Part of being The Phone Lady is accepting some criticism – and cynicism – about the work I do. Reactions range from “Cold calling is dead” to “You do what? Who could possibly need information on how to talk on the phone!”
This doesn’t deter me. I know everyone can benefit from becoming a more skilled communicator on the phone. Besides, amidst the naysayers, there’s always a few proof givers – like Reg Noel.
My connection to Reg started in June when I received an email with the subject “Thanks for the Keys to My Future”.
Reg owns Reg Noel Designs in Moncton. He produces high quality concrete countertops, a skill and art that requires incredible attention to detail and offers both himself and his customers endless creative possibilities.
Reg discovered a quote of mine in Progress Magazine and sent the email saying: “For years, I’ve been trying to convince myself that cold calling is okay. Unfortunately, I wasn’t very effective. For whatever reason, I felt that cold calling was an unacceptable business practice … ”
But something about my quote, or company name, inspired him: “I believe that knowing that someone like you is promoting the idea of cold calling will make a huge difference in the years to come. I’m currently reading every single one of your blog posts.”
Lovely, right? Reg and I corresponded a bit by email and phone and I asked him to stay in touch.
Discipline and Practice
Another email arrived on July 10. Reg had fully embraced his inspiration: “From the day I saw your caption in Progress Magazine, I’ve put out 13 quotes with two projects confirmed to date. Obviously, I’ve been on the phone consistently. I haven’t even met you yet and you’re already having a major positive impact on my business.”
How great is that? I love that he uses the word “consistently”. The power of the phone as a communication tool lies not only in having clients and potential clients call us but … in our picking it up and contacting them in a professional and disciplined way.
Six weeks later (August 28) Reg sent me another update: “It’s been nearly 2 1/2 months since I first saw your caption in Progress Magazine. So far, I have spoken to, left a message for and followed up on a total of approximately 450 calls. I try to wait till about 9 AM before starting my calls and I’m usually staring at the clock from about 8:30 AM. Needless to say, I look forward to doing my calls every day. The type of service I offer lends itself to the idea of sowing seeds (40 quotes out so far)… people don’t tell me “come on tomorrow morning and we’ll get this done”. However, I have generated some new business and I do have some bookings right up into October. I have the feeling my pre-Christmas season is going to be extremely busy.”
The image Reg provides of “sowing seeds” is perfect. Prospects can’t become our customers if they don’t know we exist, if we haven’t given them information to consider. And the phone offers us the most direct, interactive and economical way to make this happen.
Reg’s correspondence also shows that you can go from ineffective prospecting to proficiency, and from disliking making calls to impatience to get started each day. I know this to be true but I’m so very grateful that Reg has volunteered to share his experience with all of us.
So here’s the question: Is there something you want to make happen this year? Whether it relates to sales or fundraising or customer service, Reg and I encourage you to Call into Fall. Find your inspiration, create a discipline, practice practice practice and … reap the results.
I’d be both thrilled and honoured if you’d share your story with me along the way. And of course, if I can be of service, don’t hesitate to ask. There’s now a brief assessment you can fill out at my website or check out what I can offer you as your phone coach.
Enjoy your PhoneWork everyone!