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Mindsets for Optimizing Calling Rates
By Mark Sanford, PhD

Recently, a subscriber to my Newsletters emailed me about a mindset that helps him to make cold calls. When I read it, I immediately identified with his message as a perspective I really like. Here it is: 

"I perceive every prospect as having an obligation to their employer to take my calls and at least listen to my proposition. Before thinking this way, whenever a prospect seemed put out or rude, I would feel embarrassed or intimidated. Now, I feel I have a right to pursue the prospect's interest and they have a DUTY to respond to me in a civil manner. Now, I don't really care if the prospect is 'put out' by my calls since now I perceive that the prospect is, in effect, being paid to take my calls!"

What a refreshing perspective! While I am on the subject, here is a collection of more empowering perspectives that I've collected over the years:

- Calculating the dollar value of every time you pick up the phone. It will vary for everyone, but can be easily determined by dividing the number of weekly calls by your weekly, average income, or commission check.

- Believing that each call is part of a variety of contacts the prospect may have with your company. Each call fits into a mosaic of possible connections brought about by advertising, direct mail, trade shows, references, previous experience as a client and so forth. The significance for you: assuming the associations are positive, you or your company are becoming known to the prospect over time.

- Feeling that the anxiety you experience when calling is worth it because it is a small price to pay for success. Anxiety is an unavoidable price we must pay for worthwhile progress!

- Seeing prospects as possible members of a "future friendship circle," or as members of your own community of clients and customers that constitute your economic support system.

- Viewing prospecting as containing the same four elements identified by the famous sociologist Erving Goffman for the action of betting: squaring off (deciding on a list of names); determination (who to approach); disclosure (making the pitch); and settlement- "Yes or No." Prospecting, like gambling, can be consequential and fateful!

- Looking for those who are looking for us.

- Putting prospects on your list and then taking them off, either because they buy or because you have qualified them as 'not interested'. In other words, see prospecting as getting names off your list one way or another.

- Remember, "They aren't rejecting you, they are rejecting your proposition.''

These are just a few of my favorite perspectives on cold calling. I'm sure you have some of your own as well. If you would like to share them, I will publish them in later newsletters.

Mark Sanford, of Sanford Associates, is a business development coach and trainer with 30+ years of business experience. More free articles and training materials on cold calling. Mark can be reached at 925.253.0646.

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