’ Most of the time this comes with bland advice about working hard, being yourself, etc. In my unsuccessful days, I often found myself wondering why almost no one ever went into any detail as to just how to do these things, so today I’d like to share some simple insights on how you or anyone else can ‘show up.’
- Use strong, decisive language. This doesn’t mean to be rude. Rather, become a student of communication and learn to say what you mean, mean what you say and make sure that whatever you have to say, it’s good, useful, inspiring, or all of the above.
- Be confident, not arrogant. Trust the value of who are you are what you have to offer, but at the same time understand that you’ve got room to grow, and that you aren’t the best answer for everyone.
- Be kind, not weak. It’s bad enough that some people will take your kindness for a weakness. There’s no need to let your kindness become a weakness. Balance compassion with judgment in your words and actions.
- Be bold, but not a bully. Fortune favors the bold, people often say, and it’s true. However, you don’t need to run roughshod over everyone to be bold. Have the courage to express yourself, but the humility not to try to impress. Sow respect and expect to reap it.
- Be humble, but not timid. Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less. Understand your value, but know that it’s purpose is to serve others. it’s not about you.
- Recognize reality, but be ready to change it. There are times when you’ll need to be realistic, but the truth of living with purpose is that we are all here to change reality in some way. The person who can grasp the realities of a situation but see the angles for change can usually recruit others to their vision.
- Take action. Never let an idea just sit. An intention without a decision is just a wish, and if you haven’t taken action, you haven’t decided anything. One thing I’ve observed over the years is that there are often tremendous opportunities sitting right under our noses, unnoticed because we haven’t taken action on our intentions. Some time ago, I wanted more speaking engagements. So, I went to a writing seminar, and volunteered to share my story during one exercise. It was the tale of a platypus taking over a country. I ran out of business cards, and my calendar is full, even though I’d deliberately told the dumbest story I could think of. Remember, there are people, places, and organizations who need what you have to offer, but until you take action, they may not even know you exist!
I DARE you to try applying these six steps for two weeks and see what happens.