Cold Calling Tips from the Queen of Cold Calling

1. Remember to breathe! Sometimes, when people get nervous, they forget to breathe. Breathing relaxes and grounds you. Take deep breaths; fill your lungs with air. If you find you have this problem, do some breathing exercises before you pick up the telephone. These exercises can be as simple as closing your eyes and taking deep breaths in and out. Try breathing in for four counts and out for four counts. And focus on your breath. You can also sit in a chair and breathe into each vertebra of your spine. Also try moving around. Move your shoulders, head and arms; shake out your legs.

2. While you are calling, try and stay conscious of your breathing. If you find you are feeling stressed and holding your breath, take a moment, do your breathing exercises again, and then go on. Sometimes, you can breathe better if you are standing. Try that. Sometimes, pacing while you are talking helps to get energy going and let out the nervous tension–one good reason to have a long cord on your telephone or, better yet, a cordless telephone.

3. The emphasis on a particular word can totally change the meaning of a sentence. For example, let’s take the phrase, ‘She is not a thief.’ If you emphasize ‘She,’ the sentence means that she is not a thief, but someone else is. If you emphasize ‘not,’ the sentence is a defence. If you emphasize ‘thief,’ the sentence implies that she is something else that you have just not named. Think about the emphasis that you wish to make.

4. Everyone has his or her own personal rhythm, the tempo at which he or she thinks and functions and is most comfortable. People generally have a difficult time with people whose rhythms are different from their own. Think about it–if you speak quickly, do you find yourself getting impatient with someone who speaks at a much slower pace? Do you perceive them as dull, perhaps not too bright? On the other hand, if you have a more laid-back rhythm to your speech, do you find people who speak quickly annoying and difficult to deal with? This is very common. People can grasp your message much more effectively if it is delivered in a rhythm that matches their own. Remember that your goal is communication. Therefore, try to follow your prospect’s rhythm. Match your timing and tempo to theirs. You can even try and match their volume. This will aid in their ability to hear and understand you. If you find this to be difficult, try practicing with a colleague or friend.

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