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Stage Fright

October 18, 2009
Mary Jane Copps

First, a mea culpa. Last weekend was Thanksgiving and I totally lost track of the days – then the week went by in a blur of deadlines. Apologies for letting the last post slip away. And thanks for your comments. I think it is important to share that even though I’ve been cold calling for 22 years and know I’m very good at it – actually enjoy it – when I begin a new campaign on the phone I get stage fright. Why? Because even though I’ve designed a script, know the product or sevice thoroughly and have good qualified leads, I still have to get a “solid” reaction from the potential client. I can do all the preparation work I want, but until I’m talking to a potential client and listening to their reaction, I won’t know if I’ve chosen the right words to use, the right benefits to emphasize, the right presentation to give. It is like being a stage actor. You want the audience to react to your lines so even though you have a script to follow, you need to get on stage, experience the reactions, before you can really decide how best to play the part. I know that my first 10 to 20 calls of a new campaign are going to be shaky and exploratory. But these calls lead me to my best script and once I have that, well, that’s when the phoning starts to become a lot of fun and highly profitable! Like so many things in life, practice makes perfect when it comes to cold calling. This is the mistake most people make when it comes to building their business or increasing their sales quotas – they let a bit of stage fright prevent them from picking up the phone. I’ll share with you a phrase I heard somewhere recently that I now keep close at hand: “What would you be doing today if you weren’t afraid?” Hmmmm.

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